Go fast for OBX Spanish

Spanish mackerel are popular spring targets for anglers around the Outer Banks.

Spanish mackerel bite like mad during spring

Spanish mackerel arrive to the Outer Banks in big numbers in the spring, and Capt. Noah Lynk of Noah’s Ark Charters is as eager as anyone to catch them.

“Finding Spanish mackerel all comes down to finding baitfish, which congregate around wrecks, jetties, piers, shoals and live bottom. Year after year, you’ll find them in these type areas. And the Spanish follow them and feed on them,” said Lynk.

In the Harkers Island area, Lynk knows a few spots these fish are likely to be this month. But he always keeps his eyes on the sky.

“I’m always looking for birds that are diving to feed on the surface. They are picking up bait being pushed to the surface by predator fish like Spanish,” he said.

Got-Cha plugs are one of Lynk’s lures of choice, and Clarkspoons are also high on his list.

“These are great baits because they’re made of metal and have some weight to them, and that helps you make long casts. That’s good because it allows you to stop the boat a good distance away from the feeding frenzy, while still allowing you to get your lure to the fish,” he said.

Cast or troll

Casting metal plugs isn’t the only way to catch Spanish mackerel, but Lynk said it is definitely the most fun way.

“In my opinion, casting these lures is the most exciting way for anglers to catch Spanish. They are very fast, so anglers have to work their lures faster than for other species of fish,” he said. “When you see a school of Spanish tearing up the surface, make a cast over the school or around the edges, then reel as fast as you can. And when you’ve got a Spanish on your hook, reel even faster.”

He also has his share of Sea Striker planer boards with him.

“Trolling is less fun, but it’s certainly effective, and is probably the most popular way to catch them. It’s easy to do. You want to troll at between 6 and 7 knots. Most people use No. 2 or No. 3 Sea Striker planer boards paired with a Clarkspoon or Drone Spoon,” said Lynk (252-342-6911).

About Brian Cope 2762 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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