This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google When choosing a jigging rod, go with a specialised jigging rod. Find the bait and you will always find the fish. The Queensland East Coast Spanish Mackerel Fishery is managed by DPI&F. Mackay has possibly the best run of Spanish Mackerel on the east coast of Australia and easily accessible to all size of boats and even some shore side locations, such as the Mackay Marina Rockwall. Sweeping current-effected turbulent waters often see baitfish ball up or congregate, which in turn brings in the larger predatory fish. In fact, due to their very tough upper and lower jaws using lighter drags, especially when using trebles is a must. Description In fact, just about every semi offshore or offshore fishing ground along the Queensland coast, sees large aggregations of Spanish mackerel take up residence on a seasonal basis making for some exceptional fishing. If you want to get into jigging this selection of metals is a good start. When you are battling Spanish they are never too far behind and will often see a shiny swivel as a morsel of bait and snip through your line leaving you empty. The females are usually much more robust. When using garfish have an extra attractant like wog hair, it is a must. Fish are stacked up from the bottom layer right through to the middle of the water column. Bait fishing is a common technique used to snare Spanish mackerel. Finally, if you can get a sounder that is showing big numbers of fish then you have hit the jack pot as a strong concentration of fish will more than likely bring a strike. Next look for a mixture of bait and fish as this is a sure sign the mackerel are feeding. If the fish are. Spanish mackerel are highly sought after by both commercial and recreational fishers. The multi-coloured jigging braid helps with identifying where your jig is when retrieving. No matter what jigs you use it is all a waste of time unless you can find the fish first. These hook rigs are easily put together using hook eye opening pliers that allow the eyes to be opened and closed to either join hook to hook or be joined by a black crane swivel. Also be generous on your length of wire and make sure you give a couple of feet bare minimum; you’d be surprised just how far down these fish can scoff a bait or lure. These areas can be real hotspots when the Spanish mackerel are around and being such small spots they are ideal for techniques such as jigging where the fish are really concentrated. Once these are established the Spanish mackerel are never too far away. Remember when using live bait that some fish like fusiliers have a 25cm legal limit. They also migrate as far north as Cape Cod. The other ideal variable is that these structures provide the ideal requirements for current to influence the behaviour of baitfish. A good technique is to keep feeding line out as you wait for a strike. Ciguatera hot spots. A popular Spanish mackerel fishing rig is gang hooks. While they are heavily targeted for commercial fishing the good news is that they are no longer able to be netted and must be taken by line. I have witnessed Spanish mackerel tear through 250lb twisted leaders with an effortless snip, so make sure you wire up. There are no secret spots as the number of boats that usually sit on them during the Spanish run is sometimes quite comical. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({ The head of the rig is dominated by a weighted keel, which for wolf herring usually constitutes a chin rig or large jighead usually weighing between 3-6oz. The added extra of a hairstyle skirt is also a. Another technique that I have employed in the past to mix it up is to colour your gar baits using simple food colouring and water. It is ideal when chasing Spanish mackerel along current lines or open water bathometric lines, especially around channels. The central and northern areas of Queensland usually see their bigger inshore aggregations anywhere between the winter and spring months of July and November. For offshore areas like along the Barrier Reef it is a pretty simple job knowing where to drag your lures or bait as all you need is to find where the current is pushing along a hard-faced coral ledge and you will be in business. It’s the most popular commercial Mackerel in Australia and is mostly caught off Queensland, the NT and WA, with some from northern NSW. The long and skinny profile of this fish gives away the fact it is a male fish. Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson) are a highly valued species, targeted by recreational and commercial fishers alike throughout Queensland. Privacy Policy and The Atlantic Spanish mackerel is a migratory species that is found throughout the entire Gulf of Mexico. Their seasonal behaviour, which sees them move to inshore waters, means they can be targeted with consistency in relatively small craft. But no matter what part of the world you find these fish they all share the same reputation, as being one of the best sports fish in the ocean. The left hand side has a healthy showing of balled up smaller Spanish mackerel with the larger fish leading the pack at the bottom right. Learn more about the Spanish Mackerel, how to catch them and where to find Spanish Mackerel. So when fish shut down and will not take baits, jigging is often the go-to method to draw out a strike. However, like all lures some require more action than others. Queenfish by catch in central and northern Queensland is a good sign you are in the right spot for chasing a Spanish mackerel. Queenfish by catch in central and northern Queensland is a good sign you are in the right spot for chasing a Spanish mackerel. Smaller poundages to 20lb are sound and 10kg of drag is more than enough. Seer fishes are … Spanish mackerel are also called barred mackerel or just barries because they have a pattern of vertical bars along their flanks. Surface fishing for Spanish is by far the most exciting as these fish will literally spear full length out of the water in chase of a lure. How satisfied are you with your experience today? Tackle requirements. This can be caused by changes in water temperature, the behaviour of certain currents as well as the movement of bait schools. Wherever you target these fish, the first step to snaring a big Spanish mackerel is to find out when these fish are most predominant in your local area. They grow really quickly, reaching 100 cm in length in the first few years and slowing after. These often compromise of coffee rock or shale covered mud bottom with bits and pieces of fern and rock. This sounder shot shows the perfect scenario for jigging. I like to add a little bit of rigging wire at the front of the hooks to wrap around the beak of the gar and keep it in position. Spanish mackerel, an especially good eating finfish, produces an attractive plate-size cutlet or an essentially boneless fillet. Next try to minimise the use of shiny swivels as they can often attract smaller mackerel, which often hang next to Spanish mackerel. Smaller 10kg models like this one are around 3 or 4 years of age and tend to school up in big numbers. The king of the clan is the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, commonly referred to as a “Spaniard”. There is not much known on how far these fish move or whether they do travel up and down the coast, however it is known that female fish mature much quicker than males and can reach the legal 75cm mark in just two years. Many are actually caught using rigs more designed for smaller mackerel or other bottom dwelling species, however when targeting them specifically the best method is to float baits around 10ft from the surface. It looks similar to Grey Mackerel, especially when young, due to the dark vertical bars along the sides. Spanish are definitely a target on surface stick baits and poppers as Brad Bell from West Coast Poppers can attest. Laser … Throughout the duration of the comp, over 25 mackerel where caught and weighed. While Spanish mackerel are considered an all year round possibility, especially out wide on outer reefs, it is the seasonal closer inshore areas that experience large congregations of Spanish mackerel. They are known as king mackerel in South Africa, tenggiri in Malaysia, tanigue in the Philippines, konem in India and kanaad in the Middle East. Hooks are joined together using a barrel swivel and the whole rig should be around the length of your bait. Trolling live baits are also an excellent option and, surprisingly, are much easier to rig then dead baits. Dead baits like pilchards and slimes are also ideal especially on ganged hooks. These smaller mackerel are renowned for picking off the scraps when the larger macks feed. The Spanish mackerel is probably the most popular of the mackerel species in Western Australia and a very popular sport fish. Fish this size are a trophy no matter how you take them. Braid on the other hand allows for a more responsive feel when jigging. School mackerel are landed as part of the East Coast Inshore Fin Fish Fishery and Pelagic Line Fishery. When rigging a wolf herring you can either choose to rubber band the hooks down one side of the fish or using a more difficult technique threading the hooks inside the bait. SPANISH mackerel (Scomberomorus commersonii) are the largest of the mackerel species encountered by anglers fishing the northern half of the country, growing to around 2.4 metres long and in excess of 60kg.These exciting sportfish can be encountered from as far south as Geographe Bay in WA, along our northern coastline and down the whole of the east coast of the mainland, even as far south … You will be surprised just how simple it can be once you have cracked the pattern and the beauty is that once you have it worked out, you will be catching them every year. For wolf herring a steady pace of 4-6 knots is ideal, while gar can be run at higher speeds at 8-10 knots. Spanish mackerel are a schooling fish that prefer relatively shallow water. Large metal vibes are good for short rips whilst large bumper bars are ideal for a burn retrieve. This will set the circle hook firmly without the need for a strike, which can often pull the hooks free. Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson) – The most popular of the large Mackerels is found around most of Australia except the very southern coast, from Esperance (WA) to Geelong (Victoria), and is mostly caught off Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, with some from northern NSW. They are also the best eating at this size. Islands, artificial jetties and isolated semi submerged rocks are also hot spots for Spanish mackerel because they provide ideal structure for fish to congregate. Find out when they run in your area, sniff around for some advice on a few likely locations and begin putting in some time on the water learning how these fish behave. Please use our complaints and compliments form. Spanish mackerel are a highly valued fish throughout their range from North Carolina to Texas. Scomberomorini comprises 21 species across three genera. This is where your sounder becomes a major player in your success. It’s not hard to fathom why this fish is regarded with such high esteem as its combination of size, weight, and raw fighting power makes it a tough opponent for any angler. These areas are often in the middle of current lines or channels that act as highways and stopovers for bait schools. Biology. Stick baits are the best surface option as poppers tend to be hard for the fish to stay pinned due to the refraction of the water. Spanish Mackerel (SM) : 650 kg for sale @ $8.25 per kg. Popular with anglers looking for Spanish Mackerel (Narrow-barred) fishing charters in Queensland Captain Shawry will take you to some of the most pristine fishing locations in North Queensland. Mackerel can be fried, baked, poached, grilled, marinated, smoked and barbecued — it is considered by some to be the best barbecue fish in the South Pacific. The debate over whether to use mono or braid comes down to personal preference. Broad-barred mackerel Features that distinguish Spanish mackerel from grey mackerel: numerous thin, wavy vertical bands on the body back is iridescent blue-grey; Distribution: along the length of the Queensland coast; coastal waters to depths of 15 m to 200 m (a pelagic species) Light to medium fly, spin or overhead tackle is well suited to targeting Spaniards from shore or boat with light to medium strength braided, gel spun or nylon lines with a breaking strain of 20 – 30lb proving ideal. Here is a typical wolf herring rig used for trolling. The recently held Mackay Spanish Mackerel Shootout drew over 110 senior and junior anglers to try their hand at catching one of these awesome creatures. Spanish have razor sharp teeth that will slice through 200lb mono like butter. Fish lying close to the bottom are more than likely sulking and, more importantly, will be hard to draw into a strike as your jig will be past them on the first couple of turns of the reel. Classic 20kg Spanish mackerel taken on a Bumpa Bar jig. Knife jigs and straight line metals, like Lasers and Spaniards are great require the angler to impart action using the rod in short repetitive jigs while constantly retrieving. These include Spanish mackerel, the species of fish that led to the poisoning in NSW and most if not all of the 55 cases in Queensland so far this year – almost triple the tally of last year. They can grow up to about 2.4 m and more than 40 kg. This method does draw a lot of strikes however it can also draw a lot of energy as well. When thinking line class and drags, don’t go overboard as Spanish mackerel are clean fighters and therefore do not require the likes of 65-80lb or 20kg of drag. On the basis of the evidence provided above, Spanish Mackerel in the Queensland Gulf of Carpentaria management unit is classified as an undefined stock. Other jigs such as Bumpa Bars or Wax Wing jigs, create their own erratic action when retrieved through the water at speed with much less effort from the angler. The Spanish Mackerel is known by various names outside of Australia. At the other end of the state the story is quite similar with the more predominant runs usually taking place around the southeast corner between January and May. Note: Unused for this season 2020 / 2021 For garfish, the rig is much simpler and usually constitutes a ‘bullet head’ keel with strand wire going straight to a double set of ganged straight shank 7/0 to 9/0 hooks. The author with a typical size inshore Spanish mackerel. Spanish mackerel have long, narrow bodies. Big Spanish mackerel pull like freight trains and are one of the true speedsters of the ocean. Gars are much easily rigged and are simply threaded on the gangs much like pilchard bait. " This fish that can grow to over 60kg but is most often caught in the 8-12kg range. Garfish troll rigs are very simple and use a couple of gang hooks