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I went down to try my hand at shore fishing for the first time tonight, just a couple of hours.
I got a couple of mackerel for bait, cut them up and put some strips onto a ready make rig . After a couple of nasty experiences casting with a multiplier (had to get rid of quite a bit of line) cast out and waited a while, when I reeled in the line there was nothing but mush and some skin on the hooks. Is there any way to stop the bait from disintegrating.

Oh by the way not a bite. :eek:
 

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More likely your bait is getting devoured by crabs.

If using mackerel try and use fresh as frozen is difficult to cast with as it goes mushy when thawed. Bait needs to be changed every minutes or so as the scent washes out very quickly and hooks can be stripped by crustaceans and small fish without noticing.
 

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Ooops should have said 20 minutes in the previous post :eek:

A lot depends on crab activity in some regions bait can be stripped very quickly.

Unless you are targetting dogfish/spurdog/rays then the way that you present the mackerel can be important - it's better to have a bit of 'silver' showing as this can attract the sight feeding fish ( more so in clear water ). For the scent feeders then the mackerel can be bound with shiring elastic as this presents a more streamlined bait for casting and is more difficult for crabs to strip from the hooks.

April/May can be very quiet months in Scotland as the winter species have gone and the spring fish slowly return.

If you have transport then somewhere like Loch Fyne/ Loch Etive can still fish well - either that marks near the Erskine bridge should throw up a flounder or two.
 

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I use predator frozen mackerel, with added fish oils. It never goes mushey, and stays nice and firm for ages. Don't know why, but it's better that fresh.
 
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