Fishing with Tony Lincoln | Pelagics

Published 1:31pm 6 October 2021

Fishing with Tony Lincoln | Pelagics
Words by Tony Lincoln

AS WE come into a change of season from winter to summer, we're starting to see the arrival of more solid numbers of pelagics such as mackerel, several species of trevally, queenfish etc and as the weather continues to heat up we'll hopefully see cobia in numbers similar to last season which saw quite a few very respectable land-based captures around the peninsula.

Whilst the way we target these fish can differ from other species, the main principles of seeking baitfish, structure and features still apply. Pelagics are great fun to target as they can be much more aggressive in their feeding habits, and are usually much easier to deceive into striking a bait or lure.

Anyone who has witnessed a school of pelagic predators harassing and feeding on a rounded up bait school will attest to how chaotic a scene it is with predators smashing white water all over the surface as they attack their prey from below, and panicked baitfish showering from the water in all directions as they try and avoid becoming a meal.

As many of these fish use speed as their primary weapon to feed, they hit lures and baits hard, particularly when feeding in numbers on schooled up bait.

A couple of easy methods used to find these fish are to find seabirds circling above the chaos below and diving down to pick up any scraps or injured baitfish from the water or locating baitfish showering from the water trying to escape.

In these feeding frenzies, the best way to get a strike is to cast into the chaos and make our bait or lure imitate a wounded baitfish separated from the school.

Tip: Cast to the edges of the bait school or feeding area, NOT the middle. Casting into the middle puts our offering right in with thousands of other baitfish when a wounded straggler separated from the rest stands out much more prominently to already actively feeding predators.

Look for the birds, look for the bait.

Thanks for reading again, and remember;

Talk to old people, they know stuff you don't.

Talk to young people, they know stuff you don't.


  • Some solid summer whiting starting to appear around the peninsula and further afield.
  • School mackerel have arrived but have been patchy at the time of writing to some continued cooler weather and not as much bait around to concentrate them.
  • Several trevally species are the same as the mackerel.
  • Hopefully the rain we're about to receive and some warmer days forecast will flush bait from the creeks and stir things up.
  • Flathead numbers are slowing down as the males break off from their schools hanging around the females and go their separate ways. These fish are still there, they're just spread out more once breeding season slows down.
  • Squire and snapper are slowing down to a degree, but we do have a year-round resident population of these fish these days, and like the flathead, they're still here, just with a bit more water between fish once out of season.
  • Respectable bream still being caught around all the usual haunts.
  • Waiting to see what the pelagic season produces this summer. Last year saw good cobia, Spanish, spotted and school mackerel, trevally species, plus more, with all these available land-based for those willing to put the effort in.


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