Topnotch Game Fishing

Nannygai & spanish mackerel

Coral Reef Fin & Spanish Mackerel Closures

October & November Fish Closures

football coral trout

Coral Reef Fin Closures 2024

Round 1 – Monday, 30th of September – Friday, 4th of October (5-days)
Round 2 – Tuesday, 29th October – Saturday, 2nd of November (5-days)
The coral reef fin & Spanish mackerel closures are selected on certain days based on moon phases. Coral trout, plus many other reef species, aggregate to spawn during this specific time. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) has chosen these days to allow the reef fish to replenish to ensure healthy fish stocks for current & future generations of Queensland fishers. For the duration of these particular days, all TGF charters are private sports fishing charters only. (sorry, there are no shared bottom fishing charters, only trolling for pelagic fish except for Spanish Mackerel.) Pelagic fish targeted are longtail tuna, yellowfin tuna, giant trevally, sailfish & black marlin. (no bottom reef fishing allowed!) We use various lures, garfish baits & a variety of skirts to catch them. These days are a fantastic opportunity to catch big trophy pelagic fish!

spanish mackerel fishing

Northern Spanish Mackerel Closures 2024

Round 1 – Monday 30th of September until Monday 21st of October (3 weeks)
Round 2 – Tuesday 29th of October until Tuesday 19th of November (3 weeks)
Spanish Mackerel closure is for two three-week periods (six weeks total) around the new moons in October & November each year. The northern closure dates will be adjusted in subsequent years to align with new moon periods. The northern closures apply to east coast waters north of latitude 22˚S. (located slightly north of Stanage Bay, between Mackay and Yeppoon). The east coast Spanish mackerel fishery was assessed in 2021 as overfished, requiring urgent action to rebuild stocks. This harvest strategy aims to rebuild the stock to a level that achieves maximum sustainable yield. Subsequently, it pursues the long-term goal of achieving maximum economic yield while maintaining catch shares amongst the commercial, recreational, charter & Indigenous fishing sectors. During these two closures, we avoid fishing for Spanish Mackerel. 
coral reef fin & spanish mackerel closures
Management Changes For East Coast Spanish mackerel

New east coast Spanish mackerel fishery management arrangements are in place from October 2022, following significant consultation with stakeholders. The changes aim to strike a balance between rebuilding the stock and providing more controlled access for recreational and commercial fishers.

The management actions for the East Coast Spanish mackerel include the following:

  • A northern closure in east coast waters north of 22˚S. (located slightly north of Stanage Bay, between Mackay and Yeppoon) for two three-week periods (six weeks total) around the new moons in October and November each year. The northern seasonal closures will provide vitally important protection for spawning aggregations. The first northern closure will run from 30th September 2024 to 21st October 2024 and 29th October to 19th November 2024.
  • A southern closure in east coast waters south of 22˚S. (located slightly north of Stanage Bay, between Mackay and Yeppoon) for two three-week periods (six weeks in total) in February and March each year. The first southern closure will run from 1 February 2023 to 21 February 2023 and from 1 March 2023 to 21 March 2023.

In subsequent years, northern closure dates will be adjusted to align with new moon periods.

In consideration of pre-existing charter bookings made up to a year in advance. Seasonal closures will not apply to recreational fishers on licensed charter fishing trips until the following season, starting on 1 July 2023.

Other key management changes for Spanish mackerel closures
  • On 1 July 2023, the recreational possession limit will change to one fish per person or two fish per boat with two or more recreational fishers on board (the boat limit will not apply to licensed charter fishing trips).
  • On 1 July 2023, the extended charter trip limit will be removed. (it currently allows recreational fishers to take twice the in-possession limit for charter trips longer than 48 hours).
  • On 1 July 2023, the total allowable commercial catch will be adjusted to 165 tonnes for the 2023 fishing season.
  • A new smartphone app will be developed for recreational fishers to voluntarily report Spanish mackerel catches on the East Coast & shark depredation. By supplying your catch information, you also improve our data and the accuracy of our fish stock analyses.
  • A new education and awareness program will be introduced to promote best practice catch, release and handling techniques for recreational fishers.

Please beware of Coral Reef Fin & Spanish Mackerel Closures when booking your fishing charter with the TGF team.

Topnotch Game Fishing

Living On Island Time & Fishing In Paradise

If you’re looking for a professional fishing charter experience from Hamilton Island, look no further than Topnotch Game Fishing. We have various charter options, like shared half-days, private half-days, private full-days & liveaboard fishing charters at the Great Barrier Reef. We pride ourselves on our topnotch expertise and passion. I look forward to your inquiry! Contact Marlene today at 1300 347 444 or email tgfcharterinquiries@gmail.com


Marlene Hicks The owner-operator of Topnotch Game Fishing Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, Australia. The Great Barrier Reef.