How to Make the Most of Fishing for Mackerel

February 8, 2020

Mackerel is an abundant summertime species that can be caught for eating, bait or sport. They’re some of the fastest fish around, and other fish can’t resist them when used as bait. If you’re heading fishing for mackerel from a boat in Sarasota, FL, you’re sure to enjoy the experience.

What is mackerel?

Mackerel is an umbrella term for a variety of different pelagic fish (meaning they live neither close to the bottom nor the shore). Many varieties travel together in large shoals, making them ideal to catch quickly in order to use as bait for other fish, such as larger mackerel, bass and cod.

They’re also a popular fish for human eating, thanks to their abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. Sport fishermen particularly love the aggressiveness of Spanish mackerel and king mackerel.

How to catch mackerel

When other fish prey upon them, they approach from underneath the shoal, which forces the shoal up closer to the surface. Sometimes you’ll see seabirds diving down to the water to take advantage of this phenomenon, which is a good indicator that there are mackerel nearby. (Of course, Charter Boat Shark also has fish-finding technology on board, which makes it even easier.)

You can jig for mackerel, which involves using a string of lures with a weight at the bottom. You should lower the line into the water, jigging it, until you either hit bottom or feel a fish strike. Then you can either wait for more fish to strike (since their shoals are comprised of thousands of fish, it’s likely you’ll catch more in the same line) or reel it in.

Trolling for mackerel also works, although your boat will need to go slowly enough that the mackerel don’t get discouraged and give up. For this, a paravane lure is best, since it allows you to use hydrodynamics to keep the lure and hook right where you want it. You’ll also be able to use two different trolling lines at two different depths, in order to reach shoals wherever they may be lurking.

However you choose to catch your mackerel, you’re very likely to have luck—they’re abundant, relatively easy to catch and are a great way to start off your fishing trip. If you need more mackerel fishing tips in Sarasota, FL, be sure to ask your friendly captain at Charter Boat Shark.

Fishing for mackerel in Sarasota, FL

No matter your age or skill level, you can fish for mackerel in Sarasota, FL. Charter Boat Shark loves bringing everyone from first-timers to skilled fishers out on the Gulf of Mexico to enjoy the sun, water and abundance of fish available. We have two 41-foot charter boats equipped with the latest fish-finding technology, manned by our Coast Guard-licensed captains. Whether you want to go on a four- or 10-hour trip, we’re ready to help you catch a trophy and earn a fish story to dine on for years to come. Reach out to us today to learn more or book your trip!

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