So far this season we haven’t put the trolling gear in the water, but reports coming in are promising with both Spanish mackerel and wahoo getting caught in the Point Lookout and Huchinson Shoal areas.
There has also been a fair number of mahi mahi caught out around the Wave Rider Buoy, so signs are looking encouraging across the board for a reasonable pelagic season.
In early November we struggled to find snapper on a couple of charters for the first time since around mid-May. So I decided to change target species and go live baiting for kings and ambos, but the live bait didn’t want to play and was tough to find. We were forced again to target snapper out in the deeper water.
On the 7-8 charters since then we’ve found the snapper keen to feed again and getting our bag limit hasn’t been too difficult a task. We’ve also had a few bull mahi mahi turn up around the boat and managed to land a few with the best close to 12kg.
I’ve been having a quick look for live bait most mornings and, to be honest, the close bait grounds have looked fairly barren. Most of the bait I’ve sounded over has been out in 30m+ in no man’s land. The next few months should see plenty of activity from the pelagic species east of the South Passage bar and the coffee rock close to Moreton Island.
All the rocky outcrops around Point Lookout will see quite a bit of boat traffic, so don’t be afraid to move away from the main clumps of boats to again find fish once the boat noise has shut feeding fish down.
One thing that’s very important when chasing Spanish mackerel and wahoo is the length of the wire trace. To prevent bite-offs from a hooked fish’s ‘inquisitive mates’, I keep the trace length to around 30cm on both lures and live baits and use as small as possible black rolling swivel to minimise air bubbles.
When you make your own rigs, it’s easy to make whatever length leaders required, but a lot of skirted lures come pre-rigged on a couple of metres of heavy wire. You can crimp a stopper around 30cm from the lure to prevent the lure running the length of the wire leader when a fish is hooked and running or chop the excess off and reattach a swivel, which is my preferred option. On wire size, I use either 44lb or 58lb Mason single strand when live baiting and multi-strand between 80-100lb on my skirted lures.
The next few months is the time to chase the razor gang, so let’s hope the weather pattern gives us plenty of opportunities to head offshore.
Enjoy you fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on charter (max. 8 persons) give me a call on (07) 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750.Reads: 718