Trolling Lures And Swimming Baits For Spanish Mackerel
Trolling lures and baits can be one of the most relaxing and productive way of gamefishing, sportsfishing, and catching Spanish mackerel. With a good team of skipper, anglers and decky’s, some great teamwork, some great fish can be caught. With everybody getting involved in running the lures and baits, clearing lines, rigging baits and fighting fish, success rates are greatly enhanced.
I love to run a mixture of Baits and lures, and with care most boats, even small trailer boats can run 3 or 4 lures, great when things are slow, more lines and lures, more chance of tempting a mackerel when fussy. But Hang on when you get a three or four way hookup, with 4 mackerel screaming in different directions at high speed, guaranteed Chaos and make it all worthwhile.
Find the fish, Spanish Mackerel and your smaller mackerel love structure, most fish do, hit the well known Spanish mackerel hot spots in your area as all regions will have a consistent spot for producing mackerel, normally a deep ledge, reef, point, island or rock, which mackerel which make a great starting point to try.
Being an ambush predator, Mackerel are generally lazy, waiting for the current to bring the bait past for an easy feed, turning on the speed when they need to.
Troll lures around the 6 knots speed, but will slow down to 4 knots nor slower when trolling wolf herring or rigged gars. There’s numerous rigs for Baits, and will suit your Gar, Wolf Herring, Tailor, and other baitfish. In the Mackay area, and other areas where wolf herring exist, Wolf Herring would have to be one of the top baits, and will bring out the big fish.
These baits are something else and don’t be scared to troll them up to a metre long, but most would be in the 40 – 70 centremetre range. The only problem is the cost at $5 or $6 each, and you can go through them at a rapid rate. Gar are also a great bait and can be rigged as swimming, skipping or Wogs are another popular and productive method.
I like to run two lures, A good deep diver in Close, say 8m deep in close deep down under the propwash, only 10 – 15 metres back. Run a medium diver behind at 2 – 3m deep back behind this one, say 20 metres, then have your swimming Gar back 30 metres, with your wolf herring right back well clear of all the other baits and lures. With a bit of practice, all lines should be well spaced, at different angles and water depths, and this eliminates tangles as well.
Set your drag firm, but not to tight, Spanish hit hard and run hard, a lot of fish are lost on the strike with incorrect drags. Let them strike and let them run, once hooked and that big initial run over, then take it easy and increase drag slightly. General rule for drag setting is 1/3 line class. Braid is great, with ultra thin diameter, allowing for less drag and your lures able to get down deeper.
Keep a close eye on your rod tips and with little stretch, once your lures get clogged with weed, you’ll see the difference with no action, your rod tip will stop wriggling it’s butt off, and the lures lost it’s action, Crank her in, clear her up and out she goes again.
Pays to have a wire leader up to a metre long, 100lb up to 150lb if targeting bigger Spanish Mackerel, but use a good mono leader of a couple of metres, say 100lb at least for a bit of shock protection as well tied onto a double with your braid.
Just cushions the hit a bit, and added protection when running around reefs, rocks and outboards.
Check out our page on our favourite lures, these are our favourites cause they work, good quality and come with good hooks and split rings. Always carry a selection of these great lures. Four of my favourites, and can’t speak highly enough for trolling for Mackerel.
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