What's hot: Spanish mackerel fishing offshore in the gulf, hit and miss throughout the summer, changed dramatically last week with an invasion of the spotted speedsters on all of the near shore artificial reefs such as those 5 to 7 miles offshore. Trolling two lines equipped with No. 1 planers or trolling sinkers 10 feet from a 00 or 0 spoon produced numerous double headers every day we fished for mackerel. The action continued after we switched to a small spoon fished on light spinning tackle fished right on the surface to provide more sport for the anglers.
Tackle: Because of the force of a No. 1 planer minimum tackle must be at least 20-pound test with a rod that has a fast tip with strength in the body. A trolling sinker allows downsizing tackle to 10- to 12-pound class. Live bait anglers can reduce tackle to 6- to 8-pound class. Mackerel are feeding on very small baitfish, which necessitates very small spoons, jigs or small streamer flies.
Tip: These reefs are 2,000 feet long and have barges, military tanks and piles of concrete rubble scattered throughout them. The bait is concentrated on the structure, which attracts the fish.
Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at Luckytoo2@aol.com, Luckytoocharters.com or (727) 397-8815.