average day, JS, 29Jul09

From: "kevin long"
Subject: fishing today -- 29jul09
Date: Wednesday, 29 July 2009 4:10 PM

The fun continues...

Incidentally -- I'm using a slightly different technique for the pics today. Instead of embedding the images and transmitting them with the email I'm just placing a link in the email text. If you cannot see the pictures and are viewing your email as HTML (the usual default) please let me know.

Four of us fronted this morning at 0615 at MG: Jaro, Madcow (Brian), Jim and I. But Dave, a keen yak fisho from Brisbane whom we'd met before had just beaten us into the carpark. When I arrived, first of our group, a new Subaru model Forester with a yellow Hobie Adventure on the roof was there. I recognized it and went over to say hello to Dave, who was heading out alone but happy to join us.

Shortly we were all ready to go on another magnificent Noosa morning...

0627. Low tide. Dave in his Hobie has launched and is the furthest away of the three yakkers in the pic. Jaro (yellow Prowler) forgot his hat and had to turn around in the narrow channel next to the rocks to come back to shore. Madcow is closest to the camera.

Shortly after launch Brian accesses his forward hatch, an action which forces him to climb forward and balance very carefully. Flat sea, eh?

As soon as individuals were ready they headed off to their chosen marks on Jew Shoal. I was last away and was paddling along happily about 400m from my fishing start point when I was startled by a splash and a large fin which I just saw briefly in my peripheral vision, very close to the bow of my yak. A second or two later I realised that I was being accompanied by a pod of dolphins. There were perhaps five of them and they took turns to swim along just under the yak and in front close to the bow. After 100m or so I stopped paddling and took the camera out, switching to video. I got a few seconds of footage and from that selected the pic below.

0717hrs. Dolphin cavorting just off the port bow. That's Jaro in the distance, directly in line with the dolphin and already drift fishing. (still from video)

The dolphins hung around for quite a while but left soon after I joined up with Jaro to start fishing. Conditions were close to perfect with a light SW breeze giving us just enough speed to make our drift successful. It wasn't long before Jim, fishing to the east of Jaro and me, announced over the radio that he had a keeper snapper aboard so that gave Jaro and me confidence that there were snapper around. Jaro and I still hadn't scored, however and we had no reports from Brian and Dave who were well out of shouting distance and without radios.

At about 0745 I was continuing my drift when I spotted a commotion in the water about 100m away to the east. A wave peak hid the area briefly from me but as it passed I saw a whale surface to breathe. It was relatively small (~6m long) but unmistakeably a whale and as it was heading toward Jim I gave him a quick warning call on the radio. Speaking later with Dave and Brian I found that the whale had swum directly under Dave's kayak and very close to Brian's, that Dave had seen it and at first thought that he was seeing the reef floor, but that impression was soon dispelled when the whale surfaced a few metres from his bow just as Dave had a screaming run on his light fishing outfit. You guessed it, the whale swam through the line, snagging it. Dave was then forced to break off as he had no chance of landing the creature. As Dave said later, with experiences like that, the fishing is extraneous.

At last, just before 8am, when I'd been fishing for over 30 minutes, my trailing outfit went off. This was loaded with a 1/4 oz jighead and a very old and very used Powerbait soft plastic, which is now even more severely damaged than before. I make this comment because I have found that all of these soft plastics can be reused as long as they still have "jiggly bits" and can still be rigged properly on the hook This particular bait was over a year old and I'd caught three or four fish on it. In this case, it was trailing along from a rod held in a rod holder with no action being imparted to the jig except that provided by the swell. The snapper was not as big as the one I caught a few days ago, but both were caught using the same technique and similar, old and battered, soft plastics. FWIW.

0802hrs. My first keeper of the day. 40cm snapper.

Shortly after this, Jaro announced that he was also on the board with a small but legal sweetlip. Jim reported catching several small mackerel-like fish with very sharp teeth but as yet unidentified. One other possibility, Jim, is yellow finned pike as Dave told me that he'd caught one and they form dense shoals at times.

