It’s been a crazy start to the pelagics season. Mackerel, tuna and mahimahi are really firing as the warmer currents start to make their way down Australia’s Eastern seaboard. It’s fairly unusual to see big mackerel so early in the season, but there have been some outstanding fish boated over the last month.
Usually we see the smaller school mackerel, then the spotted, and of course the Spanish. The larger ones turn up later in the season. The Northern Reef off Double Island, Coffees and North Reef have been the best spots, but we’re also seeing bigger fish right down toward Caloundra Wide. This may have something to do with the abundance of bait out there at the moment.
Fishing a slimy or yakka out the back on a floater setup is one of the better options. When chasing pelagics, there are a couple of basic things that will improve your chances – looking for bird activity is the top of the list. Larger fish like mackerel and tuna will force the bait to the surface as they feed, and this in turn gets the birds feeding. Diving birds and surface activity are dead giveaways.
Next on the list is working the edges of the reefs. The longer ribbon type reefs are where I’ve had the most success. There’s a pressure point where the tidal movement pushing up against the reef creates an abundance of food, so predators love to cruise these areas. This is where I get my deep diving lures out and have a troll.