Spanish Mackeral Fishing from a Pier

Discussion in 'Outdoor Articles' started by Katmaster Jr., Apr 29, 2006.

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  1. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Wilmington, NC
    Spanish Mackeral Fishing from a Pier

    Spanish Mackeral are great fish, found in saltwater. They are very fast, and put up an awesome fight on small to medium size gear. Most range in size from 1-4 pound's with some occasionally caught bigger then that. They bite best in warm water, and are not nearly as active in cold water. The peak time for them depends on where you are located. For example, in Florida they will almost always bite due to the fact that the water temperature never drop's down too cold. However the peak time for all area's seems to be from April, thru-out the summer.


    Rods and reels to use-

    The best is usually a spinning rod and reel due to the type of lure's you are using. It is usually easier to cast a light lure with a spinning reel. But I have also used bait caster’s recently when using a Carolina rigged spoon, in that situation you can use 3 ounce's of weight though, I will explain this technique shortly. The rod should be from "Medium" to "Medium Heavy" action. You can use just about any size line for the Spanish Mackeral as long as it's at least over 12lb test. My personal favorite for them is 15-17lb line, this seems to work great.


    Lure's, Rigs, and bait to use-

    The following are the most commonly used lure's for catching Spanish Mackeral off a pier,

    -"Gotcha Plugs"
    -"Squid spoons"
    -"Hopkin's spoons"
    -"Diamond Jigs"
    -"Sting Silver"
    -And many other spoon's and flashy lure's.


    For ALL Spanish mackeral fishing, make sure you have at least an 24 inch leader of 20lb line or more. Mackeral have very sharp teeth and there's no way to completely avoid getting your lure's bit off. NEVER use steel leader for them, this is a common mistake made by many people. Spanish mackeral can see pretty good and that's how they feed on baitfish. They won't bite steel, or very heavy mono leader, nearly as much as lighter size mono. The biggest I would use for leader is about 60lb.


    When using a "Gotcha Plug" just cast out, let the lure sink for about 3-5 second's. Then start doing rapid jerk's to the side with your rod while reeling in-between rod jerk's. The make's the lure look like a darting baitfish, if a Spanish mackeral hit's the lure you shouldn't have to set the hook, it has treble hook's on it and they hit hard.

    When using "Squid Spoons" make at least a 24-inch leader of 20-60 pound leader. Tie a BLACK swivel to the opposite side of the leader from the spoon. The reason for a black swivel is that the Spanish Mackeral will often hit at a gold swivel and bite your whole rig off, I learned that from expierence. Then just put a 3 ounce egg weight on your line, and tie the leader with the spoon to your line. Creating what is known as a "Carolina Rig". Cast out, let it sink to the bottom, then start reeling really fast. Spanish Mackeral are very fast fish and like the lure's to be moving a lot faster then most other fish do, in fact from my expeirence's the faster you're reeling, the better!

    For using an "Hopkin's" spoon do the same thing as above, make a carolina rig. But instead of using a 3-ounce weight, I like to use like a 1-2 ounce for these because a lot of time's they already have weight to them.

    For using "Diamond Jigs" just it on, cast it out, and reel it in, or jig it. Simple as that! They already way plenty so nothing extra is needed, these also catch a lot of Amberjack and other saltwater fish.

    Sting silver is very simple also, tie it on, cast it out, and reel it in. That’s all there is to it, they also have plenty of weight to them.

    That pretty much cover's the basic's of using lure's for them, you will find from experience that some day's they want one thing, and some day's they want another. This is why there is really no way to say there is a particular "Best" lure for them. But it does seem that overall the squid spoon Carolina rigged work's more of the time then any other lure's. The farther you can cast, the better.


    When using bait-

    Any small live bait work's great for Spanish mackeral, my personal favorite are "Greenbacks" which are very easily caught with sabiki rigs in Florida. There are two main way's to fish with them, free lined, and a slip bobber. Free line is very simple, you just tie a hook on and stick the live bait on the hook. The best place to hook them is usually threw the nostril's. The slip bobber is simple also, slide the bobber on your line, put a 1-2 ounce weight on your line, and tie a leader with a swivel on it to your line. After that tie a rubber band or a bobber stop to your line according to how deep you want your bait to be.

    Be ready, you never know what could hit!-

    Be ready at all times to hook something that you wouldn't expect to catch. You see, when fishing for Spanish Mackeral you use many lure's and bait's that almost all fish will feed on. Recently I fished in Florida and used a squid spoon Carolina rigged, I ended up hooking many King Mackeral on it, and Bonito. If you hook one of these fish you will surely have a fight on your hand's. Remember to be ready for one to hit, have your drag set right, don't pull back to hard if you do get one, you will most likely be using pretty small gear for those type of fish if you're fishing for Spanish Mackeral.

    Just a few tips-

    -Keep your drag set moderately at all time's, Spanish mackeral will go on sudden fast run's that will pop your line, or make the hook pop out if you don't have your drag lose enough for them.

    -Check your leader frequently for knitches caused from the Spanish Mackeral's teeth. If your leader has any knick's in it then change it. Don't risk losing a fish and one of your lure's or rig's.

    -Don't try to "Horse" them in, a lot of people try to horse them in too much and pop the hook out. Have patience and take it easy on them.

    -And as alway's, have fun and be safe!

    Zakk Royce
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