Found along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico and the western Atlantic Ocean, northern kingfish are a great fish to target in the late summer. Anglers will often fish for them using a wide variety of methods, including bottom bouncing, and still fishing. The northern kingfish responds best to baits, such as clams and squid.
Habitat: Ocean, River, Creek
How to identify Northern Kingfish
The northern kingfish is mostly silver with dark bronze stripes angled around the sides of its body. The first two stripes form a “V” shape. It has pupils like a cat, a long dorsal spine, one barbell, and small, flat teeth. It has a somewhat slim body, with a thicker pectoral area near its head.
Where to catch Northern Kingfish
The northern kingfish is a saltwater fish that lives along the coastline of the western Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. It prefers shallow waters with sand or mud floors and can be found in the surf zone and in estuaries, like the Chesapeake Bay. Although it is a saltwater fish, it can also be found in areas with low salt levels, like tidal rivers and creeks. It travels in schools and migrates from October to May.
The following are habitats where you can catch Northern Kingfish:
- Channel Entrances
- Coastal Waters
- Piers, Docks and Pilings
- Rivers and Streams
- Surf and Shore
How to catch Northern Kingfish
The best time for catching northern kingfish is in the late summer. Anglers mainly fish for them from a boat, pier, jetty, or in the surf. The northern kingfish is a bottom feeder, so bobbers are not needed, but can be used. The best way to catch them is with a small single or double hook, light tackle, and bite-sized bait. When fishing in a bay, a good tactic is chumming for clams in water that is 8-15 feet deep. Try catching these fish by bait casting, bottom bouncing, chumming, spin casting, still fishing, and surf casting.
When surf casting, fish just past the breaking waves using a small hook baited with pieces of clam, squid, or bloodworms. Surf casting is one of the more popular methods for catching Northern Kingfish.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Northern Kingfish:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Northern Kingfish
The best baits to use to catch the northern kingfish are bloodworms, clams, or squid. Northern Kingfish do not typically respond well to artificial lures.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Northern Kingfish: