The Mack Attack is Back!
As air and water temps cool this month, anglers will be enjoying a respite from the summer heat and huge schools of bait will be making their southern migration from the northern Gulf, and using our local waters as a rest station before pushing on further south.
This means MACKEREL! Hordes of kings and Spanish mackerel will be harassing the bait schools offshore, while pushing tons of bait into inlets like Hurricane Pass giving anglers a good shot on limiting out on these tasty speedsters.
Anglers fishing Pet Beach and Hurricane Pass at the southern end of Honeymoon Island will be the first to tangle with big schools of macks, as they push their way into the backwaters of Clearwater Bay and St. Joseph Sound; and, those fishing from Dunedin Causeway can catch just as many. While the bag limit on Kings is three fish per angler, you can keep 12 Spanish each and every day, making for some awesome fish fries and freezers full of tasty filets.
Chum is the magic ingredient that will light up the bite on these fish, along with plenty of live white bait (if you can find them) or frisky live shrimp. The secret to attracting fish to your bait is a noisy popping cork like a Cajun Thunder. Hang your bait three feet under a popping cork and really make some noise with it to get the fish’s attention.
Once the bite with live bait starts happening, I like to switch to silver spoons, or Gotcha lures, fished hard and fast through the chum slick. Mackerel are fast swimmers and hard fighters, and they like to chase their meals down at high speed. A fast, jigging retrieve with a shiny silver lure will put plenty of fish in your box.
Remember, mackerel blood is very fishy tasting, so once you’ve landed a fish, make sure to bleed it out before tossing it on the ice. Just cut its throat and hang on to the tail while swishing your fish in the water.
My space here is somewhat limited this month, so I can’t go into a lot more detail about fishing tactics; but, if you’ll stop into Barracuda Bob’s on your way to the water, we’ll be happy to discuss baits, rigs and tackle that will help you catch more and bigger fish. Learn more about Barracuda Bob’s at www.BarracudaBobs.net.
Make it your mission to join us at Barracuda Bob’s on Saturday, November 19th at 10:00 AM for a fall fishing clinic we’re hosting with Capt. Sergio Antanes and some of the other top fishing guides in his posse. We’ll be covering baits, rigs, tackle and tactics that will put more fish in your box and a big smile on your face.
Capt. Sergio and crew have been guiding anglers to outstanding catches around the Tampa Bay area for over 50 years, operate a fishing school in Tampa, and will help you become a more successful angler, too. More on Capt. Sergio can be found on his website, www.ReelFishy.com and his national Spanish radio and TV show, Adventuras de Pesca.
See y’all there,