All you need to know about Mackerel

How to indentify mackerel


  • Size: up to 18ins and 6lb. UK shore caught typically around 1lb.
  • UK minimum size: 12ins/30cm in length.
  • UK shore caught record: 5lb 11oz.
  • Usually caught late spring to early autumn.
  • Minimum size to keep mackerel is 30cm
  • Most common ways of catching mackerel is float fishing, spinning and feathering.

Detailed description

Fishing for mackerel is extremely popular around the UK, especially around piers, harbours and jetties that provide easy access to deep water and tidal runs that mackerel favour.

Almost all fish found around the UK can be caught on a mackerel bait. It can be used as a bait on its own, or small slices of mackerel can be used to create cocktail baits or tip off worm baits to help prevent them coming off.

Feathers are generally used with a full-sized 12-13ft beachcaster. All your set-up must be able to handle a full load. If you're using 5 feathers then there is a good chance you'll reel in 5 mackerel so having a sturdy set-up will help!

Using spinners to catch mackerel can be done with a bass rod (typically 11ft long or even a dedicated spinning rod (7-8ft and rated to cast 1-2oz). This method involves simply casting out and retrieving the spinner, either with a steady retrieve or varying reeling in between fast and slow turns on the reel. If mackerel are not being caught then try varying the depth of the spinner by letting it sink deeper into the water or reeling in very slowly.

Float fishing is another popular way of catching mackerel and you can use mackerel bait to catch mackerel. They tend to swim around the 8ft to 14ft mark so adjust your stopper if you're not catching any when others are.

The best baits for mackerel is anything that can twinkle in the water. Using mackerel bait to catch mackerel works extremely well.

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