Expert Tips On Catching Spanish MackerelProper Fishing Reel Gear Ratio: If you are casting for Spanish mackerel,it is essential to have a reel with a high gear ratio. …Find the diving birds! …Find shallow water structure: Bait often congregates over shallow water structures along the coast. …Chum Wait: The chum and wait technique is a great fishing technique to employ when fishing with younger anglers on the boat. …More items
Is Spanish mackerel a good fish to eat?
Spanish mackerel, an especially good eating finfish, produces an attractive plate-size cutlet or an essentially boneless fillet. Mackerel can be fried, baked, poached, grilled, marinated, smoked and barbecued—it is considered by some to be the best barbecue fish in the South Pacific and Asia. How good are Spanish mackerel?
What is the best bait for Spanish mackerel?
Best Spanish Mackerel Lures – Surf Casting SpoonsBest Spanish Mackerel Lure – Clarkspoons /Clark SpoonsBest Lures For Spanish Mackerel – Inline Spinners Rooster Tails
How to catch Spanish mackerel?
How to Catch Spanish MackerelDrift fishing. In the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico,you can drift in the open waters. …Surface action. Nothing is more exciting than watching spanish mackerel feed on the surface! …Structure fishing. Structure attracts spanish mackerel like many other species. …Fly fishing. …Trolling. …Trolling sinkers. …Trolling with planers. …Chumming. …Pier Fishing. …
Which are the best Spanish mackerel lures?
Spanish Mackerel Lures: Top 5 ReviewedRapala X-Rap Magnum. The massive diving lip takes the X-Rap Magnum deep. …Halco Laser Pro 190. This has been my go-to for so many years and very rarely lets me down. …Yo-Zuri Crystal Spanish Mackerel Lure. …Bomer Saltwater-Grade Spanish Mackerel Lure. …Yo-Zuri 3DB Popper. …To Wrap Up. …
What lures do you use for spanish mackerel?
For this reason, anglers who target spanish mackerel will often use lures like spoons, plugs, tube lures, and a variety of other methods. There’s no need to use the same long, heavy surf rod and surf reel setup that you might utilize for typical surf fishing as you’ll need something that’s capable of throwing a smaller, lighter lure out as far as possible.
What do Spanish mackerel do when they venture into shallow waters?
When they venture into these shallow waters just off the shore, spanish mackerel will begin to target various types of bait fish that they can easily out-swim and chase down for an easy meal.
How to catch Spanish mackerel in the water?
One of the best strategies for ripping a lure through the water in the right spot to catch spanish mackerel is to cast the bait out well past a sandbar and work it back toward the rising bar very quickly.
How deep do spanish mackerel hunt?
In general, spanish mackerel will hunt for their prey in water that’s anywhere from 20 feet to 5 feet deep. As you might expect, spanish mackerel will go wherever they are most likely to find bait fish congregating in large numbers.
What kind of rods do surf anglers use?
Most avid surf anglers will have their usual long, heavy rods cast far out past the breaking waves and securely fashioned in rod-holders.
When do spanish mackerel start to show up?
For most anglers who fish along the coast in the Gulf of Mexico, spanish mackerel will start to make their presence known around early April as the water temperature moves closer to the optimal 70 degree mark.
Where do mackerel live?
Spanish mackerel are one of the most prevalent fish in the waters surrounding the United States and South American coastlines. They are migratory fish that will move along the coastline and inhabit certain areas depending on the temperature of the water in an area.
What bait do you use to catch Spanish Mackerel?
Spanish Mackerel feed primarily on other fish so using lures that mimic their prey are the most effective. Fast moving spoons and hard baits are most commonly used when targeting Spanish from the surf. Streamlined lures that can be cast a significant distance will increase the amount of water you can cover and will increase your chances at hooking up.
What is the fastest fish to swim?
Spanish Mackerel are plentiful, perpetually hungry, and among the fastest fish that swim. These traits, and the fact that they travel in huge schools give surf anglers an opportunity at non-stop action that few other gamefish can provide. Spanish Mackerel, or just "Spanish" as most anglers here in the Pensacola area call them, have long, slender, and muscular bodies that can propel them at breakneck speeds through the surf, oftentimes being seen breaking the surface while chasing baitfish during late spring and throughout the summer months.
