The run of mackerel has been the best for years and during April the mackerel were still at it smashing baits and lures with sometimes reckless abandon.
However by mid-April they had started to slow down and better fishing was had on the better moon phases. Those lucky enough to get out on the rising moon were finding first class fishing for mackerel from Point Lookout and around the Coffee Rocks. The run of fish on the Gold Coast has also continued with heaps of mackerel in the 5-7kg bracket.
In late April a few of the larger mackerel started turning up and these are serious fish, often getting around the 20kg mark. They are tough to find, but when they find you and your lures, it’s action stations.
As May progresses there will be more of these larger fish hunting a feed and when you add in the XOS wahoo that are around at this time of year, then fishing outside the South Passage Bar can be a very good idea.
While offshore, if you are tempted to target a mahi mahi, drop by any of the FADs and throw an unweighted pillie or a small metal lure and hang on. These little mahi mahi are great fun and there are plenty of them. They’re a bit on the small size but they are also one of the fastest growing fish in the oceans, so by May they should be prime targets as you head offshore to chase mackerel, wahoo and the building numbers of snapper.
Speaking of snapper, they are building up in numbers very nicely and as the water cools this build up will continue. Fishing in deep water around Deep Tempest and out to around 90m will see plenty of small snapper caught on the bottom as the currents slow. There are some really good fish being caught as well and the numbers of larger fish will only increase as time passes.
If you wanted to get a sneaky snapper in, try fishing for big knobbies around Shallow Tempest with float lines baits of pillies. At this time of year there are a few 6kg+ models getting around Shallow Tempest that are well worth the effort. It will take you a bit of time to find and tempt them, but the rewards are well worth investing some time into.
If amberjack and kings are your flavour then there are quite a few taking jigs and baits on the wrecks in 115m of water. The average size is quite manageable at around 4-6kg, however there is always the chance of bigger fish up to 30kg coming along so don’t go too light. We recently landed half an amberjack that I estimated to be around 25kg so the sharks are still a bit of problem when the fights drag on.
But the real excitement in May is the opportunity to tempt more snapper and also the chance to get a serious mackerel or wahoo, so if the weather is in your favour get out there and get amongst some great fishing.
One word of caution though is to take extra care on the South Passage Bar. The bar is changing constantly so what you experienced last trip out is not necessarily what will present itself this time. Take your time and approach with caution.