snaps for Xmas, JS, 22Dec07

From: "kevin long"
Subject: noosa yakkers old folks outing 22Dec07
Date: Saturday, 22 December 2007 2:39 PM

Well fishing fans, it was a sort of hot & cold day today. Harvey and I were ready to launch at 5am and were happy to be greeted with calm conditions and a low swell. Just before we left, Jaro turned up in his pyjamas and agreed that he'd meet us "out there". So off we headed for JS central. There was nothing of particular interest to report for our trip out and by 0550am Harvey and I had our first baits down. The wind was from the SW at less than 5knots so our drift was very slow. Harv nailed a couple of small reefies, as did I in the first few casts. Then Jaro turned up, paddling toward us from the east and eventually joined us for an uneventful drift at about 0615. About then my phone rang -- it was Jim announcing that he was just leaving (the beach presumably) and would see us soon. And, no Jim, we hadn't boated anything decent at that stage.

We still hadn't had any joy by the time Jim turned up about 40 min later. But just as he was asking me about results I connected with a nice little keeper sweetlip which went into the fish box -- one keeper in the bag. We fished and fished, becoming increasingly more despondent as time went on at the lack of bites. All around us at ranges from 200m to the horizon birds were feeding on baitfish being pushed up to the surface by pelagic predators, mainly tuna, but where we were the snapper were certainly not as active as they often have been over the last few months.

By 0815, with still nothing in the bag and the sun beginning to get more obtrusive, plans were being made to leave. Except for Jaro, of course. And shortly afterward he lifted our spirits by letting out a whoop of delight. We looked over to see his rod bent over and Jaro furiously cranking the reel. A nice snapper came aboard, this at 0825, as I checked my watch. By this time Harv and I had been fishing since 0550 for nothing much. A couple of minutes later Jim yelled out that he was on, then Jaro, again. Harv and I were feeling glummer by the second. Then Jaro nailed a third!!! All of this happened within 15 minutes, so it was all over by about 0840. But by now the heat of the sun was starting to sap our will to plug on and so shortly afterward, with no further strikes, all opted to head for home, departing the reef at about 0915. It was a pretty easy paddle home for by now the wind, although still light, had swung to a northerly, just as forecast, although about 2 hours late.

All mastered the small swell at the beach, with Jim trying a new trick to ensure he remained upright, and we came ashore at the eastern side of the groyne to be met, as usual, by the curious gazes and questions of holidaymakers.

Another fun morning -- and I'm pleased to report that my roof rack Mark 3 which I spent much of Friday afternoon creating, is a big improvement on Mark 2, being now more firmly secured to the Sierra (not easy when you have a canvas roof) and with crossbars which coincide exactly with the fore and aft scupper hole locations of the Espri, thus providing much firmer support (sounds like an ad for brassieres, doesn't it).

Incidentally, this was the first JS trip in several months for me where I didn't catch a single snapper -- keeper or otherwise. So perhaps the snapper season is coming to an end. We'll have to keep testing of course, to find out for sure.

Red & Yellow Espri with (not so many) fish scales on it

Snaps and sweeties, JS, 10Dec07

From: "kevin long"
Subject: Kayak fishing Monday 10Dec07
Date: Monday, 10 December 2007 5:12 PM

It was pretty good, no it was really good. Jaro and I took on the huge waves and monstrous chop ;-) and came home with a feed. Some pics: And no, that is not the same sweetlip pic that you've seen before. The pic on the beach shows our joint bring-home catch -- 4 snapper, 3 sweetlip.

Hey Steve in Singers -- eat your heart out. See you in a couple of weeks.

Red & Yellow Espri with fish scales on it

30Nov07, JS fires, big sweetlip

From: "kevin long"
Subject: noosa yakkers 30nov07 -- dare you read it?
Date: Friday, 30 November 2007 2:27 PM

Almost perfect conditions today. Only three starters: Jaro, Jim and I. Our departure time coincided with low tide so there was a bit of a curling shore break, which proved quite easy to avoid and all three of us were outside the surf zone relatively dry by 0620 or so, setting course for a showery JS (see pic), with a very light southerly helping us to push into the small swell.

There was no action on the trolled lures on the way out and as the breeze at this time was still from the south, we elected to start drift fishing 300m or so short (ie south) of JS Centre. I popped out my drogue and laid out a first cast at around 0700, noting that there was little or no drift. Second cast -- still no fish -- what's going on? Third cast and I was about to retrieve my jig for cast #4 when suddenly the line tightened, the rod bent over into the water and line started screaming off my Shimano Slade, my favoured snapper-fishing reel. It was immediately obvious to me that a snapper had picked up my pretend minnow and impaled its jaw on the deadly 1/8 oz jig carrying the minnow. Jim and Jaro were nearby and I yelled to let them know I was "on" (it's always nice to receive confirmation that the fish are there, even if you aren't the lucky bastard who has hooked one) then settled in to the task at hand, ie boating this first fish. Within a couple of minutes or so my first snapper for the day, and a keeper to boot, lay vanquished in the foot well of my Espri and I wasted little time in getting him onto the stringer and safely stored in the fish box.

Very quickly after this fish I caught a couple of small reefies, including a smallish but keeper grass sweetlip which released itself yak side, then another keeper snapper. Things were looking good, for me at least. Although it's hard to keep track of the sequence of events, around now Jim boated a keeper snapper, followed by Jaro -- now we all had runs on the board. Then we had a cooling shower of rain, and, as the shower drifted westward, we were treated to an unbroken and brilliant rainbow which stretched from east of the Noosa River mouth to Teewah. This beautiful artifact of the human brain triggered by sunlight and water droplets couldn't, because of lens limitations, be captured in total by my camera in a single shot so no piccy I'm afraid.

