July 16, 2021


Mackerel Fishing!

The Mackerel fishing season in the UK starts from April and ends at September. Despite this being a relatively short period, it is an important one. Mackerel are harvested for their valuable oil content and as such they are intensely sought after by both commercial fishermen. With so much interest in the mackerel it has become a very common fish to fish for here in the UK.


Atlantic Mackerel

Here is a list of tackle that we would recommend to start catching mackerel. The tackle required for the boat is labelled as "1" and the tackle required for the shore is labelled as "2".

  • ROD - [boat: 1 ] [Shore: 2]

No. 1 Boat: 

The Shakespeare ugly stick below is renowned for being a fantastic boat rod. Its 7.4 foot long which is perfect for the boat. This rods are renowned for being almost indestructible. Rated at 8 to 12 lbs its a perfect boat rod for small fish such as pollack, mackerel and bass.

No. 2 Shore: 

This 10 foot shakespeare spinning rod is a bargain. We have had several here over the years and have never been let down. It's great for spinning but can also be used for bait fishing which is great. Perfect for mackerel, bass and pollock spinning from the shore. Take a look at it below:

  • REEL - [boat: 1 ] [Shore: 2]

No. 1 Boat: 

The Penn 525 magnum has been around for years. It's rated as probably one of the best boat reels to have ever been made. I would highly recommend in investing in good reels for your saltwater fishing. And this would be the right choice for you. It's capable of taking large fish as well. 

No. 2 Shore: 

This saltwater fishing reel hasn't long come out. This is one of the first reels that has been created at this price that is sealed and will keep the saltwater out of its bearings. Normally you are paying a lot more. For me, having this protection is crucial in a salt water environment. You will save money in the long term. 

  • LINE - [boat: 1] [Shore: 2]

No. 1 Boat: 

Daiwa line is known for being one of the best monofilament lines you can get. I would recommend getting high quality line because it will last. Poor quality line can be brittle and snap easily after some use. 

No. 2 Shore: 

Again for shore fishing I would recommend this high quality daiwa line. Theres nothing worse than fishing for hours and then your line letting you down when you finally manage to get yourself a bite. Take the dive and buy good quality line. 

  • LURES - [boat: 1 ] [Shore: 2]

No. 1 Boat: 

If you fancy using lures or spinners to catch mackerel from your boat then there is nothing more fun than using a single small wedge. Not only are they very effective at catching mackerel but they don't half cast far. 

No. 2 Shore: 

Again from the shore these wedges are perfect. For the same reasons too, they cast far and are effective at catching mackerel. Not only this but when you're using a wedge you've got a great chance of catching other species too e.g bass.

  • FEATHERS - [boat: 1] [Shore: 2 ]

No. 1 Boat: 

The feathers that I have suggested below are cheap and cheerful. But that's all you need for mackerel fishing. They aren't a fussy fish and will take anything shiny that looks remotely like small bait fish. 

No. 2 Shore: 

The same feathers that I have recommended for the boat will also work from the shore. You will simply fish them in a slightly different way. You will cast them out and retrieve them at a relatively fast pace.

  • BAIT - [boat: 1] [Shore: 2 ]

No. 1 Boat: 

For people who are wondering what bait to use from the bait. Small strips of frozen squid, mackerel and pretty much anything fishy like that will catch you mackerel. You can fish them using a small paternoster rig or add them to your feathers.

No. 2 Shore: 

A great way to attract fish from the shore is using chum. You can make your chum by slicing and dicing frozen fish and then adding fish oil and bread. Throw this out and it will attract an array of different fish. Use small strips of squid, mackerel to catch.


60 CM






WALES - Mackerel are abundant all around the welsh coast. They can be caught from piers, beaches, out at sea in most places. They are seasonal, entering the welsh waters early spring and leaving early autumn although this can vary.

ENGLAND - Mackerel are abundant on all coastlines around England. In Cornwall the mackerel are abundant during the winter as well.

SCOTLAND - Again mackerel are abundant in most places around Scotland. Entering the waters in early spring and leaving early autumn. 

IRELAND - Again they are abundant all around the Irish coast and follow the same seasonal patterns.


Atlantic mackerel which is the species we find here in the UK is extremely common in the Atlantic ocean, black sea and Mediterranean sea. Mackerel occur in huge shoals at times and come close into shallow waters during the summer months.

During the winter time they move off to southerly deeper waters to seek warmer water. Mackerel spawn during early spring and the summer months normally within 30 miles of the shore.

The eggs will remain floating in water no deeper than 25 metres and will hatch within a week depending on water temperature. 1 female mackerel can spawn as much as 450,000 eggs in 1 season. 


Barbecued Whole Mackerel

Here are some great recipes that can be used to cook up one of the tastiest meals you could hope to enjoy. The trick to getting the best taste of mackerel is to have them as fresh as possible. Try to consume them within 24 hours of catching. If you do this you will notice a huge increase in flavor and freshness. 


The video above shows you how mackerel are caught from a boat. It's great because it shows you what type of feathers they can be caught on, how they are caught and then the cooking of them aswell!


Fresh Mackerel

GENERAL - Atlantic mackerel can be found in waters down to about 200 metres. The Atlantic mackerels body is elongate as can be seen in all the photos within this blog post! Mackerel reach sexual maturity around 2 years old. They are known to live as long as 17 years in the wild.

APPEARANCE & SIZE - They have dark blue and black wavy lines across their top which provides them with the perfect camouflage. The typical size of the fish is about 30 cm but have been known to get as large as 60 cm in length

COMMERCIAL - The Atlantic mackerel is a hugely sought after fish on the commercial market! It's a strong tasting fish and has an oily texture along with being very high in omega 3 fatty acids. However, because the mackerel is so abundant it is still of least concern in terms of its conservation status. Mackerel are caught using purse seines, trawls, gill and cammel nets. They are also caught by using long lines which are towed behind a boat with lots of hooks tied to it down the line. It's estimated that the global catch of mackerel per year is around 1 million tonnes. 


  • The Atlantic mackerel must keep moving to keep enough oxygen passing over it's gills to survive. 
  • They only leap out of the water in an attempt to flee predators.
  • Mackerel will only normally shoal with other mackerel of a very similar relative size.
  • When they are feeding on plankton they will form large shoals in order to trap the plankton in a similar way to a net catching sand-eels.
  • When they are hunting larger prey like sand-eels they will break down into smaller groups or individuals to do so.  



Jake's Outdoors is a blog for all of your hunting, fishing and general outdoor needs. Jake's Outdoors has created this space to help beginner level enthusiasts find their way into the world of outdoors and will provide advice on how to get started. We'll cover topics like what gear you need, where to go hunting or fishing in your area, how to cook fish/game animals you've caught as well as other general outdoor tips.

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