Roker Pier is situated on the coast of the beautiful city of Sunderland and is a brilliant venue which can offer outstanding fishing for anglers throughout the year. At the beginning of the year rumors started among anglers that the pier would be closed to carry out construction work in the summer of 2015. Thankfully the pier remains open with the round head of the pier being fenced off which I believe would have been great delight to many of angler still allowing them to fish.
In this the first of my articles for Fishing Tails, we will look at the Mackerel fishing from the pier. Mackerel are a favourite among many anglers, from novices to the most experienced. Mackerel are seasonal fish and usually arrive in our waters between late spring and early autumn. You can easily find them around piers, harbours and jetties that provide easy access to deep water and tidal runs that mackerel favour. There are various methods used to catch them from our shores. Personally I like to either float fish or use a lure to catch them. In this article the guys were using the easiest of tactics to target them. The idea is to fill there freezers for the winter as we use a lot to target big Cod come the season.
Mackerel move into our waters come summer time chasing and feeding on huge shoals of bait fish (sprat). The tactics used when targeting Mackerel resemble those bait fish.
Using spinners to catch mackerel can be done with a bass rod (typically 11ft long and rated to cast 2-4oz) or even a dedicated spinning rod (7-8ft and rated to cast 10-40g). This method involves simply casting out and retrieving the spinner, either with a steady retrieve or varying the speed between fast and slow turns on the reel. If mackerel are not being caught then try varying the depth of the spinner by letting it sink deeper into the water or reeling in very slowly.
Ryan Taylor with a lure (spinner) caught Mackerel (1lb 11oz)
Feathers or Daylights are generally used with a full-sized 12-13ft beachcaster which is rated to cast weights of 4-8oz. A string of five or six daylights is cast out as far as the angler can and then drawn through the sea, usually with the angler sweeping the rod backwards and then reeling in the slack line. If Mackerel are not being caught it is a good idea to vary the depth that the feathers are being fished at – reeling in slower will see the feathers pulled deeper through the water, as will allowing the weight to sink further before retrieving. Using a beachcaster and daylights or feathers is a very effective way to catch mackerel, and if a shoal is cast into it is possible to catch a mackerel on every lure. However, there is little sport in this method. Save fishing with heavy gear for bagging up on mackerel as bait quickly, and use one of the more sporting methods to catch mackerel if you are fishing for them as sport.
• Top tip. When you feel a fish take one of your feathers stop reeling for a few seconds. This will allow the hooked fish to swim back into its shoal. You will now feel other fish taking the rest of the lures. Continue to reel in and hopefully you should have what we call a “Full House” meaning all feathers should have a fish attached.
I was only down a matter of an hour or so over low water (0.90M) and saw many of fish caught. This young lad in the picture seemed somewhat struggling to bring in his catch but his Father was on close call to lend the lad a hand.
I would recommend my local tackle dealer to anyone wanting to buy products to try and target these fish. Andy is a true gentleman and has some amazing offers in store. You can find him located at : Rutherford’s Angling Ltd, 125 Roker Ave, Sunderland, tel: 0191 565 4183. Opening times: 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday (closed Wednesday), 9am to 1pm Sunday. Bait: Fresh and frozen.
Feature by Anth Constable