The weather and the water temperature have certainly turned up the heat, but unfortunately I cannot say the same for Spanish mackerel and wahoo. There was an early run of spotted mackerel down off the Gold Coast, which is unusual, as they tend to arrive a little later. The Spanish mackerel went really late this year and we were still getting fish in August, so it’s possible there will be a late start to their run this season, and if so, they should hit their peak in February, March and into April.
One pelagic species that have turned up in numbers and size are the mahimahi. The billfish brigade have been trolling them up, with plenty found around the FADs, as well as some appearing around the boat while reef fishing. We’ve pulled some really great ones of late on charter, both around the FADs and while we’ve been floatlining for snapper. The mahimahi have pleased anglers with size and numbers, and some days we’ve boated fish in the 8-10kg range. Target them with livies but when they simply show up around the boat, they’ll happily have a go at your pillies.
As I mentioned earlier, the spotties have turned up off the Gold Coast and there have been fair numbers showing up in Moreton Bay, which could indicate that we are in for a reasonable season.
Off Moreton Island, the spotties don’t seem to hold like they do off Noosa, Mooloolaba, or the Gold Coast, and it’s more the rarity than the norm if we get them in any numbers. Spanish mackerel dominate catches at the coffee rock reefs in tight to Moreton Island, and off Point Lookout. If you want to target spotties, either spin the working schools in Moreton Bay or baitfish for them off the Gold Coast.
Solid juvenile snapper continue to keep us busy on charter and we are still getting our bag limit on most trips out on the wider grounds.
Shallow Tempest has fished well recently, and there have been good mixed bags of fish, with some solid snapper and spangled emperor among them. With the amount of bait available, it should continue to fish well for both bottom fish and pelagics. It’s often worth having a spin around the bait schools in the area with 50-70g slugs such as lasers or Wilson Knights.
Most of the area is around 30-35m in depth, which makes it important to allow your lure sink to the bottom before cranking it flat out through the bait school. For more strikes don’t use wire, 30-40lb mono or fluorocarbon will do the trick, and you’ll find a mackerel very receptive in the area.
• Until next month, 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 or visit my new website www.outlawcharters.com.au.Reads: 924