Mackerel fishing is hotter than the weather.

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Mackerel fishing is hotter than the weather.

October is about to usher in more great mackerel action.

While charters have slowed down recently the fishing is great. Spanish Mackerel have been so hungry my arms are literally hurting. A few big kings, twenty to thirty pounds each, have added to my wonderful pain.  We are still seeing a few tarpon and saw our first big cobia of the fall on the twenty-second of September.  Sharks of all sizes are abundant and hard to avoid. We had a big beautiful hammerhead, about nine feet long, right by my Dorado. I can’t use my chum bag because the sharks are so frequent; but they sure pull hard. We do have snook and redfish inside plus an occasional pompano to keep me looking.  This is Prime Time, so slip out and catch a few before “Old Man Winter” slips up on us.

Speaking of old men I am looking at another birthday on, September 27th.  I’m not as quick as I once was; but we put about a ton mackerel in the boat last week. My muscles really do ache but I was blessed to enjoy a productive week off our Venice/Englewood Beaches catching fish.  The fish have been challenging to locate some days, but then light up and grab our minnows as fast as they hit the water. Plenty of live minnows for bait and chum help get them excited.  It’s awesome to see the mackerel flying and boiling, all around the boat; literally.

Lures and spoons would work if you’re not into bait.  This is a great fly fishing opportunity if your can handle these speedy missiles.  Sometime we have to cut fly lines in half to keep these rockets from breaking our leaders as they sing our lines thru the clear blue Gulf waters.  You can sight cast just  strip rapidly and hang on tight because these fish are fast!  Lines slice thru the water with a slashing sound; you will be surprised how quick big macks are.

Several of the Boca Grande guides are catching fish off of there; but we found fish from Boca, up past Englewood Beach, and all the way north of Venice Inlet.  Again I like the abundant live minnows to provide hot action. 

If you are new to our area, try trolling silver spoons on a short wire leader or stronger mono.  A Plainer can help pull lures down to deeper hungry fish. If you see and hear feeding gulls try fishing around them  near the surface.  It’s fine to follow other skippers to help you find fish, just remember that they are doing you a favor. Please leave them enough room. We have taken some thirty pound kingfish and they run along ways on light gear. There are plenty of fish; you can give a wide birth and still catch all you want to clean. Remember to carry lots of ice because mackerel are great eating if you chill them fast. Share some macks with friends and family they are great.

My favorite recipe is simply to lay filets skin side down on foil, season to taste; I like Old Bay and Everglades Seasonings. Then broil until halfway done; remove and add mayonnaise. Then watch close or they will burn. As soon as they begin to bubble and brown shut off heat but leave in oven for a few minutes to allow flavors to marry together.  Remove with a spatula and enjoy. Let the skin stay on the foil.  Cheese grits and corn bread go perfect with fish.

Thanks for your support. Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard


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