Catching Mackerel on Feathers
Feathering for mackerel is fairly tiring work as you will be casting and retrieving constantly, feathers work by keeping them on the move so they look like a small shoal of baitfish on the move. When you use this method for mackerel you will need to cover as much ground as possible, this means casting as far as you can. Therefore you will need to use a fairly heavyweight, three or 4 ounce is typical and will enable you to cast a fair distance. You will have to use a fairly robust fishing rod if you are casting heavyweights, a soft rod will not work well using this method, you've also got to remember that if you hook into six mackerel you could possibly have several pounds of weight to haul in, doing this on a soft rod will be very difficult, if not impossible if you've got then haul the mackerel up 20 feet from the water. I would recommend a steady beach caster with a nice big reel loaded with at least 20ILB line. If you visit Brixham Bait and Tackle located down at Brixham Harbour, they sell complete setups ready for mackerel feathering, I think you could get a complete set up for a very reasonable price.
Mackerel feed at various depths, it may be a case that you will have to do several casts until you find which depth the mackerel are feeding. When you fish with mackerel feathers remember that you are trying to replicate a small shoal of baitfish. Try and put a little movement into the feathers as you are retrieving them. You could cast out and simply retrieve the feathers, this would work perfectly okay. However, I always think it's a good idea to use the sink and draw method when you are fishing the feathers. It's not complicated, cast out, lift your rod vertically and then retrieve the line, lift the rod vertically and then retrieve the line, this will put some life into the feathers and make them look more attractive to the mackerel. You will often find that as you lift the rod you will then feel the mackerel as they take the feathers, there really isn't any need to strike as lifting the rod will be enough to set the hooks in the fishes mouth.
Feathering can be an absolutely deadly method for catching mackerel. when there are lots around you could fill a shopping bag quite easily. Mackerel are one of the tastiest fish in the sea so if you are planning on eating them, make sure you do it within a few hours of catching them.