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CountryBoy
08-04-2008, 05:07 PM
how do you guys prepare your mackeral? Im not exactly sure how to hook it. do you fillet them and hook the fillet? Or do you cut the mackeral up into small pieces and hook it through the backbone? :-/ Any help would be appreciated...CountryBoy

knotgillty
08-04-2008, 08:38 PM
Just use the filets if you are fishing for channel cats in N. Cal.

Here's what I do: *I use a sharp filet knife to remove both sides from the carcas and then I throw away the carcas. *After removing the filets I lay them skin side down on a cutting board and cut strips. *Laying them skin side down before cutting your baits results in less likelyhood of smushing the meat as you make your cut, especially if you are not using a razor sharp knife or if the filets are not kept super cold. *As the filets thaw out or sit in the sun they eventually become a little mushy and more difficult to work with. *I like thin strips better than real fat strips. *1 inch wide by 4 inches long usually works just fine for fish 3 pounds and up.

I put the hook point through the bait strip twice so that 90% of the strip is dangling below the hook. *I hook all my bait strips so that the strip hangs straight down below my hook without being all bunched up on the shank. *Don't think you have to hide your hook. *You'll catch more fish in the long run if you keep as much hook exposed as possible. *If you keep the bait cold you will not need to use any string or stretchy thread to keep the bait on your hook when you cast. * *

I filet my makerel at home and vacuum seal the filets. *This gives me a lot more time in the water when I'm fishing and I don't have to deal with the oily/bloody mess & carcas on my boat. *I use a dedicated bait chest that I fill full of ice to keep my filets frozen while I'm fishing. *As I need a new bait, I just reach in, grab a frozen filet, cut a strip to my liking, hook it up, and cast. *Takes all of 20 seconds.

Use a sharp knife and don't let the filets become warm. *Keep them as cold as possible.

Those are some of the things that work for me. *I've been catching cats on makeral for about 25 years. *Best of luck to you and let us know how you do.

GoT HeeeeM
08-05-2008, 09:51 AM
there you go countryboy, knotgillty just layed down catfish baiting 101...i also love using mackeral more then any other cut bait fish...its so much stronger then anything else, and not as bad as a smell as anchovies...ill definetly be trying that strip idea though, sounds pretty deadly

tejedarichard
08-05-2008, 10:02 AM
I buy a whole mackrel from the "Marina" store on Monterey rd and Senter rd in south San Jose. I tell them to clean it and chop it into chunks I take it home and chop it into smaller chunks like 2inchesx2inches. I hook it through the skin part and throw it in. The last two channel cats I caught were both on mackeral. I was fishing clams,anchovies and liver those days too.Good luck.

CountryBoy
08-05-2008, 11:37 AM
thanks a lot guys I appreciate it! cant wait to try it! Ive seen pics of the fish you have caught KnotGillty and I will definitely use your method. Im going tomorrow morning so Im gonna pick up some mackeral today and try it out...thanks again ;)
CountryBoy