Harbour macks and tuna

Jewies, big reds, macks & more - tell us how you went. NT, FNQ and Norwest.
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Harbour macks and tuna

Post by andybuck » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:07 pm

Have had a bit of luck with schools of mackerel around 6 mile/Channel rock lately, so went out on Monday morning to fish the tide change out that way.
Not far south of the target saw the first bunch of birds dive-bombing into the water and it was on.
First cast landed a decent grey mack and had a heap of fun following the schools around, getting smashed, lost a couple, then landed another.
The trick I found is to just put the troll motor in and quietly follow the school around. If they disappear, be patient, they'll pop up again usually within 50-100m, just stealth mode over and keep casting.

Recently had to deal with several boats in this area driven by utter d**kheads who were driving full pelt at/into schools and breaking them up when me and other people were obviously trying to fish quietly around the edges. Luckily on this day there was no-one else around.

I also noticed there were heaps of fish loitering around the perimeter of the big bust-ups, so dont be shy to keep casting off the sides of the main pack if you think the school is moving on.

About an hour in noticed some fish busting up but a few were leaping right out of the water, smashing the baitfish, and it was happening so fast I couldn't see what they were but I thought they were macks.

Had been using Halco slices, and had recently made a couple of homemade chromies from old op-shop cutlery. Given that I already had more than enough for a feed, I popped one of my homemade slices on for the first time, just to test it out and cast it into this new school, expecting the fish to ignore it completely.

A couple of casts and bugger me I was on and my drag started screaming! Was getting spooled and had to fire up the troll motor and follow along to stop my line running out. After a solid 5-10 minute fight with several dives for the bottom and more drag being ripped, I finally got it up to the surface to see a bluefin tuna!

Threw it in the esky and a few casts later was on again, but this time my braid snapped and lost the fish and my lure. The fish weren't going anywhere so had time to re-rig, put another homemade slice on, and a few casts later was on again. This time it was a smaller mack tuna which still put up an awesome fight.

With 4 cracking fish in the esky and huge smile on the dial was time to call it a day. Had fresh tuna sashimi for dinner, bbq mackerel fillets the next night, then seared tuna sushi the next night.

And if anyone thinks you need huge/expensive gear for this, I was using a 4000 reel, 20lb braid, a 40lb leader on a 5-10kg Raider snapper rod.

If anyone wants instructions on how to make the homemade knife jigs, check out this:
https://www.pensacolafishingforum.com/f ... gs-105901/
http://www.bnbfishing.com.au/make-lures ... er-knives/
I roughly followed the instructions with a few variations.
Found that adding a bit of an S-bend gave it a bit more movement in the water, but one of the tuna was caught on one that was completely flat.
Mine had no flashy tape or anything (although am going to add some to the next batch to see if that sparks more interest from the fish)
You can get cutlery for around 20c a piece at the local op shops!
I used 6XX split rings and 1/0 treble hooks.

As far as technique, I found the following to work (rather than the old "just cast and wind as fast as you can" method)
So - cast into/past/off to side of main pack (try to avoid the birds...)
Let it sink for 5-10 seconds or so.
Whip your rod tip back horizontally (like jigging), then pause and wind a bit in
Repeat 2-3 times, then spank it and wind in as fast as you can.
It seemed the first couple of yanks/pauses got the fishes attention and let the slice sink back down a bit.
I'd then get smashed within a second or two of starting the fast wind in!
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Re: Harbour macks and tuna

Post by b-radical » Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:20 pm

mmMMM MMmmm how good does that look

i see you have wasabi there have you tried the wasabi peas great snack plus good side dish adds a bit of CRUNCH :mrgreen:
Everydays a good day when your fishing


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Re: Harbour macks and tuna

Post by Gibbsy » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:09 am

Nice work Andy had similar thing happen few months back same area following big queenfish schools with my stepdaughter using minn Kota and had people flying up to schools with main motor and not hooking anything. Those home made jigs look good mate

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Re: Harbour macks and tuna

Post by Jeno » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:50 am

Thanks for the post mate and the links! Sashimi looks nice!
No matter where you go, there you are!

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Re: Harbour macks and tuna

Post by Barrajas » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:28 pm

good work bud

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