I love mackerel fishing, even more so when people try to talk crap because they are “just” mackerel. Well, these macks fight harder than alot of other fish people chase after.
You are on the right track! Single or double hook under a float with chunks of oily mackerel works good with a really light rod.
Or the sabiki route: A lot of the regulars use 10+ hook sabikis, a 5 or 6 hook works good enough for me. I have found I like the “Sanhu” brand the best, green dot with white flasher fish skin, GOLD hooks (important!), i cut off the beads, maybe its all in my head, but i have better success cutting the glow beads off. I use big hooks, always! Size 1, 1/0, 2/0. I usually start off with the 2/0. And most of all, keep that sabiki moving, you may have to change up jig and retrieve speeds depending on their preference.
I’ve found that the time of day and amount of sunlight along with water movement is important when finding macs. At Balboa the mac attacks are heaviest in the early morning before sunrise and also during sunset hours. Its almost a guarantee at those hours, almost lol. Don’t forget the glow sticks for the dark hours! Good luck!