Spring has well and truly set in and the fishing is warming up just as fast. This time of the year is my absolute favourite for fishing in Moreton Bay, and looking back through my old photos, October is definitely the month for mulloway!
Spring over the last few years has provided some great fishing and the way things are looking, we can expect to see the same.
They are slightly early this year, but there have been reports of some longtail tuna and school mackerel in the Southern Bay. These fish generally don’t come through until summer, but here’s hoping for an extended season!
Mackerel have been chasing bait schools through the Rainbow Passage towards Amity. Use your sounder to locate the bait, and then using a metal slug or a soft plastic, work your lures as fast as you can back through the bait. If the mackerel are around, you will find out pretty quick!
The longtail tuna have been spotted around Harry Atkinson Reef and towards Mud Island. There is not a specific spot for these fish, so paying attention to the sounder for schools of bait and looking for birds should be a high priority when finding the tuna. There have been some barrel-sized tuna around, so make sure you have the correct gear ready.
Gear that’s too light will lead to a long battle, which almost always ends with sharks grabbing the fish! Fish as heavy as you can get away with and get them in before the sharks get a free meal! I like to fish 30lb braid, matched to a PE3 or 10-15kg rated rod. My preferred lure is a sinking sickbait, as they are heavily weighted for long casts and have a slow sink. A slow sweeping retrieve is all that is needed, and helps keep the lure in the strike zone as long as possible.
The snapper fishing has been relatively quiet for the past few weeks, but I expect that will change as we move towards summer and the bigger fish move back into the bay.
Anglers putting in the time have reaped the rewards with good pan-sized fish. You’ve got to get in early though, as the fish have been feeding just as the sun hits the horizon, and then moving on very shortly after.
Peel Artificial and Harry Atkinson Reef are the best bets, fishing soft plastics and micro-jigs has seen fish landed.
Now is the prime time to target these silver ghosts as they school up in big numbers in the southern bay. Whenever I get asked about how to target mulloway, the most critical part is using your sounder. These fish will quite often move around, so making sure that your lure is in front of the fish’s face is crucial.
At times I will sound around for hours before making a cast. It seems a bit crazy, but when you find that big school of fish, it is well worth the effort! I like to use Side Scan to cover large areas of ground as I sound around, and with the Lowrance Structure Scan I can view 50m either side of the boat, which saves a lot of time when locating the schools of fish.
Once you do find the schools, drop down a lure as close to fish as possible. These fish are generally pretty lazy and won’t travel far to chase a lure down, so making sure that you keep that lure right on the fish is important. I like to use soft plastics for mulloway, with a 1/2oz jighead, as this allows me to sink the lure down quick enough straight into the schools.
My go-to lure is the 4” ZMan Curly TailZ StreakZ in the baby bass colour. I have lost count of the amount of mulloway I have caught on that particular lure!
Hopefully we get some good weather and we can get out there this month! I know I can’t wait to get stuck into some mulloway and snapper.Reads: 1050