More of the same reliable options
  |  First Published: March 2017

To be brutally honest, fishing east of the South Passage Bar this month has been more of the same, with chasing bottom dwellers a fair more reliable option than targeting the unreliable pleagics.

Recently, there have been a few Spanish mackerel and wahoo caught but not in any consistency, and I think we all have our fingers crossed we’ll see some sort of late season run.

The next couple of months are normally when some hefty wahoo and Spanish mackerel show up, so slow trolling some large live baits such as mac tuna could pay dividends. Although the pelagics haven’t been full on in recent weeks, fishing east of the South Passage at this time of year will give you the opportunity to break up the day’s fishing with a bit of trolling and some bottom fishing to get some colour in the kill tank and some tasty fillets on the table.

On charters lately squire with the odd good snapper to around 6kg have kept us busy most days. However, seeing as the snapper are not in full swing, some days we’ve had to do some kilometres to find them.

Depending on the moon phase, we’ve found snapper at Shallow Tempest, the top of the 29s, the broken ground on the 33 fathom line and the shallow reefs around Point Lookout. Oddly, the 90m line, which usually fishes well at this time of year, has been very patchy – even though there have been good shows of fish whenever we’ve had a look out there.

A couple of good options at this time of year include targeting amberjacks, samsonfish and yellowtail kingfish with live bait on the winder reefs and isolated wrecks.

Another good option is to target quality pearl perch on the weed grounds in around 70m east of Flat Rock, and also on the 100m line east of Point Lookout, especially on those steamy March days when there is little wind about.

The next couple of months will see the close reefs around Point Lookout fish quite well for venus tuskfish, Moses perch, pearl perch and an assortment of other colourful and tasty bottom fish. Bottom bouncing with fresh strip baits will give you a good chance of securing a feed on the closer reefs. If you want to chase pearl perch out wide, I recommend running a double dropper with a pilly on a gang on one and a strip bait on a single hook on the other.

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