and a weighted bullet head. This is one of the reasons why Spanish mackerel is second behind coral trout in terms of commercial fisheries as they grow so quickly and are so abundant. This fish closely resembles the King Mackerel. The most common dead rigged bait is the humble garfish, which makes up a large proportion of the Spanish mackerels natural diet. No matter what dead bait rig you choose, make sure it is rigged straight. If your bait is spinning and not running straight then it has no chance of success. Peter Stevens, a pro Spanish mackerel line fisherman, shows us how to rig big and small dead baits. Attached to these weighted keels are a multiple string of straight shank hooks between 7/0 to 9/0 in size that are suited to the length of the bait. No matter what type of dead bait you use, the rigging is pretty much the same. Trevallies are also a good sign as all these species feed in the same cycle and food chain as the Spanish mackerel. Spanish mackerel around Australia are regarded as one of the top sports fish to cruise our waters and for many an Aussie angler the Spaniard is always a much desired catch. Multiple hook-ups can be common, and there’s nothing like three or four lures screaming off in different directions to get the adrenaline going. Introduction The East Coast Spanish Mackerel Fishery (ECSMF) is a line fishery targeting the largest of the mackerel species in Queensland—Scomberomorus commerson. It is this single variable which often draws even sulking fish into a strike as it triggers a natural predatory reaction in Spanish mackerel to devour anything that looks injured or fleeing the scene. Bait runner reels are ideal in this situation as they allow for line to be fed out and when a strike happens it allows for the fish to get a good purchase on the bait before feeling the pressure of the rod and reel. (Brad Bell Image). Toggle navigation Join ... Pilbara Sunshine Coast Brisbane South East Queensland Kimberley Gascoyne Mid West Perth. Fillets of narrow-barred Spanish mackerel. Scomberomorini is a tribe of ray-finned saltwater bony fishes that is commonly known as the Spanish mackerels, seerfishes or seer fish. This spawning behaviour is quite common and sees big runs of Spanish mackerel in the far northern part of Queensland around the summer months. Large shoal areas, which resemble rubble patches on your sounder, are always a good start. This is what you want to see on your sounder whether you are trolling or jigging. To add extra hooking power a stinger treble can be added to the rig either free swinging or pinned into the back of the live bait. They are able to reproduce by age 2. The weighted keel provides stability to the bait so it does spin in the water and also gets it down to the desired depths. Trolling is a favoured method as it allows the angler to cover long distances in search of fish. A 6oz jighead usually sees the bait swim between 20-40ft, and a 8oz will get it down between 50-60ft. These aggregations of Spanish mackerel can also be caused by spawning behaviour that sees large populations of hungry fish move into an area. The first and probably the most common form of chasing Spanish mackerel is on the troll. A Spaniard over 30 kg is a big one but is a record of a 70 kg (2.4 m) fish taken in Queensland. Jigging is best described as locating the fish on your sounder then dropping relatively large metal lures over them and cranking them back up as fast and as erratic as possible. This is ideal as it allows your jig a travel a good distance through the schooled up fish. If you are going to fish recreationally you need to be aware of the laws and regulations in place that help sustain natural fish species numbers and the equipment you are allowed to use to catch them with in Queensland waterways. These include the Blue Mackerel, Narrow-barred Mackerel, or The King Mackerel. Lures such as Rapala Magnums or YoZuri Hydro Magnums or the ever-faithful Halco Laser Pro have always been a favourite amongst trollers for mackerel and when they are thick are very reliable fish takers. As mentioned before, Spanish mackerel are no hoodlums and will always run for clear open water so there is no need to put the heavy brakes on them. This is one experience you will never forget! I won’t go into popping for Spanish in too much detail as I have covered this in past QFM editions, however it is worth mentioning that surface fishing for Spanish is certainly worth the effort. Finding fish is a good start but being able to decide what looks like a feeding school of mackerel and a cruising school is crucial. Terms of Service apply. Tweet. Soaking the gar in different coloured solutions can provide a real contrast in your baits and add that extra attraction. All five stocks are sustainable. Queensland Favorite. In Queensland waters, Spanish mackerel can reach 240 cm FL and a maximum weight of 70 kg with females growing to a larger size than males. To start with, look for fish that are in the top