Pelagics, snapper and mulloway in the Southern Bay
  |  First Published: February 2017

With the holidays over, things have finally settled. The mayhem and chaos that come with it have passed. The weather hasn’t helped things with some very windy days blowing by. It seems that all week is calm and once the weekend rolls on in, the wind picks up! It’s very frustrating for those of us working Monday to Friday. I envy those of you who can fish during the week.

Pelagic Action

The highly anticipated spotted mackerel are here. There have been reports of schools showing up from Tangalooma down to Goat Island and everywhere in between. Keep your eyes peeled for surface activity and birds diving, as this will be a good indication of mackerel feeding. I have found the best bet is to head towards the Harry Atkinson Artificial and search around there. Between Harries and the Sand Hills has been a popular area for them.

Mackerel will chase bait schools between Peel and Goat Island. These schools can just randomly show up, so it pays to have a rod ready and rigged with a small metal slug that you can quickly get into the schools. I prefer smaller sized lures up to 20g, as most often the bait they are feeding on is quite small. Soft plastics fished slightly slower can also work if they are being fussy. This may result in bite-offs, but can help get you a few extra bites. In particular the 5” ZMan StreakZ in bubblegum colour are a gun bait!


During this time of the year, a consistent way of getting a good feed of snapper in Moreton Bay is to move away from the crowds and find somewhere out of the box. Aim to be out on the water as early as possible and try to get to your spot before everyone else wakes up!

I’m a big fan of fishing the shallow reef edges. The average size can be smaller, but it’s a good place to fish while the boat traffic is up and there is plenty of action. Fewer anglers will target these areas and focus on the deeper reefs. Using lightly weighted soft plastics rigged on 1/8 jigheads hopped along the reef edge or deep diving crankbaits will keep the bites coming. Aim to fish the low light periods of the day and use the tide to drift so you cover more ground.


The mulloway have been around, but unfortunately not in any great numbers. Here one day and gone the next seems to be the common theme. Keep a close eye on your sounder and ensure you get your lures down to them once spotted. Peel Island Artificial Reef has been producing the odd fish for anglers willing to put in the time. Jigheads of 1/2oz weight rigged with 3-5” soft plastics have been the best method. The new Z-Man 5” Curly Tail StreakZ have just been released and are going to be a killer on the mulloway and snapper.

I’m hopeful that the weather will start to settle over the next few weeks and maybe get out a few times! Now is a great time of year for big snapper, so make the most of any good weather we get and spend some time on the water. Enjoy your time out!

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