Also Called: Atlantic Mackerel
Among the most beautiful fish in the area, Spanish Mackerel catch the eye with their bluish-green backs and silver flanks spotted with bronze. Their firm meat offers a distinctive and sought-after flavor. Relatively small, they’re a great target for novice anglers.
Spanish Mackerel populate the waters around Hilton Head from April through November, after which they tend to migrate to southern Florida for winter.
This is a fairly popular fish for eating. Mild in flavor and not too oily, the distinctive appeal of Spanish Mackerel comes from the slightly acidic note to the meat.
Though adults primarily inhabit offshore waters as far as the continental shelf (approx. 65 miles from shore), you’ll find plenty of both adults and juveniles inshore during the season. They like the high salinity (amount of salt in the water) of the summer months.
Bait: As surface feeders, Spanish Mackerel are drawn to small schooling fishes like anchovies, herring or shad, as well as Shrimp.
Approach: The closer to the natural and artificial objects they congregate around (e.g. sea grass, fallen trees, dock or bridge supports, etc.), the better. If your hook doesn’t get caught from time to time, you’re not close enough.
Tackle: Hilton Head Fishing Charters will provide all the tackle and gear you will need to ensure a successful and productive Spanish Mackerel experience.
You can keep up to 15 Spanish Mackerel per person per day, no more than 12 inches in tail length.