Mackerel Info [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Mackerel Info

12-26-2000, 12:20 PM
I ran accross this article on Mackerel in the NE. I thought Tinker Mackerel were like Juvie Pogies, just smaller (younger) versions of the same animal. However this is incorrect; this is an excerpt from:

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There are actually two species of mackerel occurring in our waters. The larger Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber scombrus), which generally attains a length of 14-18 inches and weight of 1-2 pounds. They can get considerably larger and there is a record of a 7 1/2-pound fish. The smaller tinker mackerel (Scomber colias) are usually only 8-14 inches. They possess spots and blotches on the sides and have a swim bladder, both of which are lacking in the Atlantic Mackerel. Smaller Atlantics are sometimes referred to as "Tinkers", but if you want to be precise, look for the spots.

12-26-2000, 01:09 PM
No images! Good article but I was left wishing I could see the differences described.

Good scoop, dude.

i'm so outta here
12-27-2000, 02:28 PM
Bob Humphrey misnames then in his article. "Tinker" does refer to a juvenile state. Most references I've seen refer to spotted macks as "chub mackerel."

12-27-2000, 02:54 PM
Therefore these Marblehead Harbor Macs we caught were Atlantics?

12-27-2000, 04:13 PM
That's gotta be an atlantic IMHO.

Sean Fields, formerly of Goose Hummock and Nauset Angler, tells of a day on the outer beaches when small bright blue mackeral with wild looking spots were run into the bowls and held in a massacre that lasted for hours, blues and huge bass taking turns. He remembers them looking like exotic species, robin's egg blues. I wonder if those were the smaller "chub" species that ranges on both atlantic and pacific waters?

Out in the raging ocean flows of the strait between the north face of the Olympics and Vancouver Island, there were hordes of jack mackeral feeding ravenously on the pacific herring swarms. They are really fast swimmers but nothing compared to the short burst speeds of coho salmon. The jacks would push the herring and krill into a wave and as it got intense, the coho would slice thru the compressed bait like silver lightning bolts. We figured out that the best way to avoid hooking the mackeral was to cast ahead of the bait wave as it compressed.

Interesting (albeit not complete) site from a FDA perspective...
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12-28-2000, 09:33 AM
Yes Terry, Definately Atlantics.

Al & I had an encounter with these "different" Mackerel one Fine July morning at the PI Bowl (the same day we saw Terry & SSully). The fish (stripers & Shad) were scraffing the beach & driving these 5-7" guys right up onto the sand. Al & I were tossing them back into the water before the gulls got to them. I took a pretty good look at one & did notice that the color was more of a blue/green (not the Deep Teal) & they lacked the well defined verticle bars (see above). However, I attributed this to the fact that the markings on many species are very different in the Juvie stage. I had no Idea the we were looking at a whole different animal.

Al, the article did say [Smaller Atlantics are sometimes referred to as "Tinkers", but if you want to be precise, look for the spots.]. I think that this is a case of semantics with fisherman lingo vs. marine biology lingo. There is also a ton of regional stuff like when we say snappers, we mean small blue fish not red snapper. I still like our "Mirco" & the RI term "Dinks" for small stripers.

I guess my main point was that I had no Idea that there were two disticnt types of mackerel in this area. And I had a feeling that other didn't know it either.

I also agree with Juro that a couple of pictures would have been a good Idea for that article.

12-28-2000, 10:10 AM
This is depressing, relive the original story here.

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12-28-2000, 10:51 AM
Thanks Greg, I just reread that thread and it put me right back in my boat that day.