Graeme, Neil and I decided to head out Sunday for a Mackeral Fish but we did things a little different. We left Loders creek boat ramp at 2:30 in the afternoon and headed for the bait reefs. Our plan was to slow troll livebaits around the bait grounds on a down rigger and just under the surface. When we arrived at the Aquarius the water was full of debri and the water was a real ugly murky green but the wreck had a lot of bait on it, so Neil and Graeme got to work catching live baits.
Getting the Gear ready.
While the boys were filling the bait tank I sorted out the rods, rigs and the downrigger. We didn’t take heavy gear for the Mackeral just 4000 sized spin reels spooled with 20 pound braid and 3 metres of 30 pound flurocarbon leader.The rods were 8 kg sticks, nothing too heavy for these Spanish and Spotted Mackeral. The rigs are from the lures Online shop and are called Mackeral Live Bait Trolling Rigs.
Once the boys had around 20 Yakkas in the tank I started to deploy two baits swimming just under the surface and the third on the down rigger 8 Metres down, seeing that we were only in 11 metres of water.
After all was deployed I had Graeme slow troll a dirty water line between the Aquarius and the Blocks.
What to do?
After a hour and a half of trolling the dirty water line and only seeing one free jumping Spanish Mac we decided to pull up and head to the bait reefs south of the Seaway (1 mile), the water here was a lot cleaner, nice clear green colour no debri. Once we got to the reef I put the baits back out, and we started slow trolling around looking for bait schools and could not find any the sounder was bare! not a fish in sight. We continued until 5:00 pm and then came up with our final plan for the evening.
The final Plan.
By now the wind had picked up to 12 to 15knts of NE and we headed out to an old favorite reef we have not fished in years, only because the secret is out and every man and his dog hits this reef now. The only reason I headed here was because I remembered catching a lot of Mackeral off this reef in the past, Once we anchored on the inside edge of the reef I put out a live yakka on the Mackeral rig and let him free swim out the back, and mean while Graeme was rigging up a live bait for the bottom to see if he could snag a Jewie, Neil went back to his trusty Paternoster rig, mean while my free swimming live bait started screaming and before I got the rod out of the holder it had me bricked on the bottom (large Snapper?) next Graeme’s livie on the bottom went off and he also got bricked. All the while Neil was getting plenty of bites and catching some small mixed reef fish, a little later when Graeme and I had the same baits back out he hooked up again to a really good fish, as we thought after a few minutes of going up and down the fish woke up and headed for the horizon, bye bye. (Big Shark?) While this was happening my live bait decided to swim under the boat and tangle me in the prop. Next I grabbed Neil’s live bait outfit put a yakka on it and cast out and within a minute the rod bucked over, the reel stared screaming and we were finally onto a Mackeral. After a short fight just on dark we had a Spotted Mackeral onboard. Time to head home with a small feed. A slow afternoon fishing but we ended up with a feed.