Follow the gulls

Seagulls and other diving birds will give away the presence of Spanish mackerel feeding on baitfish at the surface.

Spanish mackerel travel in schools, and when they feed, they aren’t secretive by any means, often feeding in a frenzy.

When a baitfish school is ambushed by a school of mackerel, the baitfish don’t have many places to flee, and it is usually to the surface. That attracts many free-loaders, especially those of the avian persuasion. But birds can be a big help for anglers searching for Spanish.

Seagulls have been documented to detect objects up to a mile away. Even though humans can see great distances, seagulls are known to have better vision than humans. Additionally, birds have more-acute sound recognition ability than humans; they are extremely sensitive to pitch and tone.

When a school of Spanish mackerel pushes bait to the surface, not only will the birds see the action, they will be able to hear it, too. Anglers need to pay close attention to bird activity if they want to fill their fish box with fresh Spanish mackerel fillets.

About Jeff Burleson 1311 Articles
Jeff Burleson is a native of Lumberton, N.C., who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences and is a certified biologist and professional forester for Southern Palmetto Environmental Consulting.

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