two-thirds of the water column. In Australia almost all ciguatera poisoning has occurred from fish caught in Queensland or the Northern Territory; however, the most extensive ciguatera poisoning incident in Australia took place in Sydney in 1987, when 63 people became affected following the consumption of Spanish mackerel from the Hervey Bay region of Queensland. Categories: Fresh Fillet's, Steak's & Portion's, Fresh Whole Fish. This technique requires high speed reels (usually a ratio of 5.7:1 and above) as the secret to success with jigging is speed through the water. Spanish Mackerel is widely distributed across several fisheries in Commonwealth, WA, NT, Qld and NSW waters. The secret to fishing these spots are to recognise where the current is pushing onto; Spanish mackerel will always swim into the current. The ability for these areas to hold bait will consequently bring in congregations of smaller mackerel, wolf herring, gar and trevally, which will then ultimately draw in the larger Spanish mackerel. Spanish mackerel can be caught with gang hooks you can make yourself. Yellow or olive oval spots traverse the body, which is covered with very … If trolling is the lazy-style of catching Spanish then jigging is the complete opposite; it takes a lot of hard work and energy but the effort is certainly worth the reward. Fish are stacked up from the bottom layer right through to the middle of the water column. }); The narrowed barred Spanish mackerel is one of the widest spread pelagic fish species in the world and can be caught in waters stretching from Africa to the Middle East, central and northern Asia, and deep into the Pacific. Best fishing times and tides: weighing it all up, Break out the sea gars: catching garfish for food and bait, A Beginner’s Guide to Northern Moreton Bay Pelagics. They tend to like warmer waters, so they are commonly found in northern New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and mid … Once you know when they are ‘in season’ your chances increase dramatically, as well as the number of fish per angler. Try and keep the float and bait a fair way from the boat so not to spook the fish. Initial growth … Spanish mackerel grow fast, up to 13 pounds, and can live up to 12 years. Being pelagic fish, Spanish mackerel love to frequent areas where there is good current, and rubble ground or structure that will hold bait. It’s winter time and one of the premium times to catch mackerel in north Queensland. Fish like fusiliers, trevally and yakkas are ideal live baits to troll and can be rigged using a single 9/0 circle hook through the head of chin of the live bait. I prefer to use a weighted jighead as this allows me to vary the depth of my bait. Next comes jig choice and there are various different metals out there that will do the job. While there are many variables that contribute to the Spanish mackerel’s prowess, what really makes this fish special is that you do not require a big boat or large golden laden reel to target them. It is best to test your baits at the side of the boat before sending them back into the spread and make small adjustments to get them working correctly. Using a small length of wire at the front hook is useful for tying around the gar beak to keep the bait straight. No matter what type of structure you are fishing on for Spanish mackerel the two main variables need to be present – current and the presence of baitfish. Wolf herring is by far the most desirable bait as their large size, stream-lined shimmering bodies make for perfect swimming baits. They are pelagic fish, fast swimmers and predatory in nature, that fight vigorously when caught. Two speed reels matched with multi-coloured jigging braid is a good outfit to start with so you can have a combination of high speed for jigging but low retrieves once the fish is hooked. Before we move into the techniques for chasing Spanish mackerel, it’s important to understand the bare terminal tackle basics for chasing these fish. Fast lure retrieves are key to catching these quick fish. Live baits work best and simple 9/0 circle hook either through the shoulder or chin of the live bait and drifted out the back of the boat is ideal. Like wolf herring these need to be slowly trolled so the bait can swim with enough speed to look natural in the water. This is best achieved when the Spanish are thick and sounder evidence has them feeding close to the surface. Recommended Lures for Spanish Mackerel Fishing. Here you can see a typical keeled rigged using a 6oz TT jighead, however lead chin rigs are also popular. The ‘Spanish season’ as many Queensland anglers know it as is one of the most anticipated time of year and who can blame them when you consider just how awesome it feels to find yourself connected to 40lb of raw pelagic power! Trolling can also be an ideal method when working large deepwater reef systems where fish could be spread over a large area. If you haven’t caught a Spanish mackerel yet then now is a great time