Macks on the move
  |  First Published: February 2013

The run up to Christmas and the New Year saw a run of reasonable weather for anglers to head offshore; the fishing was red hot on a number of days. The best thing was the variety in the kill tank with reefies and pelagics turning it on.

We’d been having a good run pulling wahoo, a few Spaniards plus yellowfin tuna, but just over a week out from the full moon they slowed a little. We decided to work Shallow Tempest for snapper and for several days on the run up to the moon they turned it on. Along with the snapper we pulled a few nice mulloway, Maori cod and Moses perch.

The bait was thick in 30-40m of water where we were fishing, but the small black marlin became a bit of a pest, picking up the float-lined baits on numerous occasions. They did however put on a show, until we either broke them off or the two 5/0s came flying out.

The quality of the snapper was pleasing and we boated numerous fish over 70cm. The live bait was plentiful so we’d jig a few and troll the coffee rock a few kilometres north of the South Passage bar.

A few Spanish and school mackerel topped off the day’s fishing nicely. Doing our last pass of a lump of coffee rock just north of the South Passage Bar on Christmas Eve, one of the rods starting peeling line at a rapid pace and after about 20 minutes of battle we landed a 20kg GT, which I initially called as a Spaniard or a solid long-tail tuna. The angler was all smiles after boating such a quality fish on the light tackle and it just goes to show the size of fish you can catch in shallow water. This fish came out of 12m of water close to Moreton Island.

The southeasterly weather pattern that prevails this time of year has kept anglers land-based, but the promising start to the mackerel season looks good for the next couple of months, which is normally peak season for the mack brigade.

February off the South Passage Bar is definitely a month for chasing pelagics. The coffee rock along Moreton Island and the Point Lookout area the main areas most pelagic fishers will concentrate their efforts.

As I mentioned earlier, there’s been small black marlin everywhere, so if you want to tick one of your catch list, now’s the time. It seems 5-6”skirted lures are the go for these small blacks but go and have a chat to your local tackle outlet and they’ll point you in the right direction.

For the bottom fisho, the wider grounds will produce kingfish and amberjack on jigs and livies and Shallow Tempest will be worth a go on the right moon phase for snapper. The 50-60m ground south of the Cathedrals off north straddie can produce the odd XOS knobbie at this time of year, but there can be a lot of water between fish.

Enjoy your fishing, tack care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on charter (max 5 persons) give me a call on 07 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750.

Hi Steve.


A 9kg green jobfish that ate a livie aimed at a mackerel.


Sam Sharp with a quality Spanish mackerel caught on the coffee rock off Moreton Island .


Shaun Crow with a 20kg GT that fought hard in 12m of water.

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