Florida Regulations:

    Gear Requirements:

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

    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

    Image Credit: Diane Rome Peebles

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building
    620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL
    32399-1600 • (850) 488-4676
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Spanish Mackerel: Scomberomorous maculatus
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