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  1. #1

    What's your technique for getting Mackerel onboard ....Jetski with Esky at back

    Hey all,
    I went out Thursday morning in Moreton Bay bottom bashing at Harry's (no good as per usual) but came across quite a few Spotties on the way home...
    What is the preferred method of landing these on a ski, as I was only able to get 2 on board losing the rest to bad technique and bite offs.
    I had no gaf and my landing net is quite small more suited to pan sized snapper... Do you tail grab them, or gaf?? or some other method.
    It was fantastic watching schools and schools swim right under the ski, and boiling up only 10 metres away. I should have caught more but didn't have the right gear on board. Also I had 1 lure with wire on but they shied away from that.... what would be the minimum leader in mono to stop losing too many lures.
    It was a great fishing trip as it started with hooking a 10ft long hammerhead in the Rainbow channel to a quiet patch at Harries and then Spotty chaos behind Green.

  2. #2

    Re: What's your technique for getting Mackerel onboard ....Jetski with Esky at back

    Hey Macca,

    I always net mine, though I am in a boat and have a mate to help which makes things easier.

    I've seen people in kayaks use long narrow nets with short handles (Google Bass Action Nets to see what I mean), so maybe that style of net with a larger opening would make it easier?

    I've only tailed them when they are already in the boat and they still move around like crazy so I don' think that would work.

    Also, I use 30lb fluro and usually only have bust offs when using live baits (touch wood).

  3. #3

    Re: What's your technique for getting Mackerel onboard ....Jetski with Esky at back

    Easiest thing to carry on a ski would be a gaff I would imagine. Then secure with a noose around the tail while you sort yourself out - also prevents impromptu "release" due to them slipping from your grip while trying to bleed them. If you manage to get mono big enough to totally prevent bite offs it will be that heavy it will put them off. They will cut 80 - 100 lb easily if they get into it with their teeth properly. We tend to use anywhere between 30 and 60 pound and if really worried about being bitten off a short length of light (down to 20 lb sometimes) silver multi strand wire knotted to the 30lb leader with an albright knot - no swivels anywhere in the rig at all.
    "I soak the worms in rum. The fish love em and the worms die happy"
    "Alcohol is not the solution to your problems...................but then again, neither is milk"

  4. #4

    Re: What's your technique for getting Mackerel onboard ....Jetski with Esky at back

    Have to agree with Scottar.
    Gaff probably best suited about a meter long.
    I normally gaff pelagics on the side of the boat, hang and bleed them before bringing onboard.
    Just watch the taxman nibbling potentially at your ankles with all that blood tho in that jetski
    A small "lights out" mallet would also help to settle things down a bit.

  5. #5

    Re: What's your technique for getting Mackerel onboard ....Jetski with Esky at back

    Although I haven't had much experience with the mackies specifically from my kayak, the way to secure larger fish is definitely with a gaff. Just line up a good shot then use your other hand to grab their tail (have learned this the hard way) to ensure control over the fish, so make sure you've got a rod holder or a good spot to place your rod handy while you do this. Tail rope as mentioned above or plastic vice style lip grips (ideally leashed) are the go for bleeding fish in the water, but best to make sure you have a good handle on them first.

  6. #6

    Re: What's your technique for getting Mackerel onboard ....Jetski with Esky at back

    Quote Originally Posted by scottar View Post
    Easiest thing to carry on a ski would be a gaff I would imagine. Then secure with a noose around the tail while you sort yourself out - also prevents impromptu "release" due to them slipping from your grip while trying to bleed them. If you manage to get mono big enough to totally prevent bite offs it will be that heavy it will put them off. They will cut 80 - 100 lb easily if they get into it with their teeth properly. We tend to use anywhere between 30 and 60 pound and if really worried about being bitten off a short length of light (down to 20 lb sometimes) silver multi strand wire knotted to the 30lb leader with an albright knot - no swivels anywhere in the rig at all.
    Hi Scottar, very interested to see your live bait rig. I use a circle hook through the nose with a treble pined in the tail linked by multi strand wire. Off the nose hook I have a single strand leader to a swivel. Then the barrel lead. It would be great to get rid of the swivel but I assumed you need it.
    Cheers Nick

  7. #7

    Re: What's your technique for getting Mackerel onboard ....Jetski with Esky at back

    Thanks to all for the replys...
    a gaf will be mandatory from now on... and the '
    Bass Action Nets' are just what I'm after (thanks very much Victor Oscar).
    this is my first season with the Jetski and it's a huge learning curve compared to fishing from a boat, a totally different approach is needed... but worth the many cock ups I seem to make.
    I had a go pro camera with me but never seem organised enough to get it ready when the action hits... I'm assuming with time I'll be able to get some footage up for viewing...
    I thought about a pacifier too but from a jetski it is a fair bend over to the water line to club a fish, which tends to make the ski feel a bit unstable nearly tipping it over.
    I'll order a net and let you know how the results go, back out there this Sunday to see if they are still about...
    I had quite a few bust offs but I think that was because there were too many fish and it looked like they were still biting at the lures while they were in the hooked mackerels mouth, as 5 or 6 fish would swim right up to the ski either chasing the lure or the fish with the lure... cheers again for the info guys... restock some lures and re-rig some rods

