The kingfish bite is definitely the big news near shore right now with tons of kingfish showing up in our area from around 30-90 foot of water. They are becoming more prolific and aggressive by the day and were looking forward to being able to re-open to target these fish hopefully April 7th. They love to go after live white bait or smaller blue runners on those kingfish stinger rigs.
We are seeing lots of mackerel mixed in around the kingfish too and they have been pretty large for the most part. Kingfish in the area are averaging a little smaller in the 8-15lb range but occasionally a few monster 30-45lb fish are caught.
There was a sailfish or two caught this past week in near shore waters in our area so make sure to have a pitch rod ready if your out there near shore fishing right now. This springtime weather is a great opportunity to spot one of these unique billfish. I like to use around 40lb floro and about a 5ot circle hook on a big spinning reel with lots of 20lb braid to give me max line capacity or even better like a 4ot conventional filled with light braid for even more line capacity. However, a spinning reel is easier for almost everyone to accurately pitch live baits out to passing fish. Most of the time a large threadfin or small blue runner works best but they will even take a tail hooked pinfish if they are hungry enough. We have even caught a few on dead threadfins when we didn’t have live bait available.
The hogfish bite is still going well near shore too but we have seen it slow down a little lately. Hoping they will still cooperate for us through April like they normally do once we are re-open to go fishing. Around 40-70ft is typically best for these guys. However, as the water warms they become even less aggressive and more leadershy and thus, harder to catch consistently. We do catch em all year, we just see them more in cooler months.