By 0745 I noticed that we'd drifted around 400m from JS Centre and I was considering heading back in to the centre when I felt a gentle take-up of the jig right at the bottom of its descent. I struck, to set the hook, immediately noting that I made little if any impresssion on the fish at the other end -- perhaps I'd picked up the bottom? No, a few seconds later I was sure it was a fish but its behaviour was very different from a snapper's. It hung doggedly directly under the yak, fighting to get back to the bottom as the Slade gave line steadily but smoothly, as necessary, and I cranked line back whenever the opportunity arose. As is my usual practice, I'd set the drag with a generous margin of safety, well below the breaking strain of the line, so as a result the tussle took quite a while to be resolved, and eventually it was, in my favour. There, exhausted, floating languidly next to the yak was the biggest grass sweetlip I've ever seen. I judged it to be longer than the 47cm specimen I captured here a few weeks ago, a judgement which proved correct, for this specimen occupied 52cm of my tape measure at home, later. Shortly it was safely in the yak foot well and the camera was employed to record its magnificent colour pattern before death drew its curtain over the display for ever. A lesson here. While setting the fish up for a picture I noticed that the final 50cm or so of 12lb monofilament tied to the jig was very badly abraided. In fact it was so bad that gentle pressure on the line to position the sweetie for a photo caused the line to snap (this break is visible in attached photo). It's probable that the damage to the line had been caused by close contact with the reef in the recent tussle. As a result of this damage any small increase in drag tension late in the fight would almost certainly have caused the line to break. So, presuming you've successfully raised your fish from its habitat, don't succumb to any temptation to increase the drag -- it might just prove to be the final straw -- you know, the one that metaphorically broke the camel's back.

Following this event Jim and I, shortly joined by Jaro, opted to reposition ourselves the several hundred metres to Jim's secret JS spot, now somewhat less secret. There Jaro had a very close encounter with a large turtle which decided to come up for a breather right next to him, Jim caught at least one more snapper and I tangled with several, eventually keeping two more and releasing three or four others before Jim and I decided to call it a day just after 0900. Jaro by this time had bagged one keeper snapper (but he'd returned several smaller specimens to the water) and rather than return with us he opted to stay to try to capture at least one more. I can't tell you how he went (late news: Jaro just called and reports that he caught a grinner and was busted by a big fish but didn't improve on his take-home score), but Jim and I had a pleasant and unhurried paddle home, successfully transiting the surf zone just before 1000.

What a great morning! I'm lining up for another trip on Tuesday to take a visiting friend out so anyone else interested is welcome to join us. I'll send out a confirmation email Monday evening.


Red & Yellow Espri with fish scales on it

YFT hooked and lost, 23Nov07

From: "kevin long"
Subject: Quick report on today's trip -- 23Nov07
Date: Friday, 23 November 2007 2:22 PM

Hi guys

Stated mission for today's operation not accomplished, unfortunately, but please read on. Beanie joined Harvey and me and we launched without drama at about 0530, all using the channel on the western side of the groyne. The swell was med-low and there was no significant wind. Once outside, I paused to set up GPS and casting outfit, while my companions paddled off in the general direction of JS. Once ready, I opted to troll a hard bodied plastic lure and set off for JS Centre.

6am, two km short of JS, and still a long way behind Beanie and Harv, I got a solid strike and hookup on the trolled lure. I took the weight and judged it to be a tuna and settled down for a long fight as these guys can give out a fair bit of curry. To my surprise, after only a 5-10min fight I clearly had gained the upper hand, despite being towed 100 or so metres back toward my launch point. Shortly afterward, I had a magnificent 10 kilo plus yellowfin tuna relatively under control and readied the gaff for the coup-de-grace. On its first pass at surface level close to the yak I could see that the fish, which was glowing silver, yellow and dark blue in the early morning light, was secured in the upper jaw by the tail treble of the lure. Second pass and the fish was all but beaten, but I could see that his capture was going to provide me with a dilemma, because there was no way this fish was going to comfortably fit into my fish box and so for my planned 2-hour snapper session it would have to share the cockpit with me. Also in consideration was the extra weight, another 10kg plus, which I'd have to drag around. Never mind -- I decided to take him because I'd never caught a yellowfin tuna from the yak, and Mal Price has, and they are very good eating. Here he is, on the port side of the yak and I have the gaff in my right hand. I line up the gaff shot and before I could sink its deadly point into its shoulder, my yellowfin gave one simple flip and the hook pulled out and he gained his freedom.

And so I eventually arrived at JS, and, having elected to start a drift from the NW edge, 300m or so out, was joined by Beanie and Harv at about 0630. I threw out the drogue, picked up my snapper casting outfit, and with my first cast demonstrated to Beanie how far to cast. Within less than a minute of the jig in this first cast hitting the water I came up tight on a nice fish which started to take line off the spool against the steady drag. I called it for a snapper, which it almost certainly was, but I didn't find out because after another 30 secs the hook pulled out -- on a brand new, needle-sharp jig. Fish 2, Kev 0.

Conditions were glassy today and there was a fair bit of Trichodesmium around, the usual turtles, as well as the odd school of small mackerel tuna causing havoc among the baitfish schools hanging over the reef. Despite all of my efforts, I couldn't raise a decent snapper - got one or two small reefies and a small snapper (all released). Harvey got a small grass sweetlip which he released, or perhaps it released itself. We left at about 0920 and were back on the beach shortly after 1000, all coming in on the small surf again, west of the groyne, dodging swimmers and surfers as we approached the beach, more or less in control.

This is the first in about ten sessions in a row where I've failed to bring a keeper home from JS. All other occasions were in conditions where there was a reasonable breeze, and therefore a good drift, and perhaps this was the reason for the paucity of fish.