There were plenty of fish signs showing on the sounder in the deep area I was fishing so I kept at it, hoping to entice a big sweetlip or snapper, or even a small one. But it took nearly an hour from my first fish (pretty slow fishing) before I hooked up again, this time on the cast outfit. The fish turned out to be a pearl perch, an esteemed table fish but unfortunately undersized. This is a comparatively rare catch for us at Jew Shoal, but this one was bigger than ones I'd caught before so here's hoping ... one day.

0857hrs. Pearl perch. Legal size 35cm. This one around 30cm. Despite the jig having been completely "inhaled" the hook was easily removed and the fish was released alive and vigorous.

At 0930 the wind, having dropped away to almost calm, sprang up from the SE at about 10knots. This gave us a good drift speed but the accompanying air was pretty cool. Otherwise, however, conditions were very pleasant but the fish were not cooperating further so by 1130 we were ready to go home. We hit the beach at around 1200-1215 to be met by Bill Barnett and Monica who were curious to learn how we'd gone. In the end, the take home score was: Jim: 1 snapper (45?) cm. Jaro: 1 sweetlip 34cm. Kev: 1 snapper 40cm. Not a particularly productive day but very enjoyable anyway.

Friday's looking good and Jaro has already announced a trip for that day. I hope I can fit it in...

Red & Yellow Espri, black paddle
VHF channel 09 or 22 (if alone), Call Sign: sunshiner

solo arvo snapper, JS, 26Jul09

From: "kevin long"
Subject: fishing this afternoon -- 26jul09
Date: Sunday, 26 July 2009 7:11 PM

I had a leisurely brekky with Mary, fully expecting that the morning wind would not die down. But as the morning wore on, I couldn't help but notice the tree tops near home and their unmistakeable evidence that the breeze was dropping out. I went to the Seabreeze website and noticed that the breeze was still brisk at DI Point but was negligible at Cape Moreton, further south. Hope was now building that I might get a yakking trip this arvo as the weather normally develops from the south. The coastwatch surf cams website was having a technical problem with their Main Beach camera but I went for the river mouth camera which showed no swell and a sparkling sea barely ruffled by the breeze. It was about then (1122am) that I decided to go on the judgement that the breeze would likely drop out and so sent a quick email out to Noosa Yakkers. By 1145 I was out of the house and trundling in my Sierra toward Hastings Street, which, as usual on a sunny Sunday morning was busy. Carparking was the next problem to be solved. Fortunately I bagged one down near the river side of the Spit, a full one minute's walk distant from where we normally park, but heck, I was lucky to score a park straight off so there's no point in complaining.

1206pm. Ready to launch. A film/camera crew was just packing up to the left of where the yak is parked.

You can see how nice it was but the sunshine was about to be blanked off for the afternoon as the cloud mass visible in the pic was about to interrupt the arriving warming rays of sunlight. The breeze was light and variable in close and very soon I was off toward Jew Shoal, having decided initially to target the northern side as I expected a northerly breeze to kick in.

By 1300 I was in place near A3 02, not far from a huge cruiser whose skipper seemed to be having difficulty working out where to fish. Also out there fishing were several 4m to 5m outboard powered craft and a 40 foot sailing catamaran. None of these craft seemed to be boating fish, fairly normal for the casual Sunday fishos as far as I can tell.

My first drift across my chosen piece of reef was interrupted by the huge cruiser anchoring right in my drift line causing me to have to move several times. I'd had no hits on the first or second drifts over this area near A3 02 in 20m of water so started to think about alternatives. The breeze out there initially was consistently from the ESE and my drift was straight toward the NW at a very reasonable speed, perhaps slightly faster than I'd like but pretty good anyway. At about 1330 I decided to move into shallower water which was more suited to the drift speed so headed for The Pinnacles and started a drift from there.

The first action I got was at 1345...

