The mackerel doesn’t really need any introduction. It has a slim and streamlined body which is built for speed and is designed for hunting in packs in the mid to upper water column. It is the fastest swimming fish in U.K. waters, with it being able to cover around a hundred and fifty feet in ten seconds. The mackerel has almost tropical colouration with a marbled blue/green back and vertical black bars running down its flanks giving way to a silver belly.
Mackerel are not fussy eaters and will hunt in packs, rounding up baitfish such as shoals of sprats and sandeels. Although it can be caught from deep shelving beaches, deeper water that harbours and piers provide offer the best opportunity to catch them. Mackerel is not only a great culinary fish, it also provides anglers with bait, either fresh or frozen.
Although many anglers catch five mackerel a time on strings of feathers, by far the best and most enjoyable way of catching them is by using light tackle and catching them singly. Small metal lures such as wedges, spinners and spoons will take fish as will a vast array of soft lures on LRF tackle. Don’t worry too much about the type of lure you’re using, they are not fussy, even regularly being caught on tin foil. The one thing I can’t stress enough though is only keep what you need. There’s nothing worse than seeing holiday anglers with fifty mackerel stuffed into a bucket, with the majority of them probably going to waste. Fish light and enjoy them.