When are we going again, Jaro? I hope Harvey and Beanie are not discouraged, for they will catch snapper if they keep trying.

Red & Yellow Espri (nice and clean today)

more snapper, JS, 19Nov07

(Note from editor. This report has two contributions, one from Jaro and one from Jim so when you've finished Jaro’s keep going for Jim’s.)

Subject: N.Y. Fishing Report 19/11/07
Date: Monday, 19 November 2007 2:31 PM

Hi Yakers,

Well four (Jim Mal and Steve and myself) turned up at the appointed time. With a small swell and little wind to trouble us we all made it out safely (6.20am) and proceeded to troll to Jew Shoal uneventfully. After a hiatus in activity the fish started to bite and Jim casting and also trolling with the drift using a squidgie caught a whopper keeper (64cm) with the said squidgie. In the excitement of bagging this fish Jim snagged his watch off his wrist to see it quickly disappear in Davey Jones Locker. Jim ended up with 3 other normal sized keepers.

Meanwhile Steve had also caught his first and only good sized keeper... and he also became seasick but toughed it out. A great effort from the newcomer. Mal was having a good time catching 3 keepers... one being a good 52cm. Yours truly caught a monster but as usual lost it hook and some line (you always have to have a story about the one that got away)... but still ended up with a normal sized keeper and a sweetlip.

Jim and Steve left about an hour before Mal and I. According to Jim, Steve made a brilliantly successful return to the beach surfing a wave like a pro all the way to the shore on the spit side of middle groyne. Jim tried to emulate this feat... unsuccessfully!!

Mal tried to pick a break in the waves... unsuccessfully and ended having a nice cooling dip. On seeing this I was determined to bide my time and on seeing a break in the waves made a headlong dash for the beach... fear is a great motivator... imagine the sigh of relief with success.

Well this has been the most successful expedition so far... 10 good sized fish caught between 4 kayakers and it was done under the most pleasant conditions to date.

Jim will show some photos courtesy of Steve.
Hopefully this report will encourage those that haven't be out yet to come and join in the fun.

Heavy yellow Prowler 13

Jim’s report

Subject: Fw: N.Y. Fishing Report 19/11/07
Date: Tuesday, 20 November 2007 10:56 AM

G'day Yakers,

What a great day !!!
Further to Jaro's report (well done Jaro), attached are the accompanying pics.

For those wishing to refine the "Jew Shoal Fishing Technique" (pioneered by Kev) I offer the following additions to Jaro's report:

Once at Jew Shoal, Steve and I paddled to the upwind (SE) perimeter of the imaginary 500m radius circle around the centre of JS. Similar to last Thursday's trip to JS, it wasn't until we had drifted to about 100-200 m onto the NW side of the centre of JS that we started to get some action. I initially thought the thick wind rows of brown/orange algae all over the reef area might be having a detrimental effect on the snapper's enthusiasm to take the baits offered, but this obviously proved not to be so.

As there appeared to be no action with the normal technique of casting the Berkley Gulp soft plastic "minnows" on a small jig head down wind with the light gear, I decided to also trail a larger soft plastic "jig type" lure (the pink coloured lure in the attached pic, but with tail now bitten off) on my heavier trolling line. This lure is similar to the Starlo & Bushy's "Squidgies" (also shown in the pic) but the lead weight is all internal to the body of the lure, and the pink one I was using was not scented like the Squidgies are. They are ~12cm long and weigh 35g (~ 1.25 oz) which enables them to get reasonably close to the bottom on a very slow drift when trailed behind the yak. The actual lure I used had a triple hook attached mid body but this is not really necessary.

I was lucky that I had just retrieved the light line, when the "whopper" hit the heavy trailing "squidgie". Being the heavy trolling gear (~30lb line on big Daiwa Sealine overhead reel), I had plenty of "power" in reserve and didn't have to spend too much time in subduing this big snapper (but it was still bloody great fun!!!). I would suggest, however, that it would normally not be a good idea to operate two lines simultaneously, as a hit on either line would very likely result in a tangle with the other line in the process of playing the fish.

I marked the spot with the GPS where I hooked the big snapper and it was generally around this area that I picked up the additional three, albeit smaller, snapper, one of these on the squidgie type lure on two successive drifts over this area.

My conclusions after today's experience at JS are:

(a) A GPS receiver is invaluable to be able to target a locality for that morning and to be able to do repeated drifts over it.

(b) The soft plastic protein/scented lures are definitely the go for snapper and sweetlip at JS, however, shape, size and colour doesn't seem to make much difference.

(c) The important factors appear to be locating a "hot spot" for the morning, and getting your lure down there, ie, trailing a squidgie type lure is only likely to be effective on a very slow drift.

An interesting experiment now would be to combine Kev's "casting down wind technique" but using a heavier squidgie type lure. Because of the greater casting distance and sink rate achieved, retrieving slowly with a slight jig action as you drift forward might be effective. Next time...

I might also add that just before leaving JS, I got hit on the light gear with what I believe would have been a snapper equally as big as the 64cm specimen. My light Shimano Sedona reel (see pic) was just "screaming" for about the first 10-15 seconds as this fish took about 50m of line from me before he managed to spit the lure... bugger!!!! Not to worry, that means there is still at least one big whopper out there for next time, and it was a delightful casual paddle back to main beach with a yak full of fish, the sun shining, a small swell and light SSE breeze pushing Steve and me along. The fact that I had lost my watch overboard seemed inconsequential.

Yellow and green Espri, now with lots more snapper scales on it

Snapper aplenty, 15Nov07

Subject: 15nov07 -- how'd we go with our fishing trip? Read on!
Date: Thursday, 15 November 2007 1:56 PM

G'day gang

With aching arms I type this report...

