Anglers fishing in Moreton Bay waters will begin to see an increase in the number of school mackerel during September. Often found in the main channels, around structure such as beacons and on the outer margins of the bay islands, school mackerel offer anglers some tasty table fare.
One of the historically productive ways of targeting these silver streaks – a method which is still used nowadays by commercial line fishermen – is trolling spoons. Because spoons are not a diving lure and the mackerel are often fairly deep in the water column, a paravane or trolling board is required to get them into the depths. Let’s look a little closer at these two diving apparatus and ways to rig them for targeting school mackerel.
My first introduction to spoon lures was for securing some mackerel in the Bowen area. As a boy, with my father in our Quintrex Fish Nipper, we would troll from Grays Bay up to Innamincka Rocks and back if the mackerel were running during our holidays. These school and small Spanish mackerel were close to the surface, so all that was required to get the lure down a bit was a large barrel sinker a few metres in front of the lure. However, because you need to get down in excess of 5m when targeting mackerel in Moreton Bay, a paravane or diving board is needed when trolling spoons.
Paravanes and trolling boards are an economical way of getting spoons and low resistance lures down deep. Spoons, such as the No.3 Halco Barra Drone are ideal for targeting Moreton Bay school mackerel, which can be common in the main channels during the warmer months. Whilst not really a sporting method of fishing, trolling spoons is an easy way to harvest a few mackerel for a feed and will often work when many other methods fail to produce. Additionally, the paravane/trolling board and spoon combo allows you to cover a broad area of water in your search for a feed of tasty school mackerel. Get set up for some schoolie success soon.Reads: 7941