Pelagics tick all the boxes
  |  First Published: June 2016

The snapper continue to fire on all fronts! The fishing in Moreton Bay has been fantastic over the last few months, and with things the way they are, hopefully this will continue through winter as well. We have had a great run of tuna show up, both longtail and mac, plus the odd Spanish and spotty mackerel and schools of mulloway – what an awesome fishery. Oh and don’t forget the squid, plenty of them around too!


There aren’t too many secrets when it comes to Moreton Bay snapper. The trick is to just put in the time and keep your line in the water. Some days you can nail them, and the very next day come home empty handed. Anglers that have had the most success on larger snapper have fished the artificial reefs – Harry Atkinson and West Peel.

If you have never fished these before, do yourself a favour and do a quick Google search. The GPS Coordinates are available for everyone and it’s well worth keeping these marks on your sounder/GPS. Early mornings have been the pick of the times, and drifting around the artificial reefs with soft plastics is by far the most effective method. The fish tend to move around, and I find that drifting lets you cover a lot of potential ground.

Once you start to get fish or notice more action, it’s always worth concentrating on that specific area, especially if you can see the fish on the sounder. Live baits have also worked well, and if you can catch them, live squid have been the best bait to lure really big fish! The shallow reefs around the Islands have also been worth a shot early in the morning. The size hasn’t been as great as the deeper water, but the numbers make up for it. Lightly weighted soft plastics are a great option here.


The mulloway have been sporadic lately with some monster schools showing up, but moving on just as quickly. They don’t seem to hang around in the same spots for very long until spring where they will frequent areas like the Peel Artificial Reef. Still, it’s always worthwhile to give them a crack and if you get lucky and find the fish they can be a lot of fun!

On a recent unsuccessful trip out offshore, we headed back in but had a quick stop at the Peel Artificial Reef to see if we could spot any mulloway on the sounder. It turned out to be a great decision with plenty of fish showing. We managed to get a few to the boat, before the sharks showed up and ended things pretty quickly. It definitely saved the day for us, and regardless of how many boats are fishing there; I always give it a quick look. You just never know!


They are still around! If you have spent any time driving around Moreton Bay lately, chances are you’ve seen them or the birds diving down around them. While it does seem like the tuna have slowed a little from the previous months, they are still around and well worth a crack. They have slowly been moving south and are now showing around Goat Island and even up to Macleay.

If you do head out, look between Peel Island, just north of Harries and down the eastern side of Peel towards Goat. Tuna can really pop up anywhere, so some days you just have to drive and drive until you find them. The sharks have been a real problem lately with a lot of anglers loosing fish mid-fight to these predators. It’s extremely frustrating but unfortunately there isn’t much we can do about it. Turn your motor off while fighting the fish, and fish heavier line to try to get the fish in as soon as possible. Long fights almost always end in tears so try to use the heavy gear if you plan on chasing tuna.

There have also been some Spanish mackerel showing up around the tuna schools, they aren’t in large numbers so it can be hard to target them.

There is more great fishing to be had this month, so do yourself a favour and get out there! If you have any success or a story 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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