Get Fishing Resources - Fishbook

Fishbook: Mackerel

‘Fishbook’: Our species-guide series based on “Get Fishing
the brilliant how to fish book by Allan Sefton

We profile the UK’s most common as well as some lesser-known fish species to help newcomer anglers find out more about fish that can be caught in our lakes, canals, rivers, ponds and sea.

Understanding the kinds of fish you might catch will add interest and could even make your fishing easier! Here you’ll find out more about…



Scientific name:
Scomber scombrus

Life span:
Between 20-25 years

Typical size:
8oz to 1lb

British record:
6lb 2oz

Any area of the coast holding small or juvenile fish off the seabed can be visited by mackerel. Sometimes seen chasing shoals of small fish

Interesting fact:
Mackerel are greedy feeders. They live in large shoals that compete for available food. This makes them easier to catch

About Mackerel

Mackerel are beautiful, mottled blue members of the tuna family. They are an abundant, mid-water fish that occurs in huge shoals throughout the North Atlantic.

They migrate inshore to feed on plankton and shoals of bait fish each spring and are found all around the British Isles every summer. Mackerel are greedy feeders. They live in large shoals that compete for available food. They are easy to catch.

Mackerel fishing is feast or famine. You are either in touch with a shoal and will hook one on nearly every cast or you are in the wrong spot and will catch nothing.

On calm evenings, the water can boil, as prey and predators collide in a feeding frenzy. You can watch the fish come to you.

Mackerel are great fighters on light freshwater tackle.

Fresh mackerel is also a wonderful summer BBQ feast. Do not keep more than you need.

Visit the rest of the How To Fish video gallery here to learn new tricks and discover more about the basics of angling.

Find out more about:

Read more about how you can get into sea fishing. Alternatively, find a venue near you where you can #getfishing!

Some of the above content is taken from the new book, Get Fishing – the ‘how to’ guide to Coarse, Sea and Fly Fishing by Allan Sefton published by Merlin Unwin Books. This colourful, lively book is aimed at complete beginners of all ages, those who have been out fishing a couple of times and want to take it further and families of all abilities. It’s also packed with top-tips and info that make it useful for more experienced anglers too. Find out more about, and purchase a copy of the book here.

Header image thanks to David Overland and text reproduced with permission and © Merlin Unwin Books.

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