The Spanish mackerel have been on the bite early at Sweers Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria where anglers usually have to wait until the cooler months to target these pelagic fish.
Word is spreading about the early arrival of the Spaniards and Sweers Island Resort owners Tex and Lyn Battle have fielded a few inquiries from keen anglers.
“Kuranda resident Brendan Kent had this species on his bucket list for years, but he was never able to visit during mackerel season,” Tex said.
“He saw some of the earlier photos on Facebook and flew over for a weekend last month and was lucky enough to catch his first Spaniard, which weighed about 10kg and was caught using a pilchard with gang-hooks.
“We have a Board of Fame for the best mackerel of the season so it will be interesting to see if they are bigger than last year’s prized catch by Graham Wellings from New South Wales.
“Graham hauled in a mackerel missing about 15 inches of its tail. A shark must have had got it on the way in and even with the bite out it was still the biggest mackerel that year weighing 23.5kg.
“It probably weighed up to 28kg before it was attacked making it a kilo bigger than the largest I have ever caught in the 29 years I have been here.
“Graham comes up a few times a year so he was also a deserving winner of the Baysport Boats longest coral trout comp last year with a 69cm bar cheek trout.
“He was here in time for the early Spaniards this month, but didn’t catch a big one so will be back again in July to try his luck.”
Sweers Island Resort is in the Gulf of Carpentaria, 70km north of Burketown. Ph: 07 4748 5544. www.sweers.com.au