Catching Mackerel with a Sabiki Rod

By Captain Ryan Collins

Historically speaking, tracking down and hooking mackerel during May on Cape Cod is about as straightforward as it gets. Nevertheless, there are always times when the mackerel will prove hard to find. On these fishing trips it can make a huge difference to strategically use sonar, and cover a lot of water, until the macks are found.

Homemade sabiki rods make mackerel fishing much simpler. Sabiki rods reduce sabiki rig tangles and enable the sabiki rig to be stored and used several times.

To make your own sabiki rod, simply attach an old fishing reel to a five foot long, half inch wide PVC pipe. Drill a hole in the PVC a foot above the fishing reel and run the fishing line through the pipe. Tie the end of the line to a sabiki rig, connect a weight and reel the entire sabiki rig into the PVC.

Upon locating mackerel, release the sabiki rig from the sabiki rod and allow the rig to tumble to the depth where macks have been seen on the sonar. A slow jigging technique usually works nicely, however it can make sense to experiment with depth and jigging motion.

Unfortunatley, mackerel often move quickly. This means that you will have to move as well if you hope to stay with the fish. Cruising around until you mark mackerel on your sonar is encouraged. Staying mobile can be key.

After you've caught your share, simply reel the sabiki rig back into the PVC pipe. Now you are free to store your homemade sabiki rod, and rig, knowing that it will be tangle free the next time you go fishing. Fish safe and good luck on the water!

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