Regulations Gulf and Atlantic State WatersMinimum Size Limit: 12″ fork length
Daily Bag Limit: 15 per harvester
Season: Open year-round
- Legal Gear: beach or haul seine, cast net, hook and line, spear
Catching Spanish mackerel in Florida can be an exciting and rewarding experience for anglers.
Here are some tips to help you catch Spanish mackerel:
1. Location: Spanish mackerel can be found near shorelines, reefs, piers, and inlets. Look for areas with clear water and active baitfish schools, as mackerel tend to be attracted to these areas.
2. Time of Year: Spanish mackerel are most abundant in Florida waters during the spring and fall, although they can be caught year-round.
3. Gear and Tackle: Use a medium-weight spinning rod and reel combo, preferably with a 10 to 15-pound monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line. Ensure that your reel has a good drag system as mackerel are known for their strong, fast runs.
4. Bait and Lures: Spanish mackerel are aggressive and can be caught using a variety of baits and lures. Popular options include live bait such as pilchards, herring, or shrimp. If using artificial lures, try spoons, jigs, or silver-colored plugs that mimic the appearance of small baitfish.
5. Techniques: When using live bait, attach a wire leader to your fishing line to prevent mackerel from biting through the line with their sharp teeth. Cast your bait or lure into the water and retrieve it quickly, mimicking the quick movements of a fleeing baitfish. Mackerel are often schooling fish, so if you catch one, there is a good chance others are nearby.
6. Chumming: Chumming can be an effective technique for attracting Spanish mackerel. Simply throw small pieces of cut bait into the water to create a chum slick, which will draw the mackerel closer to your fishing spot.
7. Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the latest fishing regulations in Florida, such as bag limits, size limits, and seasonal restrictions. This will help ensure you are fishing within the legal limits. Remember to always practice ethical fishing practices by handling fish gently, releasing any undersized or unwanted fish, and respecting the environment.