Mal, Jim, Jaro and I fronted this morning at 6. We opted to launch on the eastern side of the groyne as the waves were still quite uppity on the western side. There was a bit of fun going out with yours truly timing his departure to meet the biggest nastiest dumping wave of the morning. I hit it paddling as fast as I could, using appropriate words which I hoped would assist, aiming to punch through, but alas, my body got in the way. When I opened my eyes the yak was still the right way up and I was on it but we were surfing backwards. This didn't last long as I soon performed a "deliberate" beautiful reverse broach and went for a swim in the balmy waters of Laguna Bay. No harm was done, and I was soon back on and into the fray once more, this time successfully joining my rudely grinning companions 'out the back'.

It was a fairly hard slog out as we were punching into a NE breeze and chop on top of a 1.5m swell, but we made it out to our planned destination in about 40min and started fishing at about 0715.

While there was quite a bit of action from small reefies, snapper were not on the chew and by 0830 I was beginning to wonder if all of the snapper had left when suddenly we started catching them. Between 0830 and 0930 the three of us left there (for Mal had departed -- more about him later) boated 7 snapper, two of them around 50cm.

Mal has revealed that he became sea sick, and having vomited on his one and only keeper snapper, headed for home. Presumably this fish was washed before being stowed, Mal, or was it released to tell an unbelieveable story to his finny mates?

We departed the reef about 0945, with Jaro and I both getting strikes, but no solid hook ups, on our trolled lures before we'd cleared the reef.

I wouldn't say our return through the surf was uneventful (in fact, at one stage I couldn't believe I was still the right way up after the sand monster reared up and tried to bite me), but we all managed to land with dignity intact and were met by the usual envious stares and copious questions as we swaggered down to the water's edge to clean our fish.

Oh and why are my arms aching? -- from all the paddling of course...

Red & Yellow Espri with fish scales on it

sweetlip, snapper, 01Nov07

Subject: noosa yakkers 01Nov07
Date: Thursday, 1 November 2007 1:03 PM

It's a while since I've been rolled going out and coming in but I managed it today. In retrospect I think the swell and tide combination were in the no-go class, so that's been tucked away for future reference.

Once out the back, conditions were very nice, with very little breeze. Jaro, Harvey and I set out for JS with snapper in mind. Just as we got to the centre, my trolled lure (deep running hard plastic) went off. I felt the surge of a powerful fish and also felt the line grating over the reef which is quite shallow (10-15m) just there. "Pop!" went the line and that was that. Possibly a yellowtail kingfish...

We started drift fishing for snapper but things were initially very quiet. Although there was little if any breeze, I found we were moving quite rapidly over the reef -- clearly there was a quite strong current from the north/north west. Then, at last, I hooked up when the jig was at its greatest depth. After a short tussle up came a beautiful grass sweetlip (see pic, immediately after capture, in yak), my biggest of this species so far.

It took a while to get the next hit, clearly a snapper, as the jig was taken within a few seconds of hitting the water. The hook pulled out and on close examination of the jig I noticed that the hook bend was slightly distorted -- so that was the cause of a lost snapper.

Jaro, meanwhile was having some success, having hooked two snapper in two casts -- the first was undersized and released, the second threw the hook. He persisted however and boated two keepers, a nice snapper and an even nicer sweetlip, albeit somewhat smaller than mine.

Just as I'd dismantled my gear in preparation for departure from JS (and transiting through the surf zone) I glanced down and could clearly see a school of snapper drifting past. So there are plenty out there.

Harv, by the way, quit early, fishless, on account of illness. I've just spoken to him and he attributes his illness to brain overheating on account of wearing a surf ski helmet, which he was.

Another great fishing trip. Thanks for organizing, Jaro.

Oh, and by the way, we bumped into Mike Gnezdiloff on the beach -- he took the photo of the two wet kayakers and their catch.

Red & Yellow Espri

Jew Shoal snapper, 26Oct07

Subject: Noosa Yakkers trip 26Oct07
Date: Friday, 26 October 2007 1:19 PM

Jaro, as organizer, may make his own comment on the trip, but here it is from my point of view... Thanks for organizing, Jaro.

Jaro, Mick, Jim and I turned up on or before the agreed RV time (0600) this morning and we gazed out onto a "do-able" surf entry, albeit with mutual agreement that we'd probably get wet (by waves, not rain) going out.

Mick Murphy had never taken his Hobie out through the surf before but he managed to pick a nice break in the sets and went through unscathed in his huge (4.9m) Hobie. One of us, who doesn't ride an Espri, went spectacularly backward when hit by a broken wave and seemed to be starting a new trend until the yak broached going backwards and the sand monster had claimed another victim.

By 0630 we were all "out the back" and shortly afterward set course for Jew Shoal, into a gentle nor-wester and a 2m or so swell. The trip out was uneventful and by 0715 we were setting up for our first drift for snapper.

Having received no hits within 6 or so casts at the 450-500m ring, I opted to move in to 350m from the centre and caught two snapper on two consecutive casts at that possie, so I knew they were around.

The result of the trip was that everyone caught at least one snapper, and all except possibly the first I caught (which I released), were legal size. I also hooked a small yellowtail kingfish which released itself yak-side after a solid fight, which was convenient, as I was going to release it anyway. Occasional tuna (probably mackerel tuna) were evident, feeding on baitfish clustered on top of the reef.

Jaro was looking a bit glum for a while with bent rods evident all round him and his rod straight and his line limp, but he persisted and eventually got
the knack and boated first one, then a second, snapper, accompanied by yells of excitement (see photo).

One thing worth commenting on is that close to where we were drifting and catching snapper there was a very expensive looking powerboat with heaps of shiny fishing gear aboard plus two glum looking anglers watching disbelievingly as we collectively boated fish after fish. They caught nothing of significance while we were out there and even offered to carry our catch back to Noosa -- No Deal!

