The Queensland coast copped plenty of heavy weather for most of March and chances for an offshore session were few and far between. The fish however didn’t disappoint and both mackerel and the reefies put on a good show to keep anglers on their toes.
The mackerel have continued their best showing in years. Spaniards should still be well worth the effort in late April and May, along with wahoo, which have increased in numbers lately.
Any mackerel or wahoo encountered this time of year are usually early solid fish and will give anglers a run for their money.
On a recent charter we crossed paths with several large speedsters and managed to boat a Spaniard around 30kg and a wahoo near 40kg.
Both fish ate slow-trolled live slimy mackerel and both put on a great display for the clients on the boat. The big Spaniard stayed deep and slugged it out but the wahoo striped over 200m on his first run with blistering speed.
We actually had a double hook-up on wahoo but the second fish managed to break the line just above the wire leader after we experienced the sensational first run.
From past experience I know wahoo hunt in packs of similarly sized fish, so no doubt the fish we lost was around the same size as the 40kg one that was landed.
There has also been plenty of yellowfin tuna, mostly between 5-10kg, eager to take baits or lures.
The wider reefs have been fishing well for most of the regular species and as the water temp drops a little more this month, they should become more active.
We should also see the current steady up, but I find the fish turn it on with plenty of run in the water.
Small snapper have been in reasonable numbers out wide. May should see them start to filter into the closer reefs and by June they should be nearly in full swing.
Last year July and August were two of our best months on charter for snapper fishing, so it will be interesting how they perform this year.
Spanish mackerel catches have been average at best over the last few seasons, and there has been some serious doubts about the wellbeing of the stocks. But this season has so far been spectacular for Spaniards, which just goes to show how inaccurate fish stock data can be.
It shouldn’t be long before we see the ‘consultation documents’ for the rocky reef species – snapper, pearl perch and trag. Let’s hope we get a common sense result at the end and we are not shut out of the fishery for three or four months.
On another note I’ve just finished putting together my new charter vessel, a 5m Brooker Safara with one of Honda’s new 60hp four-strokes.
I’ve been very impressed by the whole package so far and the 60hp Honda seems to be a real gem with its power and economy.
Until next month enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you’re like to join me on charter (max 5 persons) give me a call on (07) 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750.Reads: 801