Skip to main content

Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel

The Spanish Mackerel

The Spanish Mackerel, Scomberomorus maculatus

Dark above with silvery sides. Many spots, which are both yellow and brown. The body is proportionately deeper than with juvenile King Mackerel, and the yellow spots appear rounder and brighter, but if in doubt, the only true identifier is the lateral line, which tapers rather gently from front to back with no severe dip.

SIZE

Common at 1-3 pounds; not too unusual at 5-7 pounds; maximum potential over 10 pounds. World record 13 pounds; Florida record 12 pounds.


FOOD VALUE


If you like rich, rather dark fillets, they are great broiled or skinned and fried. Good smoked, too.

GAME QUALITIES

Outstanding on light tackle; very fast runs.

TACKLE AND BAITS




Spinning, baitcasting and fly out- fits. Spinning is often best because the faster retrieve of a spinning reel is sometimes needed to move a lure at a pace that will interest the Mackerel. Best lures are small white nylon jigs and silver spoons, but many oth- ers work, including topwater at times. Flies should be small with lots of flash. Best baits are small silvery baitfish, live shrimp and drifted strips.

FISHING SYSTEMS

Drifting;Trolling; Still Fishing.

Recommended


OTHER NAMES

Sierra 

RANGE

All Florida coasts, Cuba and Hispaniola; not present in most Caribbean Islands or the Bahamas.

HABITAT

Largely coastal, but roams offshore at times.

Summerland Mackerel

Forum member islandhopper shares a nice mackerel caught off Summerland reef

Spanish Mackeral

Florida Sportsman Forum Member brangler caught this Spanish Mackeral while trolling the channel by skyway.

Keys Spanish Mackeral

A Keys Spanish Mackeral caught offshore while trolling using live bait.

Spanish Mackeral

Nick Robertson holds this big Spanish mackeral while fishing offshore.

Jack's Mack!

8 year old Jack Paine caught this 20 inch spanish mackerel on a dead pilchard off of key biscayne in 20 feet of water.

Spanish Mackerel

Caught by FS Member Nick of Cedar Key

Spanish Mackerel

FS Member Nick caught this spanish mackerel off of Cedar Key

Spanish Mackerel

The beaches hold spanish mackerel year-round and make for a great way to put a bend in the rod.

Japie and Sam's Macks

Japie Venter of George, South Africa, and Sam Murphree of Columbus, GA with their limit of spanish mackerel caught in Panama City

10000 Islands Spanish Mackerel

FS Member Rizangler caught this spanish mackerel in the 10000 Islands.

Government Cut Spanish Mackerel

Florida Sportsman member The Cat's Eye caught these spanish mackerel near Government Cut.

Spanish Mackerel

This sizable Spanish mackerel could almost be mistaken for a kingfish.

Spanish Mackerel

Mackerel are a top catch for young anglers.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Let's break down how to modify one of the easiest and strongest line-to-leader connections when using heavy fluorocarbon or monofilament leader.
Learn

How to Modify Double Uni Connection for Heavy Leader

Jeff Weakley, editor of Florida Sportsman Magazine, breaks down how to tie a non-slip loop knot, an easy and useful fishing knot that every fisherman who uses artificial lures needs to know.
Learn

How to Tie a Loop Knot: Best Fishing Knot for Lures and Jigs

Jeff Weakley, editor of Florida Sportsman Magazine, breaks down the easiest way to tie one of the most versatile, strong and reliable fishing knots that every fisherman needs to know, the uni knot.
Learn

How to Tie a Uni Knot: Easy, Strong & Reliable Fishing Knot

The scented and flavored Gulp! baits are always a good choice in saltwater, and the Grub style baits in particular are a universal choice. Learn how to choose and rig different sizes for different kinds of fishing, from the flats to the coastal reefs. Plus, a Key West fishing expert weighs in on special uses for offshore fishing.
Sportfish

Berkley Gulp! Curly Tail Grub. Berkley Gulp! Grub is a Surprise Hit In Salt Water

In salt water, everything eats shrimp. The Berkley Gulp! Shrimp is an excellent choice for any situation where you want to appeal to a marine fish's interest in shrimp. Here's expert advice on rigging these unique baits, plus proven tips on casting and retrieving them. Storage is another great attribute; these shrimp baits are ready to go when you are!
Sportfish

Berkley Gulp! Shrimp: A Bait That's Better than Live Shrimp!

Join professional surf fishing guide Capt. Paul Sperco for a conversation about reels that hold up in extreme saltwater conditions. Sperco also offers great tips on rigging different kinds of spinning combos for catching pompano, whiting, snook and other popular fish. All of it is done from shore! Easy, fun fishing anyone can enjoy.
Sportfish

Penn Sealed Saltwater Reels: Durable Reels for Surf, Pier and Other Saltwater Fishing

We join Key West, Florida, fishing Captain Pepe Gonzalez to discuss one the most important advances in saltwater fishing tackle in the last 25 years: The advent of fluorocarbon leader material. Fluorocarbon definitely improves your chances of getting bites from wary-eyed ocean fish such as snappers, tunas, tarpon and sailfish.
Sportfish

Berkley Fluorocarbon line: Captains Say Use Fluorocarbon Leader to Catch More Fish

Florida Sportsman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now