After this brief overview, he went over several subjects such as identification, rigging, how to prepare them for cooking and then he opened the floor for Q & A.
First things first though: In order to be able to identify a Spanish Mackerel when you catch it, you have to recognize the distinctive features that separate it from similar looking fish, like Cero and King Mackerel. Capt. Smith taught us how to do just that. Because of their shape, they are a very speedy fish that can dart and slash and switch directions in a split second. They are easily excited by the smell of bait in the water and can be worked into a frenzy under the right circumstances within a matter of seconds. This is one of the reasons they are so exciting to catch.
These fish are constantly moving and zipping through the water at a high rate of speed attacking unsuspecting bait fish that simply can't outswim them. Unlike a trout or redfish which can chill-out in one spot for hours at a time, Mackerel are never in one place for very long and can't be still for even a second. They have to be constantly on the move. They want their bait moving and they want to chase it down. It's just part of their DNA. A lot of Spanish Mackerel hook-ups happen purely by accident, fishing for trout, retrieving line at double-speed and catching their attention in the process.
Capt. Smith then moved on to a review of tackle. He recommended, and uses himself, light tackle. In fact it's the same set up he uses for catching trout, a 4000 series reel on medium-heavy 7 ft rod. He first starts to search for them by using a lure that will attract them visually, such as a spoon. He won't actively work the spoon by hand, but instead he'll troll with it, just casting it out in the distance, putting the rod in a rod-holder at the back of the boat, and letting the spoon slowly flutter and flash underneath the water as he moves forward at a steady pace. When he notices several consecutive strikes on the lure, then he'll stop and toss out a bit of chum and he doesn't have to wait long for a reaction to that. That's when the fun begins.
A few anglers he's run into have actually squeezed a bit of artificial scent, like Pro-Cure, up inside the straw to make it even more attractive to a fish. That's an interesting concept as well. By doing this, they've turned it into a scented bait. But when you're fishing in the midst of a school of Spanish Mackerel, there's really no need for the added scent. They'll attack anything that's moving. It's a simple as that.