Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mackerel Imitators Scoring Big

The Daiwa SP Minnow in a blue
or green mackerel color is a hot plug
when mackerel come around.
If you fish anywhere from the Cape northward you know the importance of mackerel.  It is THE bait that lures some of the largest stripers found along such places as the Cape Cod Canal, Boston Harbor and the north shore of Boston.  These are all striper hotspots and when the mackerel are around, all hell breaks loose.
I was down the Canal three days this week and two of those days were lights out as far as fishing was concerned.  In both instances I saw large keeper stripers in a frenzy chasing big schools of mackerel that measured six to ten inches long. On the other day, I saw no mackerel, and there were no fish around to speak of.
Jon Pickering holds a good size striper that was caught
this week on a blue mackerel colored Daiwa SP Minnow.
When mackerel are around, plugs that imitate them will score most of the fish.You see a lot of guys at the Canal casting large mackerel colored pencil poppers.  That seems to score when the fish are way out busting on the surface.  My sons and I used Daiwa SP Minnows this week in a blue or green mackerel color to score most of our fish. Of course, when you have huge fish breaking within twenty yards of shore the SP Minnow will get you right into them. I also saw a lot of guys scoring on Sebille Magic Swimmers in a mackerel or white color.  When little is showing the Canal sharpies will often turn to jigging along the bottom with Savage Sandeel jigs in some sort of mackerel color.
And, finally, there's the real thing.  I've seen a lot of guys snagging mackerel, jigging them up or just picking them up frenzied macks driven up on the shore by stripers.  Some of these sharpies will hook them up and fish the real thing.  I've seen some big fish taken this way also.
So, if you head up to waters north of RI, make sure to stock some mackerel imitators. Those will be the prime plugs to score some big stripers if this most sought after bait comes ashore.