Slimy Mackerel are found in all Australian coastal waters preferring the cooler areas often forming into large surface schools. They enter coastal bays, harbours, inlets and estuaries with an attraction to wharves, jetties, shallow reefs and sandflats. The Slimy Mackerel found in outside coastal waters tend to school over reefy areas, around islands and headlands. Large schools of adult fish are common in deep offshore waters in the south where they can be found extending out to the continental shelf.
Even though mackerel is not considered to be a good eating fish, it does offer itself as excellent bait, and most fish, especially mullaway, find them irresistable. When schools of mackerel are evident, predators such as mulloway are never far away.
They respond to any burley. When using a baitfish rig, once a fish is hooked up, try leaving the rig in the water. The eratic motion of the hooked fish tends to excite the other fish to strike. Most cases allow you to retrieve the rig when three or more fish are hooked. They often come onto the bite at mid-morning and early afternoon. When boat fishing, they are often taken at estuary mouths over shallow waters outside reefs and sandflats.
Legal Minimum Length
No legal length set
Type of Tackle
Use line between 2 to 4kg.
A rod around 1.8m is ideal for both jetty, rock and boat fishing.
No.8 Beak-Nickel "Holdfast" nylon snelled hooks that come pre packed are ideal. Mackerel have small,soft mouths !
Small pieces of Fish Flesh, Prawn and Squid. Also small lures like Juro Shiners.
They usually repond to any form of berley.
Rig No. 1
Rig 1, a double dropper paternoster rig, is perfect for fishing off jetties, and intended for use when the mackerel are feeding on the bottom. The purpose of the spring sinker is to hold a berley mix in place, and slowly disperse it within the vicinity of your hooks. When cast, take any slack out of the main line to ensure that if a bite occurs, your rod tip will bend.
Rig No. 2
This rig is the simplest of rigs, with the elements of winds and tides effectively suspending your hook in the water. Split shots are used dependant on the force of the tide to keep your bait down.
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