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Throwing mackerel back

Discussion in 'Sea Fishing Forum - Shore, Boat & Kayak Fishing' started by Haka007, Jul 15, 2012.

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  1. Haka007

    Haka007 Whitby Fishing Forum _ Better Than All The Rest!

    So when catching mackerel, and u pull in a small sized one does it kill the fish to throw it back in? there are so many different views of this down at the pier...
     
  2. deano72

    deano72 Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    they say they die if u touch them,but like u say there is so many stories about this
     
  3. Sambo

    Sambo To the MAX!

    Something to do with the chemicals from our skin doesn't agree with Mackerel and they die within a day or two. Either use forceps or perhaps a wet towel when handling them.
     
  4. Haka007

    Haka007 Whitby Fishing Forum _ Better Than All The Rest!

    Well there was a bloke today sayin to ppl the fish die when threw back in, when i looked i saw his oversized bucket and it was brimming, must of been aleast a hundred fish in there, as he was just chucking every catch in there without killing them. Dont know how he was going to carry it back!
     
  5. bazofboro

    bazofboro Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    Where was he catching at?
     
  6. Supersonic

    Supersonic Whitby Bass Club

    Yes it will kill them. Grab the hook and shake it to free them. Using a towel or your hands will damage their skin as it's very sensitive and they'll only live a couple of days max.

    I can't understand why people would want to take an enormous bucket of Mackerel. They're rubbish for bait after being frozen and are best eaten fresh.
     
  7. rupert

    rupert Blenny

    A mackerel that is touched with bare hands will not last long - hours, not days.

    Handled with a sopping wet cold towel, they do seem to survive capture. The towel has to be really cold though, from a bucket of fresh seawater, or dipped in the sea immediately before unhooking.

    I know this because when I use them as livebaits, if I don't use a cold wet towel, they don't last long at all. Handled like this however, they're still very wick at the end of the day.

    The other thing I'd say is bleeding mackerel don't generally survive, even if you use a wet towel.
     
  8. WetLine

    WetLine Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    In my experience mackerel do survive fine provided they are not deeply hooked.

    When catching loads I use rockpools to keep them alive for hours keeping the biggest and returning the rest.
    They seem to survive ok and swim away strongly when released.
    The key seems to be that the rockpool must be large enough for the water temperature not to vary while they are in the pool & for them to swim.

    As with all fish unhook them quickly (slightly flattening the barbs on some of the trebles makes this easier).
    If you are catching a lot your hands will be slightly damp anyway.

    I find it hard to believe that mackerel skin is different from other fish that are returned and caught again (as proved by tagging).
     
  9. peter catchpole

    peter catchpole Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    as stated above ,i use mackeral livebaiting for bass ,every hour or so ,or if i get a joey sizes 1 ,i replace them & they all shoot off strongly , how long they survive after that i wouldnt like to say ,
     
  10. rupert

    rupert Blenny

    When they are swimming in a livewell tank on a boat, you can clearly see where your fingers have gripped the mackerel. Ones like this never seemed to last long - that's why the wet towel came out for me.
     
  11. bucko

    bucko New Member

    I remember reading somewhere its due to their skin being incredibly specialised and playing a large part in the fish's osmoregulation process.
     
  12. Supersonic

    Supersonic Whitby Bass Club

    Yeah that's right Bucko
     
  13. jc

    jc Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    well im nacked now as ive always killed the ones i want and released the others
    as with any other fish did not know they would die
    feel guilty now
    but have learnt from your post
     
  14. WetLine

    WetLine Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    Mackerel do survive being caught, the research has already been done.......

    Found this research on the DRFRA website in a report on Mackerel fish stocks (page 7).
    "Scientists tagged and released thousands of fish in 1969 caught on rod & line which were subsequently recaptured by the commercial fleet".

    Source: http://www.cefas.defra.gov.uk/publications/lableaflets/lableaflet44.pdf

    That seems to prove it.
     
  15. Sambo

    Sambo To the MAX!

    Not sure why you find it hard to believe a Mackerel skin is different from any other fish, not all fish are the same! :confused:

    Perhaps this might help, from CEFAS again http://www.sacn.org.uk/Articles/Releasing_Mackerel.html

    If anyone still isn't sure if they survive or not then don't handle any Mackerel you intend to put back, simples.
     
  16. rupert

    rupert Blenny

    Thats an interesting report, I'll study in more detail. Thanks for posting it!

    I'm no scientist, but in my experience, mackerel gripped tightly in a hot dry tight hand do seem to have a tendancy to perish. They're wriggly critters to unhook, and it's inevitable that they end up gripped pretty firmly, just to unhook them. After a short time when swimming in a tank, you can definately see what almost look like burn marks on them where your hand and fingers have been.

    However handled with a cold wet towel, I have had mackerel survive all day on the end of a bridle rig, they've retained all their natural colour and they've swum off strongly when released. So I wasn't saying that they didn't survive release, only that it my experience, a cold wet towel was required.

    I guess if the scientists were handling thousands, they would certailnly have had cold wet hands, which I'm pretty sure would have helped survival. They may even have worn cotton or rubber gloves, or something like that which would be a bit like a wet towel.
     
  17. rupert

    rupert Blenny

    Well done Sam. That's the scientists answer.

    Should have read this before pressing the post button I guess!!
     
  18. WetLine

    WetLine Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    Thank you, Yakkin Sam.
    I'll flatten the barbs on a few of my spinners & dig out my Pike artery forceps so I don't have to handle them.

    Always learning....
     
  19. Haka007

    Haka007 Whitby Fishing Forum _ Better Than All The Rest!

    Thanks for all replies, hopefully people who have read this post will take note and change their ways, i certainly will.
    Thanks again!
     
  20. Easy Yakker

    Easy Yakker simply messing about in boats

    Not sure why you find it hard to believe a Mackerel skin is different from any other fish, not all fish are the same!

    "Perhaps this might help, from CEFAS again http://www.sacn.org.uk/Articles/Releasing_Mackerel.html

    If anyone still isn't sure if they survive or not then don't handle any Mackerel you intend to put back, simples."



    Some of those reports are quite depressing. It seems if you keep mackerel in a purse seine at high densities before releasing them, they quickly die on release. In one experiment they kept 71,300 mackerel, with an average length of 35 cm, at typical purse seine densities for just 15 minutes. There was 100% mortality within 3 days of release. I wonder how long it takes all the north east shore and kayak anglers to catch 71,300 mackerel?
     

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