offshore, onshore, nearshore
8 - 120 pounds
20" - 72"
Often found both coasts of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, the Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus) is a favourite fishing target for both recreational and commercial fishers. It can be easily identified with its long, streamlined body, silvery color with a dark greenish top, and yellowish oval spots scattered on its sides. They are speedy swimmers and can often be seen in large groups or schools. They also migrate from the northern part of the Atlantic coast to as far south as Mexico during winter. They can, however, be found in pretty much every ocean in the planet.
Spanish Mackerels are carnivores and usually prey on prey mainly on herring, menhaden, sardines, mullet, needlefish, and anchovy and, sometimes, even on shrimp, crabs, and squid. On the other hand, same as their close relatives like tuna and other mackerels, they are preyed upon by dolphins, sharks, and of course, humans.
The Spanish Mackerel is a highly valued fish for both sports fishers and commercial fishers because of its tasty meat that can be cooked by grilling, frying, baking, and even by smoking. It’s also a popular fish in Japan and other countries as it can be eaten raw as sushi.
Clocking in on average at 5.5 meters per second, the Spanish mackerel is one of the fastest and most agile fish species in the ocean. They can also mature and grow really fast, reaching their full maturity in just two years. An adult measures about one to two feet in length and weighs around eight to eleven pounds.
Many successful anglers have caught Spanish Mackerels by trolling or drifting on boats. Others have also been successful fishing on piers, jetties, and beaches by casting spoons and jigs and live-bait fishing. They can often be found in large schools swimming near the surface of the water. Although, this fish live mainly in tropical and subtropical waters, it can sometimes be seen in temperate waters as well.
If you’re going to be fishing offshore, look around structures in the open waters where schools of Spanish Mackerels are often seen. Just make sure to drift to the area where they are so as not to spook the school of fish away. For nearshore fishing, again check around structures in open waters, including flats and oyster bars. In a warmer weather, schools are often spotted closer to shores. So you might want to stay on land and fish in the surf, piers, and jetties when the water warms.
As for the gears you’re going to need, here are some of our recommendations: