Jigging for Mackerel - or How to Catch Mackerel with Sabiki Bait Lures. The best baits to use will be live or cut specimens of whatever fish are feeding on at the time. King mackerel prefer water temperatures in a range from 68 to 76 degree Fahrenheit. Fishermen typically catch mackerel, smelt, white croaker, queenfish, and various skates. Catching mackerel at its best. It’s the same tactic for catching garfish and is the most sporting and enjoyable way to catch mackerel. With the boat drifting and the motor turned off (it might spook the mackerel otherwise), use a string of Sabiki Bait Lures together with a pear-shaped lead weight attached at the lower end of the string. They tend to prefer shallower depths, usually less than 50 feet, and have a penchant for chasing bait into shallow water. This is especially true for young anglers who run short of patience. Summer species: Mackerel and plaice with the best conditions being a calm clear sea. When to Catch King Mackerel. Surf and pier anglers catch a tremendous amount of Spanish mackerel throughout Florida using jigs or plugs. Caught one at a time on light gear they are also a very fun fish to catch. Pouting: Mostly caught on the bottom, but do rise several feet on occasions. May is when fishing for pelagic species really kicks off. Wahoo and dolphin push much closer in. When Mackerel are schooling thick a young fisherman/girl can see plenty of excitement. Winter species: codling and whiting with the best conditions being darkness and a big swell running into the harbour. The Brigade Hut. As I write this the water temperature in the Port’s Trident basin is 73 degrees. You can catch your own or buy them from the pier or local tackle shop. I was convinced I pretty much knew how it all worked. We’re passionate about the fish we catch and export around the world. Best Time To Fish: 2 hours before high tide and 2 hours after but only on big tides. We know that where and when you catch mackerel has a direct impact on the taste and nutritional content of the fish. Florida has some great pier fishing … Baits are large fresh mackerel flapper, head or fillet, squid or small pollack and pouting. At other times fishing a single fish bait under a float really works. Some days mackerel turn their noses up at a string of feathered lures, and this could be the time to try a small bar spinner or even cast a fly. Most baits catch pouting. After all, it is a reflection of our culture and seafaring heritage. Conger: A bottom predator that will come very close to the surface on occasions. On another note - I finally gave up on the macks and pollock because on certain days, you spend more time trying to catch bait than you do fishing. Baits include rag, small live fish, crabs and large mackerel baits. Once in awhile - If catching Macks around a rock reef, I would bait a line with one and let it swim around under a big bobber - that produced a lot of fun at times too. Ground: clean sand only rocks to 20 yards out clear these and tackle losses will be small. A few mackerel at the same time put up a good fight and are quite heavy when trying to haul them up a pier wall or rock ledges so if you think you won’t be able to handle a full string every time you can simply cut off a couple of hooks from your set of daylights or try a different method to catch them. North Carolina offers an Outstanding Catch Citation for Spanish mackerel of six pounds and heavier and award a bunch every year. The world record Spanish mackerel weighed 13.0 pounds and was caught by Robert Cranton off Ocracoke in the fall of 1987. In addition to baitfish, locally available shrimp and crab baits are usually effective. Pier Fishing Fish Species. King mackerel are in good numbers and steady fishing. 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