What spoons are good for Spanish mackerel?
If there was a single classic spoon for catching Spanish Mackerel it would probably be the Johnson Silver Minnow. This spoon has probably put more Spanish in the cooler than any other lure out there. These days it faces stiff competition from other spoons such as Kastmasters, Krocodiles and Sea Strikers, but it is still a staple for many anglers. Brand specifics aside, most anglers choose to use spoons in the 3/4 to 1 1/2 ounce range. Since casting spoons are rather heavy for their size / profile, this allows long casts through the wind while still keeping the lures profile on the smaller side. When it comes to the spoon’s main color, silver is the hands down favorite. We personally favor spoons with prism type finishes, but plain-old silver spoons still provide plenty of fish attracting flash. Anglers sometimes replace the treble hooks on spoons with a larger single hook for better penetration but this is personal preference.
What type of hook do you use for Spanish?
When targeting Spanish on a set rig, we typically use a double dropper type rig, which is basically what a Pompano rig is. We tie them up with 60lb Berkley Big Game, or even higher test. We use a Surgeon’s Loop knot instead of a dropper loop, since it is easier to tie, and stronger. The same 2/0 hooks Pompano anglers know and love work well, we just need the heavier test line to deal with the teeth in this case.
What is the first fish to be caught by young anglers?
Spanish Mackerel are probably one of the first fish young anglers "graduate into" after targeting smaller species such as whiting. They can be pursued more actively than most, and are a great way to hook, or keep young anglers hooked on the sport of Surf Fishing and they are an absolutely spectacular table-fish to boot.
What do Spanish mackerel eat?
Their diet consists primarily of other fish, although they do consume shrimp and squid as well. In late spring and summer, the stock of fish within the Gulf of Mexico travel north seeking cooler waters, and in the fall and winter these same fish will return south in pursuit of the warmer waters in and around the Florida Keys.
What bait do you use for a Pompano rig?
As with Pompano rigs, floats are optional, but the real deciding difference here is that we will use pieces of fish, or small live bait to tip the hook instead of shrimp or sand fleas. Some of the most available and effective bait we have found is small strips of previously caught Ladyfish or Blue Runners (hard tails).
What fish can you catch with a chumming?
Chumming for Spanish mackerel is one of the easiest ways to have a fun day full of fish-catching action. Plus, you never know what you’re going to catch, as sharks, jacks, snapper, and cobia can show up.
How to bring Spanish mackerel to the boat?
The easiest way to bring Spanish mackerel right to the boat is to chum.
What does laps do for chum slicks?
The laps helped us disperse the chum slick, as well as look for potentially unmarked structure.
How did we bring these macks to us?
Although there was no structure around, we were able to bring these macks to us by chumming.
How to control a squid?
The best way to control them is to grab them behind the pectoral fins and put one finger in the gills if you can.
Do you need to cast off when chumming?
When you’re chumming, there’s no need to cast off to the side of the boat—most fish are going to be right in the chum slick.
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What lures do mackerel use?
Other artificial l ures that work well include the Gotcha, minnow spoons, and plastics with jig heads. If you decide to use plastics, keep plenty of them in your tackle box as Spanish mackerel will tear them up quickly. Whatever you use, remember that it should be colorful and capable of fast retrieval.
What is the best fish to catch with kids?
Since Spanish mackerel are considered easy to catch, they make a great target for family fishing. Take the kids along and let them enjoy the fight these fish give. Watch for diving birds, boiling surface, and boats congregating around a certain patch of water, all indicators that these fish are on the prowl.
What reel to use for a Mackerel?
A medium spinning reel or a conventional level-wind reel will work equally well. Mackerel feed on the run, so you’ll need to be prepared for a fight from the get-go. Many anglers prefer to use a fairly stout fly rod for this species, especially with streamers that give the impression of quickly moving bait.
What bait do you use to catch a squid?
Use live bait, silver spoons, Gotcha plugs, or similar lures… when they’re eating they’re not too picky!
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When do Spanish mackerel move?
Spanish mackerel begin moving from the deeper offshore waters to inshore waters in March. As the water begins to warm above 70 degrees, they move nearshore where anglers can catch them from piers and the beach. They usually travel in large schools and move constantly in search of prey.
