sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Going vertical for mackerel
Going vertical for mackerel


'Double hook-up inshore on mackerel. Most times if you hook one, dropping down a second jig will double your success in a short time.'    Lee Brake    Click Here to view large photo

The mackerel season has begun in North Queensland and this week Lee describes how by using vertical jigging techniques you can catch more mackerel and have more fun doing it!

We all love a feed of fresh mackerel but there's no doubt that they can be frustrating fish to catch at times. How often have you found yourself out on a calm day fishing your local mackerel patch with a flotilla of other boats and these toothy speedsters just won't play the game? Usually the reason behind this is the boat traffic and, in particular, the fact that it's sending the bait down deep.

You can try floating down a naturally presented bait, but if the fish are flighty and moving around a large area, which is often the case, this can be very hit and miss.

Alternatively, try going vertical with a range of jigging techniques. If done right, this will appeal to the predatory nature of mackerel, and a range of pelagics. These fish can't resist a fleeing baitfish separated from the safety of the school.

Never discount soft plastics and featherhead jigs for mackerel. They can be worked at speed and the erratic action and pulse of feathers/fibre makes them very enticing. -  Lee Brake   Click Here to view large photo

There are lots of different jig types you can use: metal blades, soft vibes, metal slices, knife jigs, soft plastic jerkshads or featherhead jigs. All these will work and rely on a range of factors to draw the attention of hungry mackerel: vibration, flash, speed and an erratic action.

All these lure types enable the angler a wide range of options depending on depth, gear available and concentration of fish. For example, in shallow inshore waters, ripping a big knife jig from bottom to top will likely achieve little, except maybe a broken rod tip, however, over deep shoals with a high-speed spin combo it's the ideal choice. In shallow waters try vibes, blades, featherhead jigs (like marabou jigs) and five to seven feet soft plastic jerkshads. All these can be worked on both baitcaster or spin and speed requirements can be offset by using fast rips and jerks of the rod tip.

Try using a short length of wire trace to begin with, but if you're struggling to get bites, take it off and risk it. In heavily pressured areas, wire can be a bigger turn-off than farting in bed. Remember, macks will often hit the lure on the drop, so avoid masses of slack line when freespooling. I actually like to use a baitcaster combo like a Calcutta 400 (with a graphite, fast action, 6'6', 10-12kg rod) so that I can put my thumb on the spool as I freespool. That way if I feel the slightest bump, I can engage the reel and have a chance of hooking up before the fish can bite me off!

Deep water vertical jigging is best done with big knife jigs and plenty of armour. This River 2 Sea knife jig is rigged with small wire trace and Decoy double wire assist rig. -  Lee Brake   Click Here to view large photo

Further offshore, going for heavy, fast action spin tackle with a high gear ratio will be more beneficial. This is the home of metal slices and knife jigs, especially if you can see those lines and arches on your depth sounder in mid-water that give away the presence of feeding Spanish mackerel. For these long battles in deep water you'll need some special equipment. A fast action rod that can cushion the initial hard strike and offset the lack of stretch in braid is important, as is at least 300m of braid to handle the first spool-emptying run of a XOS Spanish. Armour is more important than in the shallow inshore waters as well.

Lee Brake with a nice Spanish mackerel jigged up over the shoals off Mackay on a Halco Twisty knife jig. -  Lee Brake   Click Here to view large photo

Over a long fight the chances getting cut off go up every minute as the fish shakes its head and gnashes those razor sharp teeth. For this reason I always run a short length of wire on the front of my jigs when I'm jigging water over 30m. Twenty centimetres is normally enough especially when coupled with a wire assist rig on a knife jig. On that note, don't be tempted to use the little Dacron assist rigs most knife jigs come rigged with. They might be ok for southern kingfish or samson fish, but mackerel will wear through them faster than you'd think possible. Decoy sell a handy wire-rigged double assist rig which not only comes with decent size hooks, but by having two, doubles your chance of a hook-up.

Graham Brake working an inshore bait ball with a Threadybuster soft vibe. Mackerel love the quivering vibrations sent out by these lures. -  Lee Brake   Click Here to view large photo

When jigging you can choose to cover a wide area with what is often called a yoyo jig or focus on a bait ball in one area. If bait is holding on structure, like a pinnacle, you can hold the boat in place above, either with the outboard
An example of yoyo jigging as seen by a depth sounder. -  Lee Brake   Click Here to view large photo
or Spot Lock (if you're lucky enough to own a Minn Kota i-Pilot). Once above the fish, simply dropping the jig to the bottom and rapidly cranking it towards the surface will usually get results (ideal with metal slices or big featherhead jigs).

When yoyo jigging, you're usually drifting a wide area where various smaller broken bait schools are being harassed. Try to work out how high most of the fish are sitting in the water column and, as you drift, repeatedly crank and rip the jig up to approximately that height and then freespool to the bottom once more. This will allow you to cover the area and hopefully attract the attention of a mackerel.

Even if you prefer trolling, never discount the usefulness of having one rod rigged with a jig. Next time you're trolling and someone hooks-up to a mack, grab the jig and, if the lines aren't in danger of being tangled, drop it down for a few jigs while the other fish is hooked-up. It's amazing how often the school with follow the hooked fish right to the boat where you can then enjoy a double-hook-up.

Fish hard and stay safe!


by Lee Brake

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=109989

2:41 PM Thu 30 May 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World



2014 Detroit Cup - Sam Gilmour leads by Dobbs Davis, Detroit, Michigan






Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Riding the AC45 - VIDEO by Crosbie Lorimer, Hamilton Island










America's Cup: Five Challengers sign-on for 35th Match by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,


Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad talks Time and Money (Part II) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


















AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos by American Windsurfing Tour,
















America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,








Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia by International Maxi Association,




Clipper Race: 2015-16 edition of world's longest ocean race 70% full
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland - Swish smash 5th World Record
Leaderboards take shape at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games 2014
IFDS Worlds - Hot competition on first day of racing
Challenging Conditions - CORK OCR
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 for the US Sailing Team
2014 Melges 20 World Championship - Countdown begins
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 3
America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature
Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3
Roble and Wilson still number one match racers in the U.S.
2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium
IFDS Worlds - Former president presented with ISAF awards medal
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Improvements aplenty in Byte CII fleets
America's Cup: New Zealand loses top coach to Artemis Racing
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Day 9 - Swish on record pace   
2014 CORK Olympic Classes Regatta - Day 3   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 2   
2014 IFDS World Championship: Opening Ceremony images   
Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery   
Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships   
Hamilton Island Race Week: Everywhere there's smiley people   
IFDS World Championships - US Paralympic hopefuls ready for racing   
Sopot Match Race - Poland's Tour debut deemed a triumph   
Vineyard Race celebrates 80th running of the East Coast classic   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games: Young sailors begin racing on Lake Jinniu   
AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Victory for Morgan Noireaux   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Day 8: Test of endurance   
Bart's Bash: Over 2300 entered from 588 yacht clubs - Join here   
Halifax ready to welcome the world at 2014 IFDS World Championships   
RC44 World Championship title to Bronenosec + Video   
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Day 2 Images by Crosbie Lorimer   
IFDS Worlds - Gary Jobson to attend opening ceremonies   
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Dalton DeVos crowned champion   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games trailer   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT