Catching mackerel: simple tips to get you started

Catching mackerel: simple tips to get you started

Mackerel are one of the most valued catches because of one simple thing - they are, in most cases, the perfect bait to attract something big and valuable. Regardless of what species of predator we are talking about, almost all of them will eat mackerel in some form or another.

Many professionals spend a lot of time and effort before they master the art of catching mackerel and the good thing is that you can do it too, with the right knowledge and tools.

In this article, we will talk about the main things you should know about how to catch mackerel, including the right rig setup, bait and the places to go for.

What’s the best time of the year to go for mackerel?

Many experts agree that the best time of the year to fish for mackerel are the warmer months of the season. 

The abundance of food during this time makes the fish migrate closer towards the coastlines, which obviously makes them an easier catch. You should aim for any time of the year when the water temperature is relatively warm be it summer or autumn.

This is important to keep in mind since mackerel spend most of the year much further away, which can make them extremely difficult to catch, especially for beginners.

In terms of the time of day, like with many fish, dawn and dusk are your best bet since that’s when they are the most active in feeding.

Lures, tackle, baits and rods for mackerel fishing

Unlike some species, mackerel aren’t picky eaters, which makes every angler's life easier when setting up their tackle. A small shiny lure or a set of feathers is often enough to attract their attention and perform a successful catch.

Another key component are your hooks. Be flexible and have a few of them, varying in size without, since that way you’ll have the flexibility to find what’s working and what isn’t. Of course, a distinct color accent will be very effective as well, so make sure that your hooks stand out in the water.

In terms of the rig itself, a stronger setup is recommended. Since you’re likely to be fishing from the coastline, make sure that the line can withstand the weight that you are planning to use.

For your tackle, again, a simple setup is enough to be effective, even complete beginners. A medium sized surf or saltwater rod will work just fine with an appropriate reel to go with.

If you don’t have a saltwater rod at your disposal, a freshwater option can be used as well. A similar size and strength option can work, just remember to wash your equipment thoroughly to prevent any damage after angling in the sea.

How to find the spot to fish for mackerel?

Mackerel are a highly migratory type of species, which means that you have to anticipate their movement well in order to have the best possible chances of success. As mentioned earlier, your best bet would be to target them near shores and coastlines during the warmer months of the year.

Otherwise, the fish will usually be much farther away, so unless you own a boat and have the experience of angling from the deck, your best bet would be to set up somewhere near the shorelines.

Another important thing to keep in mind is your bait proximity. Professionals recommend focusing on clear water areas and the surface of water. This is the most likely place that you will catch your first mackerel.

All in all

Today we’ve talked about the essentials of mackerel catching. While a tricky specimen for inexperienced anglers, it can be tackled with the right equipment and tactics.

Sea fishing