Anyway, a great morning was had by all, including spectacular escapades when we returned through the surf. Once safely on the beach we enlisted the aid of an admiring young lad to record the event with my camera, whose lens cover, once more, had salt spray on it, so the resulting pic is a bit fuzzy -- sorry.

For info, my largest snapper went 54cm, slightly shorter that the 55cm I'd estimated out on the water.

Fresh snapper is on the menu in several households in the next couple of days. Yum Yum.

When are we going again?

Red & Yellow Espri

Snapper on SPs

It's taken me over seven years to get exactly what I wanted to explain this subject: several small movies. After you've watched the movies, I recommend that you go on to read the rest of the post, mostly unaltered from the time I first wrote it back in 2007.

The original post:

Subject: fishing for snapper at Jew Shoal
Date: Thursday, 25 October 2007 11:40 AM

Hi guys

Looks like it's going to be OK tomorrow so I thought I'd pass on some info which may be of use in preparation.

Firstly, the following technique works for me and has done so consistently at Jew Shoal in the last several trips. So far this year I've caught 14 keeper snapper, most at Jew Shoal.

Note: the legal limit for snapper is 35cm and the bag limit is 5 (editor: this changed to four in 2011). Please do the right thing. If you have any doubts about fish legality please return them to the water. You may also catch grass sweetlip, whose legal limit is 30cm.

Background info: It's a 3.7km trip to Jew Shoal (JS) from Main Beach which takes me 40 min or so. I have the centre of JS registered on my GPS, and it's a quite large area of reef and rubble, more than a 1km diameter circle. Mentally, I draw a 500m radius circle centered on JS. My navigation target is the edge of that circle which is directly upwind of the JS centre.

Fishing technique:

(1) Although I usually troll on the way to JS, when I reach my nav target I'll be starting to drift fish for snapper, keeping an eye on distance from the JS centre as I drift. I use a small shopping bag as a drogue when drifting (see pic) and this slows down the drift rate and maintains the yak in a constant orientation to the wind and waves. Once I've drifted outside the circle I reposition myself on the upwind edge of the circle and start again.

Drogue made from shopping bag

(2) I use a 1/8oz jig head tied directly to the line and baited with a Power Bait 3inch minnow. I fish with a threadline reel using 12lb breaking strain line. The water depth is 15-20m. I cast the jig/bait as far as I can downwind while drifting and allow it to sink unimpeded except by the drag from the line (allow loose line between the reel and the place where the line enters the water, but engage the bail arm of the reel as you could get a strike at any time after the jig hits the water). Sometimes the jig is taken by a snapper within the first 10 seconds, but usually the take occurs when the yak is directly over the jig and the jig is at max depth. If I haven't hooked up by the time the jig is starting to be dragged upward behind the drifting yak, I retrieve and try again.

(3) Important: If you hook a snapper, he's going to fight pretty hard. Make sure your drag system is in good condition and that you are prepared to handle the fish into the yak safely if you subdue him. There is no need to bulldoze the fish. Snapper are clean but solid fighters and as long as you keep moderate pressure on you'll eventually gain the upper hand. I usually gaff a fish if he's obviously a keeper (see pic, which also shows my snapper rod/reel) and I also have a stringer on the yak onto which I thread the fish, through the gills, to ensure I don't lose him overboard while I'm stuffing around getting him into the fish box. Small fish should be gently lifted into the yak and gently de-hooked and returned to the water ASAP.

Dealing with keeper snapper
Finally I'm delighted to be accompanied by fellow yakkers, but please don't crowd each other. The fish are well spread over the reef so there's plenty of space. If you catch something you can't identify bring it over to me and I'll try to help out. And keep an eye out for whales.

Tight lines... Hope to see you tomorrow at 6am

Red & Yellow Espri

nice bag, Jew Shoal, 02Oct2007

Subject: fishing just keeps getting better and better...
Date: Tuesday, 2 October 2007 11:21 AM

I don't like to be forced to apologise for image quality, but there was salt spray on the lens.

Left the beach 0630, returned 0930, paddled 10+km, had a ball!! I pretty much was the only human out there, at least for the first hour or so.

The spotty mac (edit: in 2011, by author: probably a school mackerel, I think) was caught at Jew Shoal (trolled Rapala) as I was about to start snapper fishing. The snapper, none of which exceeded 45cm, were caught using Berkely Power Baits on 1/8 oz jig heads.

Had a fairly close experience with a pod of whales, one of which was showing off by breaching, and a very close experience with some dolphins.

What more could one want?

Red & Yellow Espri

SPs work, snapper, 12Sep2007

Subject: more snapper
Date: Thursday, 13 September 2007 8:33 AM

Hi guys

Couple more nice little snapper taken out at Jew Shoal yesterday afternoon (bigger one was 52cm long). Both were caught, while drifting, on soft plastic "baits" cast downwind attached to a light jighead and allowed to sink. I also got three smaller sweetlip using the same technique. And a finny scad while trolling to Jew Shoal.

Water still murky, however...

Red & Yellow Espri

Dolphin Pt snapper, 30Aug2007

Subject: more snapper
Date: Thursday, 30 August 2007 10:12 AM

Hi yakkers

I'd resigned myself to being fishless for the next couple of weeks (because of the floods) but thought I'd go out into Laguna Bay for a paddle yesterday arvo just for the exercise. Took a rod "just in case". Came home with three small but nice snapper between 35 and 40 cm long.

Caught the first on a trolled Rapala lure then switched to a soft plastic on a 1/8oz jig and caught the next two by casting in toward the shore and letting the jig sink gently. These guys really fight well on 12lb line.

