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limey940 05-13-2019 02:06 PM

King newbie questions follow up - got 1!
I asked some basic King questions a few weeks ago and was very grateful for the responses.
Got out for the first time past weekend, and even though I wasn't targeting Kings I got my first!
I was super lucky as I didn't have a wire leader, was just using a single smallish hook which ended up hooking the fish right in front of its dorsal fin!
Fish ran like crazy, my bud gaffed it. I don't kill anything I dont eat/use as bait, so I was super disappointed to see the meat look a really horrible, unappetizing gray color, like a walking dead zombie fish!
So, a couple of follow up questions if i may;
1) Is that the normal color?
2) If i dont have a smoker is there a way to cook/prepare? We iced it down right away and removed the bllodline etc
3) Is there a way to catch and release Kings that arent really small?

Cant post pics in this forum for some reason or I would show fish.


N2theblue 05-13-2019 02:19 PM

1. Yes, that's what it typically looks like.

2. Deep frying its fine, grilled with lots of your favorite seasoning (Cajun, Old Bay, Lemon pepper, etc) its also fine. Its better than most people (who are often spoiled by getting to fish for other species a lot) give it credit for being.

3. Get them to the boat fast, grab them by the tail, remove hook, and send them head first back into the water like a torpedo. Gets the water flowing over their gills immediately.

Timex 05-13-2019 03:34 PM

what do you mean you don't like fish that taste like fish ? give it a try. you may be surprised.
or make a brine 1\2 cup salt to 2 cups water put brine & fish in large Ziploc & put in fridge overnight then rince fish & bag thouroly & put 1 cup brown sugar & 2 to 3 tablespoons black pepper & fish back into bag & back in fridge overnight. then smoke I prefer maskeet. or you can add liquid smoke & use a dehydrator or do on oven racks with door cracked but be careful the brown sugar will make a mess

limey940 05-14-2019 03:39 AM

Thanks Guys, will try the next one we keep. I was thinking about soaking overnight in buttermilk as well

the way the fish was moving around beside the boat Iím not sure if I would want to try and grab a decent sized one by the tail with a couple of treble hooks in the mix. Will see what happens when I see the next one.

Thanks a lot

offsethooker 05-14-2019 04:15 AM

Cut bloodline out , soak in a mix of brown sugar and honey and salt water for a few hours. Take filets and put in a fish basket , the kind that you can clamp the fish in lay some stripe of bacon on the filets and cook on the grill. It is really good this way. I donít like to freeze kingfish filets! I have found itís a lot better the same day you catch it , to cook it.

bluescholar 05-14-2019 04:50 AM

We steak ours out, toss it in crushed garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder, lemon and lime juice and grill it. I don't understand the big deal about kings not tasting good. Bleed it and ice it and it'll taste great. I would bet that 99% of the "x fish tastes terrible" comes from one person doing a horrible job at handling, preparing, cleaning and cooking and everyone else parrots it.

Lu 1967 05-14-2019 04:51 AM

I prefer cero or spanish but the small kings are tasty.

Capt_Rocky 05-14-2019 05:55 AM

Find a buddy with a smoker and after a while youíll be hunting down a used one. Canít beat fresh kingfish/mahi dip

limey940 05-14-2019 08:24 AM

Originally Posted by Capt_Rocky (Post 12524883)
Find a buddy with a smoker and after a while youíll be hunting down a used one. Canít beat fresh kingfish/mahi dip

Do you have a recipe handy Captain?

SeaJay 05-14-2019 08:35 AM

When it comes to eating Kings, two kinds of folks. The first is a toddler like "I heard somewhere that they are oily and do not taste very good so I will not touch it". The second says, "lets try it and see how she tastes". Not everyone in the second camp ends up liking Kings, but many of those folks do end up liking Kings.

Screaming Reels 05-14-2019 08:42 AM

Do any of you guys bleed your kings? I always cut the blood line out. I like them fresh and on the smaller side. I am going to try and freeze some in water this year if I can figure out how I can to see if it helps any.

bluescholar 05-14-2019 09:10 AM

Originally Posted by Screaming Reels (Post 12525565)
Do any of you guys bleed your kings? I always cut the blood line out. I like them fresh and on the smaller side. I am going to try and freeze some in water this year if I can figure out how I can to see if it helps any.

The only thing I donít bleed are bottom fish which are already great eating, although I hear it makes them even better. I just spike them and get them in ice and shoot another bait down to catch their friends.

sabotage 05-14-2019 09:11 AM

Bleed it and ice it down in a slurry mix as quickly as possible, cut the blood line out when you fillet it, soak the meat in soy sauce for an hour or so before cooking, mix up a good beer batter and deep fry. It is awesome!!! It all starts with what you do when it hits the deck.... If you don't bleed it right away and let it die quickly, then get it as cold as possible, it's usually best as dip. I have frozen it in water and vacu-sealed it as well and used a month or so later, have always had good results. You'll know if you did wrong when you thaw out some fillets....

Capt_Rocky 05-14-2019 09:21 AM

Originally Posted by limey940 (Post 12525502)

Do you have a recipe handy Captain?

3 cups brown sugar
3 cups kosher salt
1/2 cup each of: garlic powder, onion powder, old bay, Cajun seasoning

Rub filets and put in air tight container over night
Rinse filets and let dry until golden crust forms (about 3 hours with the assist of a fan)
Smoke with light flavored wood (I use apple) at 185 for 2-3 hours
Shred filets by hand, be sure not to use any blood line meat
Add onion, celery, carrots, table spoon of garlic and a jalapeŮo (if you desire) in food processor and finely chop. Equal parts mayo and sour cream until desired consistency. Few dashes of lemon juice and youíre good to go

For a more fishy flavored dip make a brine bath using same ingredients instead of a dry rub

mdees88 05-14-2019 10:10 AM

I eat it fried, smoked, and grilled. Sometimes I'll steak it out, pop out the center loins (king balls), wrap them in bacon and grill..... granted this isn't a purist thing and the flavor of the fish gets lost but it sure tastes amazing.

sabotage 05-14-2019 10:18 AM

Now that looks amazingly good!!!

limey940 05-14-2019 11:20 AM

Wow, all of those look amazing.
What is the best way to bleed please!

am def gonna try some of these ideas next time.

sabotage 05-14-2019 01:50 PM

I use a night night stick ( to help calm them down) , then cut out the gills and cut the throat, then stagger a couple of cuts near the base of the tail. Dunk them in and out of a bucket of seawater, change the water and stand them on their head in the clean water for a couple of minutes, then into the slurry they go!!!! Not sure if its the right way, but it works for me....

mdees88 05-14-2019 02:14 PM

I've never bled them. I just put them straight into a saltwater/ice slurry. I always cut out the bloodline. Might try bleeding them next time and see if I taste a difference.... probably won't be able to tell though since I usually smoke them and make king dip.

Onewolf 05-14-2019 03:11 PM

One thing to keep in mind with kingfish is that they have the highest mercury content of any of the Atlantic/Gulf sportfish and experts recommend less than 1 serving per month for adult males. 0 servings for women and children.

If that sort of thing matters to you. :)

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