How to catch lots of mackerel on piers

Derrick.Van

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Mar 26, 2019
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Derrick Van
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Don't got one
How do you catch a ton of mackerel on piers? I catch on average 40 mackerel on a single day but I wonder how people get a mackerel on every single hook they have. I use a green or red sabiki size 4 hooks with 6 hooks on each rig. I buy my sabiki because I don't know how to make my own.

Right now the bonito bite is hot on the piers, how do you get those? I saw someone using a feather and a plastic ball but I dunno how to get the plastic ball or what feathers to use. I also see them get them on sabikis but its normally the people who make their own. Are store bought sabikis bad? My sabikis have feathers on them and they have the plastic stuff. I use the ocean cat brand.

Last question. How do you cast far off the pier? I get like 50 yards off the pier but I see people double my distance. I know partly why because I use a 7 foot rod but there has to be a technique I'm not doing. I use a 4 oz weight when casting
 

mackereljoe

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 1, 2007
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Long Beach
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Joey
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That’s a lot of mackerel. I prefer a 10’ rod with medium size spinner. Normally my reel if full of #30-40 braid and #30-40 15-20’ leader. If you want to catch Bonita, use mega bait type jig for sinker. I use 60-100 gram colt sniper (white or Brown Aji) as sinker and use larger 1 sabiki or feather in yellow. That’s it. Scan the pier in the morning and look a person peddling hand made sabiki, it’s normally better than store bought. You can easily make it your self.
You need longer rod to fling a 5-7’ string of Sabiki but 50 yards is pretty far already could be a record. Just kidding.
 
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Derrick.Van

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Mar 26, 2019
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Derrick Van
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That’s a lot of mackerel. I prefer a 10’ rod with medium size spinner. Normally my reel if full of #30-40 braid and #30-40 15-20’ leader. If you want to catch Bonita, use mega bait type jig for sinker. I use 60-100 gram colt sniper (white or Brown Aji) as sinker and use larger 1 sabiki or feather in yellow. That’s it. Scan the pier in the morning and look a person peddling hand made sabiki, it’s normally better than store bought. You can easily make it your self.
You need longer rod to fling a 5-7’ string of Sabiki but 50 yards is pretty far already could be a record. Just kidding.
Maybe wasn't 50 yards then but I see guys cast double as far as me on a 10ft rod, my local tackle shops don't sell long rods (I want to support local tackle shops as opposed to Amazon). I see guys load up on sabiki. 40 mackerel is a lot and I don't want more than 40, I just want to be able to load up all my hooks with mackerel for a fun retrieve. Wouldn't a mega bait jig be a little big for pier bones? And I have used a colt sniper on a pier but it just got chipped and bent from landing on the structure on the bottom, I don't want to mess up one of my bonito jigs

Is there any tutorial on sabiki making. Tying the knots and making the actual sabiki feathers
 

swami 805

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Mar 9, 2016
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Try a small kastmaster for a weight, they're cheap for knockoffs online. Get a long salmon/steelhead rod and spinning reel. It's a whippy rod that casts light stuff far
 

AWilliams

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May 18, 2009
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Why in the hell do you want over 40 macs? Sounds like over harvesting if you're keeping them.
 

dh515

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Sep 18, 2004
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When I was a kid, I used to use a 3” foam rubber ball for Bonito on the pier. Take a straight piece of coat hanger, shove it through the ball and bend loops to tie on your line and a 3’ leader to a Bonito feather. The floating ball splashing and bouncing on retrieve was money for boneheads and has enough weight to cast well. A spinner would be best.
 

skrilla

allirks
May 26, 2006
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San Diego
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Len
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plastic fantastic
Time on the water.

Wear camo gortex and boonie hat

When you hook one retrieve it slow so it attracts others. Once the sabiki is loaded reel it up, unhook the macks, and if your sabiki isn't a giant birdsnest repeat until it becomes a giant birdsnest, then throw it into the trash then later watch the can collectors miraculously not get hooked while fishing out that cigarette butt filled budweiser can from the bottom.
 

