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Marvellous May
  |  First Published: May 2008



If late April’s fishing was any guide, then May should be a cracker of a month.

Emerging from the four to five weeks that constantly blew at 20-25 knots, there have been great windows of good weather and the fish gods smiled as the estuaries, inshore and offshore all produced great fishing.

Offshore, the larger boats got into some great coral trout, red emperor and some big mackerel. It obviously helped that the weather has prevented some of these spots being fished for months.

Inshore, I managed to get a great trip fishing a wreck with a mate of mine. We arrived on our spot at about 1am and the first drop down was snapped up by a healthy 70cm red throat emperor. Our rigs consisted of a Daiwa TD400 loaded with 14lb Fireline on a 5-6kg spin stick, a 40lb leader was tied directly to the braid then a bean sinker, and 60cm of leader was then attached to the end a 5/0 Mustard Big Red hook.

I know I have gone into some detail, but there is a reason this rig was a killer. Both of us fished light and wrestled small mouth nannygai, sweetlip up to 85cm and even a very respectable cod off the bottom. A mate of mine was fishing with us in his boat and although he did catch a good feed his heavier gear and heavy rigs weren’t fooling the big guys. He did switch over to the light gear later only to be spooled by a monster. The lesson here is we did get busted up a few times but we certainly hooked more fishing the lighter gear.

Another important lesson that I just have to share is anchoring. I do a lot of drift fishing when the conditions are right, but when things aren’t working I find anchoring can be the best way to concentrate your baits on the spot. So it is important to make sure you do it properly. Unlike the boat next to us.

When the sun came up on our spot, another boat showed up and after a short sound around they dropped their reef anchor with about 1m of chain on it. After it hit the bottom they tied it off to the back of the boat and dropped down some seriously heavy gear. Now the majority of the bottom in our area is sand so as you can imagine a 5m sports fishing boat isn’t going to hold in sand on a reef pick, the only time this works is when you hook up on the very thing you are trying to fish.

During this time, we were drifting and casting metal slugs around the wreck, which we kept in touch with by constantly watching the GPS and sounder. It was frustrating as we watched the boat drift away with the two keen anglers fiercely concentrating on their fishing not their GPS. If only they used a marker buoy or even turned around to see us a couple of miles behind them still fishing in the same spot.

The day finished on a high, when we returned to the river mouth. The birds were working as the tuna, trevally, queenfish and hordes of mackerel all fed on the large schools of baitfish. We stopped and within a few casts we were both on to northern bluefin tuna. We stayed for an hour and had a blast!

Lets hope May proves to be just a marvellous.

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