South Florida Spanish Mackerel find them Get them in the Summer!
Written by Boatless fisherman
Macks - the speed of the hit,
That is what comes to mind when I say there name. I love that hit, that race of drag and when there are so many, at every cast, your on. There is nothing like an hour or two of Macks on fire.
To begin with at the end of fall beginning of winter you can find them just about anywhere on our coast as long as there are baitfish in the area.
So I will explain: When they are not so thick at the end of Spring, even less in the Summer months and then picking up in early Fall. In the summer months I go to two places to get my Mack fix, the first being Juno Beach fishing pier. This pier seems to hold them almost all year long. At this time of year it does take alot of work and trying different methods to get them to hit in the summer at either place - I will mention.
My methods and places are :
Juno Beach Fishing Pier
My rod of choice is a light spinner with 6lb to 10 lb line
My other place for Mackerel is the Florida Keys - my favorite is:
- Live Bait "Pilchard, Sardines and Speedos work well" also Live SHRIMP.
You will problably have to bring them yourself. So I get my bait at this time of the year at Anglins fishing pier or the Inlets, you can check Jupiter Inlet before you go as it is a few miles north of Juno pier.
Use a leader of 30lb or so and a Long shank hook or you may choose to use a wire leader. I find this affects how many hits you get and it seems like alot less but you get your fish alot more. Hook the bait through the top of the tail and freeline it out with and open bail, cup your bail lightly and make sure your drag is loose because at the speed they can hit it will break easily. When the line rips off, close the bail and lightly hook the fish with enough pressure to sink the hook and let him run for a few seconds then really loosen the drag if your fishing a closed bail. Once hooked have fun fighting them and tighten and loosen drag as needed, To get the fish in take your time it may be a 6 to 8 pounder.
- Artificials "Gotchas, Sidewinder jigs, other jigs, spoons, Yosura lures and other "fish like lure"
Crappy Jigs are working well now
I use the same rod and reel and leader tieing it to the artificial with a jig knot or a uniknot. The jig loop knot gives you a loop and most work better with this type of setup.
I work these with a short sharp jig and fast retrieve, adjusting to slower or faster until I get hit.
Remember to loosen your drag, you can always tighten but you can't always loosen if it happens to fast.
The lures seem to work best with a medium steady retrieve
- Strip Bait in the current works well, fish just like Live bait
- Drinking straw rig is a drinking straw cut down to 2 to 3 inches and placed on a longshank hook and weighted or with a weighted cork three feet or so up the line if necessary. It has to be cast and retrieved at a medium to fast speed through the water. They do love this one some times.
Channel two bridge Islamorada, Florida Keys
My Rod is the same as Juno Pier.
I use Live bait, Strip bait, Sidewinders and Gotcha's same method as Juno Pier. I find the Macks to be here on the Florida Bay side, that would be the Gulf side, I find them there from about 7:00am to 11:00 am and almost always see them.
Written by the Boatless Fisherman
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Last updated 7.9.2005