Hoping for good bites when the water clears
  |  First Published: May 2017

Before cyclone Debbie rushed over, the fishing east of the South Passage seemed to be improving. On the charters we did just prior to the cyclone, there was a lot of bait around and plenty of mac tuna working them. Spanish mackerel numbers also picked up a little and there were solid specimens caught from Cape Moreton to the border.

With a little luck, once the water cleans up, the mackerel will stay in a little longer for us. Mahimahi also turned up in good numbers and we had a few red hot sessions on the wave rider buoy off Point Lookout and also out in 90m. When we were snapper fishing they turned up around the boat and we kept them interested with a bit of berley. Most fish were around a couple kilos and the odd bull turned up to put on a show. We had a fair bit of strong southerly current as well. The stronger the current, the better the mahimahi fire up.

With the water temperature cooling a little, snapper numbers have also been on the improve and we’ve been picking up solid fish on the shallow reefs around Point Lookout. Out on the 90m line, south of Deep Tempest, we have been pulling reasonable numbers of fish in the 40-50cm bracket.

There were great numbers and quality fish showing up along the 33s, but they were a little inconsistent. I don’t think it will be too long before the snapper are in full swing along the 29s, 33s and the 35 fathom reefs, as last season saw a solid early run of fish in late May and June and there was plenty of quality 5-6kg models amongst them.

As I’ve said many times before, floatlining with pillies and fresh flesh baits such as bonito, tailor and mullet will take the better quality fish. For those who prefer to use plastics, 7” lures seem to be consistent fish takers.

As far as kingfish and amberjacks go, the last couple of years haven’t really seen a clearly defined peak season. In past years as the water temperatures warmed up their numbers would increase. In the last couple of seasons, we’ve seen good numbers during the cooler months. Yellowtail kingfish and amberjacks will smash lures and baits, so it’s just the angler’s preference.

• 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 website outlawcharters.com.au.

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