Mahimahi and snapper madness
  |  First Published: February 2016

We had a fabulous run of weather just prior to Christmas and the fishing turned it on for us.

Quality snapper and mahimahi dominated catches and kept my clients busy. Most of the snapper were fish in the 40-50cm bracket with the odd larger one, and as with last report, there was plenty of mahimahi in the 8-10kg range keen to put on an aerial display for us.

We picked a few of the better mahimahi around the FADs, but most were just smaller versions around just 2-3kg. The better fish found us while we were snapper fishing, and the idea was to have a few livies ready to go when they showed up.

Spanish mackerel turned up in the Point Lookout area just prior to Christmas and we should see their numbers steadily increasing over the next couple of months. We did have one quick troll at a coffee rock reef and we boated a couple of spotted and Spanish mackerel, but if we’d have had better quality live bait, I think we may have picked up some better Spaniards.

This is definitely the time of year to work the shallow coffee rock reefs in tight to Moreton Island and if you can find the bait schools, you will usually find the mackerel. Most of the reef is in 10-15m of water and is normally easy to find, as there is clumps right along the length of Moreton Island.

When we fish the area, it’s mainly with live bait aimed at Spanish mackerel, but if the school mackerel have moved in, towing a pilly on a set of weighted ganged hooks at 3-4 knots can be very effective.

The only time I don’t like to troll in the area is if we had prolonged northerlies blowing and the water is that dirty green colour. If the colour isn’t too bad with just a slight tinge of green to it, I find live baits such as yellowtail pike work very well trolled at idle speed.

Amberjack, Samson fish and yellowtail kingfish have been hard work east of the South Passage Bar the last few months, but when we’ve found them on the chew, the sharks have been a real problem.

In the next couple of months, the pelagic fishing should really hot up off the South Passage Bar, so dust off the trolling gear and go have some fun!

• 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.

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