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featherbaiter
06-22-2010, 10:48 AM
Why it is that you never see huge amounts of stripers in the well known "secret Mackerel spots"? I have and it makes no sense to me. If you have an area teeming with macks why isn't it just covered up with bass?

Onshore
06-22-2010, 12:25 PM
To answer your question, yes, I have, many times - on my fishfinder below the mackerel. And taken many, many times, below the mackerel. Best way to catch them is to get a live mackerel down to the level of the bass.

The reason you don't see them is because they are deeper than the mackerel.

Nelly
06-22-2010, 04:09 PM
success = 2oz sinker on a 3 way swivel with you're livelined mac?

I've often wondered the same thing - never seem to hook up when jigging - but haven't weighted the macs down. Think it's worth a shot...:brow

e-sea-e
06-22-2010, 11:20 PM
you dont need weights......

some of my mac spots are of my best bass spots.

LeakinLena
06-23-2010, 05:42 AM
I didn't know there were any secret spots for mackerel, but I've caught stripers on the feathers of Sabiki rigs while jigging for mackerel at the non secret spots.

featherbaiter
06-23-2010, 06:14 AM
I was kidding about the secret spots bit. It just surprises me that you don't see them at all. For example last week I had so many macks chummed up to the surface that they looked like the sand eel schools on the bank. I would have expected to see at least one bass crashing through them but I didn't. I'm glad to hear that I'm wrong on this. I will try harder.

Nelly
06-23-2010, 08:18 AM
featherbaiter - I've had the same experience. Where I am, on the South Shore, you simply find 50' of water, drop the sabikis and if the macs are around it's not long before you're filling a cooler/livewell. There are no secret spots, although everyone seems to congregate around a particular bell buoy that is frequently mentioned in the weekly reports. I guess maybe the macs get schooled up under the fleet, I don't know.

I almost always try to put one mac back in the water on a circle hook, if for no other reason than to try to keep schooling fish around the boat, and maybe hook a bass. But I too have had very little interest from the bass when doing this. Caught a nice dogfish this way last weekend though.....

I get a little cynical of the weekly reports proclaiming that all you have to do is find "the macs, drop one down, and hook a moby bass which are lurking under the mackerel" I must be missing something because this is not my experience.

In my area, it seems the bass are all up in the rivers right now where there is a lot of bait and plenty of opportunity to ambush it. Seems like an easier feeding opportunity than chasing a school of speedy mackerel in 50-70' of open water. Either bring them up in the river, or into rocky structure and put the macs into some whitewater if you can.....don't wait for the bass to eat the macs right where you're jigging them.

GRH
06-23-2010, 10:08 AM
I agree with Nelly, big bass are lazy and a live mack in open water is too much work unless its injured or dying. You need to move the mack to the skinny water or limit its action and sink it below the schools. Bass always look for the easy meal. I am sure there a bass around the open water schools but they don't usually bust on them like a tuna, they don't have the speed.

featherbaiter
06-23-2010, 09:30 PM
Good explaination Nelly. That makes a lot of sense to me. I was out today catching macs and I drifted macks on circle hooks at various depths and nada.

Capt. John
06-24-2010, 10:41 AM
I may be wrong here (NOT)...macs are not a natural bait for bass to chase. Bass will not expend the energy to "chase" lightning fast macs. When was the last time you cleaned a bass and found a mac in the stomach...never.

Yes they are more than willing to eat an injured or dieing catchable mac. But to chase schools of macs ...no dice.

They are ambush feeders and there is no real chances of ambushing macs in open water.

They wait for bluefish to do the work and swim around picking up the scraps ;)

Double Hall
06-24-2010, 10:58 AM
I may be wrong here (NOT)...macs are not a natural bait for bass to chase. Bass will not expend the energy to "chase" lightning fast macs. When was the last time you cleaned a bass and found a mac in the stomach...never.

Yes they are more than willing to eat an injured or dieing catchable mac. But to chase schools of macs ...no dice.

They are ambush feeders and there is no real chances of ambushing macs in open water.

They wait for bluefish to do the work and swim around picking up the scraps ;)

I saw a Striper slam a mack while catching bait last weekend. The striper buzzed along the surface, then came back and slammed. The other boat near me seemed just as surprised as I did.

Onshore
06-24-2010, 12:02 PM
I may be wrong here (NOT)...macs are not a natural bait for bass to chase. Bass will not expend the energy to "chase" lightning fast macs. When was the last time you cleaned a bass and found a mac in the stomach...never.

Can't agree with that Cap'n. I grew up in Gloucester and fished the Cape Ann Area from about 1946 to 1969 consistantly and quite often until moving to Cape Cod in 2006. When there were big numbers of stripers along that rocky shoreline it was a frequent occurence to find Stripers chasing mackerel anywhere from Manchester to Rockport. In fact, whenever there were mackerel and stripers in the area from April till November it was a common almost a daily event and, we often cleaned bass with mackerel inside.

Perhaps it appears they don't eat the mackerel but, once hooked, they often would regurgitate a mackerel or two while being brought boatside.

GRH
06-24-2010, 02:13 PM
I think we are all reasonably correct here. Bass do feed on Macks and occasionally feed on schools, but most of the bigger bass tend to wait for an easier meal than chase macks in open water, especially big horse Macks. Most are under the schools waiting for weak injured ones, most dont waste too much energy chasing a fast elusive prey. The vast majority of the time I catch macks I move them away from their school (safety in numbers) and isolate them in shallow waters.;)