I will try my best to answer a question that came from Robert from Alabama. He is a new friend I met while vacationing/fishing at Panama City Beach, FL this past August. His question follows:
Coach when you get a chance let me know how long the kings will still be running and what kind of trolling will I have luck with in the winter. Thanks Robert
This was my response:
I think we shared the word pelagic species. These are basically migratory species that migrate to warmer climates in the winter and do not return until the spring migration back to P.C. (or wherever) begins.
My best understanding usually deals with temperature of the water. As long as the water temps stay in the 68-80 degrees plus range, you should be fine. Here is one website that might help you. http://www.weather.com/maps/activity/boatbeach/floridacoastalwatertemperatures_large.html
This gives the water temps for the Gulf of Mexico.
Another article can be found here on the Half Hitch Tackle website. There is a world of info on this site about the local fishery.
The main website address is simply www.halfhitch.com
Looks like they catch them until mid to late November and they don't return until March.
Wintertime fishing can be slow from a trolling point, so you may need to change tactics and get geared up for some bottom fishing unless you have the capability to get way out to the Gulf Stream. There are also a lot of inshore species you can target. Again, do your homework and try to fish for those species that are plentiful during those colder months. Redfish, Trout, Bottom dwelling species, inshore mangrove snapper, etc are usually in the same haunts year round.