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When Do Spanish Mackerel Run in Florida

When Do Spanish Mackerel Run in Florida?

Florida is a haven for fishing enthusiasts, and one of the most sought-after species in the region is the Spanish mackerel. Known for their speed, agility, and delicious taste, Spanish mackerel are a favorite among anglers. However, to have a successful fishing trip, it is essential to know when the Spanish mackerel run in Florida. In this article, we will explore the timing of their runs, the best locations, and provide answers to frequently asked questions to help you make the most of your fishing experience.

Timing of Spanish Mackerel Runs:

Spanish mackerel can be found in Florida’s waters year-round, but their runs are more predictable during certain seasons. The prime time for Spanish mackerel runs is during the spring and fall months. In spring, they migrate north along the Atlantic coast and move towards the Gulf of Mexico. This northward migration is triggered by warming water temperatures and the abundance of baitfish in the area. The fall run, on the other hand, sees Spanish mackerel moving south as the water cools down.

During their runs, Spanish mackerel can be found in large schools, making it easier for anglers to target them. These fish prefer water temperatures between 68 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so monitoring water temperatures can be a helpful indicator of when they will arrive in a particular area.

Best Locations for Spanish Mackerel Fishing:

Florida offers numerous fantastic locations for Spanish mackerel fishing. Here are some of the top spots to consider:

1. Tampa Bay: Known for its abundance of baitfish, Tampa Bay attracts Spanish mackerel during their migration. The Skyway Fishing Pier and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge are popular spots to catch these fish.

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2. Destin: Located on Florida’s Emerald Coast, Destin is famous for its crystal-clear waters and an abundance of Spanish mackerel. The East Pass Jetties and the Destin Harbor are great places to start your fishing adventure.

3. Miami: With its warm waters and strong currents, Miami is a prime location for Spanish mackerel fishing. The Government Cut and the Haulover Inlet are known hotspots for these fish.

4. St. Augustine: The waters around St. Augustine offer excellent opportunities to catch Spanish mackerel. The St. Augustine Inlet and the Vilano Beach Pier are popular locations for anglers.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the bag limit for Spanish mackerel in Florida?

The bag limit for Spanish mackerel in Florida is 15 fish per person per day, with a minimum size limit of 12 inches. However, it is essential to check the latest regulations as they may vary depending on the region and time of year.

2. What is the best time of day to catch Spanish mackerel?

Spanish mackerel are most active during the early morning and late afternoon hours when they feed on baitfish near the surface. However, they can be caught throughout the day, especially when they are in large schools.

3. What are the preferred fishing techniques for Spanish mackerel?

Trolling with shiny spoons or feathered lures is a popular technique for Spanish mackerel fishing. They are also known to strike at fast-moving artificial lures and live baitfish, such as pilchards or shrimp.

4. Do Spanish mackerel have teeth?

Yes, Spanish mackerel have sharp teeth that can easily cut through fishing lines. To prevent losing your catch, it is recommended to use a wire leader or a fluorocarbon leader with a high-pound test.

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In conclusion, Spanish mackerel runs in Florida occur primarily during the spring and fall months. Monitoring water temperatures and targeting areas with abundant baitfish can greatly increase your chances of a successful fishing trip. Tampa Bay, Destin, Miami, and St. Augustine are some of the best locations to catch Spanish mackerel. Remember to adhere to bag limits and fishing regulations, and use appropriate gear to handle their sharp teeth. So grab your fishing gear, head to the nearest hotspot, and enjoy the thrill of catching these fast and flavorful fish in the beautiful waters of Florida.

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