- Although regarded by
many anglers primarily as a food fish, the often underrated Spanish mackerel is an
excellent gamefish in its own right when sought with proper tackle-spinning, bait-casting,
or fly tippets testing under 10 pounds. The fish is found commonly from the Chesapeake Bay
through the Florida Keys and along much of Floridas west coast, though straglers
reach as far north as Cape Cod on the East Coast and as far west as the Texas Coast.
Primarily a schooling fish, they may be encountered in a variety of situations that range
from small, tightly packed schools to loosely scattered individuals over a sizable area.
The fish responds well to both live bait and flashy or reflective artificial lures.
- The king mackerel is
considered by any angler, and on light tackle it is a very fine gamefish. Though the
average weight is 15 to 30 pounds, "smoker" kings of 70 pounds or more are taken
each year. Occasionally caught as far north as Cape Cod, "kingfish" are most
abundant from the Carolinas through Texas, and southward through the Caribbean to Brazil.
They will take both trolled and live bait readily, often attacking from far below with
such a rush that both bait and fish may be many feet in the air at the moment of hookup.
- Once hooked, the
angler can expect long, hard runs the lighter the tackle the more spectacular the
fight. King mackerel can also be taken by chumming, using either bait or artificial lures
in the chum slick. Some anglers have even taken very large fish on fly tackle.