Blue Water Trolling Spanish Mackerel
Bluewater - Trolling


At FNSF-NOMAD, we use heavy overhead and spin set-ups to target large pelagic fish along reef edges and entrances and at times out in open blue water off the shelf. We usually put out a spread of lures at various lengths behind the boat, also covering various depths as required.

Things can get very busy very quickly when multiple lines go off, requiring team work and calmness from all on board. Most pelagic fish will travel in groups and the sight of one fish suddenly escaping with a prize will excite the others to light up and chase anything in sight.

Most lures are designed to mimic a fast moving or injured fish and there are a range of designs that we use depending on the species of fish being targeted. Guides quite often use a variety of lures in the spread to give predatory fish a choice of colour, size and depth. The use of teasers and a long surface lure out the back might compliment the standard spread of divers behind the wash.

Blue water trolling speed will vary with fish species being targeted and also the weather and fishing conditions at the time. Generally, this falls in a range of between 5-10 knots and provides enough comfort to relax and watch rods in the holders, ready for the carnage to unfold.


We target a range of sizeable pelagic fish including Spanish Mackerel, Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Giant Trevally, Sailfish and Dogtooth Tuna.


We find trolling produces the best results around shoals, reef points and edges, rocks and bommies, reef entrances and along contour lines around the shelf. When charters are accessing the east coast along the Barrier Reef, multiple opportunities exist for blue water trolling every day.


FNSF-NOMAD use top of the line Shimano rods, reels and terminal tackle. We provide the following setup for blue water trolling:

Reel: Shimano Talica 2 Speed 16
Rod: Shimano Tag-Em 5' 7 24kg Runner Tip 
Line: 24kg mono; 120lb leader

Tips & Tricks

  • Always try and man-the-rods, or sit in a position to see the rod tips and react quickly to a strike. At times the driver will need to throttle down or steer deeper. Be alert, have a trolling game plan with your guide.
  • Try and maintain constant pressure on the fish. A sudden head-shake or change in direction can easily dislodge the hooks and anglers who apply constant, even pressure will lose less fish.
  • Be patient and remember that trolling can be a very effective way of covering ground. Sometimes a long search for bait holding and actively feeding fish can see a session turn around very quickly.

Our Recommended Lures

Our guides are experienced in using a wide variety of lures and recommend the following when it comes to bluewater trolling:

  • Nomad DTX 140mm/165mm/200mm
  • Nomad Madmacs 6"/8"/10"
  • Nomad Madscad 150 Sinking

These lures are available to purchase as part of our discounted pre-purchase lure packs in your own personal lure wrap/box, and can also be puchased on board.

Shimano Talica Reel