Rigging mackerel tuna
Leo Ager with a cracking 8.5kg cobia taken on the troll. Photos: fishingnoosa.com.au

Rigging up for mackerel and tuna

With a change to the summer pelagic season being better than previous years, the mackerel started to rock up along the coastline in December 2021. Rigging mackerel tuna

Previous years featured little to none, however we have all felt the effects of La Niña with more fish as a result. Rigging mackerel tuna

With January wet and windy, it was case of having the time to prepare and be ready for the inevitable rush at boat ramps. Rigging mackerel tuna

February is often a time of big swell – giving rivers, bars and beaches a much needed stir up.

If you are new to crossing the Noosa Bar or any coastal bar, take your time and hang back and observe a few sets coming in.

Before you cross, it is vital that you have all the safety gear and necessary life jackets.

Should you require anything last minute, you can pop in and see us.

Rigging mackerel tuna
William Prior with his first ever spanish mackerel.

If things are too blown up for offshore, you can fish many of the local estuary options and even the lakes and dams.

For those of you in the Noosa region, Halls, North, Sunshine and Chardons reefs are considered mackerel and tuna hotspots.

You can also expect to pick up smaller black marlin and cobia, especially if running a live bait.

If chasing mackerel or tuna, you will see other boats doing the same thing.

Make sure rods are rigged and ready to go, and even have a small 2” top shot of single strand wire above your lure when spotted mackerel are in big numbers.

This can keep you in the game – not bitten off on your first cast and then spending vital minutes tying knots.

If getting kitted out, our super small Shogun swivels and Superflex Single Strand Wire are all you need.

When you do spot the fish, remember to approach with a constant engine pitch.

Nervous fish will shoot downward with the slightest change in engine tone.

Rigging mackerel tuna
Clay Edwards with a chunky estuary bream taken on an Ecogear Bream Prawn.

If they are tuna, keep in mind that they feed into the wind, so travel upwind and wait for the fish to come to you.

Target the fish by throwing slugs around 15-40g in weight and use spin rods rated to around 5-8kg or 10-20lb with 20lb braid and a 5000-size spin reel.

A personal favourite rod of mine is the Samaki Archer.

These rods feature quality Fuji guides, cork handles and have some solid backbone for turning bigger fish.

With pelagic fish the main target, don’t forget to have a few trolled bait or high-speed lures out the back.

When the weather permits, you can troll something such as Nomad Madmacs, which will let you run flat out.

If it’s a bit choppy, look at trolling a jet head or pusher style lure or even a big dead bait.

And if you’re hanging around Sunshine or Halls reefs, you can expect to find extra oversized spanish mackerel, which love a big tuna, bonito or garfish.

Another overlooked method of catching a feed is to have a crack at crabbing.

The spanner crab fishery is up and running and it’s somewhat simple to get yourself set up.


Now for all the latest information log onto fishingnoosa.com.au for up-to-date bar and fishing reports, don’t forget to drop into Tackle World Noosa, Noosa Boating and Outdoors and Northshore Bait & Tackle in Marcoola for all the right equipment, bait and advice to get you catching. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and remember, tight lines and bent spines!winter kick

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