Tidewater 230 CC Adventure Kingfish
by Ted Lund
Anglers from from Florida’s East Coast all the way around to the Louisiana Delta enjoy fantastic fishing for the “other Silver King,” the king mackerel from October all the way through April.
In addition to commonly running 40 pounds or more, kings strike viciously, often leaping 10 or more feet out of the water skyrocketing on unsuspecting baitfish then taking off on a blistering run that makes light-tackle hearts sing with joy. And the beauty of these fish is that wherever they’re found is usually a short run offshore — making them accessible to a wide group of anglers and super popular gamefish throughout their range.
The king of the mackerel family is a slash and turn eater; they usually strike their prey with a vicious, hi-speed attack which cuts their target in two. Clipping off the tail, they usually circle back to pick up the remains at their leisure. This predictable pattern, combined with their impressive set of razor sharp teeth means anglers need to prepare a little differently for them.
That means the setup starts with wire — single-strand to be precise. For all but the biggest kings (40 pounds and above) 41-pound single strand wire will suffice. You’ll want to run a shot about 4 feet in length from a low-profile swivel (the Spro Power Swivel Size 6 is a good exampled). The swivel should be attached to the mainline using an improved clinch knot, while the wire should be attached via a haywire twist. The same wire knot is used at the terminal end to either a single live bait j-hook (I prefer an octopus style in 4/0 or 5/0 size) or a light-wire treble in size 6 or 4. The VMC 4x is a good example. Finally comes the stinger. The length of the wire attaching the second hook to the rig can be lengthened or shortened based on the size of the bait. Generally a 4 inch length, knot-to-knot is adequate. You’ll want to haywire the treble stinger to one end, then use a haywire to attach to the lead hook. Wire placement here is critical. You don’t want to just go through the eye of the lead hook; you want to make sure that the wire also passes through the loop formed by the lead hook’s haywire twist. This ensures that you won’t unexpectedly lose the stinger hook (and a big fish) if the wire slips through the gap formed where the hook eye returns to the shank.
Any frisky, large live bait is a favorite for the king of the mackerels. Some of my personal favorites
include large blue runners, goggle eyes or thread herring and large live pilchards. Ideally you want t a bait that will be strong enough to survive being bump trolled behind your boat; this is a method that requires the angler to “bump” the engines in and out of gear to keep ahead of the bait and cover ground, so the hardier the better. And its not just kings you’ll encounter while doing this. Its a great way to catch amberjack, cobia, barracuda and even sailfish. Variety is never a problem when bump trolling.
Rods and Reels
Conventional outfits are the order of the day when live-baiting for king mackerel. Most serious tournament anglers prefer a 7-foot, medium-light action rod — something with a light tip and fast taper down to a powerful lifting section. This gives the hook time to find its place on the initial run, and if the fish is foul hooked, the lighter tip is more forgiving and helps increase the odds of landing your fish.
Since live bait is the key to success with smoker kings, you need a boat that’s built around a live well. Tidewater’s 230 CC Adventure is just such a boat, featuring a 25-gallon well that will keep your runners, mullet, goggle-eyes or herring healthy and happy on the way to the fishing grounds. An optional second live well pump is available to provide extra flow.
Other standard features on the 230 CC Adventure— and the rest of Tidewater’s lineup — include all-composite, no wood construction with fiberglass stringers and a hand-laid fiberglass hull. Each boat is rigged to AYBC standards and includes a 10-year transferable hull warranty.
For more information on the CC Adventure family of boats or the entire Tidewater line, visit tidewaterboats.com, call 803-732-7300 or email Sales@TideWaterBoats.com.
Original Source; Sportsmans Lifestyle.com