Landing a STAR King Mackerel

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June in the Gulf of Mexico is prime time for anglers fishing STAR to reel in a big king mackerel (kingfish).

These sleek and powerful fish offer an exhilarating challenge for anglers, and with the right techniques and equipment, you can increase your chances of a successful catch. Next month (July 15) shrimping season opens up in the Gulf and the key then will be targeting culling shrimp boats. For now targeting rigs, weedlines and wrecks is the key and keep in mind some of the biggest kingfish of the summer come in June..

Here are some pointers for finding big king mackerel this month.

*King Mackerel are known to inhabit warm waters, making the Gulf of Mexico an ideal location for them during the summer months. They are often found near structures such as reefs, wrecks, and oil rigs, as well as along the edges of currents where baitfish congregate. Understanding their habitat and behavior is crucial for successful fishing.

*For targeting King Mackerel, a medium-heavy to heavy spinning or conventional rod and reel setup is recommended. Use a monofilament or braided line with a test strength of 20 to 40 pounds, as King Mackerel are strong fighters. Equip your rig with a wire leader to prevent the fish from biting through your line, as they have sharp teeth.

*King Mackerel are primarily carnivorous and prefer live baitfish such as mullet, menhaden, or cigar minnows. When fishing for King Mackerel, live bait often yields the best results. Rig your baitfish on a stinger rig to increase your chances of hooking the fish, as King Mackerel tend to strike from behind.

*Trolling is an effective method for targeting King Mackerel, especially when covering large areas of water. Troll your bait or lures behind a boat at a speed of around 6 to 8 knots, varying your depth until you find where the fish are feeding. Use brightly colored lures or spoons to attract their attention.

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