Sandeel95

MACKERAL ON A FLY ROD

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Hi: Any body out there target MACKERAL on a fly rod?  If so, what set up

do you use.  Fly rod, reel, line size and of course flies that you use.

 

Thanks

Sandeel95

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I've caught horse mackerel and some other variety in the Pacific. Lots of Atlantics in New England. I've found them blitzing along beaches and if I've had a  6 wt. with me, that's what I used. I caught some  off the beach  on Plum Island , Mass. this summer on surf candies with a 7  wt.. I've caught them as far north as New Brunswick, had some great fishing for them in some Maine coves. Releasing one this summer, there was a huge explosion after a few seconds. I ended up feeding a cow hanging out  in the surf  hunting the mackerel. Of course I immediately switched to the biggest fly I had, but zilch....... hmmmm more mackerel flies..... 

     Tinker macks aren't worth a tinker's damn, except as excellent fun on sabiki's to use for bait, but once they reach about 15" and up they put up a decent fight. I'd say a salt worthy 5 or 6 wt. with an intermediate to match and some Clousers, surf candies, and  minnow patterns in sz. 2  to 1/0 would do it. 

Edited by bloosfisher

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Thanks Bloosfisher:

I kinda figured a 6 or 7 wt would be ideal.

What do you use for lines: floating, sinking or intermediated?

 

Take care

Sandeel95

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My first fly rod fish was a mac on a 5 weight in 7th grade. All my friends caught them on sand eels and bobbers and that first run was always a rush. I still like them on a 5 weight from Mass. North Shore to the Kennebec, where I've seen some unbelievable blitzes in years past. Surf candy is my go - to but they'll take anything shiny and moving. I like an intermediate or a sink tip.

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Thanks again Bloosfisher:

 

One of my favorite flies for schoolies on the North Shore  and sea trout in

Florida has been a Gartside Gurgler.  Lots of fun.

 

Will try them on the mackerel\Take care

Sandeel95.

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11 mins ago, stormy monday said:

My first fly rod fish was a mac on a 5 weight in 7th grade. All my friends caught them on sand eels and bobbers and that first run was always a rush. I still like them on a 5 weight from Mass. North Shore to the Kennebec, where I've seen some unbelievable blitzes in years past. Surf candy is my go - to but they'll take anything shiny and moving. I like an intermediate or a sink tip.

Thanks Stormy

I appreciate your reply.  I will be tying some shiny flies this

winter for next season. I will also try some of my Gurglurs

 

Take care

Sandeel95

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Posted (edited) · Report post

A couple of years back we were in the guide's boat out in the open Atlantic waiting for the slack tide to turn, surrounded by a massive multi-acre soup thick mass of sand eels.  fishing was so dead we weren't even casting.  Every once in awhile there would be a sudden zip of eels fleeing something.....too small to be a bass.  I asked the guide and he said those were mackerel chasing the sand eels.  I asked if he thought I could catch one since I never had.  He said sure, just put on a small clouser on the Int line., that they would make a good dinner.

 

Naturally I used my lightest rod, in that case an 8 wt.instead of the 10 we would usually use in that territory.  In a couple of casts, scattering sand eels with my line,  I got my first mackerel and that was fun.  Guide said I would need 2-3 for a good dinner so I kept casting.  The second came in fast so I kept on for the third.

 

The line just stopped.   Clearly NOT a mackerel.  Then the whatever just turned and headed for England.  I tightened the drag down.....which had no effect whatsoever.  The guide and I watched the reel dump line and after about 30 seconds of whirring I said, "OK....we gotta get going or I am going to be spooled......and this is 300 yards of backing.

 

The guide got the boat moving quickly to follow.  "Watcha  got there, Pete?  A bluefin?".

 

"Well, I wondered for awhile, but......no.  It finally stopped."

 

From there, the only concern in the fight was wrapping around a lobster pot line.....or the hook pulling.  But on an 8 wt......it took a LONG time.  My longest fight up to that point had been 37 timed minutes on a 17# + False albert at Harkers Island.....again on an 8 wt.....but I was not quite as badly mismatched with this fish.  It was more in and out short runs rather than a tunoid  down-under lifting match.

 

When the fish finally came into view....we saw stripes.  BIG stripes.  The whooping and hollering from the guide and my fishing partner lasted until the suspense was over and he lifted the fish.

 

"We gotta measure this one", he said.  Then......"47 inches".  And I got pictures....if anyone wants to see them.  The fish was released.

 

Soooo.......blind casting into the open Atlantic.....catching tinker mackerel with an 8 wt and a 2" pink wonder clouser.....I caught my biggest striper....EVER.

 

Go figure.

 

 

Edited by Peter Patricelli

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Great story !!!!

That's one of the reasons fishing is so much fun.

 

I lost the biggest Salmon of my life on the Matane River on the Gaspe.

Pulled the hook after an hour. Estimate was 20 plus pounds.

 

Fly was a Herb Johnson---Maine land locked Salmon fly tied y my good friend Mike.

Still have the fly and very fond memories of the fight.

 

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Actually caught a few last week in a river mouth in Scarborough on a surf candy pattern.  There were TONS of sand eels around.  Was hoping for something bigger.  Couldn't tell if I had anything on with the 9wt rod!  Pretty funny.

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18 hours ago, Peter Patricelli said:

 

.......

Soooo.......blind casting into the open Atlantic.....catching tinker mackerel with an 8 wt and a 2" pink wonder clouser.....I caught my biggest striper....EVER.

 

Go figure.

 

 

:witty:

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On 10/18/2019 at 4:28 PM, Sandeel95 said:

Hi: Any body out there target MACKERAL on a fly rod?  If so, what set up

do you use.  Fly rod, reel, line size and of course flies that you use.

 

Thanks

Sandeel95

Depends on the Mackerel doesn't it? King Mackerel 12wt and up. Most common Macks ... Atlantic or Spanish an 8wt would be plenty allowing the use of sinking lines, etc.

 

The only lure / fly you would ever need is a Surf Candy ... and or a Clouser.

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Used to catch them all the time fishing for stripers around Portsmouth, NH - always on small Clousers.  Never really targeted them, if we had I would have gone with a 5 or 6 weight, assuming the wind was down.

 

Lots of fun - cool looking fish when they're right after the water!

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I agree with Stormy Monday: shiny flies. I have never targeted Atlantic mackerel but have caught a few fishing for stripers in the Baie-des-Chaleurs, probably on a sand eel pattern (by far my best fly for stripers, so it gets fished a lot). But I've often seen anglers (spincasting) fishing for macks off the dock in  Sainte-Anne-Des-Monts (Gaspé North Shore) and they all use small but very shiny flies, up to three or four (and very often get 3-4 macks on one cast). I've never looked carefully at those flies but if I tied one it would be with a silver tinsel body, a wing of flash material of mixed colors but one predominant and a spot of red as a throat. 

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