Distribution & Size
Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorous maculatus) Found inshore, near shore and offshore
especially over deep grass beds and reefs. Absent from north Florida waters
in the winter.
Schooling fish migrate northwards
during the spring returning to southerly waters when
water temperatures start to drop below 70 degrees. An open water species, Spanish
Mackerel spawn offshore in April. Common size is from 1-3lbs and not unusual to be
from 5 to 7lbs.
Being truly migratory they may be found
around the coast in great numbers one day and gone the next. This specie can be
caught in the surf, off ocean piers and from a boat anywhere from a mile to two miles
offshore along the Atlantic Coast or up to five miles along the Gulf of Mexico
coast. This fish has a mouthful of small teeth so you have been warned.
Tackle & Baits
This fish is an outstanding fighter on light
tackle and gives fast runs. Spinning, bait casting and fly fishing are used
methods. Fast spinning is probably the usual method favored for this specie. Best
baits are small silvery baitfish. We usually catch them when trolling.
If you like rich, rather dark fillets, they
are great broiled or skinned and fried. To me they are an acquired taste as they
are very oily. Also smoked by some eaters.
Limits and Regulations
Florida record is 12lbs and the World record is 13lbs.
Rec. Bag Limit
per person per day
measured from tip of nose to rear center of tail. Transfer of Spanish
Mackerel to other vessels at sea is prohibited. Must remain in whole
condition until landed ashore (heads & tails intact). Restricted
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