Spanish mackerel time
  |  First Published: December 2006

Last month we wrote about catching spotted and school mackerel so this month we will tell you how we catch Spanish mackerel, which are the larger fish of the mackerel family.

We usually go fishing for Spanish mackerel from November through until March. Some people say that when the Christmas beetles start flying around it is a good time to go and chase Spaniards.

These fish like to hang around the closer inshore reefs which is great because you don’t usually have to go a long way before you start fishing. We often go out in the shipping channel in front of Bribie Island to catch them. Our most common method of catching Spanish mackerel is by slow trolling live baits such as yakkas and slimy mackerel. We catch the livies on a bait jig, which is good fun.

Sometimes we catch Spanish mackerel with a pilchard on a floater rig while we are reef fishing. We have also caught them by throwing out slugs while we are trolling. Sometimes trolling a pilchard on a gang hook rod with a squid skirt over it is really good as well. Pink skirts seem to be the best. You can also catch Spaniards on downriggers as well as the other methods. We don’t seem to catch as many mackerel on lures as we do with the baits though.

Spanish mackerel are one of our favourite fish to catch because they usually put up a very good fight. When your fish is dead you have to cut a pectoral fin off one side of it because that is the law. These fish are good to eat if you look after them and bleed them after they are caught.

You can catch many other fish species when you are fishing for Spanish mackerel. We have caught schoolie and spotty mackerel, cobia, and tuna as a by-catch.

Until next time, happy fishing and Merry Christmas!


Spanish mackerel taste great if you bleed them after they are caught. [Photo supplied by Rob Smith]

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