I look at king mackerel, kind of like a Gulf of Mexico family fishing ambassador. They are here to help wherever they can. They can be caught near-shore, offshore, while trolling or bottom fishing. They are also super kid fishing friendly and can even help with a sight-seeing tour of our beautiful coastline.
I have written about our local charter boats offering four-hour nearshore trips. These are great for families with young kids who want to go fishing but maybe aren’t quite ready for a full-day adventure. These four-hour trips will most likely consist of trolling within sight of the beach.
These trips not only offer the fishing experience of targeting king mackerel but these charters also provide a chance to see our beaches from the ‘outside.’ Everyone knows what the beach looks like from the beach, but it is an entirely new perspective the first time you see the beach, condos and Perdido Pass from the Gulf. You don’t even need to enjoy fishing to appreciate the scenery.
Kings and kids are a perfect match. King mackerel with their long body shape, represent a chance for young anglers to catch their first ‘big fish.’ Sometimes, the fish are even taller than the kids, which always makes for a great picture. Usually caught on a cigar minnow and thin wire leader when trolling, kings usually hook themselves, allowing for kids to be handed the rod and then, just having to “reel, reel, reel!” That has to be the most uttered, three-word, repetitive phrase in all of fishing!
Kings also stay relatively close to the surface which makes for an easier fight for young kids as opposed to trying to horse a red snapper up from a depth of one hundred feet of water. Plus, when a king strips off one or two hundred yards of line, it is just a different type of fishing action than most kids have ever experienced.