Pink was the colour of the day for rat spanish mackerel.

Gold Coast mackerel mayhem

And just like that, 2022 is in full swing. It was before the rain moved in that a few mackerel started to show up, only to be shut down by wind and downpours. Gold Coast mackerel

It didn’t take too long for the water to clear up, and the fish have slowly but surely come back on the chew. Gold Coast mackerel

This year has so far been relatively quiet for spotted mackerel, with them being very patchy. Gold Coast mackerel

However, there have been plenty of rat spanish mackerel around in the 8-10kg range.

And there have been many lost fish, with spaniards being bigger fish, they make short work of the lighter spotty rigs – either by biting through the wire or swallowing the bait right down.

When this happens, you need to be prepared to quickly change to rigs better suited to the bigger fish.

Heavier wire is one option, as is a longer trace.

Alternatively, towing lures is also a good way to bag a blue.

There is no mistaking a spanish mackerel.

Gold Coast mackerel
Mitch with a pair of twins on a quick trip before work.

On hook-up, they’ll seem to run forever and when they do decide to stop, they’ll turn and charge the boat.

Many an angler knows the burn of the arm and shoulder when trying to wind as fast as possible to retrieve line, with fatigue setting in only for the fish turn and run again.

Then there are the big deep head shakes as you try to turn the fish’s head and get it to the surface, only for it to do a few laps as you slowly but surely attempt to win the fight.

This is where many a fish is lost.

The rod is buckled over, there is no stretch left in the line and, with the reel full and the drag hot, you hope that your attention turns to ‘are my knots are all good’.

All the while, the vibrations of the fish fighting for its life has surely gained the attention of the tax man, which will take a chunk out of your catch when you least expect it.

Hopefully, once the water clears up and we get a good run of light southerly wind, we’ll see the spotties move in.

Nothing is guaranteed with fishing and given the weather has been so unsettled, it might just be one of those years where the spotties bypass the Gold Coast altogether.

Fingers crossed this isn’t the case.

We should see good catches off the local reefs with yellowfin and wahoo following the warm water in close, chasing massive bait schools.

Hard-bodied lures are your best bet for these fish.

Out a bit wider, we would normally see the marlin season in full swing.

Again, the weather has had a lot to do with things, so we should have a much better handle on what the game fishing season is going to be like over the next month or so.

In the creeks and river, the water is still dirty and as long as we get consistent rain and big tides, it will remain as such.

With the dirty water comes opportunity and the topwater anglers have been having a ball on bream, whiting and giant herring.

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Author

About Heath Zygnerski

Heath has been fishing since the age of three and grew up fishing the mighty Georges and Hawkesbury rivers.

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