When Do Mackerel Run In Maine? The Best Time to Fish

One of the more popular fish species in Maine is the mackerel, which is what many anglers try to catch! The mackerel are willing biters and make delicious meat to cook after catching. Besides this, it’s fun and exciting to catch mackerel, one of the reasons why many anglers trek to the Maine coast.

You are better off timing your trip during the time mackerel runs in the state. But when do mackerel run in Maine, exactly? Read on to learn more about mackerel and their running behavior in Maine!

When Do Mackerel Run in Maine?

When we talk about “fish run,” it refers to the time when fish have migrated from the ocean and swim to the upper areas of rivers and other bodies of water.

Usually, the purpose of the run is to search for food, for spawning, protection, or better climate, among other factors. When mackerel run in Maine, you are better off being in the waters, as they run in schools, making it more possible for you to get a bite.

In Maine, you can expect mackerel to run to rivers and smaller bodies of water in June to August, or once summer begins to set in. In fact, these months are referred to as the “hopping month” in the state!

Sometimes, the migration happens as early as May, when northern contingent mackerel move inshore to southern coasts. They will then migrate back north to spawn, and pass through coastal Maine again by September. This is when they begin to head to deeper waters.

During their runs, there will be more river action, which produces not only mackerel but trout and salmon as well. This is because the waters begin to warm and this is the optimum time when fish migrate to central Maine, invading the running tidal rivers and coast.

You can expect mackerel to stay nearer the shore for long periods, especially when migrating bluefish stay down south. They have the habit of gathering in schools of thousands at this time, sometimes scattering or mixing with herring or shad as they feed.

When schools of mackerel migrate, you can see them from the surface, particularly during the daytime because of the ripples they make. Nights are also a great time to fish for them since you hear some firing in the water and some reflection.

However, just because mackerel are migrating doesn’t automatically mean it’s an easy catch. There are slow days, especially during bad and stormy or windy weather. That’s why you also need to consider the weather and water temperatures during specific days.

Besides that, you should also make sure you’re prepared with the right gear and techniques to successfully catch mackerel during these times. During their migration, you can find them around 10-25 feet of water columns along the coasts, and you can catch them from boats or the shore properly.

What Happens When Mackerel Run is Over?

While mackerel is usually available all-year-round in Maine, you’ll want to visit the waters during times they are most present.

There are also slow days when trying to catch mackerel, especially when it is late in the running season. This happens from late summer to fall, and they won’t be interested in feeding on piers in valleys and tide peaks.

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to catch mackerel in Maine during these times. You will need proper gear and technique, as well as time your fishing correctly. It won’t be as active of a day compared to June, but there’s still a chance of getting some fish.

Read More: Can You Catch Mackerel at Night? The Lowdown on Night Fishing

Do you want to learn more about mackerel runs and how to catch one successfully? Check out this informative video:

Wrapping It Up

When fishing for mackerel in Maine, you’ll want to target them during the times they start migrating to the smaller bodies of water. This happens from mid-spring to summer, where they travel in schools and are more likely to feed and take baits.

I hope that this article answered your question, “when do mackerel run in Maine?” Now that you know the answer, plan your fishing trip accordingly. Good luck!

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