The biggest, the best, the fastest and meanest mackerel of them all brings angler to their knees just thinking about them. This fish can peel hundreds of meters off your reel, causing your drag to smoke on the first run. It is an awesome feeling watching the line peel from your reel at a great rate of knots, with the drag screaming, not knowing when the fish will slow up and that there may be the possibility of getting spooled as the fish heads for the horizon. The smaller mackerel definitely don't go as hard; unless fished on light line, but the 17kg and heavier specimens go like the clappers on standard 10kg set ups - especially if you hook one while at anchor.
Spaniard numbers on the Sunshine Coast are at the highest they have been all season so far. They should continue to feed in our waters right throughout autumn, when the smaller fish move on, leaving the big rogue fish throughout winter. At this time of the year you could hit fish any size between 4-25kg, so it pays to troll several different sized baits or lures. Live and dead baits should be trolled along with the outboard just in forward gear, so that the bait swims straight. Lures can be dragged along quicker: 4-10 knots through prominent area. These include areas that birds are working, schools of fish feeding, pinnacles, bombies and dense bait schools showing up on the sounder. Spanish mackerel will often feed in or on the out skirts of schooled up tuna or other mackerel species.
Like most species of fish early morning and late afternoon are the key ‘hot bite' times. Spaniards love to feed well between sunup and mid morning when there is enough light for them to ambush bait readily.
The Hot Spots:
Spanish mackerel are excellent fighting fish and really give the angler a run for their money. They feed close enough to the coastline making them are readily available to all anglers, whether you own a kayak or a big ocean-going vessel. With better fighting capabilities, dashing looks and those super-healthy Omega 3 oils present in their flesh - why wouldn't you chase a Spaniard?
Michael Delaware was happy with this succulent 4.5kg jew caught at the Cod Hole.
Nuch Howe boated this 8kg Spaniard at Sunshine Reef.
Noosa yak angler Billybob Watson trolled up this 7.2kg Spaniard on Sunshine Reef, using a whole bonito for bait.
Kayak fishing specialist Ian Tagg nailed two quality Spaniards at 7.5kg and 10.7kg off Noosa
NOOSA: There are plenty of quality spanish mackerel taking troll baits on Sunshine Reef. Dart, whiting, bream and trevally along the Teewah stretch. Mangrove jack from between the lakes, Munna and the Sheraton Bridges. Whiting in the frying pan and in Weyba Creek. Mud crabs along the Tewantin stretch.
MAROOCHYDORE: Dart and a few whiting along Mudjimba Beach. Bream to 30cm, flathead and cod around the motorway bridge. Whiting to 32cm between Chambers Island and the river mouth. Tailor to 2.4kg at dusk from the river mouth. A few mud crabs from the middle reaches.
KAWANA: Access 32 is producing bream and whiting. Green back tailor overnight along the Currimundi Stretch. Bream, trevally and sand crabs along the La Balsa stretch. Quality whiting from above McKenzie’s Bridge. Jacks from the upper reaches of the Mooloolah and Kawana Waters weir.
CALOUNDRA: Quality bream from the Blue Hole. Whiting on poppers opposite the power boat club. Jacks and trevally from Pelican Waters Canals.