1347. Black tipped cod. Undersize and pretty but it was nice to know that something was active down there.

I was fishing in my usual style with a trailing rig baited with a 1/4 ounce jig and 4 inch Powerbait and a cast outfit (casting down wind, allowing the 1/8oz jig and plastic bait to fall gently to the bottom around 18-20m below). The drift continued and before long I got a decent hit on the cast jig and had just settled in to fight the fish when the line went slack. Just as this happened, the trailing rig went off then it too went slack. I marked the spot on the GPS then reeled in first one, then the other outfit to find both jigheads gone and the line showing no sign of bottom abrasion. Neither of the breaks had been at the knot so the logical conclusion was that I'd encountered a roaming school of something with very sharp teeth (possibly tailor). I rerigged and put them both out again, noting that the bottom hereabouts went quite quickly from 15m or so to 20m.

A little further along the depth was consistently 20m so I opted to turn back and redrift through the spot I'd just marked. The distance back was only 200m or so and I could see my previous track quite plainly on the GPS. The drift restarted, I had no action until very close to where I'd had the previous hits when the trailing outfit howled briefly as line peeled off against the drag then stopped. I reeled it in. All was intact -- well at least I hadn't lost another jighead. Clearly there was something happening around this spot so I continued the drift for a while, partly out of curiosity as to the topography of the reef in that area (I don't think I've fished that part of the reef much in the past) then turned back once more into the wind to my previous start point to drift it again. This time, approaching The Spot the trailing rig howled and the rod bent over satisfyingly. I picked it up and felt the weight of a decent fish. Just then, the skipper of the huge cruiser which I spoke of earlier decided it was time to go home. His path to home passed quite close to where I was fighting my fish, clearly obvious by the bend in the rod and the fact that the yak was being towed off the normal drift track. This apparently went unnoticed by the owner of the gin palace as he opened up the throttle and departed in a roar for the Noosa River mouth, passing about 30m to the west of me. Perhaps he was just pissed off that he and his crew had caught nothing (which they hadn't as I'd been watching them all this time) and here was this guy in a tupperware boat clearly hooked up to something decent. Anyway, his wake caused me a few anxious moments but the Espri is pretty stable so we weathered these steep little waves and then returned to the fight.

It took a few minutes to get on top of the fish which I thought may be a snapper but wouldn't have been surprised to find something else on the end of the line. Eventually it gave up the fight and lay floating submissively next to the yak - a very nice snapper, my best this season so far. I inserted the gaff into the gills, lifted it into the yak and held it down with one foot while getting the tether out.

1440hrs. My best snapper of the season so far lies vanquished in the footwell. Yee ha!

I'd previously decided that I'd start heading home around 3.00pm and I was tempted to stay longer as the wind was now dying away completely. It was still quite overcast however, and I had a nice fish so I decided that I'd leave soon and did so around 1515hrs, with 3.8km to go to get back to the beach.

1509hrs. Looking NW toward the Cooloola sand hills just before I decided to leave.

The trip back was easy and although there was a small wave or two at MG, it was easily dodged. I took a photo of the fish on the beach...

1609hrs. 65cm snapper. Note the huge knob on its head. It was a female fish by the way.

Just about the only other person on the now darkening beach, an elderly lady from Toowoomba, offered to take my pic with my camera. What could I say?

Sorry you weren't there guys. Wednesday's looking good.

Red & Yellow Espri, black paddle
VHF channel 09 or 22 (if alone), Call Sign: sunshiner

big stripey, JS, 20Jul09

From: "kevin long"
Subject: fishing today -- 20jul09
Date: Monday, 20 July 2009 5:59 PM

The forecast being excellent for offshore fishing, I went again today, accompanied by Jim and madcow (Brian).

We assembled at the usual place a little earlier, meeting at 0615, trying not to disturb the occupants of a Winnebago who had unwisely parked overnight in the closest car park to the beach, where we usually park our yak carriers in our dawn forays.

The sea was flat, as yesterday, and the launch was totally dry -- pleasant on a mid-winter morning.

