Fish Flash: Spanish mackerel are here for those not-so-calm days

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

On those rough days when it’s a bit bumpy offshore, boat captains and anglers are happy to see the Spanish mackerel show up. 

Last Friday was one of those days. The wind was kicking up as well as the waves. Some anglers ventured out for those bottom fish a bit farther out, while others stayed in close and trolled for Spanish mackerel. 

Some of the charters did a little bit of both. 

Capt. Tony Davis on the Anastasia and his group of anglers from Iowa and Arizona did a combo trip and did quite well. 

Iowa and Arizona anglers on the Anastasia with Capt. Tony Davis loaded up with Spanish mackerel, mingo, triggerfish and white snapper.

Davis said he had spotted a school of Spanish the day before and put his anglers on them Friday morning. They managed to pull in about 40. The limits on Spanish are 15 per angler and they must measure 12 inches to keep. 

After they loaded up on mackerel, they ventured on out and pulled in several mingo, white snapper and triggerfish. 

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Tampa anglers on the Outta Line with Capt. Trey Windes had a little bit of everything on the racks. They pulled in triggerfish, mingo, white snapper and a few Spanish mackerel. 

Capt. Scott Robson and his group on the Phoenix kept in close and reeled in plenty of Spanish mackerel. 

Capt. Ben O’Connor and his guys from Ohio ventured on out a bit and pulled in a good haul of bottom fish from mingo, white snapper to triggerfish. They also hooked and released about five amberjack and a couple of gag grouper. 

When asked if the amberjack put up a fight, one of the guys was quick to say that “it kicked my butt.” 

Starting May 1 anglers will be able to keep amberjack. Only one per angler and they must measure 34 inches to keep. 

Danny Ortega shows off a big black snapper he caught while fishing aboard the New Florida Girl's American Spirit with Capt. Jim Green on Friday.

Tennessee anglers on the Special K with Capt. Kyle Lowe landed a big king mackerel, several triggerfish, mingo and white snapper on Friday. 

The party boat New Florida Girl’s American Spirit came in Friday with several stringers loaded with mingo, white snapper and a few triggerfish mixed in. Danny Ortega reeled in about a 8-pound black snapper. 

Anglers fishing with Capt. Matthew Champion on the ChampionShip did a combo trip. They trolled in the morning and got a few Spanish mackerel and then ventured out for some mingo and white snapper.  

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Birmingham folks on the Backlash with Capt. Chris Kirby did a little trolling for Spanish mackerel and then hooked some mingo and white snapper as well. 

Capt. Brantley Galloway of the Full Draw didn’t hesitate to say that it was “rougher than snot” on the Gulf on Friday. But he and his group from Arkansas came back with a big catch of mingo, triggerfish and white snapper. 

Capt. John Gibson and crew aboard the Gulf Breeze loaded up with mingo, white snapper, triggerfish and Spanish mackerel on Friday.

Capt. Brady Bowman on the Bow’d Up kept his anglers bowed up on Friday. They came in with a dozen triggerfish, 50-plus mingo, 20 white snapper and a few almaco jacks. 

“It was bumpy on the big pond,” said Bow’d Up first mate Jan Michael Garcia as he cleaned up the catch from the 8-hour trip. 

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Capt. John Gibson on the Gulf Breeze and his group came in with several mingo, white snapper, triggerfish and Spanish mackerel. 

“There were lots of ups and downs,” Gibson said, noting it was a rough day on the Gulf as well. 

First mate Jan Michael Garcia on the Bow'd Up shows the remains of just  one of the dozen triggerfish they hauled in on Friday.

Capt. Bryan Kelley on the Screamn’ Drag backed in with a nice rack of triggerfish, mingo and white snapper. 

Fishing is good with a variety of fish on the catch list, just be prepared for a few ups and downs. 

See you on the docks.