Spanish mackerel are in early and they are in great size and number. Mackerel will add some action to your other trips. They are hard-hitting, great fighting opponents and not bad to utilize in fish spread. A lot of these fish are approaching 5 pounds. "Beef up your leader" and use a minimum of 30-pound fluorocarbon. Better yet, go get 40-pound instead. Mackerel have teeth that will remove your lures pretty easily if your leader isn't strong enough. Almost any lure will get a strike from a mackerel. The best options are flashier lures that really shine in the water. Heavier lures, reel faster. Lighter lures, finesse them to the fish for strikes. Set your drag loose to hook more fish. They will take some line but they are not going to "spool" you. For perfect smoked mackerel spread: 90 minutes in the smoker with heavy smoke and medium heat (180 degrees), take the fish meat and mix with mayo, cream cheese, chopped onion and olives, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, basil, cilantro, and dill. Stir it all together, chill for several hours then serve with crackers.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com and (727) 692-6345.