A late run of Spanish hopefully to come
  |  First Published: May 2016

I spent Easter on the Gold Coast with my family and managed to sneak in a few mackerel sessions out on Palm Beach and the gravel patch. The Spanish mackerel weren’t thick but we did manage a couple of fish every time we went out.

Our best fish went close to 20kg, and my daughter Kirsten got her personal best Spaniard at around 12kg. This time last year there were more mackerel getting caught in the South East corner of the state, but from all reports coming in, Northern NSW is having a bumper season. There’ve been plenty of good Spaniards caught from Ballina through to Coffs Harbour. A heavy band of warm water around 30°C in the area explains why the fish and bait are down so far, compared to the water temperature where I was fishing, which was around 25-26°C.

The bait and the mackerel have come back this way, so we could still be in for a good late run, if the fish don’t bypass us out wide. On another note, the Gold Coast City Council needs to spend a few bucks and dredge the mouths of both Tallebudgera and Currumbin creeks, as you can nearly walk across them a couple of hours either side of low tide. A lot of people spend a lot of money holidaying in the area at both Christmas and Easter to chase the seasonal mackerel runs, so the least the council could do is make these areas safer.

A few years back a good mate of mine let me borrow his 4.9m Stessco tinny to chase mackerel off the Gold Coast and I was so impressed with the ride for a small boat, I went out and purchased one myself. I’ve now had my Stessco Tornado SFX 490 for around 12 months and it’s a pleasure to handle and fish from. The only difference between my boat to a standard model is I took the option of a 4mm bottom over the standard 3mm. If you’re looking for a quality aluminium boat, have a look at Stessco; I’m sure you’ll like what you see!

On charter there have been good solid juvenile snapper and the odd snapper dominating catches. We’ve been working the wider grounds in 70-90m of water and all fish were caught floatlining. Along with the juvenile snapper, we found the odd rosy jobfish and pearl perch.

This month will see snapper numbers continue to improve as water temperatures drop a little. Most lines of reef will hold fish, so it’s just a matter of sounding them out. This time last year saw yellowtail kingfish and amberjack become fairly active, so it might pay to have a jig or drop in a few lines! Let’s hope the return run of Spanish mackerel don’t bypass us and we could still be in for some good late season pelagic fishing.

• 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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