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Moreton Mackerel Madness


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My boat has been in for its 100 hour service for the past week as well as having some minor repair work done under warranty. I was told that my boat had actually done 158 hours (oops) and that it will be ready for collection this Tuesday.:frantics: Being boatless didn't stop me from being a pest and asking around for a decky spot to make sure I didn't waste the perfect weather on Saturday. I was able to hop on board with my mate Matt who also owns the exact same boat as me so I felt right at home! :) It was his first proper trip in the bay in his boat so he was keen to get out there and sus it out a bit.

The plan was Longtail Tuna.... The other plan was to drive the boat around til it ran out of petrol to know exactly how much fuel his rig uses so he can plan for other trips. These two plans come hand in hand with each other!

Launching out of Scarborough it didn't take us too long to find the first show of fish. They looked like small tuna of some sort but not the fish we were after and they disappeared pretty quickly. The next few hours were basically spent doing a big loop of the bay visiting all the places I have seen the big barrel tuna of late. Not to be seen today. We occasionally came across a school or two of spotted mackerel but they were a bit flighty due to the number of boats in the area.

We decided the best option from here was to drive away from all the boats and flighty fish to see if there were some more fish feeding on the bait that we saw early in the morning, so we headed back there and were greeted with a couple of schools of hungry spotties! The best part was there was not another boat in sight.

We approached the biggest school of feeding fish ahead of the light breeze and put our casts in resulting in a hookup and boated fish for me. This one was caught on my lightest combo; Nordic Stage Areal Pro matched with a Shimana Rarenium 1000 and 6lb braid and leader. I was using a 3" zman minnow worked quickly near the surface and had about 5 fish fighting over it! pretty cool. I had been wanting to catch a spotty on this light gear for a while but always forgot to take it out!mackerel.thumb.jpg.8edb9e8d5fe0c8dcd1896

After putting the fish out of its misery and leaving it in the anchor well, I cast out again and hooked up again this time using heavier gear. In all honesty, I reckon they fight a lot harder when you put more pressure on them. So I enjoyed catching this fish on tuna gear more than on the light gear! Man they are fast. 56c974048b922_mack1.thumb.jpg.f34b92884e

Matt had dramas with his braid around the tip at the wrong time so I told him to forget about it and use my microjigging combo. By this stage the mackerel were swimming around the boat destroying what was left of the bait ball. He just dropped the jig down and he was on to his first Moreton Bay fish! :fishing2:mack.thumb.jpg.f4c2ea9a73c0b205c02730a09

I boated another spotty after a couple of snip offs in between and we then run out of rods to use. All 6 had no lures left and the leader needed retying. The mackerel stayed up for another 5-10 minutes after we finished fishing for them which was great to watch nonetheless! What a cool angry bunch of fish. It was disappointing we didn't see the target species, but it was a great day out in beautiful weather and getting a mate onto his first fish in the bay (or did he get ME onto fish being the skipper???). There has been some awesome Spotted Mackerel bait ball action this summer, it has been a lot of fun.

All up we did 168km in the day and he ran out of fuel at 151km. Exactly 3km to a litre, not bad!

Hervey Bay next weekend with @Luvit weather permitting. Bring it on!


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