Pelagics have arrived
  |  First Published: February 2014

We had a good run of weather up until Christmas and managed to get out on plenty of charters, with good squire and the occasional bigger snapper dominating the catches.

In February I normally live bait for kingfish, amberjack and trag (teraglin), but with the squire still around in good numbers it’s hard to drive past them. We’ve been pulling our fish from 85-90m of water northeast of the South Passage bar, but I’ve also heard of some quality snapper coming from the 35 Fathom line and also from the Shallow Tempest area. The snapper have been caught right along the 35 Fathom line starting from the southern end just north of Flat Rock, through to the northern 35s. There is no secret to the technique anglers are using: Most fish are falling to floatlined pillies with as light a lead as possible.

There is a Green Zone at the bottom end of the 35s, so make sure you know where it is and keep clear.

Anglers fishing east of the South Passage Bar at present are being spoiled for choice with the pelagics having arrived. There have been good numbers of Spanish mackerel and wahoo caught in the Point Lookout area, plus school and Spanish mackerel from the shallow coffee rock along the front of Moreton Island. Around Point Lookout, well rigged dead baits such as gar, bonito or slimy mackerel, plus slow trolled livies are accounting for plenty of Spanish mackerel. Most of the wahoo are whacking lures trolled at high speed like Halco Laser Pros and skirted lures. As I’ve stated many times before, make sure your hooks are razor sharp to penetrate the wahoo’s tough mouth.

Along with the wahoo there have been a few yellowfin tuna and the ever present mac tuna. There have also been reasonable numbers of mahi mahi around the buoys off Point Lookout, but boat traffic has been an issue.

I’ve just had a couple of weeks off and the weather since has been pretty ordinary, so let’s hope for a decent run of weather so we can get a crack at the quality fish that are out there right now.

For those unaware, I have been working on a new 9m boat for the last few months. It’s a Performance Plate boat built locally at Brendale and I have again gone with Honda outboards, bolting a pair of the new 250hp outboards on the back. After years of chartering I’ve got the layout the way I want it and there is plenty of room to fish the 8 anglers I take out fishing. Like any new boat I had a few teething problems, but once we got the engine height and prop size and style right the boat ran incredibly smoothly. It impresses me every time I take it on the seas.

The new 250hp Hondas are just amazing with their fuel economy, quietness and their overall ease of operation.

Capping the number of anglers at 8 still lets me fish the same way I fished on the smaller boat with 5 anglers, allowing me to maintain that personal touch. I’ve decked the boat out with Garmin and Furuno electronics and fishing equipment is all the latest Penn reels and Live Fibre rods. This means the clients can experience fishing using quality tackle, exactly the same as I would use to fish with. So come and join me on Outlaw Charters, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your day on the water.

On another note it’s sad to see Radio 4BC axe The Fishin’ Show with Dave Downie after 10 years. Dave has been a wealth of knowledge to anglers and his weekend reports will be missed by all. I’d like to thank Dave for the time he took with me and the exposure he gave Outlaw Charters over the years. I am sure he’ll pop up somewhere soon.

Enjoy your 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.

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