It’s pelagic time
  |  First Published: February 2012

For many of the southeast Queensland offshore anglers the next few months involve targeting seasonal pelagic species that frequent our waters.

Spotted and Spanish mackerel are high on the hit list and for Brisbane based anglers there are plenty of well-known areas to target between Noosa and the border.

Pelagics will quite often be firing in one area and relatively quiet elsewhere, so to make the most of the season be prepared to drag the boat to where the action is.

Starting off in Noosa, spots such as Jew Shoal, The Halls and Sunshine Reef will produce both spotties and Spaniards quite often - it’s just a matter of looking for the surface action and casting a slug to the feeding fish.

Moving south to Mooloolaba and Caloundra and there are numerous shallow reef areas that could be holding fish at any time, so obtain any local information you can plus look for any surface action or congregations of boats as tell tale signs of feeding fish. Popular spots include Coolum Reef, Old Woman Island, The Blinker and the close grounds off the Caloundra Bar.

Moving onto the front of Bribie Island and into the main paddock area of Moreton Bay, most mackerel fishing involves looking for the birds working schools of feeding spotted mackerel then cranking a metal slug at speed through the school.

On the ocean side of Moreton Island there are numerous coffee rock reefs in approximately 12-15m of water that are dotted right along the island and they can be real hot spots for quality Spanish mackerel. I personally enjoy slow towing live-baits on these isolated pieces of reef and on a lot of occasions you’ll have the area all to yourself.

Next stop to the south is The Group off Point Lookout and this is also another well-known Spaniard hot spot and you’ll certainly know when they’re on the chew as the locals in their tinnies will be out in force whipping gar on long rods. Trolling livies, rigged dead bait or lures will all catch fish on their day but from personal experience high speed trolling in the shallower water will spook the fish easier.

To the Gold Coast now and all the close reefs off The Seaway will hold seasonal mackerel such the 12,18 and 24 fathom reefs but the most well known hot spots off the coast are Mermaid Beach Reef, Palm Beach Reef, and the Gravel Patch off Burleigh Heads. If the spotties are on the chew in these areas, it’s nothing to have over 100 boats out there getting amongst the action. Boat numbers settle down once the Christmas school holidays are over - personally this is the time I like to chase Spanish macks on these reefs.

So as you can see we have plenty of spots to chase a mackerel, so listen out for any information as to where they are firing and go and have some fun with these fine sport and table fish.

Enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on charter, give me a call on (07) 38229527 or 0418738750 or visit www.outlawcharters.com.au. I’ve recently put a second boat on to target macks off the coast so give me a call if you’d like to have a crack at a few.

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