King mackerel fishing report for early May

king mackerel
Jesse Nifong caught this 26-pound king mackerel from the beach on May 6, 2022.

It’s king mackerel time along the Carolina coastlines. Boating anglers and pier anglers are getting in on the action.

But Jesse Nifong did something few Carolina anglers have done, at least in recent history when he caught a 26-pound king mackerel from the surf near Atlantic Beach.

Nifong was floating a live menhaden near an inlet. Once the bait got close to the channel, his drag began screaming quickly. 

“We have weighed a lot of fish on our scales over the years, but we’re pretty sure this is only the second king mackerel we’ve ever seen caught from the beach,” said the crew from Chasin’ Tails, who weighed Nifong’s catch on May 6.

Chasin’ Tails Outdoors also weighed a 41.4-pound king mackerel caught by Lathon and Darion while fishing aboard the SENSATION. They were trolling a Nomad Design Tackle DTX Minnow.

king mackerel
These two anglers were trolling a Nomad DTX Minnow when they hooked into this 41.4-pound king mackerel.

Ron Mathieu had a big day on Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier on May 7. He caught the pier record king mackerel with a 55.2 pounder.

king mackerel
Ron Mathieu caught two king mackerel on his 51st birthday, including the Johnnie Mercer Fishing Pier record, a 55.2 pounder.

Chip Brown started things off early on April 24, catching the first king of the 2022 season for the Cherry Grove Pier. That fish weighed 22.4 pounds. He followed that catch up with king number two for Cherry Grove on May 6.

Chip Brown caught Cherry Grove Pier’s first king of 2022, and caught the second one about a week later.

These catches should increase in the next few weeks and continue throughout the early summer.

Plenty of other fish are also biting along the Carolina coastlines, including mahi, wahoo, cobia, bonito, redfish, speckled trout, gray trout, black drum and sheepshead. 


These fish are fun to catch and great to eat. Try this unique recipe next time you gaff a king.

About Brian Cope 2708 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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