15 Tips for catching Mackerel in (2020)

The volume of questions I get on the blog regarding Mackerel fishing on Anglesey seems to suggest there is a increasing number of people coming into the sport to learn. There also seems an increasing need for eduction both in a tactical way and in an environmental one. Mackerel fishing is actually the easiest fishing of all, you just need to get a few basics right to start with to get you on your way, the its off to the races.

First lets get you up and running and give you some pointers on how to improve you chances of catching your season mackerel. Lets get into it….

So I’ve put together 15 top tips that will improve your chances of catching mackerel on Anglesey dramatically, listen and learn and take action accordingly.

1.Preparation get your kit organised, tides and ready to go. Sounds simple right ? Yet its one of the most basic and imprints steps in any form of fishing. Tidy organised kit will sever you well when things get busy and haste creeps in.

A small bag of organised kit is best suited to this style of fishing.

2. Deep water and rock marks always produce the most catches. Piers also do rather well. you will not catch mackerel from beaches (99% of the time)

Deep water at close reach…always wins for mackerel fishing on Anglesey.

3.Choose your locations carefully, each wasted fishing effort dent confidence in the new angler so its important you do your homework on where to fish and when to fish. Pick big tides, pick the right time of tide, and pick your location well. Its worth doing some chatting and leg work before you set out on your trips.

4. Opt for light tackle. How many young Anglers break their backs using heavy long distance casting rods for simple Mackerel fishing ? Whats the point? Use a light comfortable rod that you can fish without back pain for 2 hours.. It will pay dividends in your calmness whilst fishing.

Light tackle is fun and easy to use.. plus its light to carry to and from your marks.

5. Take extra tackle – This means extra 1,2,3,4 oz weights and a good choice of feathers and traces for mackerel. If tackle losses are heavy, you have plenty of kit left which keeps morale up. there is nothing worse than running out of tackle after a carefully planned trip.

Reserve back up traces.

6. Choose your TIDES and your TIMES of fishing carefully. This one will net you 80% better results alone. I catch 80% of my fish at certain states of the tides in different locations.. Find out what times you catch on and then make a note of it. Fish those locations at those parts of the tides in future for optimum results.

Screen Shot 2020-07-26 at 12.07.50
Tide are important find the best one for your spot. Use Tides for fishing.

7. New season new braid. Change your braid line ever two seasons, it is the one things that keeps you and your catch connected. Look after it and it will look after you. I have juts replaced mine this morning. I don’t use mono on my fixed spools anymore, braid isa thousand times better on bite detection, friction and abrasion resistance.


8. Choose feathers over plastics. When wet white feathers have the best imitation to anything that remotely looks like a bait fish… Why do you think fly fishermen for 500 years have used feathers to tie flies?


9. Keep your used mackerel traces on corks – this keeps things tidy and organised, the tackle gets messy, you won’t be in the mood to untangle it when the heat is on. A place for everything and everything in its place.

Tidiness is important. Corks provide a good quick way of storing older traces.

10. Keep a separate set of launce and herring feathers in case other fish arrive in whilst your fishing also. These bait fish are also amazing to catch for both food and bait.  if mackerel are scarce, switch tactics.

Sabiki small hook lures for Herring and Mackerel .

11. Fish at Obscure hours the the season gets busy. You will never see me out fishing as I’m always there before or after you.. The reason, I get to choose where I fish before masses arrive. I get the best spots, I get the best fish. Hint hint.

The chances are if I’m out fishing you won’t be…

12. Try fish different depths of the water column (Top, Mid and Bottom) Mackerel move  around a lot and never stay put. Don’t be the lazy angler that casts into the same spot over and over two hours doing the same thing..

13. The right rod for the job– My savage Bushwhacker is not designed as a mackerel  fishing rod at all, but it is now and old boy (semi retired form its lure fishing) and it handles the job beautifully. I only have 3 hooks & feathers on any trace, that I use on this rod, I don’t want to overload it. It’s light it casts a 2oz perfect and its amazing on the retrieve.

Savage bushwhacker spinning rod I use for my trips sometimes.

14. Service your reels, give them some love before the season starts. mackerel fishing more than any other style of fishing is so relentless on tackle. the reel is at the but end of the equation (excuse the pun) but it cops most of the stick. Oil it, service it and treat it like a good friend, it will look after you though think and thin then.

A happy healthy fishing reel. Abu Soron.

15. Local knowledge. Find where the Mackerel are shoaling and when. Be friend a local fisherman who knows his way around the island (apart from me)- ask questions and learn the tricks and the ways of our island. There is much to uncover.

Side notes on the environmental side of things 

The more anglers that fish the more rubbish I find on the places I visit which Is heart breaking for me. It makes me question both my role as an educator in the space and the ethics of the modern angler. If you read theses fishing blogs then take it upon yourself to educate the lower masses and young to take home their litter, discarded line, hooks and tackle and to fish responsibly and ethically not taking bags of 50-100 mackerel at any time. Its something I’m constantly working towards but I can’t do it alone. Its up to all of us to keep this wonderful coastline clean and tidy and remember its natures land, we just are here for a short visit.. Take na extra bag for rubbish and take the junk home with you, when you do this others will see your example and copy it. Lions Lead. Sheep follow.

Bag sizes and treatment of fish 

Ok lastly you don’t need more than 20 odd fish so don’t haul in 50 -100 fish, its senseless and its unsustainable. Our fish stocks are finite resources and need managing ethically and stability if we want the next 10 generations to be able to eat on this planet. take Eno more Ethan you can eat and provide for the neighbours.

Mackerel catch reports July 2020

I’ve been getting as many as I need one the past few sessions. The mackerel have been in a while on Holy Island, Rhosneiger, Penmon, Moyelfre from my sources. Warmer calmer weather is providing better catches by all accounts. low waters seem to working best on the afternoon tides.

A well deserved cook off from one of my clients (Lawrence) days out.

Front cover image by : @our_sunrise_life  {Thanks Becky!}

Fishing books i’ve been looking at ..

Here is a list of some fishing books to look at too, i’ve been searching the past days to get me in the Sumer fishing mood.





Tackle shops  – Beaumaris, ABC  

Tackle shops  –Holyhead – Winnies worms 

Tackle shops  – Amlwch, Telboys Tackle

Tackle shops  – Menai Bridge The tackle warehouse – google – no link!

Tackle shops  – Menai kayak angling 

My other blogs on Mackerel Fishing on Anglesey 

My other blogs Pollack Fishing 

My other blogs on Bass Fishing 

My other blogs on Float Fishing 

My other blogs on Bass fishing on Anglesey 

My other blogs on Top Tips for Bass fishing 

Tight lines!

Also, if your wanting to sharpen you skills in the sport, I do run one on one bass fishing lessons. If you feel you would benefit from some tuition and coaching, click here or click the image and drop me a line.

fishing lessson on Anglesey

Tan Y Tro Nesaf  / Until the next time,


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