0633. My companions on the beach before launch.

0636. The sun was waiting to greet us as we peeped around the edge of the rock wall.

Pretty soon we were all ready to go and off we went for Jew Shoal, helped by a gentle southerly breeze which gradually increased in strength as we penetrated the open bay and fell outside of the shelter of the headland. In fact, by the time we got out to the shoal the breeze was pretty stiff, sufficient to produce the occasional whitecap. This situation is less than ideal as it produces a faster drift and an occasional wet bum as white water slops into the yak. At this time of year this breeze is also quite cool early in the morning.

I targeted the area I'd fished with success the day before but the fish were not cooperating and before long I was thinking of heading back in. Jim and Brian had similar thoughts but we stuck it out for a while in the vain hope that the southerly might drop off. After several unsuccessful drifts through yesterday's hot area I allowed the yak to be pushed further north with the breeze on the basis that the only harm it would do would be that it would take me a little further from home and thus increase the distance to paddle. I'd made up my mind to turn and go and had "one more cast", one of several that I'd had when I got a hit and hookup of something which felt unfamiliar. Up popped a flathead, and as a bar tail model, a keeper at around 40cm.

0900. Bar-tailed flathead taken in 20 metres depth. Exceptional as a table fish, so kept.

Despite this catch I opted to turn for home but before I could actually get completely away Jim called me on the radio and announced he'd caught a fish he didn't recognize. I had the time to spare so I paddled over to take a look and a pic, if appropriate. Jim held up a fish I recognized immediately but had never seen at Noosa.

0930. Jim with very solid striped sea perch or stripey (Lutjanus carponotatus). These fish are common on the coral reefs in the north of the State.

My fish guide book states that the stripey grows to 15 inches (ie 37.5 cm) but Jim's exceeded 40cm so is a whopper for the species. The legal length limit is 25cm.

Just before I took the above photo a whale breached spectacularly on the horizon, throwing up a huge splash. As conditions didn't look like improving I pulled the pin a short while later, with Jim having already decided to seek warmth and shelter in Tea Tree Bay before moving on to MG. Brian reckoned he had nothing much else to do and, being a recent arrival from Victoria, was not feeling the cold so he elected to stay a bit longer (please let us know how you went Brian). The paddle back warmed me up nicely and by the time we hit the beach (Jim and I went in at the same time) I was feeling cosy again.

Jim's stripey. Check out those teeth.

OK, when are we going next, Jaro?

Red & Yellow Espri, black paddle
VHF channel 09 or 22 (if alone), Call Sign: sunshiner

3 snapper at JS, solo, 19Jul09

From: "kevin long"
Subject: fishing today -- 19jul09
Date: Sunday, 19 July 2009 3:04 PM

I was all alone today. Even the normally indefatigable Jaro couldn't make it.

It was pretty brisk at 0630 at MG. But there was no wind, the swell was non-existent and the sun was only half visible, the lower half having not yet cleared the horizon.

Although there were no yaks around there were plenty of stink boats coming out through the bar which was benign compared with last Sunday when at least one boat was swamped and rolled (should not have been there IMHO!). Within a couple of minutes of launch today I was setting up outside the surf zone, which was not in action at all today.

I'd resolved to try Little Hall's, a reef some 3.2km NNW so set course with a HB lure swimming along behind me. The sea was flat -- it reminded me of paddling in the river or on a lake. Fantastic conditions. Before long my mark came up on the GPS and the sounder confirmed the location...

0730. Little Hall's reef. 13.9m depth with fish schools showing.

The presence of baitfish gave me some hope that predators might be around so I put out a soft plastic trailing on the rod held in the rod holder at the stern and used a different SP on my casting outfit, casting down-drift in the 5kph westerly breeze, letting the jighead and impaled plastic sink gently. I'm not very familiar with Hall's Reef and when I hadn't had a touch after 30 minutes I decided to head for Jew Shoal, more familiar territory, which was 2.7km away, to the east.

