January to date has seen some fairly erratic weather and opportunities to sneak offshore have been quite limited.
During the windows of good weather running up to Christmas the deeper reefs were still firing for mixed bags of trag, amberjack, yellowtail kingfish and a few snapper.
The trag really fired up whenever there was a bit of a northeasterly blowing and were the mainstay of our catches.
There’s been plenty of reports coming in about Spanish mackerel in the Point Lookout area, both around the Group and Shag Rock. The macks have fallen to slow trolled livies and the pros have also been boating plenty, whipping their rigged gar around.
Further north, Noosa is seeing good numbers of both spotted and Spanish mackerel and this should hopefully mean good things for us, as the fish push further south following the warmer currents and the baitfish.
Good numbers of spotties have moved into to the bay so it will definitely be worth having a spin rod rigged with a metal slug handy when you are crossing the bar.
Last season saw average numbers of both Spanish and school mackerel caught on the coffee rock reefs along the front of Moreton Island, so let’s hope this season sees better numbers of fish turn up. The old mackerel fishermen reckon it’s a seven year cycle, so if they’re on the money the next couple of seasons should be productive.
When chasing mackerel you’ll find they definitely fire better in southerly weathers patterns and when the water is blue and does not have that dirty green look you get after a few days of northerlies.
Filling the live bait tank of late has been a lot easier and it should continue this way for the next couple of months as the baitfish schools continue to push south.
February, March and April are my preferred months to chase wahoo on high-speed lures in the Point Lookout area. A variety of skirted and hardbodied lures will attract wahoo, but make sure the hooks are super sharp to penetrate their hard beaks.
The Group, Middle Reef and the Sevens will all hold fish but make sure you check where the green zones are before you go charging around.
Mixed in with the wahoo should be a few rat yellowfin, mac tuna and the odd small black marlin. A lot of guys these days ditch the treble hooks on their hardbodied lures and run single hooks and find they stay connected a lot more, especially with the wahoo and marlin.
There’s also been some good mahi mahi around and good sized bulls (male mahi mahi) will continue to turn up over the few warmer months.
On another note we are in for another fight with the Fisheries to keep access to our rocky reef species. The options will be disclosed shortly but Fisheries preferred option is for two by two month closures on snapper, pearl pearch and trag jew. I don’t have to tell you what that would do to any fishing related businesses and how it would also affect rec fishers. I’m sure we are going to hear plenty about this issue in the coming months.
Until next month, enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on a charter (max 5 people) give me a call on (07) 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750.Reads: 640