You want to catch more Spanish mackerel? They may not be in our Mid-Atlantic waters for more than a few months out of the year, but when the Spanish are in town, it’s always nice to enjoy the diversity. Let’s not beat around the bush—these five mackerel fishing tips will help you score.

1. Try using a small gold spoon. While Spanish will certainly hit other lures, and at times silver is the color of the day, more often than not a small gold spoon gets the lion’s share of the strikes.

2. Watch for those gray-hounding fish. Few species gray-hound like mackerel, so when you see them, you know it’s time to focus your efforts.

3. Use as fast a retrieve as you can, and if you’re trolling, bump the speed up to eight or even nine knots. Mackerel like a fast-moving bait, and that extra speed translates into additional bites.

4. Use weight or a planer to get a lure down beneath the surface. Sometimes, they hit best 10’ or so down deep.

5. Watch for birds. Just as they do with stripers, blues, and other species, birds indicate feeding Spanish mackerel close by.

Okay, now check out this short video our Editor, Lenny Rudow, made for on fishing for Spanish mackerel.

Wait a sec—since you’re here on the pages of FishTalk, you deserve a BONUS TIP: Spanish are toothy, and if you’re using a small spoon, they’ll occasionally chop through your leader. Steel leader will eliminate the problem, but will also eliminate a lot of striper bites. Use a half-inch swivel in front of the spoon, however, and you’ll rarely get bit off. Use a ball-bearing swivel, and you’ll also vastly reduce line twist.