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BrianBM

Atlantic mackerel, dammit

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Any news of them?

 

Yes. I eat mackerel. I like them grilled or broiled, or in a sushi bar.

 

What I really want, though, is a big stash of Atlantic mackerel (the smaller, the better) for fluke, for chunking, and above all else for bait on fall's partyboat tuna trips. The boat will provide bait, usually butterfish and/or squid, and I wouldn't be caught dead without a mackerel tree and squid jigs in case there's a decent shot at live bait. All that said, I'd rather catch my own ... rolled in kosher salt and frozen as fast as possible, they're a darn good bait.

 

If need be, I will buy them wholesale (any suggestions as to where or from whom?)

 

First, though ... any news?

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Hi Brian. The last time I remember my dad coming home with mackerel was over 15 years ago going out on party in sheepshead bay. (My mom used to hate it when he came home with a garbage full of mackerel that she would clean, salt ,, dry, then freeze we literally ate mackerel 3x a week for a year)

 

But I haven't heard from my dad who loves fishing for them. He always says march is the season but from reading around the forum and looking up boats goin out i haven't see any ads for mackerels. I think I read that they pass by the island really far off shore. But I couldn't say.

 

As for buying them wholesale , I think easiest place would be at hunts point. I think the small ones are (guessing here , we haven't bought mackerel to sell in years) about 50 cent to a dollar per pound range. I know it's way too expensive if it's over $1 but I can find out for you tomorrow exactly if they're even around now. I think they're by 50lb boxes

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I'd like to know, thank you .... A 50 lb block is a problem. No way to defrost just half a dozen for a fluke trip, or just a dozen or 1 1/2 dozen for a partyboat tuna trip.

 

Hunts Points ... y'know, that hadn't even occurred to me. Duuuh.

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And I didn't know they froze well enough for human consumption. I roll them in kosher salt to keep them bacteria-free and spoilage resistant for bait. What was your mom's procedure?

 

We had one good mack season two years ago, the first in 15+ years, but I'd had knee work done and wasn't boatworthy.

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I apologize I Brian I mislead you, we don't freeze the fresh fish, we actually dried it first kinda like bacalao after we salted it. We butterfly bone in them Then when it was dry we froze them. Not sure if they freeze well without drying/salting process. Actually come to think of it , they do freeze well because at the Korean super market they have butterflied bone in (big size Norway higher fat content) mackerel in the freezer that are vaccum sealed. They are pretty good just salt and pepper and pan fried.

 

And by 50lb I did not mean frozen either I meant fresh 50lb case (those big wax boxes that leak water everywhere) so you can Zip lock and freeze them, eat some, give a few away !

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My mom used to cut the head off, gut , butterfly open, let them soak in a kosher salt brine then pat them dry with paper towels then we sprinkled kosher salt. Two ways we did it, get chicken wire fence place on top of two milk crates so it airs from below and then place a mesh over them. And just let them air dry for a few days in spring. I know it's gross open fish in the sun but the salt brine an extra salt preserves them.

 

Other way with head on this time is place half. A chop stick inside the butterflied belly so they stay open and tie them on a rope like one every 6 inches an hang them up on the roof. (Lol we are so immigrant like that)

 

But the two ways mentioned can invite maggots if the weather is too warm or not windy. Or animals if it's not way off the ground.

 

Eventually we found a mesh box that we can place the fish in and hang them off the floor that kept the bugs from getting in or cats from reaching the fish.

 

But that's my moms method. Then freeze and use one by one just olive oil and fry up the flavor is much stronger but very tasty and different.

 

My mom is the happiest my dad doesn't bring home mackerel anymore it's a lot of work.

 

Now a days we just buy from the market when they have big Norway mackerel and just butterfly just sprinkle salt and let it air dry in the fridge on top of paper towels for a couple days and eat it right away. No need to really preserve since it's so readily available (plus we were goin through hard times when I was younger so I think that is why my mom made the effort to preserve them). But it's very common to see a lot of salt dried whole fish at Korean/Asian super markets. And they're very expensive. Especially the yellow croakers.

 

 

Hope that helps ! Will find out what's going on with the Boston Mackerel tomorrow.

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Oh and then sprinkle salt and let it air dry in the fridge we usually use our walk ins at work so it's. A lot more air circulation than at home refrigerators and fans blasting directly on the fish.

 

We do this also for fluke and the skin is extra crispy when fried.

 

( trying to dry fluke in the summer outdoors is a sight to see with all the flies tryin to get inside the mesh netting. It's scary)

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Mackerel stocks are as bad as the flounder stocks. If the Government managers of America's fish resource's were working in a private company the company would be broke.

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Darn interesting thread. My wife would kill me if I tried something like this but I'm printing the thread anyway. I never knew that mackerel could be handled in this fashion .... and I like strong-tasting foodstuffs, anyway. Sounds like it's made for beer and onion slices, and pickled veggies, and so on.

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LI Beachrat, you could well be right. I haven't paid attention, I just look around for fish when I can 'cuz I like them generally, but I really need 'em for bait, as described.

 

The Viking's tuna trips have gotten insanely expensive, so you want to make the most of each trip. If the boat bait is squid and butterfish, I'd like to have my mackerel stash on hand to stand out.

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Mully, you're living 25 years in the past if you expect to see macks around here any longer. It's probably down to a one week window, which is why the Freeport boats don't even bother.

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Sorry BrianM for not getting back to you. I was kinda having a lazy day.

 

Mack came in yesterday. Mixed sizes 60lb minimum 1.25. Which now is cheap. Gone are the days it's 50 cents they said. It ranges 1.50-2.00 on average.

 

But they're in at 1.25 they'll probably charge you 1.50 to 2.00 though since you're not really a regular wholesaler though. So basically 100 bucks plus tolls 15. Plus parking I don't know what they charge non commerical probably at least 10. So you're gonna pay about 145 at most or 2.10 a pound not including gas. ( On may 2014. For posterity )

 

Just passing on the info you might be interested in.

 

 

60lb mix @ 1.25 lb - probably wanna be there around after the rush though unless you wanna see it crazy. 12-4. After that before 7am by then everyone's mostly gone.

 

Good luck ! The market Mack are fresher than the stores !

 

Oh just in case - this is not a commercial ad I don't work for hunts point or anyone associated with them! Just sharing prices

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worked with a guy from crotia and he wanted me to take him mackerel fishing………said he was out of luck maybe if you are lucky in march you might find a school…..he said at one time were very common in the adriadic sea ,now are fished out

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Not sure about atlantic mackerel, but spanish mackerel are big in VA by around August.  A good rig for them is a 2.5" clarkspoon with green or pink flasher tape.  It is run 20' behind a #1 or #2 inline planer, trolled about 7-10kts.  Can't imagine that Atlantic mackerel wouldn't go for them too since they work great for bluefish, spanish, and rockfish.


Maybe its worth a shot?


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