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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was introduced to mackerel fishing this past spring and I am hooked. I understand theres a winter run. Does anyone have any info regarding this. eg. when the run starts, how long, which party boats target 'em, suggested rigs / tricks, any info would be much appreciated.
thanks in advance.
 

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You get some big Bostons in the winter.

Some boats make mac, whiting and ling trips. Other times if you're going out for blackfish or cod bring some mackerel trees and 4-6 oz. diamond jigs just incase. If you're on a private boat you can also jig for macs to keep warm while dead sticking for cod. If you work the tree near the bottom don't be surprised if a cod jumps on the jig too! :)

Jaiem
ArtsNFlies.com
 

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Boats will sail for Macks from Sheepshead Bay, Freeport & Point Lookout. Capt. Scott on the Capt Lou VII says he expects to start in January. They had a few macks mixed in with the herring just outside the inlet at Montauk this week. It will take a few degrees of water temp drop to move them down here.
Use a 3 or 4 ounce diamond jig with a treble hook. Above that you dropper loop a couple of little tubes. Yellow and red color usually the best.
Flip the rig away from the boat about fifty feet, let it settle a little and jig. When it gets under the boat repeat.
Keep changing your depth until you hit fish. When that happens, hold the line to the side of the spool with your thumb and take in six cranks. That marks the depth that the fish are holding at & you just go back to that same depth every time.

Bill Sullivan
Jones/Debs editor
Nor'east Saltwater
 

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fishinfiend,

A really helpful trick is to use some left over fluke bait (spearing, sandeels, etc) chop them up and toss them over a few at a time as chum. Mackeral are like baby tuna and to keep them by your hooks you need to keep them chumed up. I use a meat grinder and toss in herring or even a few mackeral from the previous trip. I freeze it in a plastic container then slip it into a lobster bait bag tied to the rail when fishing. This would really give you the edge (and those next to you) on a party boat. You can even slice up a few macks into small strips and toss the strips over.

When you buy the sabiki rigs, look for the ones built with 20lb test hook lines and 30 lbs test main line. I found that the lighter lines don't stand up well to the sandpaper teeth of the macks and you 6 hook righ quickly becomes a 1 or no hook rig.

Remember to take only what you will use. It is easy to get carried away filling the coolers.

Capt. Marc
 
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