Spanish play time
  |  First Published: April 2014

Over the past couple of months the weather has limited the number of days for offshore fishing but the mackerel, as well as the reefies, have kept us all busy. With a bit of luck, this will continue into April and we usually see the bigger Spainiards and wahoo turn up to play.

A lot of the Spaniards caught this season haven’t broken any records size wise, but through March and April fish better than 10kg start to be caught regularly, and even the odd one up to 20kg.

This is also the time the XOS wahoo are around and my records show this is the time of year we’ve boated some 30kg+ brutes on charter. These bigger fish will definitely test out your gear, so make sure your drags are smooth and terminal tackle in good order. I use Mason single strand wire for all my trolling rigs and if the wire has been kinked I’ll change it immediately or else it’s sure to break on the next hooked fish.

Remember to make plenty of rigs at home as more fish are caught at home with good prep work. Don’t try to knock up rigs in the boat when you should have lines in the water and the fish are on the chew.

On charter this time of the year I like to have a crack at the mackerel first up. If they’re playing the game I’ll hang in, but if they go quiet I’ll go wide and chase bottom fish to get my clients back on the action.

On a few of my recent charters we have gone out wide to 80-90m of water and the juvenile snapper, with the odd good snapper mixed in, have continued to be in good numbers and it’s not taking too much effort to get our bag limit.

When the mackerel slow down and the water temp starts dropping during the next couple of months we might be in for another solid snapper season. But at present anglers have got the best of both worlds east of the South Passage bar with both pelagic and the reefies in good numbers.

As I’ve mentioned in a few recent reports the South Passage bar has changed a fair bit of late, especially the northern gutter so have a good look before you go charging through. I’ve been using the Amity and Rufus King channels a fair bit lately and they’ve been pretty good most days but conditions change constantly, so again have a good look before crossing.

Over the Easter break there will be plenty of traffic around boat ramps and on the water, so be patient and take that extra bit of care with more boats moving around.

• Enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on charter (max 8 people) give me a call at outlaw charters on 07 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750.

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