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...
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.
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.
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.
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