Captiva Fishing, Kingfish, April 16!

Sanibel Island Fishing Charters, April 16, 2019: Kingfish or King Mackerel, Catch & Release!

Current Red Tide & Water Quality Update Here (Page Down For Detail On Sampling & Location Table).
Captiva Fishing: Please Click For Rates & To Book A Captiva Fishing Charter Or Call 239-472-8658.
Live Weather Cams Here.
Kingfish or King Mackerel, Sanibel Island Fishing, Catch & Release, Captiva Island, Tuesday, April 16, 2019.
Kingfish or King Mackerel, Sanibel Island Fishing, Catch & Release, Captiva Island, Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

Sanibel Island Fishing Charters, April 16, 2019.

Please Click To Rent Homes Direct From Captiva Homeowners; No VRBO Booking Fees.
Vote Water! Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island.
Vote Water For Florida’s Future!

Captiva Fishing Guide Report: Tuesday, April 16: Kingfish or King Mackerel, Running Near Offshore, Captain Joe’s Charters – the weather is warming up, red tide is gone and a lot of good fish have moved back into the gulf, bay and passes; water is much, much better – redfish, sheepshead, black drum, snapper, snook, and seatrout are currently present.

Redfish & snook are regulated as catch & release at this time.

Already seeing some positive impact.  Some very nice big redfish and snook around, more big redfish than snook.

The Caloosahatchee freshwater releases are also not an issue right now, but still a huge long-term problem.

Extremely frustrating.  We need wholesale changes in the Florida state government.  It is not a Republican or Democrat issue – it is a Big Sugar control everyone issue.  It is stunning how we continue to let the sugar industry and the agriculture north of Lake Okeechobee to damage the water and all of Florida.

Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658.

We’re located in Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.

Turner Beach, the beach adjoining Blind Pass, is frequently covered with a bounty of shells from Olives to Fighting Whelks to the more common Conchs.

The fishing is also renowned for sharks in the summer, tailing redfish on the bayside flats and snook under and off the Blind Pass bridge. Because Turner Beach faces Westward, the sunsets are spectacular and a popular viewing point for residents and visitors alike.

Kingfish, King Mackerel, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Tuesday, 11-3-15 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.
Kingfish, King Mackerel, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Tuesday, 11-3-15 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.

April 16, Sanibel Island Fishing Charters & Sanibel Island Fishing Charters: Kingfish or King Mackerel.  Please also visit the SanibelFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites. 

King Mackerel or Kingfish: Scomberomorus cavalla

“The king mackerel or kingfish (Scomberomorus cavalla) is a migratory species of mackerel of the western Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. It is an important species to both the commercial and recreational fishing industries.

King mackerel are among the most sought-after gamefish throughout their range from North Carolina to Texas. Known throughout the sportfishing world for their blistering runs, the king mackerel matches its distant relative, the wahoo, in speed.

Kingfish or King Mackerel, Jimmy Burnsed, Sanibel Island Fishing, Catch & Release, Captiva Island, Tuesday, April 16, 2019.
Kingfish or King Mackerel, Jimmy Burnsed, Sanibel Island Fishing, Catch & Release, Captiva Island, Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

They are taken mostly by trolling, using various live and dead baitfish, spoons, jigs, and other artificial lures. Commercial gear consists of run-around gill nets. They are also taken commercially by trolling with large planers, heavy tackle and lures similar to those used by sport fishers.

Typically when using live bait, two hooks are tied to a strong metal leader. The first may be a treble or single and is hooked through the live bait’s nose and/or mouth. The second hook (treble hook) is placed through the top of the fish’s back or allowed to swing free. This must be done because king mackerel commonly bite the tail section of a bait fish. When trolling for kings using this method, it is important to make sure the baitfish are swimming properly. Typical tackle includes a conventional or spinning reel capable of holding 340 m (370 yd) of 13 kg (29 lb) test monofilament and a 2 m (6 ft 7 in), 13 kg (29 lb) class rod.

Several organizations have found success in promoting tournament events for this species because of their popularity as a sport fish. The most notable are the Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) and the FLW Outdoors tour. These events are covered in several outdoors publications, both in print and online.

King Mackerel caught offshore of Captiva
King Mackerel caught offshore of Captiva

The king mackerel is a medium-sized fish, typically encountered from 5 to 14 kg (30 lb), but is known to exceed 40 kg (90 lb). The entire body is covered with very small, hardly visible, loosely attached scales. The first (spiny) dorsal fin is entirely colorless and is normally folded back into a body groove, as are the pelvic fins. The lateral line starts high on the shoulder, dips abruptly at mid-body and then continues as a wavy horizontal line to the tail. Coloration is olive on the back, fading to silver with a rosy iridescence on the sides, fading to white on the belly. Fish under 5 kg (10 lb) show yellowish-brown spots on the flanks, somewhat smaller than the spots of the Atlantic Spanish mackerelScomberomorus maculatus. Its cutting-edged teeth are large, uniform, closely spaced and flattened from side to side. These teeth look very similar to those of the bluefishPomatomus saltatrix.

