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Big mongrel mackerel
  |  First Published: February 2016



The last month of summer arrives as the kids get back to school. Holidays are well and truly over! If you have been lucky enough to get out and fish over the last month I hope you managed to get into a few! From all reports, January was a mixed month in the Southern Bay. Reports of spotty mackerel were common, with the odd snapper and mulloway caught. The biggest factor has been the unpredictable weather – if you found a calm day, you had to get out there and make the most of it!

Snapper

Bigger snapper are usually caught around this time of the year, however this summer they haven’t seemed to eventuate. Anglers who target fish in the shallows have achieved the best results with snapper up to 50cm a common occurrence. There have been a few grassy sweetlip around, which give you a good tussle over the shallow reefs!

Lightly weighted soft plastics and deep diving crankbaits are popular options as these lures allow you to cover more ground and find the fish. Generally, if you can find the bait schools hanging off the reef, the fish won’t be far off! Brandon Gosbell sent in a photo of a tuskfish he caught while chasing bream! This is a dream catch for many Moreton Bay fishermen – they are an elusive fish and pull like steam-trains! Brandon managed to get his in with only 3lb line!

mulloway

The silver ghosts of Moreton Bay have been hit and miss in the last month with some big schools showing up one day and disappearing just as quickly the next. We had a great session at the Peel Artificial Reef targeting mulloway and managed to land a few before the sharks moved in and put an end to it all. Soft plastics rigged on a 1/2oz jighead worked the best, but as the fish were holding tight to the bottom, the most important factor was to keep the lure firmly on the bottom.

Mackerel

Mackerel have been consistent over the past few months with good numbers showing up all over Moreton Bay. There have been numerous reports of anglers catching plenty, following the birds and looking out for the surface activity. To catch a spotty mackerel throw metal lures into the schools and wind them in as fast as you can. You really need a quick retrieve to get them interested. Another effective technique is to use soft plastics, which can be worked slower, but still get the mackerel fired up enough to bite. Just be sure to use soft plastics such as Z-mans as they tend to last longer against sharp mackerel teeth. The best areas have been east of Peel Island, up the Rainbow Channel towards Amity as well as around Harry Atkinson Artificial Reef. They tend to pop up randomly, so you may have to drive a bit to find the schools.

Land-based Options

If you don’t have access to a boat, or you want an easy way to spend a few hours fishing, there are ample land-based options out there. The larger summer tides allow plenty of bream to move up into the flooded banks and feed in the shallows at this time of the year. Most of the foreshore in the Southern Bay area is worth a shot, just concentrate on areas with structure such as mangroves, rocks or weed and aim to fish around the high tides. Lightly weighted lures such as small soft plastics or small crankbaits will work well. If you prefer to fish bait, try to get a hold of something fresh, squid or prawns are good options. Be sure to use minimal weight and fish a light line and you will be in with a shot. Some areas to try include Wynnum and Manly Foreshore, Raby Bay canal entrances and the Wellington Point foreshore.

There are plenty of options out there this month, hopefully the mackerel hang around for a bit longer and soon we can see some tuna action! They were a disappointment last year, so fingers crossed this year is a bit better! As always, if you have a picture or a report you would like to share, send it through to --e-mail address hidden-- and I will do my best to get in the magazine!

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