Captains' Confidential

King mackerel pros tell all.

Brant McMullan
Homeport: Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina Experience: Professional charter captain and tournament fisherman Tactic: When McMullan goes looking for smokers, he employs big baits, such as live bluefish, mullet or even Spanish mackerel. To catch smokers, McMullan runs away from big schools of not-so-big fish. "Small fish are usually with other small fish."

Wayne Seymour
Homeport: Virginia Beach, Virginia Experience: Manager of Virginia Beach Boaters World Tactic: When kings are running off the DelMarVa Coast, Seymour concentrates on the inshore waters from the beach to three miles out. He pulls Mann's Stretch 30+s between three and four knots when he's marking bait deep. If bait is shallow, he'll bump up the throttles and switch to Rapala CD 18s or 22s. Down the center, Seymour runs a 31/2-inch Huntington Drone spoon rigged with a 40-foot leader with a 75-pound barrel swivel tied in the middle. He clips an eight- to ten-ounce inline sinker between the leader and running line with snap swivels. Seymour drops the spoon back to where it undulates just below the surface.

Dave Workman, Jr.
Homeport: Jacksonville, Florida Experience: Three-time Southern Kingfish Association angler of the year and owner of Strike Zone Fishing Tactic: "Presentation is everything," Workman says. He goes down to No. 4 wire, a single No. 2 hook in the bait's nose and No. 6 treble stingers to hide his intentions from keen-sighted king mackerel. A light drag and a patient angler will counter the danger of losing a big fish on such light tackle. Recently, Workman has had great success threading a Boone Duster skirt on the line ahead of his downrigger baits.