There is little as good as eating
a freshly caught mackerel, but they do deteriorate
rapidly if not frozen. This page gives a "how to" for mackerel
As mentioned on the Mackerel
Reference page, mackerel like a good water flow, therefore
shoals can be found around headlands, breakwaters, piers and
even reefs. It has been known for mackerel to shoal around
sewage outfalls. To locate these shoals, there are a number
- Watch for diving birds, either offshore or near a beach
- Heavy concentrations of jellyfish, in warmer waters.
This indicates a warm flow of warter, which can hold mackerel
- Small bubbles breaking at the surface of the water.
This effect is seen when mackerel are feeding.
- User an echo sounder/fish finder!
Good conditions for fishing are muggy, heavy evenings that
threaten a storm but with little, if any wind. The mackerel
will move inshore with the tide after food. Good fishing can
however be found in most conditions if in a boat!
Once the fish have been located they will need
to be caught! From shore or boat the most common method used
by anglers is the feather. The most basic form of feather
can be as simple as a piece of silver paper tied to a hook.
The most common form however, are cock neck feathers whipped
to a hook. The paper or feather should be mobile so that it
flaps when pulled through the water. The colour of feathers
can be bright, reds, blues and even white are common but any
colour that can provide a contrast to the water can be used.
There is no best colour to use as differing water conditions
will affect the contrast acheived. Modern plastic lures are
also becoming popular, and these work equally as well as true
The lines should be weighted, either by lead
or a substitute and cast as far as possible. The line can
be retreived eratically by raising and lowering the rod tip,
interspersed by short periods of reeling in, until a mackerel
is hooked. If a shoal is found then this will not take very
long! If a good shoal is found then a fish for each feather
on a line can be caught.
For the more sporting fisherman, a small spinner,
normally in silver can be used. These must be retreived steadily
When wishing to freeze mackerel, it is best
to wrap the fish individually as this will ensure a faster
feeze, thus the fish will be as fresh as possible when defrosted.
If a number of mackerel are packed together and frozen the
freezing process can take a few hours, thus causing deterioration
and decay of the flesh.
Caught mackerel is also good for use as bait
for other types of fish such as Turbot, Bass, Rays, Dogfish,
Cod and even Conger. Depending on the target fish type the
mackerel can be cut into fillets or used whole. If used whole
then the head should be left on and the guts allowed to trail
for the best results.