Spanish mackerel often do not get the resignation that they deserve. These saltwater fish are lightning-fast, put up a great fight, and are a great way to try to pursue something different. Found in the Atlantic Ocean from Mexico all the way north to Canada, these amazing fish migrate during the different seasons depending on water temperature and as such can be enjoyed in many different waters at different times of the year. While somewhat small compared to other saltwater fish species, these fish are very plentiful and taste great!
Where to Find Spanish Mackerel
When you head out to fish for mackerel, a good sign to look for is diving birds. Anytime from around March to September or even October, you might see large flocks of birds diving for baitfish and this is a good sign that there is a big school of mackerel in the area. If water temperatures are warm, you can also usually find them next to any type of structure or on grass flats. No matter what area you are fishing from, if you target any man-made structure you are sure to find some mackerel somewhere.
Fishing Gear and Tackle for Mackerel
The type of gear and tackle that you use for Spanish mackerel will largely depend on your personal preferences, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Mackerel are a smaller fish so tackle is not nearly as critical as the larger species you might encounter, and you can use any tackle from light to medium setups. Whatever you choose, remember that mackerel are extremely fast fish and will hit a bait or lure very quickly. You must be ready to set a hook, reel it in quickly, and hang on tight.
Baits for Spanish Mackerel
One of the best things about Spanish mackerel is that they are not very picky eaters and will take just about anything you throw at them. While a freshly caught sardine will surely catch them, you can do just as well with a sliced cut of squid, frozen chunk bait, or whatever else you can find. Just remember that mackerel are predatory fish and are always on the lookout for a meal that is smaller than them. Try to find something that they can easily fit inside of their mouths, and they will surely try to eat it!
Lures and Jigs for Mackerel
When it comes to lures for Spanish mackerel, you have to keep it simple and basic. The best thing you can use is spoons. You could probably just use those and be alright, catching enough fish every trip to fill your icebox and be happy. Any other heavy, metal lures will work too, but anything silver and flashy will easily grab their attention. The best techniques usually involve fishing them fast at first, and then much slower if you don’t immediately get any hits.
Spanish mackerel may be small, but they fight hard and taste great. If you need something a little different than the usual, you may just want to try targeting these amazing fish!