After having a couple of weeks break with the family in January, it’s back to work when the weather permits. Late January and so far in February the weather has been very ordinary preventing me and others from wetting a line.
The one good thing about the persistent southerly winds is that the cleaner water should stay in close to Moreton Island and North Straddie. In turn this will keep the bait and predators in close as well. As I mentioned last month, there has already been good numbers of mackerel caught this season and with any luck they will turn it on in the coming weeks.
March and April are also peak wahoo periods. Some real speedsters should be on the menu at all their usual haunts including The Group, Point Loockout, Shallow Tempest and further north around Hutchies and the Trench. When trolling lures for wahoo make sure your hooks are razor sharp to penetrate their hard beak-like mouths. On some hardbodied lures, the hooks will need to be replaced as they’re not up to the job.
When I run skirted lures for wahoo, I only use a short length of wire, about 50-60m, to limit the amount of bite-offs from the hooked fish’s mates. Wahoo lures that come pre-rigged with long lengths of wires need to have a stop crimped on the wire to stop the lure ending up against the swivel, where it is easy access to the other fish. Wahoo will hit a wide variety of lures towed at speed and colour really depends of the day, so don’t be afraid to chop and change lures or colours.
Wahoo, like mackerel, are a fine table fish that need to be bled and iced immediately after capture. From 1 March 2009 the new bag limit for wahoo is a more sensible two fish per person at 75cm, which is a drastic jump down from 10 fish per person.
On the subject of bad limits, there is a host of new limits that come into effect at the start of March, so be aware of these limits to avoid getting caught out.
Bottom fishing is normally a battle this month, but if you can get a day with not a lot of current around, dropping a jig or a lure on the wider reefs should see amberjack or kingfish on the menu. South of Point Lookout in the Cathedral Reef area is also worth a go for a knobby. Although they are not thick this time of year, they are usually good quality fish when you get one. Quality bait is the key to putting the hooks into one of these stud fish and live bait or fresh fillet bait such as bonito or tailor is the go.
With the weather being average at best for offshore boating this time of year, make sure you double check the forecast before heading out. Sometimes it’s best to let sea conditions settle for a day or so after a strong southerly blow. Also check swell direction on the bar. Any swell out of the east is a worry when it’s over 1.5m and remember conditions on the bar can change drastically between ebb and flood tides.
Until next month, enjoy your fishing and take care on the coastal bars.
If you would like to join me on a charter (max 5 people) give me a call on (07) 38 22 9527 or 0418 738 7500.Reads: 1487