Spanish Mackerel

Species Information

Scientific Name:Scomberomorous maculatus
Environment:Inshore, Nearshore, Surf
Ideal Temp:>= 65°F (18°C)
Technique:Casting, Fly, Trolling
Lure Type:Flies, Plugs, Spoons, Topwater, Trolling
World Record:5.89 kg (13 lb 0 oz) Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina , USA
Other Names:spanish mackerel, atlantic spanish mackerel, spanish
Spanish Mackerel are found in the western Atlantic north to the Chesapeake Bay and occasionally to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and south to Yucatan, Mexico. It appears that one Atlantic and one or more Gulf groups of Spanish mackerel occur in Florida waters. With rising water temperatures, the Atlantic group migrates along the Atlantic coast of the United States from Miami Florida, beginning in late February through July reaching as far as southern Cape Cod, Massachusetts, then returning in fall. The Atlantic group spawns starting in April off the Carolinas and from late August to late September in the northernmost part of its range.

An Eastern Gulf group moves northward from the Florida Keys during late winter and spring, appearing off the central West Coast of Florida about April 1. Movement continues westward and terminates along the northern Texas coast. During fall, this group migrates back to its wintering grounds in the Keys. 

The fish exhibits a green back; its sides are silvery marked with about three rows of round to elliptical yellow spots. Lateral line gradually curving down from the upper end of the gill cover toward caudal peduncle. The first (spiny) dorsal fin is black at the front. Posterior membranes are white with a black edge. Its single row of cutting edged teeth in each jaw (around sixty-four teeth in all) are large, uniform, closely spaced and flattened from side to side. As with the King mackerel and the Cero mackerel, these teeth look very similar to those of the Bluefish, Pomatomus Saltatrix.

Spanish mackerel are a good food fish and although they are considered large at 10 lb (4.53 kg), some record specimens will grow to more than twice that size. They are a shallow water species, preferring sand bottom in 10 to 40 foot (6 to 12 m) depths, occasionally found as deep as 80 feet (24 m).

This is an excellent game fish that can be taken on a wide variety of lures and baits. Nylon jigs are considered one of the best lures, especially when retrieved rapidly with an occasional jerk of the rod tip to impact a darting motion to the jig. Feather lures and spoons are also successful, while minnows and live shrimp are the best natural baits. Occasionally almost any lure or bait will work, while at other times, nothing will.

Recreational anglers catch Spanish mackerel from boats while trolling or drifting and from boats, piers, jetties, and beaches by casting spoons and jigs and live-bait fishing. Fast lure retrieves are key to catching these quick fish.

Latest Spanish Mackerel Fishing Reports and Spots

What’s in Season July 2022 - 4/16/2017 6:39:59 PM

Red Snapper Scamp Gag Grouper Red Grouper Amberines Vermilion Snapper King Mackerel Wahoo Spanish Mackerel Almaco Jacks White Snapper Black Sna (View)

June 26 2022 - 6/26/2022 9:37:32 PM

We received fresh mullet and bunker today. Again there was a Spanish Mackerel at the Point. The post June 26 2022 appeared first on Red Drum Ta (View)

Monday Monday Monday! - 6/27/2022 10:12:00 PM

The last couple days have been a hit with mahi mahi yellowfin tuna some wahoo and a couple blue marlin citations! Nearshores are still having f (View)

See what's biting across WA in Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 24 June 2022 🎣 - 6/24/2022 2:01:50 AM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 24/06/22 School mackerel: Credit - Marco Fraschetti Our co (View)

June 24 2022 - 6/24/2022 9:43:12 PM

Ramp 43 over slot sized Drum. Ramp 44 Spanish Mackerel bite. There continue to be puppy drum caught sound side.   The post June 24 2022 appeare (View)

Mixed Mania - 6/25/2022 10:37:00 PM

Today was a wild ride for the offshore crowds! We had the docks lined with mainly yellowfin tuna again but had some marlin releases mahi wahoo (View)

June 24 Fishing Report - 6/24/2022 12:09:58 PM

June 24 Morning surface water temperatures are around 81-82 degrees inshore around Little River. Bait is now pretty abundant in the creeks. The (View)

06/22/2022 - 6/22/2022 8:35:43 PM

There was a Spanish Mackerel bite again today off 44 in the closure at the hook. There were puppy drum caught off 43 as well. Hope everyone has (View)

Tuna-tastic - 6/22/2022 10:04:00 PM

The offshore fleet is still steady on bringing in the yellowfin tuna! But also in the mix was a citation wahoo weighing in at 90lbs as well as (View)

16 June 2022 - 6/16/2022 4:15:47 AM

Hervey Bay Red emperor coral trout snapper cobia and mackerel off Rooney Point and in the Gutters snapper trevally longtail tuna and school mac (View)