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Do you want to learn how to catch mackerel? Mackerel is high in protein and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, anglers also like to fish for mackerel as it is a good bait to catch other fish. Almost all other fish are attracted to a piece of mackerel on the hook. If you want to learn how to catch mackerel, then this article will help you develop the skills and gain the knowledge needed to catch mackerel.

How To Catch Mackerel
How To Catch Mackerel

How To Catch Mackerel From A Boat

When fishing for mackerel in a boat, you can let the boat drift and use Sabiki bait lures with a pear-shaped lead weight attached at the lower end of the string. With the lure on your line, lower it slowly and jig it up and down until you get a strike. If you are not successful in getting the fish on the hook, repeat the procedure until you can hook it.

When you are fishing for mackerel in a boat, watch for diving seabirds. If you see them circling and diving into the water, that is a sign that there are mackerel in that area and the seabirds are diving in and picking up some of the mackerel. That is an area you want to go to and catch some mackerel.

You can also catch mackerel in a boat by using the Paravane rig. With the boat going not more than 3 knots, use a paravane. The paravane will pull the lure down into the water.

Tricks For Mackerel Fishing
Tricks For Mackerel Fishing

How To Catch Mackerel From Shore

Most often you will find more mackerel around the shores in summer than in other seasons. Mackerel like deep water, therefore fish for them with your boat on beaches, jetties, piers, and breakwaters.

1. Spinning Fishing Method

When fishing for mackerel from the shore, you can use the spinning fishing technique to catch mackerel. Use a light spinning rod, a fixed spool reel, and a small lure. Cast your line and reel it back in when you get a tight line. There are a number of methods that can be used to reel the lure back in.

The Big Long Pull

With this method, you pull the rod spinning rod back in one motion while keeping it at waist level. Then move it forward again while you reel in the slack. Repeat this procedure for about 3 or 4 complete turns on the reel.

Mackerel Fishing
Mackerel Fishing

The Short Sharp Twitch

After casting your line and getting a tight line, keep the rod tip down low and gently pull the rod while you slowly reel the line in. The short sharp twitch works well for lures with rattles.

The Delayed Reaction

With the delayed reaction method, you keep the rod still and give the reel a few turns for the lure to move a few meters and then pause for about 4 to 8 seconds. Then repeat this procedure.

Mackerel Fishing Tricks
Mackerel Fishing Tricks

2. Float Fishing

To float fish you will need a float fishing rig. You will need a spare line, a stop knot or rubber band, beads, a float, a weight, a swivel, and a hook.

When you have made your float, you will cast your line and wait. When a mackerel is on your line, the float will disappear and go below. When the float goes down into the water, then you won’t raise your rod in a single, fast, and continuous action. It is assumed that the fish is on the hook and when you raise the rod up fast, you can confirm the assumption.

If you realize that your float is hardly under the water, it could be that the fish is eating your bait and not on the hook. In this scenario, it is your call whether to strike or not. You can decide to leave it for a little while to see if the fish gets caught on the hook before you pull it up.

3. Feathering Fishing Method

With the feathering method, you will have from 3 to 6 feathers or plastic strips attached to the hook. It features a swivel or a loop at either end and the main line to one end and the weight to the other end. Drop your line into the water below you and slowly raise and lower the rod.

Mackerel Fishing Tips
Mackerel Fishing Tips

How To Catch Mackerel From Pier

When fishing for mackerel from the pier, cast your lures and baits into areas where mackerel may be hanging out. Look for underwater structures like wrecks, rocks, logs, shoals, fallen trees, and other structures. Casting and retrieving is one of the popular fishing methods used from a pier. Still fishing, night fishing, and jigging are also used to catch mackerel from the pier.

Shrimp, minnows, squid, sand eels, small fish, and menhaden are some of the bait anglers use when fishing for mackerel. Spoons and plugs are lures used to catch mackerel. Sabiki rig is also used when fishing for mackerel.

How To Catch Mackerel In Maine

You can fish for mackerel in a boat or from the shore. When fishing from a boat, trolling is the fishing method often used. Lures and baits are used when trolling for mackerel in Maine. Shrimp is often used as bait when fishing for mackerel.

