Spanish Mackerel

by Kyle Hennig | Australian Lure Fishing

Tweed River Mangrove Jack Map
Kyle Hennig

Kyle Hennig

Sponsored Angler And YouTuber

Kyle is a Townsville based sport fishing enthusiast who shares his fishing knowledge via YouTube and Instagram. He’s a familiar face on social media where he regularly posts on a blistering range of species.

Kyle’s Top Tips For Spanish Mackerel Fishing

  • Spanish mackerel have sharp teeth but unfortunately using wire trace reduces the number of bites to a mere trickle. It’s better to use a good quality fluorocarbon leader of 130lb or more which will help reduce bite offs without reducing the number of strikes you get.
  • Don’t set your drag too hard, especially when trolling. Spanish mackerel are fast and can hit a lure very hard, so it’s easy to tear the hooks from their mouths.
  • “Where there’s no run there’s no fun”. Townsville doesn’t experience massive tides (around 3m), but the fishing is definitely better when there is tidal movement. Kyle finds the run in tides bring clean, cooler water and often fish better for Spaniards.
  • If you’re having a slow day, try rotating through your lures and fish at various depths. If you can see bait, try and match the size and shape, if you can’t see the bait try downsizing a little. Elephants eat peanuts and Spaniards will often take small lures.
  • Look for areas where there are both bait and structure. “The mackerel grounds” is a good spot, but bigger, more solitary fish tend to work areas with ledges, islands and so on that create pressure points in the current. Fish the upcurrent side of structure.
  • Big spaniards will come into quite shallow water if there;s bait present. On occasion very large Spaniards can be found in as little as 2m of water.
  • Generally, Kyle prefers treble hooks to singles for Spaniards as he wants to maximise the chances of a hook point finding its mark.
  • The week leading up to the fll moon fishes best. A little bit of cloud cover or some surface chop encouarges fish to hang closer to the surface. Pre-dawn and dawn are the best times for surface lures, as the day wears on try switching to a sinking stickbait. Once the sun is high on the horizon it can be worth fishing deeper with jigs.

Kyle’s Spanish Mackerel Fishing Tackle

  • Stickbaiting rods with slightly softer tips and 14000 size reels with 85lb braid are perfect for big Spanish mackerel. These fish fight hard but clean and won’t usually brick you in the reef, so back off the drag and use a longer leader to absorb shock and reduce lost fish. Popping rods tend to be a little too stiff and can result in lost fish.
  • Leader weight depends on the day. If fish are aggressive then switch to 160 or 170lb leader to reduce the number of lures you use. If fish are finicky drop the leader back to 130lb or even 100lb to get the bites.

Kyle’s Top Spanish Mackerel Lures

  • Kyle loves the surface action and will use a popper for Spanish mackerel whenever he can. Large poppers of 25 to 30cm length are the go. His favourite is the FCL Labo Popper in black and white, which has an amazing action that calls mackerel from all directions.
  • Westin Swim 150mm sinking sinking stickbait. This lure can be worked with wide sweeps of the rod tip but Kyle prefers to fish it from the reel. winding and pausing. This is a great choice when the fish have moved a little lower in the water column and aren’t so active on the surface
  • A knife jig is a great option when the sun gets higher JML flutter jig or butterfly jig. This can be cast long, allowed to sink and worked back at top speed. If the fish are less active it can be fished with quick twitches of the rod tip to increase the action or sunk down and fished with long sweeps of the rod.

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Kyle’s Sponsors and Business

JML Anglers Alliance are importers of many top quality lure brands, including the Westin and JML flutter jigs that Kyle uses to target Spaniards.