Spanish Mackerel

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Spanish Mackerel

Species Information

Scientific Name:Scomberomorous maculatus
Common Names:spanish mackerel, atlantic spanish mackerel, spanish mac
Environment:Inshore, Nearshore, Surf
Ideal Temp:70-80°F (21-27°F)

About Spanish Mackerel

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.


Spanish Mackerel Fishing

World Record:5.89 kg (13 lb 0 oz) Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina , USA
# Fish Caught:424937 documented in database.
Earliest Record:4/19/1981 12:00:00 PM and located at 30.34543, -88.56150.
Latest Record:4/24/2024 12:59:02 PM and located at 27.97432, -82.80226.
Common Techniques:Casting, Fly, Trolling
Popular Lure Types:Flies, Plugs, Spoons, Topwater, Trolling
Fishing Spots:1043 Spanish Mackerel fishing spots.

Latest Spanish Mackerel Fishing Reports and Spots

Fishing will get even better - 4/24/2024 12:59:02 PM

Weather has been above normal and has made it tough to pattern the main 3. With the massive amounts of bait that has recently shown up fishing (View)

Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 19 April 2024 🎣 - 4/19/2024 2:35:23 AM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 19/04/24 Dunsborough was the place to be this week if you (View)

18 April 2024 - 4/18/2024 12:29:28 AM

Hervey Bay Spanish mackerel and longtail tuna off Arch Cliffs school mackerel in the western bay sweetlip and nannygai on the deep inshore reef (View)

11 April 2024 - 4/10/2024 10:34:37 PM

Hervey Bay Coral trout grassy sweetlip nannygai and cod on the deep inshore reefs spanish mackerel longtail and mack tuna in Platypus Bay and t (View)

Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 12 April 2024 🎣 - 4/12/2024 3:02:31 AM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 12/04/24 Standard - just your casual weekend in WA surfing (View)

Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 5 April 2024 🎣 - 4/5/2024 4:17:17 AM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 05/04/24 The definition of a perfect spot to wet a line fo (View)

Easter 2024 Fishing Report and Newsletter - 3/31/2024 12:24:20 AM

96 Easter 2024 Fishing Report and Newsletter View this email in your browser Happy Easter! Jan Feb March 2024 It’s been a fantastic start to 20 (View)

Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 28 March 2024 🎣 - 3/27/2024 11:15:30 PM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 28/03/24 There's reportedly been a lot of sightings of wah (View)

28 March 2024 - 3/28/2024 12:19:35 AM

Hervey Bay Grassy sweetlip nannygai snapper coral trout and cod on the inshore reefs spanish mackerel on the artificial reefs and in the northe (View)

Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 22 March 2024 🎣 - 3/21/2024 7:30:00 PM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 22/03/24 Dampier's pristine waters on full display. This g (View)