Sound generated by a payao, an anchored bamboo fish aggregating device, is believed to be attractive to fish; but until now, there is no available record of payao-generated sound. This study presents payao-generated sound recorded by a hydrophone at water depths of 5, 10 and 15 m from a fixed distance of 3 m relative to the payao, and compares the sound with the auditory sensitivity of jack mackerel Trachurus japonicus measured at discrete frequencies from 100 to 2000 Hz using the auditory brainstem response protocol. A consistent peak appeared in the sound spectrum at 49 Hz and showed an increasing sound pressure level with depth, which suggests that payao sound may come from the anchor rope. However, the contribution of the bamboo raft can not yet be discounted. The hearing threshold curve indicated that the most sensitive frequency range in jack mackerel is from 92.1 dB at 800 Hz to 111.0 dB at 200 Hz. These results show that the dominant frequency range of payao sound does not correspond with the high sensitivity frequency range of fish hearing.