The gentle breeze was from the west and the sea, as I said earlier, was flat so I covered the distance to A3 01, "Old Faithful" at the SW edge of Jew Shoal in well under 30 minutes. I had the shoal to myself because the stink boats had all headed out for the more distant reefs so I immediately set up an easterly drift from A3 01 which I judged near perfect at around 1kph.

It took me 30 minutes to drift to the shallower water near the pinnacles and during that time I'd picked up only a couple of undersize (as usual) black-tipped cod and lost one jighead and bait to a snag (bugger! down $1.60). By this time a couple of the boats started appearing back from over the horizon and helped themselves to some of my reef (to no avail, I believe, as they didn't last long before heading back toward the Noosa River).

Having caught nothing of significance by the time I reached the pinnacles I opted to go for deeper water, where we'd been having some success in the last month or so. This entailed a move of only 400m and before long I was drifting gently toward one of the snapper marks which I'd recorded the day Harry got slammed by the longtail tuna and Jim caught the whaler shark and all of us caught snapper. Again the drift was perfect and this time I was immediately encouraged by a strike which unfortunately failed to hook up but which pulled the SP partly off the hook -- at least there were fish out here!

I tidied up the bait and put it out again. The drift was such that there was just enough movement of the yak to cover the territory very gently. When the cast jig was at its maximum depth (reef depth: 21m) I could simply lift it up and down 3-4 times a minute for several minutes before I judged it necessary to lay out another down-drift cast. During one of these little lifts I had a solid hookup which I soon discovered was a 34cm or so snapper (undersize by about 1cm). This was an encouraging sign, I thought, as I gently released this fish to grow up.

The GPS display now showed that I was in the centre of a cluster of marks all of which had previously yielded fish and the closest of which was about 20m away horizontally. The drift was going nicely through this cluster with my trailing jig hanging out the back at about 15 degrees and my cast jig swimming vertically below the yak, very near the bottom. I felt the gentlest of gentle bumps on this latter jig and struck immediately to be rewarded with a satisfying bend in the rod as the hook struck home. The fight was vigorous, but relatively brief as my first keeper snapper of the day appeared next to the yak after fighting desperately all the way from the bottom, the jig firmly embedded inside the jaws. I'd barely got this fish into the footwell when I felt the yak move sideways. I turned to look at the trailing outfit and saw that this was the cause of the movement. The rod tip was in the water while the butt was held by the rod holder at about 10 degrees "up" from horizontal. Clearly there was a fish on the end but the drag wasn't yet yielding line. I hurriedly put down my casting rod, jammed my feet on top of the struggling fish in the footwell and picked up the stern rod to take the fight to the other fish. All of this was successful for before long a second snapper, almost identical in size to the first, was also in the footwell. This was better, two fish in two minutes!

0950. Two tethered snapper in the footwell. Note the stripes on the one at the front. Not a common appearance for Noosa snapper, in my experience.

These fish were tethered and stowed after several minutes and fishing resumed. I'd pressed the "mark" button on the GPS while fighting the second fish so, taking a look at how my drift was going on the GPS, I saw that I was about 100m from where the action took place so decided to go back to the spot just to check whether there were more fish "available". This took a couple of minutes while I also checked the sounder to see if there were indications of fish presence (there weren't, but there was a small bommie which rose up about 1.5m above the bottom there). A couple of minutes after I'd put the lines out again at "the spot" I was distracted by a small and unusual marine creature which was drifting nearby. I was photographing it when I felt the yak roll to starboard very slightly. I was pleased to find that I automatically countered the roll by leaning to port then, suspecting that the trailing rod was the culprit, looked around to find that it was severely bent with the tip under water and was clearly connected to something alive and down deep. I've been experimenting with this rod holder and so far have found it to be a success but may have to ensure the drag is set a little lighter otherwise I might find myself in the drink. Anyway, another short fight ensued and another snapper, similar to the two now cooling their fins in the fishbox, soon popped up to join the party.

1016am. Snapper #3.

