Brooke Islands national park

Spotted mackerel on plastics

Typically we use metal slices to catch spotted mackerel but in this video I catch spotted mackerel with plastics.

Location of our fishing trip this day is around the Brook Island marine park.

As it is a marine park, we take a snorkel to have a look at the ancient corals that grow in this area and further south to Orpheus Island.

Then we whip out and find some bait schools outside the green zone to target spotted mackerel on plastics.

The key to catching spotted mackerel is to match the hatch (the size of the bait fish they are chasing).

They are avid lure takers and 2 inch metal slices are the best (depending on the size of the fish).

However in this instance we easily caught several spotted mackerel using plastics.

Look for the bait when chasing spotted mackerel.

Spotties are generally found in sub 30 metres and the best option is to look for small white birds diving.

Once you locate the birds, then turn to your sounder to find the bait ball and work it for the fish.

As the video shows, it is imperative you fish on the fish.


Good knowledge of your fish finder is the best option when looking for bait.

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Skill with your fish finder is the main difference between anglers that go fishing and anglers that go catching.

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Gear Used

Chasing spotted mackerel on plastics is a ton of fun.

While many people can get pretty caught up on gear, we don't use the most expensive stuff in the tackle shop.

This link will take to you to our gear and tackle cheat sheet for chasing tropical fish.

It includes rods, reels, lures and electronics.

Chasing spots with metal jigs is covered in this previous post.

Soft plastics are one of my favourite methods of fishing, typically used for big barramundi.



Snorkelling around Brooke Island ancient brain coral

After a quick swim around the ancient brain coral hundreds of years old, we ran outside the green zone in search of bait schools holding spotted mackerel.

Catching spotted mackerel on plastics

Catching spotted mackerel on plastics is simply a case of watch the birds, find the fish, wind fast. Typically metal slices will out fish plastics but we wanted to demonstrate they will pretty much take anything the right size.

Spotted mackerel on fish finder

Before chasing spotted mackerel on plastics you first need to locate them on your fish finder. We use Garmin 8412's in our boat with two transducers. The GT56 UHD and for deeper water the GT51.

Interesting history of Brooke Islands

The location for our video chasing spotted mackerel on plastics is the Brooke Islands National Park.

The area consists of three islands and a surrounding green zone.

Be sure and check your marine park zoning maps before fishing this area.

It is also the site of the longest running bird survey in the world.

The survey was started by Arthur and Margaret Thorsborne.

If you haven't heard of the Thorsborne Trail - it is one of the top 7 walks in the world on nearby Hinchinbrook Island.

Brooke Islands were also the location for top secret mustard gas experiments in 1944.

Both goats and humans were used as guinea pigs. All the goats died and several of the men, many badly burnt and blistered despite being donned in chemical protection wear.

Fishing the Brooke Islands and Hinchinbrook regions.

Chasing spotted mackerel with plastics is just one of the many amazing fishing opportunities in this region.

We've caught many large spanish mackerel in the channel as well as a large GT up the creek.

Not to mention Golden Snapper and Barramundi.

For more information on how to catch these premium food fish, take a look at our Fish Smarter fishing courses.

Learn to catch Fingermark and other delicious foragers (like Pink Snapper) with our free workshop.

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We hope you enjoyed our video: catching spotted mackerel on plastics.

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About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

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