And it’s still windy up here! It should be called Howling Bay not Hervey Bay. Golden trevally treat
However, the fishing has improved post Ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth and the Mary River flood. Golden trevally treat
Plenty of nutrients are in the system now to attract bait. Golden trevally treat
Not that I saw a lack of bait prior, only a lack of predators.
Still not a good showing of spotted mackerel or mack tuna in Platypus or Hervey bays.
Out wider yes, but in close and protected from the wind and weather, it’s still quite barren.
This can make it difficult on tour, I rely on these fish to keep anglers, particularly novices, entertained.
On the upside, the school mackerel have trickled back in.
School mackerel are good targets for novice anglers and can also provide a feed of fish.
They usually school up, so you can quickly get a few, then charge off to hopefully find more powerful prey.
Recently, there have been golden trevally roaming around feeding on squid and tiny shrimp, I think.
It takes time to find these fish but it’s often great when I do find them.
They are subtle feeders, so don’t expect them to explode on the surface as tuna would.
And these mobile schools often mean sharks are too lazy to follow them around.
That is not guaranteed, however.
The mobile schools can roam great distances rounding up bait.
So, a side scan of some description is very handy.
But you might be lucky to have birds to visually aid you too.
You can imagine how highly visible a tightly packed school of goldens would be when seen from above.
At times you can’t fathom the numbers of fish.
If you are lucky enough to experience it in shallow water with the sun shining high and bright, it would likely take your breath away.
The occurrence might only be fleeting with a 15-minute window or it could be hours where you follow these fish over many nautical miles.
Some days they bite easy, others much more difficult, particularly when they’re focussed on tiny bait.
I do believe given the choice, fish would rather a belly full of tiny fry or shrimp as opposed to a couple of larger mullet or herring.
Don’t think it’s only these trevs that enjoy this style of dining.
I have found big longtail tuna doing similar things.
Looking more like rainbow trout sipping mayfly off the surface as opposed to 15kg plus sashimi rockets elegantly gliding at the top of the water column.
They can be challenging to tempt, and their mobile nature means you would have difficulty presenting a fly.
Often it means relying on the side scan to help keep in touch.
But with some help of other visual indicators such as circling birds, I can narrow my search.
You will frequently see species mixing with each other and rounding up the prey.
So, I’m not terribly surprised there could be marlin, though more regularly it’s giant trevally or cobia lurking in mixed schools.
Being prepared for decent hook-ups is always a good idea in this area.
No noodle rods allowed among this type of activity.
Just keep your eyes and mind open – it can mean a fish of a lifetime among some of the more common species… if you are prepared and ready to accept what’s in front of you.