Striper Fishing

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Striper fishing image

Mackerel Fishing

Mackerel provide a great opportunity for those simply looking to get out on the water to catch some fish for fun or for dinner. While populations of other species have fluctuated dramatically over the last several decades, one species has stayed fairly consistent and as a result gained a faithful following. Mackerel remain one of the most popular and available species in Maine. They are also very social so where they occur, they generally do so in abundance. They have voracious appetites, which makes them easily catchable and they’re delectable table fare. In a way, they represent to salt water anglers what perch and bluegills provide for inland fishermen. There are actually two species of mackerel occurring in our waters. The larger Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber scombrus) generally attains a length of 14-18 inches and weight of 1-2 pounds while the smaller tinker mackerel (Scomber colias) are usually only 8-14 inches.

Fishing Methods
Mackerel can be caught in a variety of ways. The most rudimentary is casting and retrieving a diamond jig. We typically fish by drifting or trolling a Sabiki rig, which consists of several decorated hooks on a single line. Schools can sometimes be held close with the addition of chumming, which may allow you to fill a cooler in short order. And there is no daily limit.

Table Fare
Some consider mackerel a delicacy, while others find it too oily. Like many of the pelagic fish - blues and tuna to name a couple - mackerel does tend to be oily. But proper care and preparation can go along way to improving its palatability. Clean the fish you in-tend to keep as soon as you can (during those lulls between schools), and put them on ice as soon as possible. Cook them just as you would a trout, wrapped in foil and thrown on the grille, or baked in the oven. They also smoke up well and the brine tends to leech some of the oiliness out.