Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Spanish at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay provides great Florida fishing year round, but for some species, the action can get especially hot in the summer months. If you’re observant – and lucky – you might just rack up on Spanish mackerel. Spanish macks migrate, and the warmer months often find them lurking along the beaches and even in deeper areas of Tampa Bay. A clue to their location is the seagulls. Spanish mackerel are notorious for herding schools of baitfish. The bait often rises to the surface in an effort to escape, and the mackerel ensue in a feeding frenzy. The injured baitfish ring the dinner bell for hungry birds, so if you see gulls or other birds hovering and hunting over an area, there’s a good chance that Spanish mackerel or other predatory fish are nearby – perhaps directly underneath the excited birds.

Another way to find Spanish mackerel is to create your own feeding frenzy with chum. Distribute the chum over grass beds or rocky bottoms. Once the macks arrive, toss them a live bait like finger mullet, a spoon, or a metal jig. A fast retrieve will result in the most hits. If you’re into flyfishing, use a sinking line and flies that mimic glass minnows.

Spanish mackerel prefer clear water, so keep this in mind. Also, you’ll probably have better luck early and late in the day, when it’s a little cooler.

Need a good Spanish mackerel recipe? Just click!

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