Pelagics out wide and reefies in close
  |  First Published: March 2016

At this time of year, the weather in the South East gives us limited opportunities to get offshore, and so far we’ve only had a handful of fishable days in both January and February.

March is normally one of the best months for chasing pelagics east of the South Passage Bar and if we get a prevailing southern weather pattern, the Spanish mackerel that have been patchy so far should really turn on! Chasing Spanish mackerel can be frustrating, sometimes you’ll have to troll for hours without a strike, but when you do get into a patch of fish, it can be very rewarding.

The bite period on Spanish can be around dawn, dusk or on a tide change and might not last for long, so it pays to have plenty of rigs handy. There’s an old saying, “You catch more fish at home,” and it’s very true, especially with mackerel fishing. You can spend half the bite period fixing gear instead of getting another bait straight back in the water. I like to pre-make rigs, label them and put them in zip-lock bags for easy access.

Most mackerel anglers use single strand wire between 30-60lb, depending on location or fish size, but it is wise to check for any kinks in the wire as it could break very easily under the weight of the next fish.

As I mentioned, this is definitely pelagic time east of the South Passage Bar, but you still have a few options to nail a feed of reefies.

The shallow reefs around Point Lookout in about 25-45m of water tend to fish well for mixed bags, which can include Venus tuskfish, Moses perch, juvenile snapper and pearl perch. There’s no need to float line in the area, a paternoster rig with some fresh flesh baits will do the trick.

If you get a hot steamy day with very little wind, the 100m line due east of Point Lookout can often turn it on for quality pearl perch.

Mahimahi should also still be around in good numbers this month, and for the jiggers a few yellowtail kingfish and amberjacks should be around out wide on the wrecks.

• 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 [url=http://www.outlawcharters.com.au/].

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