The king mackerel is a subtropical species of the Atlantic Coast of the Americas. Common in the coastal zone from North Carolina to Brazil, it occurs as far south as Rio de Janeiro, and occasionally as far north as the Gulf of Maine and also found in Eastern coast (Chennai) and Western coast of India. Nonetheless, a preference for water temperatures in the range of 20 to 29 °C (68 to 84 °F) may limit distribution.

King mackerel commonly occur in depths of 12–45 m (40–150 ft), where the principal fisheries occur. Larger kings (heavier than 9 kg or 20 lb) often occur inshore, in the mouths of inlets and harbors, and occasionally even at the 180 m (590 ft) depths at the edge of the Gulf Stream.

King Mackerel caught on Sanibel & Captiva charters!
King Mackerel caught on Sanibel & Captiva charters!

At least two migratory groups of king mackerel have been found to exist off the American coast. A Gulf of Mexico group ranges from the Texas coast in summer to the middle-east coast of Florida from November through March. Spawning occurs throughout the summer off the northern Gulf Coast.

An Atlantic group is abundant off North Carolina in spring and fall. This group migrates to southeast Florida, where it spawns from May through August, and slowly returns through summer. Apparently, this group winters in deep water off the Carolinas, as tagging studies have shown they are never found off Florida in winter.

Eggs and sperm are shed into the sea and their union is by chance. Depending on size, a female may shed from 50,000 to several million eggs over the spawning season. Fertilized eggs hatch in about 24 hours. The newly hatched larva is about 2.5 mm (0.098 in) long with a large yolk sack. Little is known about king mackerel in their first year of life. Yearling fish typically attain an average weight of 1.4–1.8 kg (3.1–4.0 lb) and a fork length of 60 cm (24 in). At age seven, females average 10 kg (22 lb), males 5 kg (11 lb). King mackerel may attain 40 kg (88 lb), but any over 7 kg (15 lb) is almost certainly a female.

King mackerel are voracious, opportunistic carnivores. Their prey depends on their size. Depending on area and season, they favor squid, menhaden and other sardine-like fish (Clupeidae), jacks (Carangidae), cutlassfish (Trichiuridae), weakfish (Sciaenidae), grunts (Haemulidae), striped anchovies (Engraulidae), cigar minnows, threadfin, northern mackerel, and blue runners. They do not attack humans but will defend themselves against perceived threats, including humans flailing or thrashing in man-overboard and similar situations, by biting.”

Source & more information here.

Kingfish or King Mackerel on the cleaning table. Sanibel Island Fishing, Catch & Release, Captiva Island, Tuesday, April 16, 2019.
Kingfish or King Mackerel on the cleaning table.
Sanibel Island Fishing, Catch & Release, Captiva Island, Tuesday, April 16, 2019.



  • Back is bluish-green, fading to silvery sides and belly (no spots)
  • Front of first dorsal fin lacks a dark blotch
  • Lateral line drops sharply below the second dorsal fin
  • Juveniles may have yellowish spots, similar to Spanish mackerel

Similar Species: Cero, S. regalis; Spanish mackerel, S. maculatus (both have gently sloping lateral lines and a dark blotch on front of first dorsal fin); and wahoo, A. solandri (first dorsal fin long and continuous)

Size: Up to 72 inches


Coastal to offshore waters. Often around piers. They may occasionally be found in deep water.


Spawn offshore in mid-summer. Schooling fish that migrate from south Florida waters in winter northward in spring. Feed mainly on fishes.

Additional Information

State Record: 90 lb, caught near Key West

Fishing Tips and Facts: Kings feed on small fish and squid and take both natural and artificial baits. Live baits include pogies, herring, Spanish sardine, ballyhoo, and mullet. Lures should be flashy sub-surface lures or large fish-like plugs. Use 20-pound line and tackle, or heavier for larger kings, with a wire or mono leader.”

Recreational Regulations”

FWC source & more information here.

Fair winds and following seas,

Captain Joey Burnsed ~ please click calendar at the upper right or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.

Kingfish at Castaways Marina, Sanibel Island, Tuesday, April 16, 2019.
Kingfish at Castaways Marina, Sanibel Island, Tuesday, April 16, 2019.