Reefies and pelagics rife
  |  First Published: February 2010

The mackerel have really put in a solid performance so far this season with good catches reported form Double Island Point to the border.

Both spotted and Spanish mackerel have been keeping fishos busy and this will hopefully continue for the next few months.

I got back to work in late January in the run up to the full moon and the reefies also turned it on out on the wider grounds. Although there was plenty of current out wide, any live bait dropped in the right areas got smashed.

Amberjack and quality trag made up the bulk of our catches with the odd yellowtail kingfish and snapper for a bit of added variety. Most amberjack have been fishing the 3-6kg range but there has been the odd brute about and we’ve landed a couple in the mid 20kg range. This time of year often sees fish between 30-40kg turna up too.

Jigging has been fairly inconsistent of late when normally this time of year sees plenty of action on the heavy metal. The yellowtail kingfish were in good numbers right through the cooler months but they’ve definitely put the breaks on now. But as soon as they move back in, the jigging will hot up again.

But up and down the coast, it’s all about mackerel and it’s great to see both spotties and Spaniards in good numbers. I’ve heard reports of huge schools of spotties off the wide bay and Noosa bars and also off Mooloolaba. Maybe we are really just starting to see the benefit of the banning of ring netting a few years back.

Chasing mackerel out from the south passage bar is more about Spanish and school mackerel and not much about the spotties. We get a few spots turn up along the coffee rock and Point Lookout area but the bigger schools seem to enter into the Northern Bay or bypass out wider and turn up on the Gold Coast and further south.

This month trolling the coffee rock reefs in close to Moreton Island you can expect Spanish and school mackerel and also some solid longtail tuna. Some days you can’t get a livie past these longtails and they all seem to be in that 15-25kg range and not shy of wire leaders at all. You can also expect the odd wahoo but the water needs to be really blue and have plenty of bait around.

Over in the Point Lookout area it’s Spanish mackerel and wahoo territory with by-catch of mac tuna, small yellowfin tuna and small black marlin. Shag rock and The Group are the most consistent Spanish spots and the Sevens, Half Way Reef (between flat and boat rocks) and The Group is the go for wahoo.

The next couple of months should see the bigger whaoo over 20kg turn up and if you run across a school of these when you’re towing a few lures, it will certainly get the adrenaline pumping.

Mackerel and wahoo are good tucker if looked after. They need to be bled immediately and put in an ice slurry, to keep the flesh fresh and firm. Don’t leave the fish out on the deck in the hot sun.

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.

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