The mackerel didn’t arrive in great numbers in early January, but they shouldn’t be too far away now.
The main problem has been a line of green water in close to Moreton Island that has pushed the bait and predators out wide. A break in the constant northerlies we experienced in late December and early January will let the southerlies push the cleaner water back in close and the rest will follow. The dirty water has also made it hard to get livies and I’ve had to get bait from deeper water over the last month or so.
The fishing has been patchy at best and while we’ve been waiting for the mackerel, the late season squire and snapper have been putting some colour in the icebox.
Shallow Tempest and most of the shallow reefs around Point Lookout have been holding fair numbers of fish and are a try this month.
Good quality dolphinfish have been in good numbers and fish better than 10kg have been common. The boats towing plastics have been getting plenty, as have bottom fishers who have had the dolphinfish turn up around their boats while drifting. The switched on anglers have been feeding these fish an unweighted bait and making the most of their good fortune.
On a recent trip we were jigging on the 35s when three large dolphinfish turned up and we landed two of them – one at 20kg and the other 11kg. Both fish took pillies after a little coaxing. If we had livies on board we probably would have gotten all three. The lesson is to have a spare rod rigged and handy, a couple of livebaits in the tank and quick reactions when these fish turn up. They are a spectacular looking fish and taste fantastic on the table.
For those chasing the billfish, there have been good numbers of small black marlin in the Cape Moreton, Hutchinsons Shoals and Trench areas. Finding the bait schools has been the key.
Down around Point Lookout there have been a few Spaniards around the Group when the cleaner water has pushed in close. As mentioned last moth, plenty of bait schools are pushing down the coast; at present there is still plenty of bait in the area. Most has been on or around the 50m line so all we need to bring the toothy critters on the bite is a change in the weather patterns.
Bottom fishing on the wider grounds is still hit and miss at present with the strong currents proving to be the biggest problem. Jigging has been fairly productive and on some days the rat kingfish have been in big numbers; on several occasions we’ve had a small kingfish on each hook of the jig.
The mackerel should be around by now and we’ll be hearing plenty of screaming ratchets.
Until next month, take care on the coastal bars. If you’d like to join me on a charter (max 4 persons) give me a call on 0418 738 750.Reads: 492