August 14 2017

Chunking Mackerel for Cape Cod Striped Bass


Garet Suomala

Hello MFCC! It's your favorite fisherman again, and yes I am talking about myself - Garet Suomala. For those of you who don't know me, here is a link to a little bit about myself.

Today I will be talking about a fishing trip Ryan and I took along a Cape Cod Bay beach. I am sorry but I don't remember the name of the exact beach 😉

It all began when Ryan picked me up at my house in Sandwich at 4:30AM.

Yes folks you heard me right! However I like getting up early like that, especially when it's for fishing.


Fresh Cut Mackerel

Ah mackerel...

We did not have time for breakfast so we decided to cook these guys up to snack on.

Just kidding! During this trip we would use fresh mackerel for bait.

This is what a mackerel looks like for those of you who are new to saltwater fishing and the MFCC site.

Now I used Mackerel the whole morning. Ryan switched it up between mackerel and plugs. Whatever it takes to get them to bite, right?

Quick tip #1

Looking to learn more about how to catch mackerel on Cape Cod? Check out this video for more details about mackerel fishing.

Cape Cod Mornings

As we drove to the fishing spot we were treated to a very nice sunrise. That beautiful ball off yellow in the sky was such a beautiful sight.

And just look at that flat calm ocean. It would pretty much stay this nice for the whole morning.

Quick tip #2

Even during the summer months, gauging an accurate wind forecast can be challenging on Cape Cod. We recommend diversifying your approach by checking, the NOAA marine weather forecast, and the Sailflow app. Use all three forecasts (they'll often be different) to make any wind-related decision.

Chunking Mackerel 101

​Now the real fun begins!

Ryan and I were "chunking mackerel" during this trip.

I guess one reason we decided to chunk was to make our limited bait supply last for as long as we could.

cape cod mackerel chunks striped bass fishing

Now this diagram will give you guys (and ladies!) an example of the setup we were using.

Above image courtesy of this helpful article from On The Water Magazine.

This is a very simple but very effective rig.

Quick tip #3

Set the hook quickly when chunking mackerel, especially if small fish are around! You don't want to wait too long to set the hook, because you may end up gut-hooking a schoolie striper. This is definitely something you want to avoid doing at all costs. 

A Great Morning On
The Beach

All of the fish we caught on this day were little schoolies. They were not very big at all, but still so much fun to catch.

It was a good sign of bigger fish to come...

That's going to do it for my writing for today.

I will now let you watch the video.

I hope you enjoyed my chunking mackerel report! 

I had fun putting it together.

​So until next time, this is Garet signing off.

Tight lines!​

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

About the author 

Garet Suomala

My name is Garet Suomala. I've had to overcome a lot of things in life, but I have a strong faith, and loving friends and family. I'm also a happy graduate of "Project Forward" at Cape Cod Community College.

    • Hey John,

      Yes the rig described in this article would work from a boat. Always try to use as little weight as possible. A lot of times when fishing from my boat in shallow water, I will fish the chunks with no weight at all.

      Keep me posted with any other questions.

      Gluck! 🎣

  • Great job Garet! Thanks for the tips and showing the mackerel rig using the fishfinder. Will try thunking soon. Went clamming with your parents on Wednesday. You can expect a clam dinner next time home.

    • Ok. Sounds good Jack. How are you liking the website. Pretty cool huh? Any ways I hope you always continue to find some useful here. I will be in touch

  • Great video Garet! Thanks so much for giving your set you used for the mackerel and catching fish off the beach. I will definitely try it this weekend!

    • Yes I did Dex if i can remember. I have had the fortune of going w Ryan meany times. So i dont remember if it was this time or not. Keep having fun


  • Great report Garet! Did any crab munched on the mackerel chunks? They always end up having a great dinner when I am chunking. Keep on fishing and let us know of how it goes.

    • Mackerel chunks used to be my favorite bait when crabbing at the Jersey Shore. I was once driving on the bridge over the Swan River and saw some people crabbing off the bridge. I no sooner thought “there are no blue claws here” then a guy held up a blue claw crab that looked like it was from “Deadliest Catch”, huge! Maybe I should try crabbing on Cape Cod. At the very least it would be a good way to catch bait for fishing.

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