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Big Bend Florida Sportsman Guide

Spanish Mackerel

 Jack Hexter's Spanish Mackerel

 While I'm not a (Spanish) mackerel fan, and usually keep them only for the smoker, we caught some over the weekend and a friend I was staying with in the Keys talked me into keeping a couple for dinner on Sunday night. I knew his wife had purchased steaks for dinner but he insisted on the macks. It was his boat so we killed 3.

 I promised to not forgive him if I gave up a steak for some fishy tasting ugh!, but was very very pleasently surprised when tasting the mack. He prepared it by fileting the fish, leaving the skin on, and cutting the bones out of the front end of the filet. Placing the filet, skin down on some foil, he dabbed it with butter and sprinkled it paprica. End of prep. Put it under the broiler for a short time and served it with more butter, melted, in a small pitcher to pour on the fish. Boy was it good. He indicated this fish only tastes like this when cooked and eaten on the day it was caught. He promised it was not this good even if only refrigerated overnite. COOK and EAT it ONLY on the day you catch it!! Think I'll keep a few more in the future.


Breakfast Mackerel revisited.

Author Capt Ken

 I fried a small Mackerel for breakfast this morning in the grease from one slice of bacon. Good stuff if you haven't tried it.

 The little mackerel got tied up in a Sabiki Rig yesterday and was really too small to keep, only about 13" or so. Just enough for breakfast. He would have died anyway so I didn't feel too bad about eating him for breakfast. MMMMMM.

 One egg, one small tomato, one mackerel, 2 pieces of toast and a cup of coffee. Good breakfast. Kinda smelled up the kitchen, though.

 Addition by acc

 Fish and grits for breakfast

My Captain used to say

is a feast for kings on Sundays

but for Sailors....everyday.

 Addition by Bill P

 I have fried some Sp. Mack in bacon drippings for Freeborn. Also did some chiken dolphin that way. That is one thing that I cook that Freeborn loves. Freeborn is an excellent chef so I like to have one or two things to cook for him.


Simple and spicy spanish mackerel

Author grouper sandwich

 This recipe is good either broiled or grilled. Your choice. 

Take your mackerel fillets and lay them on a cutting board skin side down. Using a good quality extra virgin olive oil, rub the meat side of the fillet with generous amounts of oil. Let the oil sit on the fillets for a couple of minutes and then sprinkle a BUNCH of Paul Prudhommes "seafood magic" seasoning on the fillets.

 To broil, place fish on broiler pan sin side down on the highest rack in the oven. Broil until fish flakes easily with a fork. Do not over cook! Broil with skin side down only, do not flip or turn fillet.

 To grill, place fillets in a well lubed seafood basket. Place basket over VERY HOT coals, skin side UP. Do not turn or flip fillets rather cooking 100% on meat side of fillet.

 Serve hot with veggie of choice and lots of cold beer. Squeeze fresh lemon for extra zip. Enjoy!


Spanish Mackerel Brine

Author Clint

 There's pile of macks on the local flats and hills...they're fun to catch..nice to eat as long as they're fresh...and probably one of the easiest fish to take the first time fisherman to target.

 When I first visited this site a year ago, the macks and bluefish were starting up...there were some really nice brine suggestions for smoking these fish....along with kingfish....

 I've found that the oily fish, spanish and kings in particular when they're put in a brine solution tend to develop a 'sealed flesh surface' and when I put them in the smoker for a couple of hours they come out cooked...and moist in the flesh...AJ's on the other hand seem to get the brine solution throughout the flesh...and smoke more evenly...our smoker's temp stays around 180 degrees...+/- 10-15.

 The brine I use is 1 part coarse salt, 3 parts sugar, 8 parts water and tarragon/garlic/dill to taste. When I cold cure fish I leave out the water and cure the fish in the refridgerator for 3-5 days depending on the critter I'm curing.



Best Spanish Mackerel

Author: Free Born

 Fry filets in bacon grease, add a little salt and pepper and squeeze a little lemon on them while frying!

 We deep fry Spanish every year at the Bluegrass Festival in Brierfield. Batter with cracker meal and Legg's Pork Sausage Seasoning. Legg's is made in Birmingham.