Spanish Mackerel Moving in
Its that time of year again when the Spanish Mackerel start showing up on the beaches and in the bay. Spanish Mackerel are a pelagic, fast swimming fish that exhibits a green back, its sides are silvery marked with about three rows of round to oval yellow spots. (Sometimes juvenile kingfish can be mistaken for Spanish Mackerel).
The Lateral line curves down slightly from the upper end of the gill. The dorsal fin is black at the front. They have a razor single row of cutting edged teeth in each jaw. This fish can be found all over the Tampa Bay waters. inshore, offshore and nearshore. They are frequently found over grass beds and reefs. Spanish Mackerel are a schooling fish that migrates northward in spring, returning to southerly waters when water temperature drops below 70 degrees during the spring and summer month they spawn offshore feeding on bait fish and squid.
There are quite a few different ways of catching Spanish Mackerel. One of the ways is trolling. Using a heavy duty Rod with a small spoon on a #1 planer. The reason you would use a heavy duty Rod is because of the planer. The Planer puts a lot of strain on the rod. To really have fun catching Spanish Mackerel try using light tackle. Anchor the boat at a location where there are visible schools of fish. Start chumming the waters with cut bait, live bait and grind baits until the fish start jumping by the back of the boat. Once the fish come up and eat, It’s game on!! Pitch a live Spanish sardine into the feeding fish in the chum and in seconds you will have your reel singing your favorite tune. Using wire leader will prevent less break offs since Spanish Mackerel do have very sharp teeth.
For the ultimate fight cast a shiny minnow fly and hold on! Spanish Mackerel are great fighters and lots of fun to catch.