I was introduced to King Mackerel fishing by my Grandfather, Arthur Smith who ran the worlds largest King Mackerel events for over two decades in the 80's and 90's. As a kid I can remember working the weigh ins at our events wondering how all these fisherman know where to catch trophy size kingfish? Obviously, some luck is involved but I learned at a very early age that to be a tournament contender you have to do your homework! Regardless of boat size, I personally believe that research represents the most critical element in tournament fishing. Creating your own network of trustworthy anglers within the areas you fish will give you local knowledge identifying the best tactics to target King Mackerel from finding live bait to your tackle choices, spread and approach. Take the information from your network of anglers and then apply it. We always pre-fish as many spots as we can up to 5 days prior to an event to eliminate certain areas and while pre- fishing we try different techniques to see what works. Our boat is set up for a wide range of techniques, including downrigger-trolling, kite-fishing, slow-trolling, drifting and anchoring, any of which might be needed, depending on the time of year or coastal region. Its also important to be very comfortable with your marine electronics to help you locate key structure spots such as wrecks, reef edges and schools of bait. I also like to keep an eye on sea-surface temperature and chlorophyll patterns. The idea is to find temperature breaks and the right color of water (known as “king green”) that might be holding schools of bait. Find the bait and you’ll often find the large trophy kings. Time is money while tournament fishing... so prepare, have fun and do your homework!