Know the ins, outs be­hind salt­wa­ter fish­ing

South Shore Breaker - - NAVIGATE ATLANTIC - CAR­ROLL RAN­DALL REEL TIME dacara@east­link.ca

Our Nova Sco­tia coast has been sup­ply­ing lots of an­gling en­joy­ment with many species avail­able to catch. The next two ar­ti­cles will zero in on two species that mi­grate to Nova Sco­tia each year and can be caught fish­ing from shore.

The first fish that I would like to tell you about is the mack­erel. When fish­ing for mack­erel, you do not need a li­cence. They are also a great fish to catch for young an­glers just start­ing out. Th­ese fish can be found along the South Shore in ev­ery bay, river, es­tu­ary and off of most wharves. Mack­erel come in and go out with the tides and many peo­ple tell me the best time to fish for them is the two hours be­fore high tide and the two hours after high tide. As you know, there are two high tides a day so there is am­ple time to get your bucket full of mack­erel.

Mack­erel travel in schools, and you will find when fish­ing for them that one mo­ment there are none, and the next mo­ment, they are all around you. I have seen sev­eral peo­ple fish­ing on a wharf and no one is catch­ing any­thing; a school of mack­erel come along and ev­ery­one is hooked up with a fish all at once.

Where do you fish for mack­erel? The best way for me to tell you this is by telling you what mack­erel do. As I said be­fore, they travel in schools along the shore­line look­ing for food. Their pri­mary food are lit­tle fish which are found close to shore around wharves and struc­tures. So ask around and peo­ple will be happy to tell you where to go mack­erel fish­ing. I have caught mack­erel in East River, Ch­ester Har­bour, Ma­hone Bay, In­dian Point, Lunen­burg Har­bour, River­port, La­have, Western Shore, Liver­pool, Oakland and the La­have Is­lands.

Mack­erel travel the shore most of the sum­mer and into the fall. They are not that fussy

and are usu­ally easy to catch and fight very hard. The gear you will need is a ba­sic spin­ning rod and reel and some baits that look like fish. Most peo­ple use a heavy spoon but there are spe­cific mack­erel jigs that work very well also; all tackle stores carry mack­erel jigs.

I have found that if you have some­thing in the wa­ter when the mack­erel swim by you, you will usu­ally hook up. Re­mem­ber that mack­erel are look­ing for min­nows who are try­ing to get away from them, so throw out your bait and reel it back in very quickly. Jerk­ing your bait rapidly while re­triev­ing it works ex­tremely well also. ing:here are some help­ful hints for when you go mack­erel fish

• First off, there is a size limit which is 26.3 mil­lime­tres or 10.5 inches. Any mack­erel un­der that size must be put back.

• Take a bucket with a han­dle with you and tie a rope to the han­dle so that you can get some wa­ter in the bucket.

• Bring a few rags with you be­cause mack­erel have mil­lions of tiny scales and you will want to con­tin­u­ally wash your hands and gear. When mack­erel scales get dried on your gear, they are ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to get off. (Al­though my wife likes the sparkle ef­fect that the scales give off.)

• Fi­nally, when you get home, make sure that you rinse your equip­ment thor­oughly to get the salt wa­ter out of your reel and off your line and rod.

Next week, I will be talk­ing about striped bass. Have a great week fish­ing the rivers, lakes and oceans of our beau­ti­ful coun­ties.

Car­roll Ran­dall owns and op­er­ates dacarafishin out of Lunen­burg County and is a Nova Sco­tia Li­censed Fish­ing Guide. He of­fers guided fish­ing ad­ven­tures and fish­ing schools. To book a trip or to find out more, call 902-212-1508 or email dacara@east­link.ca.

Car­roll Ran­dall

When fish­ing for mack­erel, you do not need a li­cence. They’re also a great fish to catch for young an­glers just start­ing out.

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