Tides   

When Do Spanish Mackerel Arrive in Large Schools?

Dear Captain"When Do Spanish Mackerel Arrive in Large Schools?"

Hi Mr. Hott,

Spanish mackerel are a pelagic fish that have a large migratory run in the spring, which will be coming up soon, and another migratory run in the fall. When the water temperatures from winter start to stabilize in your area and steadily stay over 68°, the Spanish mackerel will start moving from south to north on both sides of the Florida peninsula.

MACK 16 480 PK 55a8c6d98706ed5182e0cdce08b2a4ac

The Spanish mackerel should be in full force when the Gulf of Mexico water temperature gets to around 72°. When the water temperature gets warmer than 78° the Spanish mackerel keep moving further north. In an average year, our water temperatures get to that 72° mark around the second week in March. Many anglers consider March 17 the kickoff for our Spanish mackerel and King mackerel run. The big schools will be here through April and then start moving further north around May. Over the last few years, we've had a good amount of Spanish mackerel take up residence in our area, including inside Tampa Bay year-round.

Another great method to determine when mackerel are arriving is by observing the scaled sardines and threadfin herring schools. These are migratory baitfish that the Spanish mackerel will follow up the coast in the spring. These baitfish also move when the water temperatures rise. Like the Spanish mackerel, we also have in the last few years had scaled sardines and threadfin herrings taking up residence in the deeper water of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay.

The reverse happens as we enter into the fall from tepid summer waters. The Spanish mackerel will move back south as the water gets colder in the north. This usually occurs somewhere in October and into November in our area. They thin out at the beginning of December when the water temperatures get colder. When we have a long cold winter, the Spanish mackerel schools will arrive a little later. Or if we have a very hot extended summer they will arrive a little later.

mack web 4 1473d116b9f74138b0dcc6150436a1bb

A great way to get in on the action is to go to our forum and post the question: "Is anyone catching Spanish Mackerel?" You can do this in March and October. You will know immediately that they are here!

Thank you for sending in your question to The Online Fisherman.

"Enter our Free Weekly Tackle Contest. Recent prizes have included Power-Pole Anchors, Kayaks, Rods, Fishing Apparel and much more!"

Captain David M. Rieumont
The Online Fisherman Inc.
www.theonlinefisherman.com



Any Tips for Upper Tampa Bay?

Any Tips for Upper Tampa Bay?

By: Captain Dave
How should I hook a live shrimp?

How should I hook a live shrimp?

By: Captain Dave
Where and How do I Catch Pompano?

Where and How do I Catch Pompano?

By: Captain Dave
Catching Bonefish in the Keys

Catching Bonefish in the Keys

By: Captain Dave
How do I properly fillet a fish?

How do I properly fillet a fish?

By: Captain Dave
Where do you find shiners?

Where do you find shiners?

By: Captain Dave
Can I Catch Crappie in the Summer?

Can I Catch Crappie in the Summer?

By: Captain Dave
Can I catch squid?

Can I catch squid?

By: Captain Dave
What Lures Work for Pier Fishing?

What Lures Work for Pier Fishing?

By: Captain Dave
Where are the Mangrove Snapper?

Where are the Mangrove Snapper?

By: Captain Dave
How do you approach fish?

How do you approach fish?

By: Captain Dave
Is the Gag Grouper Season Open?

Is the Gag Grouper Season Open?

By: Captain Dave
What Rig is Best for Tampa Bay?

What Rig is Best for Tampa Bay?

By: Captain Dave
When Should I Use a Snell Knot?

When Should I Use a Snell Knot?

By: Captain Dave
Fixing the Bail on Spinning Reels

Fixing the Bail on Spinning Reels

By: Captain Dave
Do Flathead Catfish Migrate?

Do Flathead Catfish Migrate?

By: Captain Dave
How can I tell what flats hold fish?

How can I tell what flats hold fish?

By: Captain Mike Cole
What Is a Carolina Rig?

What Is a Carolina Rig?

By: Captain Dave
How Fast do Redfish Grow?

How Fast do Redfish Grow?

By: Kevin Stewart
Is a Leatherjacket Fish Poisonous?

Is a Leatherjacket Fish Poisonous?

By: Captain Dave
What type of topwater lure is best?

What type of topwater lure is best?

By: Captain Dave
How do you sight-fish for redfish?

How do you sight-fish for redfish?

By: Captain Dave
Are Goliath Grouper Endangered?

Are Goliath Grouper Endangered?

By: Captain Dave
Do Grouper Bite at Night?

Do Grouper Bite at Night?

By: Captain Dave
How can I target Cobia?

How can I target Cobia?

By: Mike Cole
How do I catch the big snook?

How do I catch the big snook?

By: Captain Dave
What's The Secret to Oyster Beds?

What's The Secret to Oyster Beds?

By: Captain Dave
Should I Build My Own Rods?

Should I Build My Own Rods?

By: Staff at TOF
What's the best lure?

What's the best lure?

By: Captain Blake Smith

The Online Fisherman

GHM logo