Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel: Scomberomorous maculatus

Florida Regulations:  

Regulations Gulf State Waters Atlantic State Waters
Minimum Size Limit 12” fork length 
Daily Bag Limit 15 per harvester per day 

News:

NOAA Announces New Regulations for King and Spanish Mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region Adobe PDF

Gear Requirements:

  • Legal Gear: beach or haul seine, cast net, hook and line, spear

State Waters Harvest Seasons:   Gulf of Mexico icon_PDF.gif     Atlantic icon_PDF.gif

 

Habitat and Fishing tips:

Spanish mackerel are a pelagic, fast swimming fish that are prevalent throughout Florida’s coastal waters when water temperatures exceed 70 degrees. To remain in warm water, Spanish mackerel migrate out of the northern parts of the state in the fall of the year and return in April with the warming waters. They are frequently found in shallow, clear water over grass beds and along sandy beaches where they feed on schools of baitfish. Spanish mackerel are aggressive feeders that will strike a wide variety of natural and artificial baits, so they can be very easy to catch. Many anglers identify the location of Spanish mackerel by trolling or watching for birds diving on schools of baitfish, which often indicates that mackerel are forcing the bait to the surface. Angling techniques include trolling or casting with small shiny spoons, dusters or jigs. Light spinning or bait-casting tackle with 10 to 15 pound monofilament line is adequate; however, 30 to 60 pound monofilament leader is required due to the mackerel’s razor sharp teeth. 

State Record:

12 lb, caught near Ft. Pierce

 

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Gulf Federal Waters Rules icon_external.png

Atlantic Federal Waters Rules icon_external.png

 


Image Credit:Diane Rome Peebles



FWC Facts:
Shrimping is done at night because at least two of the principal shrimp species harvested in Florida, the pink shrimp and the brown shrimp, are nocturnal.

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