Xue

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Jan 3, 2015
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I've put in long hours, days and years for a long time on piers.

You don't need to get a fish on every hook or catch fish on most casts. You just need to be consistent. If the fish are there they will bite. If you are in the right spot they will bite; 20 feet left or right and they won't be there. One side of the pier may have fish and the other may not. Move to different areas to look for them. If you stay in one spot they may not come. If you find them stay in that spot for a bit before giving up. That's just how they are.

I don't know why, but it could be the temperature just like how we look for tuna. There could be a warm current they are following or something like that.

The bubble you can find in stock at walmart, big 5 or most sporting goods stores that sell fishing stuff. It's a clear casting bubble that you fill with water. The feathers are hard to find in stores now but you can get them online. Search "bonito feathers" and they should come up. It's rigged like a carolina rig with the bubble (small being the weight and the feather as the hook.

The reason you can't cast far is because you are using too big of a setup. A 7' freshwater combo will cast as far as you need and outcast most. The small bonito currently biting can be caught on 10 lb line so there is no need to go big. Don't think you need heavy line and rod just because it's the ocean.
 

Derrick.Van

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Mar 26, 2019
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Derrick Van
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Don't got one
Why in the hell do you want over 40 macs? Sounds like over harvesting if you're keeping them.
I meant loading up my hooks with them since I see people catching one on every hook. And I don't keep all my macks some go back (small baby guys) and some go to my buds who fish with me. The mackerel on the pier I fish on are the smaller grade so you need to eat a few for an actual meal
 

Derrick.Van

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Mar 26, 2019
50
12
Los Angeles
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Derrick Van
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Don't got one
When I was a kid, I used to use a 3” foam rubber ball for Bonito on the pier. Take a straight piece of coat hanger, shove it through the ball and bend loops to tie on your line and a 3’ leader to a Bonito feather. The floating ball splashing and bouncing on retrieve was money for boneheads and has enough weight to cast well. A spinner would be best.
What size hook do I use for the bonito feather. I have a rockfish feather that looks like it could work for bonito but the hook is a 5/0.
Time on the water.

Wear camo gortex and boonie hat

When you hook one retrieve it slow so it attracts others. Once the sabiki is loaded reel it up, unhook the macks, and if your sabiki isn't a giant birdsnest repeat until it becomes a giant birdsnest, then throw it into the trash then later watch the can collectors miraculously not get hooked while fishing out that cigarette butt filled budweiser can from the bottom.
"When you hook one retrieve it slow so it attracts others." That was the answer I was trying to fins lol. I fish the pier almost every week for basically the whole day and when I reel in 1 fish this guy next to me reels in 10 lol. Im not looking to empty the ocean and I eat every single fish I catch with no waste (none becoming cat food or fertilizer) I just want to make it a little for fun for the 10 hours I'm out
I've put in long hours, days and years for a long time on piers.

You don't need to get a fish on every hook or catch fish on most casts. You just need to be consistent. If the fish are there they will bite. If you are in the right spot they will bite; 20 feet left or right and they won't be there. One side of the pier may have fish and the other may not. Move to different areas to look for them. If you stay in one spot they may not come. If you find them stay in that spot for a bit before giving up. That's just how they are.

I don't know why, but it could be the temperature just like how we look for tuna. There could be a warm current they are following or something like that.

The bubble you can find in stock at walmart, big 5 or most sporting goods stores that sell fishing stuff. It's a clear casting bubble that you fill with water. The feathers are hard to find in stores now but you can get them online. Search "bonito feathers" and they should come up. It's rigged like a carolina rig with the bubble (small being the weight and the feather as the hook.

The reason you can't cast far is because you are using too big of a setup. A 7' freshwater combo will cast as far as you need and outcast most. The small bonito currently biting can be caught on 10 lb line so there is no need to go big. Don't think you need heavy line and rod just because it's the ocean.
I am pretty consistent on the pier and catching fish isn't the problem, I do move around when I'm on the pier and when I go out I go for 6 hours or more at a time. The bubble, now that's what I am interested in, I saw a couple of guys fish it and they reeled in some nice bonito on it so I wanted to try it out.

What size hook would I use for the bonito feathers? I have a rockfish feather that looks like it can work but the hook is a 5/0

I am using my boat spinner setup that doesn't have any whip to it, it is a pretty stiff rod and I know its that, but I'm just wondering if I can get 10 or 20 feet more just so I get a better chance at casting right into a hungry school.
 

Xue

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Jan 3, 2015
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It looks fun to hook one and let it swim or reel slow to try to catch more, but that is totally mental and nothing to do with catching more fish.

I can hook one or two and be back in the water to catch more before they get their 5 up to the bucket, unhooked, untangled and back to fish again. Eventually you'll outfish those guys if the fish are there to catch.

If you want to catch more per cast, put a little piece of cut mackerel or squid on the hooks and use a lighter weight so the jigs are in the water falling slower. There are a few ways to rig your jig to maximize your catch.

I do see your weight as a big season why the guy next to you is hooking multiple fish and you only one. Your weight is too heavy and your jigs are too deep. On a pier if you are using 4oz it's to the bottom in probably 6-7 seconds at the deep end and you're likely jigging close to the bottom where the fish are not. I've always used 3/4 to 1 oz.

The combination of your heavy rod and weight isn't ideal for mackerel fishing. Your jig sink too fast. The 3/4 and 1 oz keeps your jigs close to the top while your jigging. You can control the dept better with lighter weight.

Any of the pre-rigged rockfish feathers will work. Try white first. It just has to be a feather swimming on top of the water. Hook size to match the feather size so any pre-rigged feather will be OK.

But you need a lighter setup. If your combo can handle 4oz then it's too heavy. The 7ft isn't the problem.
 

Derrick.Van

Well-Known "Member"
Mar 26, 2019
50
12
Los Angeles
Name
Derrick Van
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Don't got one
It looks fun to hook one and let it swim or reel slow to try to catch more, but that is totally mental and nothing to do with catching more fish.

I can hook one or two and be back in the water to catch more before they get their 5 up to the bucket, unhooked, untangled and back to fish again. Eventually you'll outfish those guys if the fish are there to catch.

If you want to catch more per cast, put a little piece of cut mackerel or squid on the hooks and use a lighter weight so the jigs are in the water falling slower. There are a few ways to rig your jig to maximize your catch.

I do see your weight as a big season why the guy next to you is hooking multiple fish and you only one. Your weight is too heavy and your jigs are too deep. On a pier if you are using 4oz it's to the bottom in probably 6-7 seconds at the deep end and you're likely jigging close to the bottom where the fish are not. I've always used 3/4 to 1 oz.

The combination of your heavy rod and weight isn't ideal for mackerel fishing. Your jig sink too fast. The 3/4 and 1 oz keeps your jigs close to the top while your jigging. You can control the dept better with lighter weight.

Any of the pre-rigged rockfish feathers will work. Try white first. It just has to be a feather swimming on top of the water. Hook size to match the feather size so any pre-rigged feather will be OK.

But you need a lighter setup. If your combo can handle 4oz then it's too heavy. The 7ft isn't the problem.
Huh I always thought that I could chuck a 4 oz farther. I'll go down to 2 oz again. Im experimenting something and rigging 2 rockfish feathers on my sabiki, feathers top and bottom 4 size 4 sabiki in the middle, 6 hooks total, I wonder if that's gonna work. Sometimes the mackerel bite near the bottom, I always get bit on the sink so maybe the lighter weight is gonna work towards my favor, ill see next time I go out.

I didn't buy my setup for mackerel fishing I bought it to throw jigs on boats back when I couldn't cast a conventional so now I have this setup I can't use so I decided might as well fish mackerel on it. I know I need a new setup and everything I was just trying to get this to work better because I am catching fish its not like I'm skunking.

I'll try different things next time I'm out, thanks for your tips I want to just change around my tactics
 

Xue

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Jan 3, 2015
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Huh I always thought that I could chuck a 4 oz farther. I'll go down to 2 oz again. Im experimenting something and rigging 2 rockfish feathers on my sabiki, feathers top and bottom 4 size 4 sabiki in the middle, 6 hooks total, I wonder if that's gonna work. Sometimes the mackerel bite near the bottom, I always get bit on the sink so maybe the lighter weight is gonna work towards my favor, ill see next time I go out.

I didn't buy my setup for mackerel fishing I bought it to throw jigs on boats back when I couldn't cast a conventional so now I have this setup I can't use so I decided might as well fish mackerel on it. I know I need a new setup and everything I was just trying to get this to work better because I am catching fish its not like I'm skunking.

I'll try different things next time I'm out, thanks for your tips I want to just change around my tactics
It's not just the weight. It's the balance of all those things. For example I can cast a 1oz further on a freshwater setup than you can on your heavy setup with 4oz. For your setup the 4oz will likely outcast the 2oz but it's not for sibiki fishing so whether 2oz or 4oz it'll still sink faster than you'd want.

The sibiki rig doesn't need any alterations. It's proven to catch all those baitfish if you put it in their zone.
 

Derrick.Van

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Mar 26, 2019
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12
Los Angeles
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Derrick Van
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Don't got one
It's not just the weight. It's the balance of all those things. For example I can cast a 1oz further on a freshwater setup than you can on your heavy setup with 4oz. For your setup the 4oz will likely outcast the 2oz but it's not for sibiki fishing so whether 2oz or 4oz it'll still sink faster than you'd want.

The sibiki rig doesn't need any alterations. It's proven to catch all those baitfish if you put it in their zone.
I changed up my sabiki to target bonito as well. I will invest in a longer more sensitive so I can cast a 2 oz farther. In the meantime, I'm gonna try to make my setup work. Definitely will invest in a pier rod in the future though
 

monster1

Typical Striper owner
May 30, 2006
884
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Monster
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Yep
Why in the hell do you want over 40 macs? Sounds like over harvesting if you're keeping them.

Because he can? There are no limits on mackerel and they are hardly threatened. I've chopped more than 40 macs in a day for chum. If he wants 40 mackerel, I hope he catches 50.
 
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AWilliams

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May 18, 2009
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Because he can? There are no limits on mackerel and they are hardly threatened. I've chopped more than 40 macs in a day for chum. If he wants 40 mackerel, I hope he catches 50.
Just because you CAN..doesn't mean you should. It's called conservation.
 
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Xue

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Jan 3, 2015
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There's NOTHING a pierfisherman can do with a sibiki that a bait barge can't do 100X over. The guy with a cooler full of macs isn't the one you'd have to worry about if you wanna conserve.

The whole pier catching macs on the day may not even equal one day boat. One scoop is more than 50 macs.
 

Fishhunter3403

Tug junkie
Jan 9, 2018
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Anthony
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1/4 oz blue/chrome or green/chrome kastmaster on 6lb test spinning setup cast it out let it sink in freespool all the way down. if you don’t get bit on the fall wind it back at a medium/fast retrieve. Also 1/2 oz pline laser minnows of about any color fished on a medium power bass rod the exact same way. If they’re not biting that then use 4 to 6 lb test line on a long whippy trout rod with one of the bright red or yellow foam snap on floats with a 3-6 foot leader depending on conditions, medium size split shot above a size 6 or 4 mosquito hook baited with a strip of mackerel or squid. Lob it out there a ways and throw a few pieces of bait out for chum. Wind like hell once you see that float shoot under the water. Lastly a 1/4 oz kastmaster with the treble removed and replaced with a 1/0 single hook, tipped with a 1.5” strip of mackerel or squid. Drop it all the way to the bottom reel it up 2-5 cranks and let it soak there. All of these methods should be extremely effective. Here is the proof:
 

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