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Atlantic Chub Mackerel fish identification, its habitats, characteristics, fishing methods.

The Atlantic chub mackerel, Scomber colias, formerly was described and named as subspecies of the Chub mackerel, Scomber japonicus colias, is a marine species inhabiting temperate and subtropical waters at depths ranging from near the surface down to 300 m. It is dense, fast swimming fish of open water, often undertaking long journeys near the water surface and in large flocks. During the winter months they move to deeper water, where the stick near the bottom and stop eating. They feed mostly on small crustaceans, eggs and after spawning - small schooling fish. In the spring fat mackerel is low (approximately 3%), whereas in the autumn, it reaches 30%, which means a greater amount of omega-3. Mackerel is also a good source of vitamins D and B12. The meat is dense, tasty, and fragrant. Good in the form of hot and cold smoked, culinary use in ice cream form (fire, frying, roasting), dried, in a variety of canned goods. Most oily mackerel - mined in most North Atlantic.

Atlantic Chub Mackerel Fishing Atlantic Chub mackerel, Scomber colias, also known as Common mackerel, Tinker mack-erel, Japanese mackerel, Pacific mackerel, Spanish mackerel, Scomber, Smaach, Maquereau blanc in French, Estornino del Atlántico in Spanish, Honsaba, Ma-saba in Japanese, is a pelagic schooling species of mackerel found in the North-East Atlantic, east of northern Norway and Iceland to West Africa and the Azores, the North Sea, the western part of the Baltic Sea, Mediterranean and Black Sea. It ranges in New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, Texas, California, Northwest, Eastern Canada, Western Canada, and Alaska. It is particularly abundant in the Eastern Mediterranean.


The Atlantic chub mackerel has an elongated, fusiform (tapered at both ends),, slightly compressed laterally, body in the form of a spindle with a sharp pointed snout and large mouth opening. Head is 1/3rd of a length, depth 1/4th to 1/5th of a length. Big eyes are 1/3rd to 1/4th in a head, with transparent lids fat (they leave only a vertical slit of the pupil), The eye is surrounded by a complete bony ring. The upper and lower jaws firmly fused, so do not put forward, the jaws small teeth in the form of brush, very small scales, not forming chest armor.
    Two widely separated dorsal fins, and the first consists of 10-13 spiny, the second consists of 11 - 13 soft rays. Interspace between fins is at least equal to length of first dorsal-fin base. The anal fin has a spiny, and 11 to 13 soft rays. For the second dorsal fin and anal fin is located at 5 small finlets. The narrow caudal peduncle is without keel. No swim bladder.
Distinguishing characteristics: The eye is surrounded by a complete bony ring. The narrow caudal peduncle is without keel. No swim bladder. Silvery-sided below the mid line in color, dots below the lateral line are absent.
    Color is green or blue back, the ventral side of a silver-white, non-uniform pattern of zebra stripes of dark on the back and upper sides, rows of dots below the lateral line absent.
    The Atlantic chub mackerel very closely resembles the Chub mackerel, Scomber japonicus colias. The differences are that the chub has a larger eye than the Atlantic, also the dorsal fins are closer together in the chub and that there are only 9 or 10 spines in its first dorsal fin instead of 11 or more in the Atlantic mackerel. Most important of the differences, anatomically, is the fact that the Chub mackerel has a well-developed swim bladder attached with the esophagus, which the "true mackerels" in the Scomber genus lack. They also different in color, the Atlantic chub mackerel is being silvery-sided below the mid line, whereas the lower part of the sides of the Chub mackerel are mottled with small dusky blotches.


The Atlantic chub mackerel is a marine species inhabiting temperate and subtropical waters worldwide at depths ranging from near the surface down to 300 m. The chub mackerel is primarily a coastal pelagic species and, to a lesser extent, epipelagic or mesopelagic over the continental slope.


The Atlantic chub mackerel become sexual mature at 2-3-year life with a length of about 30. The spawning season is March-April (Mediterranean Sea), and June-July (the eastern part of the Skagerrak and Kattegat). Spawn near the water surface; eggs (0.9-1.4 mm) move freely in the water, the number of eggs - 200 000 - 450 000. After 6 days the larva appears 3.5-4.2 mm juvenile is held to fall in coastal waters.

Fishing Methods:

Mackerel are most likely to be found anywhere along the shore, from deep water to shallow bays where a lot of food such as copepods or other small animal life in the water. The schools of young fish are likely stay nearer the coast. Even larger species sometimes come close inshore. Anglers fishing in harbors, also, troll or bait-fish for mackerel all along the coast are mainly catching the smaller sizes. In summers when young tinkers are plentiful inshore many of them are caught from the wharves in various harbors.
    Most of the mackerel were caught formerly with hook and line, ground bait being thrown out to lure the fish close enough to the vessel. Anglers fish for them from boats or shoreline sites such as piers, jetties, bridges and beaches. They use medium or light action spinning rod rigged with 12-15 lbs test line with a single 1 oz mackerel jig or lure that resembles bait fish like sand eel or other, or with bait such as squid, small fish, and pork rind on long shank hooks with on line sinkers. They also take a bright artificial fly, and bite greedily on a white piece of clam, a piece of mackerel belly with skin, or on a sea worm, especially if attracted by ground bait. Mackerel strike hard and then momentarily release the bait before attempting to swallow it. Wait for the second strike and try to set the hook.
    The mackerel is a delicious fish, but it does not keep so well as some other fishes that have less oil in their tissues.
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