to begin putting a plan together. Fishing Australian inshore waters and rivers is an experience like no other and never disappoints. Together with Spanish, spotted and grey mackerel, they provide fresh fish to seafood markets. Even in my hometown of Bowen it is not unusual to see 60+ boats on these spots on any given day. Knife jigs are also good, however, leave your big long ones at home and stick to th. The Spanish mackerel is much smaller than its relative, the king mackerel, averaging only 2 to 3 pounds in weight. I prefer to use a black crane swivel as it allows for baits to swim more fluidly in the water. The Spanish mackerel outside of Australia has many names such as Narrow Barred Mackerel, Blue Mackerel or the King Mackerel. Narrow-Barred Mackerel or Tanguigue (more commonly called Spanish Mackerel or just Spaniards) are the prime target in our waters with specimens to over 60 lb (27 kg) common. In Queensland, school mackerel is an important commercial species. Out of stock. Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson), also known as narrow-barred mackerel, is targeted by recreational and commercial fishers in Western Australia.Spanish mackerel can live for more than 20 years. First up, wire is absolutely essential when targeting these fish. While opportunistic feeders, their primary forage is small bait fish. This tribe is a subset of the mackerel family (Scombridae) – a family that it shares with three sister tribes, the tunas, mackerels, and bonitos, and the butterfly kingfish. If you want to make your gar baits standout try soaking them in food colouring to get your desired colour. When targeting Spanish mackerel try using a quadruple gang hook rig using two pilchards to create bigger bait. Use tab and cursor keys to move around the page (more information), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, 3 per person/6 per boat (with 2 or more people on board), numerous thin, wavy vertical bands on body (number of bars increases from as few as 20 in a 40 cm specimen, to as many as 65 in a 150 cm specimen), silver sides with bluish reflections; juveniles frequently spotted, coastal waters to depths of 15 m to 200 m (a pelagic species). For those after the more wary fish, rigged dead baits can be much more effective. Without this combination, having any success with snaring a Spanish mackerel will be difficult even in some of the best fishing grounds in Australia. Some good indicators that you are fishing the right area include by-catch of fish like queenfish (especially in northern waters) and tuna and smaller mackerel in the south. Many anglers prefer to target Spanish on mono due to its stretchiness as this can reduce the number of pulled hooks during the fight. All contents copyright © 2014 Fishing Monthly. The most important rule to remember when looking for Spanish mackerel haunts is to find structure that will hold good congregations of bait. They will readily take jigged chrome slices, trolled or floated garfish and pilchard baits as well as trolled lures. In my area of Bowen, the annual run of Spanish mackerel is very much determined on the arrival of bait schools, like wolf herring and gar on the inshore grounds. This sounder shot shows the perfect scenario for jigging. These patches are well known right up and down the Queensland coast. No matter how you fish for macks you need to gang your hooks. It can be mistaken for wahoo, but can be distinguished by the shorter dorsal fin with less (15-18) dorsal spines and the external bone and upper jaw which both extend to just behind the eye. Spanish Mackerel Fresh Queensland $ 19.99. Other areas worth investigating include isolated bommies or large structures, like wrecks that also hold strong concentrations of bait. Spanish mackerel can be distinguished from king mackerel by their smaller size and the absence of the lateral line that drops abruptly below the second dorsal fin. More specialised mackerel trollers will use large baits, such as wolf herring, mullet, small mackerel or trevally. If your troll bait is spinning you are either trolling too quickly or your weighted keel is not dead centred on your bait. The majority of the spawning takes place in northern tropical waters during the summer months as this is when and where the nutrient-rich food is most available for their just spawned larvae. It prefers warm waters so it’s common in Queensland, northern New South Wales, the Northern Territory and mid- to Northern Western Australia. Inshore areas are a little more tricky as the structure and current is much less obvious and therefore the fish can be harder to find. This method is the simplest way to rig with the weighted keel wired to the head while the hooks are rubber banded to the side of the fish. Recreational anglers catch Spanish mackerel from boats while trolling or drifting and from boats, piers, jetties, and beaches by casting spoons and jigs and live-bait fishing.
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