Fishing Tackle Marketplace
CALL TOLL FREE 1.877.347.4718
Available Mon-Fri 9AM - 5PM EST
You Are Here:   Home ❱  Fish Identification ❱ 
Fish Identification - Atlantic Mackerel

Fish Identification Home | Print | Email Friend
Atlantic Mackerel
Species Facts

Science Name: Scomber scombrus
Other Names: Boston Mackerel; Common Mackerel

Angler Tools

Best Times:
Monthly Astro/Lunar Tables
Add Report / 5 Reports Posted
State Records:
2 Sortable State Records Available
Search For Atlantic Mackerel Fishing Tackle
Tackle Box Helper:
Freshwater ID Cards | Saltwater ID Cards


456 words are in this fish description. Fish descriptions are reserved for LBF members. Please login now or register for free today.

Tips for Fishing

240 words are in the supplied tips for fishing. These fishing tips are reserved for LBF members. Please login now or register for free today.

Post Your Reviews
Post your comments. Reviews can cover fishing tips, best lures, your best catch ever, or whatever else you wish to share. * Required Fields. You must be logged in to post a review. Please login now or register for free today
Email: Optional
Your Grade:
Your Review:*
Read Reviews

  Read 5 reviews
Grade The Review
Jamie | Posted: August 5, 2007

Mackerel are too easy to catch. I've been pier fishing At Neewport Beach. Getting literally 30- 45 Macks a day its simple. I use a Sabiki Rig Put Squid or shrimp ( squids better use) on Bottom and Top hook, with 2 oz Pyramid sinker. And you will hook 2-5 Macks at the same time. Great Fights somtimes.

John | Posted: September 20, 2005

Another way to catch these speedy fish, is using live bait such as sardines.

Just place a small hook threw its upper lip and out of its lower lip. Let it swim freely, if u can sopt a school of mackeral try to place the bait on top of the school, soon you well immiedetly feel bites. Try useing lines from 5in to 12 inch. they usaully are 1-to 5 pounds and can get up to 16 feet or more. If u can not find live bait then try using a shiny lure, and keep the lure in movement to attract them. This is another exellent way to catch this beutilful fish. Remeber these fish are good eating, so if you manage to catch two or more,and feel hungry... Good luck fishing

rory  | Posted: September 11, 2005

mackeral are an easy fish to catch.They like motion. Use a small shiny lure to attract them. U must first find the school of them to start fishing. When bait fishing for them almost any reasonable bait can be used they make great bait for other fish because tyhey have an oily flesh. They are preyed upon buy bluefish sharks striped bass. tHEY CAN BE CAUGHT DURING EARLY JUNE. tHEY GO REALLY FAR NORTH WELL PAST MAINE THEY GO.

Musky Maniac | Posted: June 17, 2003

Atlantic Mackeral are as easy to catch as bluegills. Once you've located a school of mackeral (by fishfinder, or flashes and bubblings of baitfish on the surface) try a live worm on a bobber, drop it into the school, and just let the fish do the rest. I've had the most success with this method, mackeral are very good eating and I'm sure you'll agree. Good Fishing!

Fishing Maine-iac | Posted: April 3, 2003

You can catch Atlantic Mackerel from a variety of locations, from a boat or from shore. Atlantic Mackerel ( Scomber scombrus), also known as Boston Mackerel or Common Mackerel, is a popular baitfish, as well as a good eating fish, and are relatively easy to catch.

With the use of a boat equipped with a fish finder, you can find schools of this tasty tidbit quite easily, as they tend to travel in large schools. They can be found very close to shore, within 25 yards, or they can be out in deeper water. Keep an eye out for sea birds, diving towards the water, looking for a meal too, as they are an indicator of schooling bait.

Atlantic Mackerel like shiny lures, as they mimic shiners and small minnows, which they feed on. A good choice of lure is the chrome plated Diamond Jig, which can be found commonly in weights of 1/4 oz. to 3/4 oz., as well as weights slightly above or below those listed above. When you hit upon a large active school, they will hit upon anything with a shiny reflection to it, such as Rapala's, Yozuri Crystal Minnows, etc. They will hit surface lures making a noise, or subsurface. I have even seen them hit Plastic Tube lures in colors imitating small squid. Another rig, that many people use to catch Mackerel with, is very similiar to a Sabiki rig, used to catch baitfish. Many of these are both commercially made or locally made, and are sold in many bait and tackle shops all along the coast. Check with your local tackle store or baitshop for availability, as well as for some of the best advice on what is currently running, and where some of the best locations to catch your quarry are.

When they are schooling they will hit everything and anything that is small enough to fit in their mouths. They tend to usually be hungry, for they need to keep replenishing their energy levels, as they are always on the move, for they are a main course for many other predatory fish, such as Stripers, Bluefish, Atlantic Bonito, Bluefin Tuna, Bigeye Tuna, or any predator fish bigger than they are.

The only tackle needed to catch them is a 6 1/2' medium action rod, with a Spinning Reel, capable of holding at least 140 yards of line, in strengths rated from 4 lb. test or higher. I tend to use 10 lb. test myself, to catch these little speedsters, as it allows me to put the brakes on them quickly, in order to get them into the cooler and get on to the next one before the school moves off. They can be caught from shore, from jetty's, piers, docks, or boats. They are a great fish to share catching with your kids, for when you get into a school the action is fast and furious. As with any type of fishing though, there can be those times when nothing seems to want to bite.

Up here in Maine, I tend to fish for them, for the most part, from docks, piers, shore, jetty's, etc., along the coast, as I do not presently own a boat of my own. They start hitting the Maine Coast near the end of May and the beginning of June, depending upon the water temperatures and the abundance of food on their migration North, for the Summer, hanging around until mid to late September. When the Mackerel start arriving, you know that Summer is upon us up here in Maine, and that the Stripers, on their Northward migration, will be right behind them looking for a meal, as well as the ever hungry Bluefish.

They have great speed for their size, and also put up a decent fight on a rod and reel. They can be anywhere from 10" inches to up to 18" inches or a little greater, and weighing up to 2 lbs. or so, with the average being a little over 1 lb. They are an oily fish, on the basis of Sardines, but are quite tasty roasted or grilled, and are a great source of protein and those ever important Omega3 oils, that doctors say are important for good health.

So, if you are in the mood for some fun action, and as a change in pace for your other fishing adventures, take some time to try out the Atlantic Mackerel. And when you do, take along an extra rod and reel, spooled with heavier line, such as 20 lb. test, just in case you run into Stripers and Bluefish or other predators, looking to enjoy what you may be catching too!