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The Kings Are Here

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The Kings Are Here
King Fish are a subtropical species common in coastal zones of our Gulf of Mexico, as well as from North Carolina to Brazil and the western coast of India. A preference for warmer water temperatures, 68 to 84 F, limits their territories.
Typically Kings are found in depths of 40-150 feet. However they can be found at the edge of the Gulf Stream at depths up to 590 feet.
According to the International Game Fish Association the current record King Fish, 93 pounds, was caught off San Juan, Puerto Rico, in April of 1999 by Mr. Steve Graulau. Steve was trolling with Ballyhoo.This record is about to be shattered.
A week after they were married Michael and Brook Hayes, Indiana, were drifting along the edge of the Gulf Stream drop-off from the 'Happy Day Today' Charter Boat using live bonito for bait and 30 pound test line when a massive King struck. The huge King hit the scales at 97.8 pounds.
Hayes, who lives in Chesterton, Indiana, has applied for world-record certification with the IGFA. It typically takes 60-90 days for a record to be accepted. In order to qualify, a catch must be weighed on a sale certified withing the past 12 months, a line sample must be submitted, and only one angler may handle the rod. The King was weighed in at Lauderdale Marina on 125th Street.
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Photo by Captain Tom Zsak, contributed by Carey Chen
 
 
No one today could begin to imagine what the Spring King Fish run off Central Florida Beaches was like decades ago. There was no limit, and recreational anglers could sell their catch, and sell we did. During the sixties, while fishing from my boat, Wahoo ll, I was able to put myself through the University of Tampa by selling Grouper and Kings.
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Photo by Bob Harbison
 
Unfortunately the huge schools were devastated through both recreational & commercial over-fishing. Today, through strict management, Kings are once again plentiful. Captain Dylan Hubbard, on his Sunday 8:30 P.M. LIVE STREAM FISHING SHOW, keeps us up-to-date on exactly where they can be found, and how to catch them:
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Even the 1/2 day head boats are doing well. The all day head boats are doing even better. Both young and experiences alike are enjoying King fishing under the warm, tropical, Florida sunshine:
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On the 1/2 & all day head boats most kings are caught drifting or anchored using a no sinker flat-ling rig.
Decades ago Captain Wilson Hubbard perfected the art of trolling for Kings from a head boat. Back then the prices were a 'little' different from today:
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Like yesteryear today head boat trolling remains very popular and productive. The Florida Fisherman ll has, once again, 'perfected the art'.
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King Fish have very impressive, sharp, teeth. However, they are no match for a:
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Back at the dock:
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The Kings Are Here
Photos by Hubbard's Marina
Bob Harbison
Florida Outdoor Writers Association.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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