  8. #8

    Re: What's your technique for getting Mackerel onboard ....Jetski with Esky at back

    Macca,
    I hang the fish up with the gaff from it's head in one hand and bleed. I give it a short hard blow to the back of it's head with the pacifier whilst hanging off the gaff if it's playing up.
    Doesn't work well on Dollies tho, tough buggers.
    Doubt you wanna handle a large bull dolly on the jetski, it'll give you a run for your money.
    Normally loop the line back around the tail to keep it bent in a banana shape to stop it thrashing around until it goes to fishy heaven.

  9. #9

    Re: What's your technique for getting Mackerel onboard ....Jetski with Esky at back

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick H View Post
    Hi Scottar, very interested to see your live bait rig. I use a circle hook through the nose with a treble pined in the tail linked by multi strand wire. Off the nose hook I have a single strand leader to a swivel. Then the barrel lead. It would be great to get rid of the swivel but I assumed you need it.
    Cheers Nick
    Next time I'm chasing spaniards on live baits I'll try to remember to grab a pic. Livies are a different kettle of fish really as the macs don't seem to be as wire shy when something tasty to eat is actively kicking around. The rig with no swivels is more to do with chasing spotties/schoolies either on pilly baits or with lures. With livies I actually normally tow off a rubber band threaded sideways through the nose with both ends clipped to a small ball bearing clip swivel. Also attached via the clip swivel is the stinger hook on a length of
    single strand and the treble. I cable tie the treble to the bait though so it sits with one point vertically - up or down - doesn't seem to matter to much, by once again using the bait needle to make a hole for the small tie to pass through cable tieing the shank of the hook against the baitfish. I don't bother with nose hooks any more - never hooked a mac on one and they unbalance the bait and kill it faster. You can typically run this rig on mono if the baits are fairly big as the strike is pretty much always in the back 3rd of the bait but if your baits are small you will get bitten off every now and then. If it starts to happen we will run a short wire in front of the bait as well. If you do want to run a swivel less rig, single strand doesn't seem to work real well - it tends to cut the mono. The multistrand seems to work ok provided you aren't fishing too heavy with your main line.
    "I soak the worms in rum. The fish love em and the worms die happy"
    "Alcohol is not the solution to your problems...................but then again, neither is milk"

  10. #10

    Re: What's your technique for getting Mackerel onboard ....Jetski with Esky at back

    I went out again today with quite a few hook ups, spotties still thick, and dropped 3 at the boat, and lost 5-6due to bite offs. The gaff was a bit difficult to use, I'll need to find another way to mount it to the esky, way too hard to unclip when you have a fish thrashing around. Funny to watch I'll bet, can't wait to get the longer landing net and try again...

  11. #11

    Re: What's your technique for getting Mackerel onboard ....Jetski with Esky at back

    Mate try aiming to get the mac from behind the ski, coming forwards into the lower footrest area. With or without using your gaff.
    There you can hold it down under a foot, or grab it by the tail.
    A Proud Member of
    "The Rebel Alliance"

  12. #12

    Re: What's your technique for getting Mackerel onboard ....Jetski with Esky at back

    Thanks Shark Poker.... I'll have to do something like that. I've been thinking about a long kill bag in the foot well... Something to work on before the next outing.
    cheers

  13. #13

    Re: What's your technique for getting Mackerel onboard ....Jetski with Esky at back

    Hey mate, I fish from a kayak and target mackerel a lot and just use a gaff 99% of the time, but gaffing technique is not something that comes naturally and does need practice, at least you've found some fish to practice on. I have tail grabbed quite a few also, mackerel and tuna have a great shaped tail for grabbing if you want to go that way.

    There is also an increasing trend towards kage gaffs at the moment, these are short spear type gaffs that the hawaiins have been using for centuries, also if you ever watched wicked tuna you see them pin their fish with these style of spear too, but they throw them at those big bastards. These might actually go ok with the extra height above the water from a jet ski, google them and there are videos showing how to make your own.

    40lb is my preferred leader on slugs, but a fast retrieve is required to ensure the fish hit the tail of the slug and find the hook rather than engulf the whole thing and bite it off, although bite offs will occur eventually, I find the faster retrieve does give me a bit longer to use each slug.

    Good luck and get into them while their still around, they move on quickly.

    Kev

  14. #14

    Re: What's your technique for getting Mackerel onboard ....Jetski with Esky at back

    Hi Just chips,
    yes this looks like it may help... I've looked into the Kage Gaff and should be a bit easier to use from a ski... thanks mate
    ...always good info for you knowledgeable folks...

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