There were signs of some big predators hunting around the same area (baitfish showering out, and occasional large splashes).

Launched at Middle Groyne and got a bit wet on the way out but had a beautiful ride back in, later.

I think I'll go again today...

Red & Yellow Espri

How to post on this blog

The process of posting on Noosa Yakkers Trip Reports blog or any other blog is relatively straight forward. Anyone who can write an email can also write a TR and post it to the blog provided he has author permission from the blog manager. The advantage of posting directly is that your information is not delayed and if you’ve never blogged before you’ll gain the skills to set up and run your own blog if you ever want to do that. Blogging directly also saves the blog manager from having to carry out the process although it should be noted that the blog manager reserves the right to edit your post and even delete it completely if it contains objectionable material. Here is a description of the process.


In order to create a blog post and post it directly to the blog:

(1) You need permission from the blog manager to post. This usually is granted after you have successfully demonstrated your ability on our (private) test blog.

(2) You need basic computer skills, access to computer hardware and software and an Internet connection.

(3) You need to be willing to learn.


The text is best prepared using a basic word processor such as Notepad (Windows), TextEdit (Mac), iA Writer (iPad). Just open a new document in one of the above programs and start writing, just as if you were writing an email.

Please read the guide to writing your TR which is already on the blog.

If you intend to insert pictures into the post you should plan that they become like individual paragraphs within the text paragraphs. For example, you could type ”Pic 1 here” as a separate paragraph to indicate to yourself later where Pic 1 is to go. For example your text might look like the following:

Blah, blah, blah…

pic 1 here

Blahby, blahby, blahby…

pic 2 here


If your post is to contain text only you can skip the next section about images.


On a blog post, images cannot be embedded or attached as in an email or a Word Processing program. Instead, the images are ”called” (retrieved) from another location (usually a web server) using HTML code. The process of placing the image at that server location and acquiring and placing the HTML code is explained below.

First, prepare your image

There's a detailed explanation of how to prepare your images at this post here on our blog.

It is VERY important that your images do not exceed 700 pixels wide (explained in the above linked post).

Placing your images on the remote server

There are many free services on the Internet which allow the uploading of images for storage and access. Most of us use Photobucket, which we’ll use as an example here, but others may also work.

Get a free account at Photobucket (Note if you are using an iPad that Photobucket has a free App which is well worth installing). Make sure you keep note of your username and password for you’ll need them to upload new images and view the images you’ve uploaded. When you’ve established your account you’ll find a facility to upload images to your Photobucket album. Before you start doing this, you should consider creating various albums (eg ”fishing pics”, etc) to make it easy for you to find the images you want later.

Once you’re ready you’ll need to upload the prepared images to your Photobucket album. Because you prepared your images by bringing the width down to 700 pixels or less, your images will upload quite quickly, even over a basic Internet connection. At this stage make sure that your text file is available because you’re going to need to copy code provided by Photobucket and paste it into your text.

Once the images are uploaded you’ll be able to see them in the Photobucket album. With a bit of exploration you’ll also find a facility there for each image which will allow you to copy various unique codes. The one you need to copy is HTML code. Once you've copied the HTML code for an image you should then paste this code into your text at the location where you wish the image to appear. Do this systematically, by reading your text, finding the correct image, then copying and pasting the code for that image into the correct place in your text.

Your HTML code text, once pasted, will look something like this

Image of code text when pasted

You should now edit this code by deleting some of it (this process eliminates certain problems for people viewing the blog on a tablet computer or smart phone). You can do this with the normal editing tools on your word processor, just as you would with any other text, but be careful not to accidentally edit the part which needs to be left.

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These deletions will leave you with code that looks something like the picture below (Don’t worry if it’s not exactly like this. It will work correctly as long as you haven’t done any extra editing.)

edited code pic

This code, when used in your blog post, will magically cause the image to be displayed in the blog at the place the code appears in the text. Yee Ha!


Once you’re satisfied that you have your text including your image code ready you can place it on the blog.

Presuming you have permission to post on the blog, you must now select the blog you wish to post into and select ”New Post”. Normally this facility is provided by Blogger using ”Dashboard” but there are other ways to post.

You will find that you are presented with a dialogue box which is designed to accept your text with another box, above it, which is designed to accept the Title of the post. The Title is important because it appears in the Archive so make sure you give your post a Title. Our TR post Titles consist of a catchy and very brief description followed by the trip date (eg ”Huge Spaniard, 03Apr12”). This date format has been selected because it takes up minimal space.

The first step is to go back to your text file and copy all of its text, including the image codes. Then switch back to the blog ”New Post” window, place the cursor in the provided space and select ”Paste” (usually this is done with right mouse button but there are numerous other ways). Your text will flow into the space.

Next sort out the Title. You can key this into the box provided or again you can copy and paste from somewhere else.

You’re nearly done. All you have to do now is press the ”Publish” button and, provided there are no horrible errors in your image code (invariably caused by user error), you’ll next be informed that all is well and be invited to view your post, which you should do. You can edit your post again, should you need to, and then republish. Don’t panic if the post doesn't look exactly like you expect it to and don’t forget that you can ask the blog manager to fix the problem if you don’t know how to do it yourself.

GPS to PC: tricks and tracks

Article by Matt (gemini), 08Mar12

Hi Yakkers!

For those of you who may be looking to see a bit more info from your GPS, I've written up a guide on adding your data into Google Earth for a spiffy satellite image showing tracks and/or waypoints. I'll also detail how to extract your data to distribute to others for fishing reports etc. This information is useful to include in our trip reports not only for our reference, but also for visitors to the site so they can see where we go and what we get up to (if you wish to show them). Of course, if you want to keep this info secret you can still download the data and use it for your own reference or to show trusted friends.

