Mackerel Fishing

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Mackerel Fishing

The Main UK Summer Fish Species Is Mackerel.

Mackerel is the main summer species for anglers in the UK.

It has to be one of the most enjoyable species to catch. Warm summer evenings spent on the UK’s piers and beaches can produce decent catches of mackeral for all anglers.

The shoals often arrive in June and stay right through the summer.

Read Forum Posts About Mackerel Fishing Here

mackerel fishing

Tackle For Catching Mackerel

The beauty of mackerel fishing is that the tackle used is both lightweight and cheap.

Less than 15 pounds spent in one of the Whitby tackle shops will see you equipped with a spinning rod, reel and enough spinners or floats to go fishing. Extra spinners usually work out at less than a pound each.

More Macky for local lad Phil Mead at Whitby

Local angler Phil Mead catching 3 mackerel at a time on a hokeye rig

Spinning For Mackerel

There are 3 main ways for catching mackerel from the piers at Whitby. The majority of anglers prefer the easy method of casting a 1 ounce silver spinner into the sea then slowly retrieving it.

The idea with this method is that the spinner imitates the Spratt which is the mackerels main prey. This method of fishing is often referred to as spinning.

Above : Mackerel on a spinner at Whitby

Float Fishing For Mackerel

flaot fishing for mackerel. How to set up a flaot fishing rigSome anglers prefer to float fish for mackerel which I have to admit is quite an art form in itself.

Learning how to set up the float, what depth to fish at and when to strike a bite are just a few of the challenges that lay in front of the float angler.

As a general but unwritten rule on the piers the anglers who choose to spin for mackerel fish from the seaward end of the extensions whilst float anglers tend to favour the end closest to land, I am unsure as to exactly why this is, but tangles are avoided as spinners and floats don’t appear to mix to well.

The picture to your left shows how to set up a sliding cigar float for mackerel fishing. The mackerel fishing float slides up and down the main line. The bait is stopped from going to the bottom by a stop knot tied into the main line.

This sliding stop knot, often made out of an elastic band is also used to govern the depth of water that the bait is presented at.

It is normal to position the knot around 10 foot from the top of the float. This depth is then altered by sliding the knot up or down.

Mackerel are often caught between a depth of 8 foot and 20 foot and anglers using this method will have to experiment to see what depth the mackerel are feeding at on any given day.

float fishing for mackeral fly fishing works too for macky

Above : Local angler Graham Wright float fishing For Mackerel at Whitby west pier.

Using The Cork Or Floating Bead Method For Mackerel Fishing

Another method sometimes used for fishing for mackerel is called corking.

A cork is attached to the snood of a fishing rig which floats a strip of a sand eel or a mackeral away from the bottom again imitating the mackerels pray – A sprat or a sandeal.

The method of corking is rarely if ever used at Whitby and is thought of as a more successful method for catching mackerel at the South Gare in Teesside.

The cork is often substituted for with floating beads which can also be purchased in various fluorescent colours making the bait more visually attractive.

Mackerel Fishing Venues

The main venues for Mackerel fishing at Whitby are the east and west piers. In the interest of public safety Anglers may only fish from the lower decks of the piers and must only fish on the seaward side of the pier to avoid causing problems for the boats that utilise the harbour entrance.

spinning for mackerel Macky bashing with a spinner spinning rod and spinners are the best methods for catching mackerel.

Above : Anglers fishing for mackerel on the west pier at Whitby

Sandsend Beach and car park For Mackerel Fishing.

Other places worth a try for mackerel fishing in the Whitby area include. The South Gare at Redcar, Skinnigrove and Staithes piers, Sandsend beach and car park, Scarborough Marine Drive and Filey Brigg.

The majority of these venues have difficult access and are not suitable for anglers with moderate disabilities. Sandsend car park is about the best venue for disabled anglers. If you are a disabled angler and would like to raise the issue of angling access in the area, then Scarborough council would be your first port of call.

fishing at sandsend car park for macky and bass

Above : Anglers Spinning for mackerel at the slipway in front of Sandsend car park

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By | 2018-03-23T08:49:25+00:00 July 4th, 2013|Featured, Sea Fishing Tips And Advive|3 Comments

About the Author:

Site Administrator Glenn Kilpatrick has a passion for all types of sea angling. Past winner of the Whitby Sea Anglers fishing club on 2 occasions, Glenn now mainly focuses on summer fishing with bass and pollack being his favoured target fish. Glenn now also prefers Kayak Fishing over any other type of Sea Fishing.


  1. glen clark July 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    I am looking to take my son (11 years old) on his first boat trip and thought a short mackerel trip might be best. Can you advise on which boat would be best, what times they go out and how much they cost? Are they catching plenty of mackerel at the moment? I want him to catch to keep him interested.

    Thanks very much


  2. sunny August 22, 2013 at 1:33 am - Reply

    To whom it may concern,

    Good Day to you,i just want to know the postcode of west pier in whitby because i would like to try mackerel fishing this coming weekend. Thank you.


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