This trio was a good feed for me, so, cognizant that I might be required to come out fishing again tomorrow (can't resist such great weather) I decided to head for home shortly after I'd stowed the fish. The trip back was superb and I made good time, hit the beach and enjoyed chatting to the beachgoing holidaymakers who, as usual, turned up to ask about the fish, the kayak and fishing from it.

The take-home catch. All between 40-45cm.

Just before coming in I'd noticed an unfamiliar yak being paddled out near the shark net. As I was about to load my Espri, the damp owner of this yak turned up in the parking area with his yak under tow. It turned out to be Tony, a friend of Harry's, who has been hanging around for a while saying he's interested in getting into this caper. He's now bought an Emotion yak and was out in it near the shark nets as I came in. He is keen to join us fishing soon so keep an eye out for him (Harry, can you please hook Tony up to our email system?). Here are some pics:

A damp and trouserless Tony with his new Emotion yak. He was damp because he'd been practising eskimo rolls.

Another view of the Emotion. A nice boat, very streamlined, and plenty of scope for pimping.

Ah, another great day on Laguna Bay. Who's up for another shot tomorrow before the wind gets up again?

0615 at MG?

Oh, one other thing. Got your message Andy Cav. Sorry to hear about your accident. We'd love to see you back up here with us soon.

Red & Yellow Espri, black paddle
VHF channel 09 or 22 (if alone), Call Sign: sunshiner

Quiet at JS, 15Jul09

From: "kevin long"
Subject: fishing today -- 15jul09
Date: Wednesday, 15 July 2009 4:30 PM

I sent out the message late yesterday that I thought the swell and wind would die down. By the time I'd hit the hay around 2130 there'd been no responses but the weather still looked good so I resolved that I'd check it in the early morning and make a decision. I checked Seabreeze at 0620 -- looked OK, 5 knot easterly at DI Point -- then my email, which revealed that madcow had taken the bait and was expecting me at MG at 0630. Oops -- sent an SMS to mad, scoffed my brekky and was at MG just in time to see Brian pushing off from the beach. A few minutes later I was there too. Yes the swell had died, and yes the wind had dropped off. Here's what it looked like at 0705...

0705. Nice conditions, eh? Dead low tide.

Would you believe it -- I still managed to get wet going out. Picked the only sizable wave and punched through it OK only to fill the cockpit with early morning ocean. Brian kindly waited for me and when I caught up with him he admitted that he'd got a wet bum also.

We headed off -- an uneventful paddle to JS. My first cast was in place at around 0805 and shortly afterward I had a trailing rig out with another SP. The drift was perfect, toward the east on the chilly westerly breeze. But there was no action for me, and only small stuff for Brian...

Red rock cod. Pic by Brian. Those spines are venomous, so handle carefully.

I'd taken my new Eagle VHF radio out to verify that it was working OK so gave the Noosa Coastguard a call from out there. All worked well, so the radio is capable of performing its main function -- providing communications to the local coastguard. My ICOM VHF radio is OK but the Eagle was such a good deal that I thought that sooner or later it'll prove useful, and it has a 2 year warranty.

By 10am I was getting quite cold and I hadn't had a touch so announced to madcow that I was going in soon. We'd tried "Old Faithful" in a perfect drift and the shallower grounds over the pinnacles and lastly the deeper section to the north where we'd had success a couple of weeks ago. It was dead -- although Brian did hook a 30cm snapper (released of course).

We left the shoal with 4km to go back to MG at around 1025 and by 11am we were off MG preparing for the surf zone transit -- a pretty fast trip. Despite the incoming tide there was a more substantial breaking wave at MG now than when we'd launched, or that's what it seemed to us. Brian went first and did a nice job of picking the sets. My turn came -- I waited for a couple of bigger swells to roll through then decided that it was time to go. A pretty good pick also, it seemed as I found myself halfway along the wall and unscathed. Then I spotted Jaro on the wall watching my progress carefully, no doubt trying to get a few pointers. He'd brought his house guests, Wendy and Rob from Tassie, down to MG to watch us come in. It was with great relief that I beached the yak next to Brian's without coming a cropper in front of Jaro's friends.