NOTE: I am using a Garmin Etrex10 and Windows 7 for the purposes of this write-up. The method may be slightly different with your model of GPS or PC, but the basics should be the same. I will refer to Google Earth as GE for the rest of the article.


GPS configuration should be fairly standard across all models bought in Australia. Most of you will have configured your GPS already, but I'll review the main settings you need to worry about. The first is the position setting which needs to be in degrees and decimal minutes format (displayed on my GPS as hddd°mm.mmm') found in the "Setup" and then "Position Format" menus on my Etrex10. Under the same sub-menu is a "Map Datum" and "Map Spheroid" setting. These both need to be set to "WGS 84".

The other GPS setting I use is the automatic tracking feature. When your GPS is switched on tracking begins and continues while it’s in use. All you need to do is make sure the previous track is cleared otherwise it may become part of the new track. Clearing a track can be done from the "Trip Computer", sub-menu "Reset", and the automatic tracking setting can be found in "Settings", sub-menu "Tracks". You don't need to use automatic tracking, but it simplifies things once you're on the water. You will also need to save your track once completed. You can find this under "Track Manager" > "Current Track" > "Save track". Note that the GPS will continue to track whenever it’s turned on, so if you wish to create a track showing only where you travelled “today”, you need to delete the previous track at or before the time you turn on the GPS at the start and then preferably save the track at the end before turning the GPS off. If you leave the GPS on, it will continue to track with the result that your recorded track will likely show the route to your home as well as where you went fishing.

There are more settings on a GPS than you can comfortably poke a stick at, so it pays to play around and see what yours can do. I'll update this article if I come across anything else worth mentioning, but for the moment these basics will suffice.


If you don’t already have GE installed, go here and download GE. Install the program, making sure your computer has at least two gigabytes of free space on the hard disk. GE creates a cache for recently used data, and it can fill up fairly quickly.

With GE installed, there is one option that must be changed before we can start using it. If you open GE you will find a menu bar along the top. Find the "Tools" menu, and then select "Options" from the drop down menu it produces. You will be presented with the following dialogue box:

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The image has a red ellipse around the "Show Lat/Long" option for "Degrees, Decimal Minutes". You will need to select that option if not already selected. This is to keep a data standard for our Noosa Yakkers reports etc, and matches the setting in the GPS as described above. The "Local Marks" page on our blog here already makes use of this standard. Using a different option may put your data out by a few kilometres!

The other areas on the GE options dialogue box are largely personal preferences. The only things I would point out are the Antialiasing and Antistropic filtering options. Make use of those only if your computer system has a high performance graphics card, as you may experience some performance degradation when using GE without the better card if you select these options.


Now you can start importing data from your GPS. When plugged into the PC, using a cable connector, most GPS should appear as another storage device on your system, like a USB memory stick or CD-ROM drive.

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Here Windows has assigned the indentifier “J” to the GPS after connection to the PC.

GE has the capacity to import all data automatically from Garmin, Magellan, and Wintec devices, but I would recommend against using this automatic option as I have found it unreliable. We'll start with the waypoints.


NOTE: The following process assumes you have already entered the relevant waypoint information into your GPS. At a minimum you should have the coordinates for our regular destinations like Jew Shoal, Halls Reef etc (see here but note that this process will allow you to selectively import all waypoints recorded on the GPS, including those newly created on this trip (see image further down).

In GE, go to the "Tools" menu and select "GPS". You will be presented with the following screen.

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Select "Import from file", tick the box for "Waypoints", and click "Import". You will now be prompted to select a waypoint file to import from. The saved file path for waypoints and tracks on my Etrex10 is "x:\Garmin\GPX", where "x" is the letter identifier assigned to your GPS automatically by Windows (in this case, the GPS is identified on my computer as device “J”). You need to navigate to the device (ie the GPS, in this case, device “J”) in GE/Windows Explorer and then select the file.

The files are named for easy identification as either a track or waypoint with an attached date of creation. Select the waypoint file you would like to import and click "Open".

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The waypoints will now appear in the sidebar on the left under "Temporary Places" > "gpx GPS Device" (or similar) > "Waypoints". Within this menu you can delete unwanted imported waypoints prior to copying them into your working data area. Once you are happy with the waypoint data you wish to import, perform a right mouse button click on the "Waypoint" heading and select "Save to My Places" from the context menu that pops up.

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The waypoints will now appear under the heading "My Places" at the top of the sidebar in GE.


Importing tracks is largely the same as the description for waypoints above, but instead of selecting waypoints when importing from the GPS, choose to import "Tracks", and output "KML Tracks" and "KML LineStrings". The file you need will have "Track_" in the title, rather than "Waypoint_" as before.

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In the sidebar, in the same place where the waypoints appeared in "Temporary Places", you will now find "Tracks". In here you will find two dated tracks matching the file name you imported. One will have sub-folders (click the triangle next to it) containing "Points" and "Path", and one will not. The track without a sub-menu is a basic path of your trip, and is the track you will most likely use if you want to produce a quick image of your journey. The second track is where the guts of your trip data is contained (altitude, time stamps, direction, speed etc). If you click the blue "link" style heading for that track in the sidebar, it will popup a window over the map displaying track information.

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Let's leave the complicated track for now (it has useful info, but we'll get to that another time), and focus on getting an image of our track. If you want to, you can also save these tracks to "My Places" as you did with the waypoints.

