Kayak Fishing for King Mackerel – Navarre, FL

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Originally Published on Apr 21, 2012

Trolling and catching a smoker king mackerel off the beach in Navarre Florida.

UPDATE Feb 2014!! In light of all the great questions and comments I’ve gotten from this video here is some advice to all you current or would be kayak anglers out there. You don’t have to go miles out into the water to catch big fish! Tons of fish can be caught close to shore. I’ve seen everything from Sailfish to Tuna caught within 2 miles of shore. Get out there and start trolling!

Here is what I do and it works: Fish behind the breakers for bait with sibiki rigs. If there is a sand bar, fish around it too. Take the live bait you catch, hook it through the nose (not the mouth) and set up a stinger rig to dangle just behind the tail. DON’T put the stinger hook into the fish, it will not swim right if you do. Tip: Make sure to pre-make all your rigs before you get on the water and use a light wire (around 40 lbs is good).

Set up your live bait to troll about 50 feet behind you and keep the drag light, 3 pounds at the absolute most. Next, cast out a second line with a very reflective and noisy deep diving plug. Set that line to troll about 25 feet behind you and keep the drag only tight enough to not pull drag as you troll. Don’t worry about the color of the plug, just make sure it reflects light very well and has a good rattle to it.

When you troll, do a zig-zag pattern parallel to the beach. You can try this anywhere from just behind the break to a few miles out. Trolling over live bottom is always good if you can find it. Keep your speed under 2.5 mph so your live bait will stay alive. If you do just what I described, here is what will happen.

The diving plug will rattle around and reflect light, looking like a fish in distress and attracting the attention of any preadators passing by. The live bait will swim along on the surface and produce the scent you need to attract a bite. Now you’ve got sound, sight, and smell all working for you.

Most often the fish will take the live bait, hooking himself on the dangling stinger rig and making your drag scream. When this happens, let the fish take line while you reel in your other line. When you start fighting your fish, DON’T TOUCH THAT REEL WHILE THE FISH IS TAKING DRAG. Let the drag do the work for you. Keep pressure on the line and reel in line as you can. Once the fish is tired he’ll come up easy enough. Gaff him boat side or release and revive as you see fit. Do this and I promise, you’ll catch your fair share of fish.


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