April traditionally sees the water temperature drop a degree or two, bringing the reef species back on anglers’ hit lists. We’ve really got the best of both worlds at this time of year with the pelagics still well and truly active, especially XOS wahoo and Spanish mackerel.
Wahoo in the 20-25kg range should be turning up on a regular basis to test anglers’ skill and gear. At this time of year I increase my lure, wire and hook size to give myself a better than even chance of landing some of these speedsters. Wahoo have a hard, beak-like mouth so make sure your hooks are razor sharp or you will repeatedly drop good fish.
I chase wahoo with both skirted and hard-bodied lures, but often their hooks aren’t overly sharp out of the box – especially the trebles on some of the hard-bodies. Give them a touch up on a hook stone and you’ll increase your chances of a solid hook-up.
Some anglers regularly bemoan the number of times they get bitten off, even though they have used several feet of heavy wire. The problem is that when the hooked fish is running, the skirted lure runs down the length of wire and butts up against the swivel or snap swivel. A hungry wahoo running beside the hooked fish will often see the tantalising skirt waving, take a snap at it and cut the line above the wire.
There are a few ways to stop this happening. One way is to crimp a small stop on the wire leader about a foot above the lure, to stop it from going any further. An alternative is to use a combination leader, consisting of a short length of wire crimped to a length of heavy mono, so the lure can’t go further than the joining crimp.
My preferred method, however, is to use only a short length of wire – around 1-2ft. I use a double that’s approx. 2m long, and a short length of 100-150lb multi-strand wire. I have found this stops most of the bite-offs.
Lure manufacturers are only too happy to rig their skirted lures with generous amounts of wire, but they’re also happy for you to keep buying more to replace those you’ve lost! I hope these couple of tips save you a few bucks.
You’ll be pleased to know that small black marlin don’t seem to mind the short length of wire either. So far this season we’ve nailed quite a few fishing this way, so don’t think that by using wire you’ll rule them out.
Offshore fishing during February was nearly a wipe-out, with strong east-southeasterly breezes and a consistent 1.5-2m easterly swell hammering the coast. When we have been able to get out, Spanish mackerel have been hard to find but thankfully wahoo, small yellowfin tuna and little black marlin have been keeping us busy.
This month will see the marlin slow in close but hopefully I’ll have some good reports next issue of good Spaniards and wahoo turning up throughout March and early April. With the cooler water temperatures and slowing currents, a few snapper and pearl perch should be on the chew, and these fish are well worth the effort.
I hope everyone has a happy and safe Easter on the water. Just take that little bit of extra care with so many boats on the water over the Easter break.
Enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on a charter (max. 4 persons) give me a call on (07) 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750.
1 yellowshirt) A good wahoo from the Sevens, northeast of Flat Rock.
2 blueshirt) Darren Round from Jarvis Walker / Penn with a nice Point Lookout wahoo.Reads: 1434