So, no fish, but at least we got out there and had a go. The shower/yak washing arrangements have changed, as we discovered this morning. The old shower and wash point has been completely removed and a new version installed nearby. Unfortunately the new version has a tap which needs a special tool (pics below). Brian reckons that he's got a couple of devices that can turn this tap on. Anyone else got one -- Harry perhaps? In the meantime, the shower and tap down near the kayak rental truck remains accessible but for how long is unknown.

The tap...

Thanks for coming along, Brian. Looks good for early next week

Red & Yellow Espri, black paddle
VHF channel 09 or 22 (if alone), Call Sign: sunshiner

Windy and sunny, JS, 06Jul09

From: "kevin long"
Subject: fishing today, 06jul09
Date: Monday, 6 July 2009 2:30 PM

I could see that it was breezy on the bay as soon as I crested the hill but what the hell, I was set up and the other guys would be there so a couple of minutes later I was in the carpark, the last of five to arrive. Harry, Jaro, Jim, and madcow were already half organized when I arrived and before long we were all on the water, having braved the 6-inch surf to get out there! And it was pretty breezy, from the SE, despite the shelter offered by Noosa Headland.

Jaro was away like a startled flathead toward JS, the rest of us following. I opted to hug the shelter of the headland until Dolphin Point when I turned with the wind and headed the 1.3km straight for one of my marks on the SE corner of the shoal. It was dead easy getting out there, just stopping on arrival was the problem. I set up my first drift and found that I was rocketing along at between 1.5 and 2.5kph toward the NW.

This is always a less than ideal fishing situation so within 300 metres, and about six casts I decided that I'd head back in to shelter and informed my mates by radio. Harry opted to join me and we punched into the wind back to Granite Bay where conditions were delightful with little wind and a tiny swell. No fish either, which was not a surprise.

0817hrs. Harry joins me at Fairy Pools, Granite Bay.

I tried a few half-hearted casts around the shallow reef but soon decided to stow my gear and land on the beach at Granite, something I hadn't done before. The section of beach at the far eastern end offered the best surf transit conditions and I picked a nice little wave to crunch onto the sand in glorious sunshine.

0855hrs. My Espri temporarily beached at Granite Bay.

My radio was playing up a little but I heard through Harry that Jaro had boated a sweetlip out at the shoal but I was quite happy paddling in the bays. And things looked even better when I discovered a nice little wave around the corner in Tea-Tree Bay. Every few minutes a slightly larger swell would come in and create a nice right break on the eastern side of the bay. There were plenty of "Yee-Ha"s as Harry and I played like a couple of kids in the glassy two foot swell. Harry went so fast that his hat blew off! While in Tea Tree I also took the opportunity to land and take a photo.

0920hrs. Tea Tree Bay, where the surf was very gentlemanly.

0936hrs. Harry just on the cusp of picking up a Tea Tree wave. Yee Ha! Note the rear hatch open -- very confident is Harry!

Around about now we learned that the remainder of the group, who were still enduring the conditions at JS, were considering coming back in so Harry and I opted to head for home also. We hit the beach at MG around 1015 after which I spent another 20 minutes or so amusing myself on the tiny break at MG, sharing the break with a bunch of board-riding kids the oldest of whom would have been 50 years younger than I.

The gang arrived back at MG around 1045 after a hard slog with the SE breeze on their port forward quarter. To my surprise madcow presented a very nice flathead for measuring.

48cm flathead taken by madcow out at Jew Shoal. Apparently one of several other smaller specimens. In my experience quite a rare catch. Perhaps madcow will tell us all how he did it (bait or SP? location?).

Jaro had dealt savagely with his sweetlip before I could take a pic so the above is the only fish pic for today.

So, the weather was against us today, but tomorrow may be better. Checking the next Seabreeze forecast... Harry and madcow are possibly interested in a trip, as am I.

Red & Yellow Espri, black paddle
VHF channel 09 or 22 (if alone), Call Sign: sunshiner