6 King Mackerel Lures Every Angler Should Have

By Alycia Downs

Feb 11, 2019

Top 6 king mackerel lures for landing big kingfish, plus tips and techniques for finding and catching kingfish effectively.

King mackerel are one of the most sought-after game fish in saltwater angling, with many tournament circuits revolving around the species. They can be found in waters around Texas, Florida, and the Carolinas, and, weighing in at 20-pounds average, King mackerel are known to put up a royal fight. When fishing for king mackerel, large live bait is king. Frozen bait can be used, but are best when fresh. And if bait supplies are low, the kings certainly won’t deny big, shiny king mackerel lures. If you prefer using fakes, here are some king mackerel lures that will help you land this saltwater royalty.

Your first task is to find the fish by slow-trolling with king mackerel trolling lures. Diving birds can indicate kingfish feeding near the surface.

  1. Deep-diving plugs. These king mackerel lures have a metal or plastic lip that allow them to dive deep. Go for a pattern that resembles a cigar minnow and pair with a wire leader and light 40-pound braid to maximize depth.
  2. Vinyl skirts. Slip this colorful skirt over a frozen ballyhoo or cigar minnow. Use one that has some flash to grab their attention.
  3. Trolling spoons. Use silver or gold diamond-shaped spoons, size No. 1, 2, or 3. Use keeled trolling sinkers and swivels to prevent line twists. The shine will lure them in for an epic strike.
  4. Ribbonfish lure. This eel-like fish is a staple of the kingfish diet and the lifelike lures are highly effective for targeting kings.
  5. Bucktail jig. Once you’ve found the fish while trolling, cast and bounce bucktail jigs to invite strikes.
  6. Topwater popper. These fishing lures are best used when kingfish are feeding near the surface.

Be sure to pair your king mackerel trolling lures with wire leader to ensure it doesn’t fall prey to their sharp teeth. Try blue/silver colored lures in clear, green water and black/silver or red/white in darker water. Now that you’re ready to catch the king, be sure your fishing license is up-to-date before hitting the water. Tight lines!.

Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs is a freelance content creator and avid sportsman who contributes to numerous publications promoting tourism, fishing, and outdoors. Alycia is a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association and is actively involved with conservation and fishing non-profit organizations. Visit her personal blog at tideandtale.com or on Instagram @tideandtale.