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Old 27 July 2021, 17:07   #1
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Catching

Iíve intentionally not called this thread fishing!

I enjoy a bit of foraged food on land and feel Iím missing out afloat. Iíve had some success with a lobster pot but consistently fail to catch mackerel - so what am I doing wrong!

Last week local shell fish guy described where to go and provided a 100 ft handline exactly the same as he uses on his boat to catch bait. Five silvery coloured lures on hooks ďjust drop it in and driftĒ. Nothing. Tried another Mark someone else suggested in shallower water (30-40ft?) - thought we had a bite but it got away then nothing. The mackerel were around as others reported success!

Kids have always lost interest in the past by the time Iíve Untangled a rod and picked the hooks out my fingers but seemed more enthused this time.

Iím not interested in spending ages hunting for something elusive. I like mackerel a lot. Everyone says itís dead easy to catch. So I have handlines, I have a small spinning rod and I even have a paravane thing for trolling behind the boat... (Iíve only tried it once).

The one think I am missing is a fish finder (I have an old one that I never got sensible data from so took off the boat), Iím wondering if spending £80 to add a transducer to my plotter will bring what Iím missing?
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Old 27 July 2021, 17:26   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poly View Post
Iíve intentionally not called this thread fishing!

I enjoy a bit of foraged food on land and feel Iím missing out afloat. Iíve had some success with a lobster pot but consistently fail to catch mackerel - so what am I doing wrong!

Last week local shell fish guy described where to go and provided a 100 ft handline exactly the same as he uses on his boat to catch bait. Five silvery coloured lures on hooks ďjust drop it in and driftĒ. Nothing. Tried another Mark someone else suggested in shallower water (30-40ft?) - thought we had a bite but it got away then nothing. The mackerel were around as others reported success!

Kids have always lost interest in the past by the time Iíve Untangled a rod and picked the hooks out my fingers but seemed more enthused this time.

Iím not interested in spending ages hunting for something elusive. I like mackerel a lot. Everyone says itís dead easy to catch. So I have handlines, I have a small spinning rod and I even have a paravane thing for trolling behind the boat... (Iíve only tried it once).

The one think I am missing is a fish finder (I have an old one that I never got sensible data from so took off the boat), Iím wondering if spending £80 to add a transducer to my plotter will bring what Iím missing?
You must be fishing in the wrong spots, mackerel have suicidal tendencies when it comes to getting caught. That said if your in the wrong spot you wont catch them trying lots of spots is the answer you will know within the first few drops if theres fish in the area.
All the ones we've caught this year have been small & not worth taking.
I've had several fishfinders over the years & never had much faith in them now only look at them for depth reading.
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Old 28 July 2021, 00:51   #3
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Look for birds working the water, diving in for small fish. Mackerel travel at speed and never stop, they are hunting small fry fish or sandeels. If you find the baitfish then the mackerel wont be far away.
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Old 28 July 2021, 02:15   #4
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I don't think you need a fish finder for mackerel. As above look a commotion of birds sitting on the surface, I motor up current of them and drop the feathers in, normally catch 2 or 3 before the weight hits the bottom.
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Old 28 July 2021, 02:18   #5
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Oldman is spot on, you need to keep moving and look for feeding birds. Maybe follow the rising tide along the coast into bays. You need to work your lures, either by trolling at tickover, spinning or jigging up and down, changing depth all the while. Forget the fish finder, they don't have swimbladders so minimal returns. Baitfish do, but you need zillions for a hit.
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Old 28 July 2021, 03:12   #6
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Ask locals where they're catching them - they might not tell you!

Keep an eye out for local boats handline fishing for mackerel. If you see one suddenly start to go round in large circles it usually means they've found a shoal.

Troll the feathers behind you until you find fish then set the steering so you're going round in large circles.

If you want to drift you'll need to keep working the feathers from surface to bottom until you get hits.

AS already said, fishfinder won't be a lot of help.
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Old 28 July 2021, 03:30   #7
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Mackerel in our area tend to be easier to catch with a bit of tide running and also more prevalent over the top of banks or wrecks generally. Sometimes feathers with smaller hooks on tend to work well when they are proving hard to catch.
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Old 28 July 2021, 09:48   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poly View Post
Iíve intentionally not called this thread fishing!

I enjoy a bit of foraged food on land and feel Iím missing out afloat. Iíve had some success with a lobster pot but consistently fail to catch mackerel - so what am I doing wrong!

Last week local shell fish guy described where to go and provided a 100 ft handline exactly the same as he uses on his boat to catch bait. Five silvery coloured lures on hooks ďjust drop it in and driftĒ. Nothing. Tried another Mark someone else suggested in shallower water (30-40ft?) - thought we had a bite but it got away then nothing. The mackerel were around as others reported success!

Kids have always lost interest in the past by the time Iíve Untangled a rod and picked the hooks out my fingers but seemed more enthused this time.

Iím not interested in spending ages hunting for something elusive. I like mackerel a lot. Everyone says itís dead easy to catch. So I have handlines, I have a small spinning rod and I even have a paravane thing for trolling behind the boat... (Iíve only tried it once).

The one think I am missing is a fish finder (I have an old one that I never got sensible data from so took off the boat), Iím wondering if spending £80 to add a transducer to my plotter will bring what Iím missing?
I'm so pleased it's not just me!

Went fishing for mackerel 4 times on holiday and caught nothing!
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Old 28 July 2021, 10:27   #9
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I haven't had any this year either, though I haven't tried in a few weeks. If yu're not catching them they aren't there.

I use a 3 hook set of feathers or hokkais and instead of a normal weight I use something called a Dexter Wedge which is basically a shiny heavy lure with a hook on. It makes it easier to stow the rod with the hooks and weight on.

Cast it, changing how long you wait after it hits the water before you start winding in to change the depth you're fishing at. You can cover quite a bit of ground like that. 4 or 5 casts round the boat and move, unless you see the obvious signs of birds/disturbance.

Trolling for mackies is for rag and sticks.
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Old 28 July 2021, 15:00   #10
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I'm so pleased it's not just me!

Went fishing for mackerel 4 times on holiday and caught nothing!
Usually if you don't want them you can't get a bait down through them.
But if you want some to eat/for bait they're nowhere to be found.
And if you want joeys for livebait you'll only catch big ones.
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Old 28 July 2021, 15:13   #11
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well I made it out today and had a go at catching mackerel, following the sea birds had more success than using the fish finder, although I nearly fell out the rib at one point when a minke whale surfaced just 5m behind me and then passed underneath when I had 2 mackerel on the rod! I think this is it on the sonar.
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