How big of a rod do you need for a Spanish mackerel?
Depending on the size of the Spanish mackerel, your gear can vary from a light to medium 7-foot rod to a heavier 8-foot rod with the action centered in the middle of the rod, not necessarily at the tip.
How many ounces of jigs do you need to jig a mackere?
Throughout the summer, jigging 1- to 1.5-ounce metal jigs landed the overwhelming majority of my Spanish mackerel. Though this method was extremely effective, there were days when it didn’t work, even though the fish were all over the place.
When did mackerel leave the surf?
The above-average water temperature held for most of the summer. By the middle of July, there were regular reports of Atlantic bonito and Spanish mackerel being caught from the surf. Anglers targeting these species were able to catch their fill of bonito through all of August, while the mackerel left at the beginning of the month.
How much line do you need to cast Spanish mackerel?
For casting to Spanish mackerel from beaches and jetties, my favorite setups were medium to medium-light rods from 7’ to 8’6” paired with matching spinning reels spooled with 10- to 15-pound-test braided line.
What kind of line do I use for Spanish mackerel?
In general, I use the shorter rods when casting from the jetties, and the longer rods to help get more distance from the beach. The lighter braided line allows for longer casts and is plenty strong for both Spanish mackerel and smaller bonito, though I do sometimes bump up to 20-pound braided line for added abrasion resistance when fishing around rocks.
How to catch Spanish mackerel in Florida?
Fishermen add casting bubbles (hollow, clear plastic spheres or cylinders that can be filled with water) to allow them to cast small lures a long way while still keeping them high in the water column on slower retrieves. Adding weight on the line means you can throw really small lures a long distance and work them in a slower manner.
What reel to use for retrieve?
For a reel, I use the Penn Slammer 3 , which I like for its retrieve ratio. Pulling in 40 inches per crank, this reel is perfect for fast retrieves or gaining line when a pelagic turns and swims right at me.
When do mackerel stay on the beach?
The mackerel stayed on the beach into September, when I caught some nice ones in the surf, both by jigging and with a quick retrieve. Spanish mackerel show in limited numbers every season, but 2019 was an exceptional year for them from New Jersey to Cape Cod.
What are small planers used for?
Small planers and trolling sinkers are used to get Clarkspoons, Mackerel Trees and Mackerel Dusters to different depths below the surface. Spanish can be spooky and long monofilament or fluorocarbon leaders are considered necessary by most fishermen.
How long should a mono leader be?
Twenty feet is the suggested length for the leader, which is between the planer or trolling sinker and the lure. Mono leaders in the 20 pound range work well in most situations. They can be clear, dull green or gray and some fishermen believe the gray and dull green leaders catch better than clear.
What lures are good for Spanish?
Other good Spanish lures are Mackerel Trees, which use several short pieces of small surgical tubing and a Clarkspoon on a multiple hook rig, Mackerel Dusters, which place a Mylar skirt approximately 18 inches ahead of a Clarkspoon and Bird Rigs, which use a single Clarkspoon with a shorter leader, on the surface behind a floating “bird”.
How heavy is a fluorocarbon leader?
Fluorocarbon leaders can be heavier, up to 30 pounds, as it has a reflective index near water and blends in better than monofilament. A typical trolling spread for Spanish mackerel is 4 or 5 lines with most below the surface and one on the surface.
What size lures do Spanish fish use?
Clarkspoons are the long time go-to trolling lures for Spanish. They are available from size 00 (smallest) to size 5 (largest).
How much does a Spanish mackerel weigh?
Most Spanish typically mackerel range from less than a pound to around 3 pounds, but there are larger ones. North Carolina offers an Outstanding Catch Citation for Spanish mackerel of six pounds and heavier and award a bunch every year. The world record Spanish mackerel weighed 13.0 pounds and was caught by Robert Cranton off Ocracoke in the fall of 1987. The regulations for Spanish mackerel are a minimum size of 12 inches fork length (tip of nose to the middle of the fork in the tail) and a limit of 15 fish per fisherman per day.
What are the markings on a Cero mackerel?
Cero mackerel markings are more bar-like rather than spots. Many young king mackerel have spots, but their lateral line is different. Only Spanish have the black area on the leading edge of their forward dorsal fin and it is a positive identifier.