Praying for Pelagics to Appear
  |  First Published: December 2011

Hopefully the pelagic fish have shown up by now, because the fishing east of the South Passage Bar over the past couple of months has been fairly dismal.

Most anglers have struggled to put fish in the kill tanks, despite putting in hard yards and burning plenty of fuel trying to find a patch of fish on the chew. My logs over the past few years have shown snapper catches slowing down around mid October and from then through to Christmas there’s been consistent catches of amberjacks, Samson, yellowtail kingfish and trag.

Well the snapper did slow down in October but the other species have been missing in action,

My logs also show that live bait has been fairly tough to gather during this time over the past couple of years, but this year the bait has been everywhere, however nothing is eating them. Most charter trips of late have been hard work and we’ve usually ended up working the shallow reefs in the Point Lookout area for catches of mixed reef including parrot, pearlies, Moses Perch, Hussar and a few small snapper.

There are plenty of theories floating around why the fishing as been so tough of late, with a change over in the dominant weather pattern leading the charge. But I think it’s got a fair bit to do with the current flow or for that matter, the lack of current we’ve had off the South Passage for the past six months.

I’ve been chartering for the past 11 years and I can’t ever remember such prolonged periods of little or no current flow to the south and we’ve also had periods of prolonged northerly current which you very rarely see. I’ve had several lengthy conversations with John Palermo from Nitro Charters. He has many years of experience fishing off the South Passage Bar and he also points the finger at the lack of current and he too commented on not ever seeing such little current flow over such an extended period of time.

I’ve got my fingers crossed we get a couple of decent blows from the southeast during December and that might turn things around a little.

On a brighter note, the past couple of mackerel seasons have been crackers, right along the coast and with a little luck this coming one will deliver also.

The reports I’ve heard are about good numbers of spotted mackerel being caught to the north and some reasonable catches of Spaniards not far north of Brisbane. There’s also been a fair bit of activity in Moreton Bay with a few school and spotted mackerel and they should get better in numbers during the next month.

I’ve put a second boat on to chase mackerel down off the Gold Coast so if you’re keen to chase a few of these speedsters give me a call.

I’ll only take a max of three and will be working the boat from now until the end of April, either running out of the Seaway or Currumbin.

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