Mackerel are seasonal fish and usually arrive in European waters around late spring and leave in early autumn. These lively fast swimming fish can be anything from eighteen inches long and can weigh up to five pounds in weight, though that would be a big mackerel as the average weight is normally about one to two pounds.
Serious anglers normally leave fishing for mackerel to the amateurs as they are not really regarded as a difficult fish to catch. But for first timers these fish are perfect for testing your newly discovered interest in fishing.
Mackerel are also predatory fish and in appearance have a blue/green back with black stripes and silver belly, they are also closely associated with the tuna family. They have short fins and a forked tail that allow them to swim pretty fast in the ocean. They swim in shoals and feed on small fish and sand-eels, swimming in large numbers means they can also be caught in large numbers by using the correct gear.
Popular places to catch mackerel are around piers,and harbours where you have easy access to deep tidal water. As mentioned above you don’t have to be a seasoned fisherman or have expensive fishing gear and tackle to catch them with a cheap and effective way to catch them is by using feathers.
Feathers are designed to look like small bait fish, like sandeels which mackerel love to eat. Packs of feathers usually have 3 to 6 feathers included in a pack with hooks attached. Its basically a complete rig where you will have a line with each feather and a swivel or a loop on either end. All you do is attach your main line to one end and a weight to the other and away you go.
They say that feathers are really not of much use for night time fishing as the mackerel cannot see them very well.But if you are lucky enough to hit a shoal of mackerel in daylight you are likely to pull in a couple of mackerel with each cast. It certainly helps with your confidence when out fishing for the first time.
As regards fishing rods the strength and quality of your rod should depend on the number of feathers you plan to fish with, in other words if you have six feathers attached to your line you should probably have a better quality rod that will accommodate catching 6 fish at any one time, it’s as simple as that. Now where did I leave that fishing rod and Kelly Kettle. It’s time to go and catch some mackerel.