Double click your track in the GE sidebar on the left. The map window will now zoom to your track and magically display the track centered on screen. Tick the boxes in the sidebar to display or hide any relevant waypoints near your track if you desire (locations, fish captures etc). You also have the option to make this map slightly larger by turning off the toolbar, sidebar, and navigation menus from the "View" menu at the top left of the screen. I recommend removing the navigation menu at least, as it will appear on your image otherwise. Go to the "File" menu at the top left, select "Save", and then "Save Image". Give it a name and you're done! If you're planning to use it for trip reports it will need to have a maximum width of 700 pixels, so a bitmap editor will need to be used to crop the image and tidy it up. This is something Sunshiner has covered on the blog already here.

After all that you should now be able to produce some colourful images of your adventures on the water. If you're writing a trip report, maybe grab the GPS data from your trip-mates (who can email the track files to you) and produce an image with multiple tracks for added effect! Be creative and have some fun out there... the first 5km wide smiley face overlaid on Laguna Bay wins a prize.

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Matt (gemini)

Preparing photos for the blog

By Kev Long

Now that waterproof digital cameras are pretty common among Noosa Yakkers, many still (ie non-video) pics of great kayak fishing interest are being recorded and passed on by email. We still get many queries about how best to prepare a digital still image (henceforth in this article called “photo”) for emailing and for the blog, so this post has been created to help you master the necessary skills to manipulate your images and hence successfully pass the photos on to the group.


At the very start, you need to be aware that the devices (PCs, tablets, smart phones) which display your photo use PIXELS, not mm or inches, to determine how much space the photo uses on its screen. You also need to understand that most devices can effectively use a maximum of up to about 1600 pixels wide as that is the maximum number of pixels which can be displayed in width on the device (Note that a typical basic notebook computer has a display width maximum of 1024 pixels, as do most tablet computers such as iPad).

All of this means that, when display of the full photo on a typical screen is the objective, any pixels more than 1600 pixels width in the image are wasted. A photo which is 4000 pixels wide will still be displayed (in some cases not all at once -- you'll have to use a scroll bar to see the whole width), but the vast majority of pixels are unused in a full screen display. This also means that most of the considerable band width (ie your broadband, which you’re paying for) and extra time consumed by transmitting and receiving the 4000 pixel image are wasted. Time, money, storage space, all wasted by anyone who sends or receives photos which are wider than absolutely necessary!


Not only do display devices have maximum display widths, but so also do some applications (such as web pages). Given that many of Noosa Yakkers’ photos will hopefully end up in Trip Reports, and/or in Our Favourite Pics, it makes sense that the yakker providing the photo in the first place should prepare that image for that purpose before sending it on.


Once the limitations are understood, the process of optimizing the photo for the display device is easy. All users of Windows 7 and Windows Vista have a built in application which will allow you to do this. If you have an iPad there’s a great and low cost App called Photogene which you should install. Mac owners have a program called Preview which allows the adjustments needed to be made easily.

As statistics show that most views of our web pages are by Windows users, I’ll use the Windows 7 built in software “Paint” as the means of demonstrating how to optimize your pictures. But before going on with that, here are three basic rules for Noosa Yakkers photos you wish to send by email or post on the blog.


Whether you’re intending your photos to be viewed only in an email or intend that they be displayed on the Noosa Yakkers blog you don’t need photos which are wider than 700 pixels. This is because 700 pixels will display very well in an email and is the LARGEST size which will fit the available width on any of our blog posts.


Most photos have stuff that can be cropped out (demonstrated below). The cropping (usually a process of selecting a rectangular shape on the photo and keeping that part of the photo, discarding the rest) should be done on the ORIGINAL photo, before resizing, because that process will give the maximum photo quality for number of pixels, and thus display quality will be optimized.

Note also that photos which are 700 pixels wide but a lesser number of pixels deep (eg 700x250) will always display better on typical display devices than photos which have more depth than width. Sometimes, however, you must use photos that are deeper than they are wide, as in photos of the Eiffel Tower, for example.


One of the simplest ways of doing this is to NOT delete the photos from your camera/card when you transfer them to your computer. (They can always be deleted later, when you’re happy you have the originals stored safely.) ALWAYS save your modified photos to a different folder and file name than your original after you’ve cropped and resized them. That way you’ll be able to find them easily when you want to email them, and you’ll still have the originals stored on your computer, in a different folder, for safekeeping.


Firstly, always save the photos to your computer otherwise you take the risk of modifying photos on your camera/card and therefore destroying the originals. You can ensure this is the case by disconnecting the camera/card from the computer before starting to edit the photos. It’s always best to create a new folder for your fishing photos and store your photos in there (in subfolders named for the date they were taken, if you’re really well organized).

Here's the photo we’re going to use as an example for cropping. It’s an old favourite...

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This photo’s original size is 3648x2736 pixels (in order to show you the whole photo in this space I’ve had to reduce this copy to 700x525 pixels). The original photo requires 3.2mb of storage space, while the smaller version, as displayed above, requires only 55kb, about 1/60 of the original!

You will see that in the subject photo there’s a lot of “empty” space around the subject. We could display this photo a lot better if we could get rid of this space, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

The Windows program which allows us to do this is called “Paint” and it can usually be found under Accessories in the Program list.

Start “Paint”, and open the file. You can do this with some sample files provided or with any other suitable file on your computer.

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The view after opening. Note that the actual tools/items displayed in the upper tool bar and in the information bar depend on the overall window width, so adjust if necessary. The annotated notes in B&W are mine.

Now we’re going to crop the photo, to get rid of the stuff we don’t want.

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After you choose CROP, the photo will display as below:

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OK, nicely cropped, but still too big. Now to resize it.

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Nicely done! Now the final step after resize...

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Now let’s compare the two pics, the original, uncropped, and the cropped version, with both at 700 pixels wide

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Above, the original, uncropped

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The cropped version, much better, I think you'll agree

So there it is, easy as! But please make sure you select the cropped and downsized versions of your pics before sending to us. If anyone's having difficulties, please get in touch with me.