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Whack a mack
  |  First Published: March 2010



The last couple of months have seen limited opportunities to head offshore with the strong southerlies dominating the weather patterns.

But it’s great to see the rain we have had is reminiscent of old weather patterns for this time of year.

Mackerel have continued to dominate catches from the boarder to Double Island Point, in what’s been the best mackerel season for several years.

With the erratic weather in the first few months of the year there is limited chances to head out wide in search of reefies, With a lot of mackerel fishing done within a few kilometres of shore, you can sneak out early to the closer reefs and knock over a few nice macks and get back before the wind gets up.

Down on the Gold Coast spots like Palm Beach and Mermaid Reef are sheltered by Point Danger in southerly winds.

On the Sunshine Coast the close reefs of Caloundra and Mooloolaba offer similar opportunities for an early morning fish and further north, Laguna Bay off Noosa also offers protection in southerlies.

So as long as the coastal bars aren’t copping big easterly swells, you can usually get offshore early for a few hours of mackerel fishing.

Spotted mackerel catches have steadied lately, but February and March saw Spanish mackerel numbers on the increase and this should continue throughout April.

If you’ve got some tailor or bonito in the freezer, it’s worth having a troll with some large dead baits for an XOS Spaniard in May and June.

The Spaniards haven’t been too fussy of late, with both live and well-rigged dead baits nailing fish along with lures like Halco Laser Pros and small jet heads and skirts.

There has been plenty of small Australian bonito along the coast and if you can get your hands on some of these, they are first class troll baits.

When making your mackerel rigs, don’t make the main wire trace back to the swivel too long. I find 30-50cm plenty as it limits the bite-offs from the hooked fish’s mates that sometimes slash at anything, especially swivels.

Huge wahoo in excess of 20kg turn up at this time of year and if you put the hooks into one of these speedsters it will definitely give your tackle a workout.

Favoured spots for these ocean racehorses include the Tweed Nine Mile, Point Lookout area and between Cape Moreton and Hutchinson Shoals.

April for reef anglers sees the currents start to slow a little out wide and we should also hopefully see a more stable weather pattern, so we can get out there more often.

Target species east of the south passage this month include amberjack and yellowtail kingfish on jigs and live bait plus trag jew and snapper.

The last couple of years have seen the snapper turn up in decent numbers in the warmer months, as well as winter. This summer was the same with good numbers of small snapper on the wider grounds when the weather and current permitted.

Mixed in with the mackerel along Moreton’s coffee rock will also be some solid longtail tuna.

April is really a transitional month east of the South Passage Bar with both pelagic and bottom species of fish on the menu.

Fin-Nor Reels

The last couple of months I’ve been putting some of Fin-Nor’s latest products though their paces and they’ve all passed with flying colours.

I’ve been testing three reels: two overheads, the Offshore 30H and Offshore 30L with lever wind, plus the offshore 750 Threadline for jigging.

All three reels are super smooth with powerful drags and are very well priced, so it you’re in the market for a new reel, Fin-Nor’s new range of feels are definitely worth a look.

Moreton Bay Classic

It was a sad day several years back when the Straddie Classic was no more but it was back last year under the new name of the Moreton Bay Classic.

Last year it was run in August, the same week as the Straddie Classic used to be held, but the competition was based on the mainland at the Moreton Bay Trailer Boat Club and had a lot of people involved in running the Straddie Classic, also running the competition now.

The organisers have told me they want this year to be bigger and better and to get the competition back up to the calibre of the Straddie. They’ve got plenty planned for anglers and their families and with some new major sponsors on board, I’m sure that’s the case.

Some of the changes this year include having a second weigh-in station located at the Small Ships Club at Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island. This will give people who are holidaying on Straddie the opportunity to fish the competition as well and weigh in daily on the island.

The competition will be held on 6-11 August and as I get more information about the comp, I’ll keep you posted and if you never got the chance to fish the Straddie Classic, don’t miss your opportunity to fish the Moreton Bay Classic. I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

Coral Sea Review

On another note, the federal government’s Coral Sea Review is a real worry to the fishing community with possibilities of huge percentages closed off to fishing. I think the changes of an angler friendly resolution are slim too, especially with Minister Garrett in charge.

Until next month, enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on a charter (max five persons) give me a call on 07 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750.

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