Guest’s Advice For
- Focus your efforts and energy around the peak times. Casting heavy lures from the stones and retrieving them fast for hours on end in the Queensland sun is very gruelling. Most Spaniard bites come during light changes and tide changes, so concentrate your efforts to those times. When the tide change comes around the light change you’ve hit the jackpot.
- The spring months September to November are the best for 1770 partly because that’s when the larger mackerel are passing through and partly because later in the year the winds tend to spoil the land-based fun. Winds less than 15 knots are best for this style of fishing.
- Mackerel can be caught from ledges right through central Queensland that offer casting into deep, clean water, especially if there is a river mouth nearby, some current and a little structure. The Catwalk at 1770 is a bit different because there’s not much structure, but a deflection of the EAC off Fraser Island pushes bait and fish into the coast.
- Fighting big Spanish mackerel requires some strategy to reduce the loss of fish to sharks. Goshie fishes a good, firm drag setting until a fish is hooked and then backs the drag right off. Fishing a light drag and allowing the fish to run without causing shark-attracting vibration is effective. After a long run or two the fish usually come in pretty quietly in one direction, reducing shark losses.
- A good gaff is handy for landing fish, but there is also a natural rock ramp where it’s possible to wash the fish up onto the ledge.
Guest’s Tackle For
- Goshie uses a 10’ Busted Tackle Spin Stick that he had a hand in designing. He couples this with a 6500H for high speed spinning or a 4500 Saltiga (old sizes) when he’s throwing lures that need to be worked more slowly. 40lb Tasline braid and a 50lb Ande fluorocarbon leader tipped with 30cm of single strand 58lb wire trace complete the outfit.
Guest’s Lures For
- The Sure Catch Knight is a great metal lure and Goshie uses the 85 gram exclusively when he’s targeting Spanish mackeral because it’s a good size for the bait that these fish chase, plus it casts very well into the wind. Goshie likes to add a second split ring to the hook, which makes it a lot harder for the fish to throw the hook. A fine wire Owner treble hook with inward curved points is the best hook to put on this lure. The strategy is simply to cast long and let it sink to the bottom – at the Catwalk it’s a sandy bottom, so you won’t get snagged up. Once it’s sunk, crank back at full pace for about halfway back, then stop and let the lure flutter to the bottom before retrieving more slowly.
- The 5” Mack Bait custom King of Chrome is a good lure to use around the high tide. Goshie leaves the 2/0 VMC treble on the belly but upsizes the rear treble to 3/0 for some extra holding power. It’s fished in much the same way as the Sure Catch Knight, but be aware that unlike the metals this is a lure that can sometimes be taken by a mackerel right at the rod tip.
- Rapala X-Rap size 14 shallow diver (not the long cast version) in Glass Ghost colour. This is a great lure for low tide fishing and for fishing dirty water because it suspends when you pause the retrieve it can be worked with a stop-start retrieve. A bonus of this approach is that you’ll often pick up giant trevally whilst fishing for mackerel.
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