Mackerel can also be caught from the shore in Maine. Vertical jigging is one of the best fishing methods used when fishing for mackerel in Maine. Baitcasting also works well when fishing for mackerel in Maine.

Types of Fishing Floats

There are a number of fishing floats and they are the light-up at night float, the polystyrene float, the plastic float, and the tiny float.

1. Light-up At Night Folat

The light-up at night float features a second hole on the top to let you place a night light stick. It is heavy and this makes it difficult to cast at great distances. Moreover, it makes a lot of noise when it hits the water and that may scare away fish.

2. Polystyrene Float

The polystyrene float is good for casting at long distances as it is aerodynamic and uses a heavyweight. It doesn’t crack and is not cheap. One negative for this float is that it scrapes the line and slowly weakens it. It requires you to check it regularly or the line might break when you are casting or reeling in a mackerel.

Mackerel Fishing For Beginners
Mackerel Fishing For Beginners

3. Plastic Float

The plastic float is reasonable but tends to break and crack easily after a short period of use.

4. Tiny Float

The tiny float is sensitive such that you can easily detect the faintest of bites. It is harder to use as there isn’t much top showing but after using them for some time, you will get to like them. if you are fishing a calm sea and distance isn’t an issue, then the tiny float is a good choice.

Ideas For Mackerel Fishing
Ideas For Mackerel Fishing

How To Catch Mackerel From A Pier

1. Float Fishing

When fishing mackerel from a pier, you can also use the float fishing method. Just cast your line about 5 to 30 yards and wait. When the float goes below the water, that most likely means a mackerel is on it. You then raise your rod in a quick and continuous action. After raising your rod, you can see if you have the mackerel or not.

2. Feathering

When fishing for mackerel from a pier, you can also use the feathering technique. Drop the feathers directly below you and jig them up and down. This may seem simple, but that simple-looking technique will make you catch many mackerel.

Fishing Mackerel Tricks
Fishing Mackerel Tricks

Mackerel Fishing Tips

1. When you use the feathering technique to catch mackerel, fish over clean ground. You don’t want to fish over rocks and weeds.

2. Fish for mackerel at high tide. They usually follow the tide as it comes in.

3. Dawn and dusk are the best time to catch mackerel.

Fishing Mackerel Tips
Fishing Mackerel Tips

4. When searching for mackerel, look for deep water. Mackerel search the open seas looking for food. Mackerels don’t hang around structures and wrecks.

5. If you don’t intend to eat them, don’t hold the mackerel on its sides with your hands to unhook it. Jiggle the hook out of its mouth or try to hold it by the top and bottom to unhook it.

6. You can quickly kill a mackerel by breaking the neck. Insert your finger onto the roof of the inner mouth and quickly bend the head backward.

Fishing Mackerel Ideas
Fishing Mackerel Ideas

7. Use disgorgers to unhook the fish if you are using lures or Sabikis.

8. Use a braided line to cast at farther distances and increase bite sensitivity.

Fishing For Mackerel
Fishing For Mackerel

9. Use a strong, razor-sharp hook size 2-3 for hookups.

10. The best bait for mackerel is mackerel.

Beginner Tips For Mackerel Fishing
Beginner Tips For Mackerel Fishing

What is the best bait to catch mackerel?
Mackerel is the best bait for mackerel!
What is the best month to catch mackerel?
May to June is the best period to catch mackerel.
What fishing method is used to catch mackerel?
Spinning, feathering, and float fishing are the most common methods of fishing for mackerel.
What depth do mackerel swim at?
There is no depth that mackerel doesn’t swim at. You should fish at different depths to find out which one yields the best results.
Do you use bait to catch mackerel?
Bait can be used to catch mackerel. You can also use lures to also catch mackerel.

The Bottom Line

Mackerel is a favorite of anglers as it is a healthy fish and is bait for almost all other fishes. In this article, we shared information and fishing techniques to help you catch mackerel. if you want to learn how to catch mackerel, then after reading this article, you will have the knowledge to be a better angler for catching mackerel.

If you also fish for spotted seatrout, salmon, and walleye, then how to catch spotted seatrout, how to catch salmon, and walleye fishing tips will help you catch more of these fish.