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Spotted Mackerel Rig

Spotted Mackerel Rig

Spotted Mackerel Rig.

With the Spotted Mackerel finally showing up off the Gold Coast, I thought I would show you a different way to catch them and how to cover more ground when trying to find them. I am going to explain how to make a Pilchard trolling rig for Mackerel. Before I get started, I will tell you that this rig has been awesome slow trolling around the 1-mile reef SE of the Gold Coast Seaway, it usually catches fish when the guys anchored and floating pillies out are not doing any good and I will explain why.

When you know the Spotted Mackerel are there but are not eating the pilchards being floated out in the burley trails it is usually because the mackerel are feeding on the baitfish just off the bottom and ignoring the baits up high,  I know that this is not making sense at the moment because when you are trolling, the baits are moving along the surface but when slow trolling baits you can stop the boat and let the baits sink into the fish down deep! 

Spotted Mackerel Trolling Tips.

When I get to the trolling grounds I will put out two Pilchard trolling rigs and set them a long way back, say 30 to 40 meters, and when I do this I usually have two slightly different rigs. One will have a small pink jet head and the second will have a small pink squid with a small lead on the hook. The reason I do this is that the jet head is much heavier and will swim a bit deeper than the other rig. Now the main reason this rig works so well is that when you find fish down deep you can stop and let the baits sink into the bait school and then slowly drive off dragging two baits out of the bait school which now become easy targets for the circling mackerel.

The other way I use these rigs is to run three Pilchard rigs and once again I will run a light rig the furthermost out then the heavier jet head rig a little closer and the third I will set 5 meters off the bottom 30 meters behind the downrigger. The bait behind the downrigger will get hit 8 times out of 10 strikes.

How To Make The Spotted Mackerel Rig.

What you will need.

27 single strand wire.

SL12 3/0 hooks.

Small barrel sinkers.

Small pinks skirts and jet heads.

Small nose cones for pilchards.

Ok, its time to make this basic rig.

First, cut yourself a piece of wire around a foot long.

Next, put a small loop in one end of the wire with a haywire twist.

Now slide on the pink squid.

Next slide on the nose cone.

Now make a set of ganged hooks three long.

Next crimp the barrel sinker onto the first hook.

Now using a haywire twist connect the hooks to the other end of the wire but leave the tag end sticking up the same way as the hooks.

That is it the rig is made.

Now if that is a little confusing click the link below and follow the video or buy the premade rigs.

Spotted Mackeral Rigging Kits.


Posted by S.G


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