Mix it up in Ma7
  |  First Published: April 2009

If you’re fishing the Whitsundays in May, there should be some good opportunities to catch a range of quality fish.

The air and water temperatures in May will be getting cooler and therefore create slower fishing for some species, but species like barramundi and Spanish mackerel are great targets.


Impoundment barramundi usually become harder to catch on lures during the cooler months of the year. They seem to feed less often and don’t move around the lakes as much searching for food. The cooler months are still excellent times to fish though and persistent, confident and smart anglers will reap rewards.

Finding baitfish is a big key to locating predators in every style of fishing out there. Obviously, the main thing a fish needs to do to live and grow is eat. Therefore, bait to a predator is very important and the two will always be close.

Boney bream are the primary food source for impoundment barramundi and fishing amongst large amounts of them can be very productive. They can be found while feeding on the surface, sunning in the shallows or they can be located with a quality depth sounder. The new Lowrance HDS sounders are perfect for finding bait and structure and give an amazing display of the water column.

Saltwater barramundi will also be a good target but slightly harder to find than in the warmer months. The saltwater rivers and creeks in the area hold some top spots to fish with live baits and lures. Shallow rocky patches with lots of baitfish and deep water in the area can be good places to fish. Good barramundi baits are live or dead mullet, prawns or herring.

Saltwater barra are a stronger fish than impoundment barra. Impoundment barramundi are the apex predator and laze around in the still water. The only time they need to use their muscles is when chasing food and moving to different areas.

The saltwater barramundi has to fight strong saltwater currents and always be alert for predator attacks from sharks and crocodiles. Impoundment barra are still strong but a saltwater barra will pull more drag than an impoundment barra and this is probably why!

Spanish mackerel

Another awesome saltwater fish that should be good to target around the Whitsunday Islands during May is Spanish mackerel. These fish are great fun to catch and can be found in big numbers and big sizes around the islands in the cooler months.

Low light periods are always good times to fish as there is usually a lot of feeding activity. However Spanish mackerel can be caught throughout the day.

Try trolling large ribbonfish around the deep reefy passages and rocky headlands while searching for any significant schools of baitfish on the sounder to troll over.

Places where the current swirls around deep rocks are good to troll a large ribbonfish through. If an area looks like it holds Spanish mackerel, give it a few trolls over and persist around the spot. Then, move on to troll another spot until some fish are located. Make sure you hold onto your rod, as big Spanish mackerel can make ultra-fast, screaming runs!

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