eyetag and andycav, 30Apr10

From: "ian"
Subject: Re: Fishing today 30Apr-10
Date: Friday, 30 April 2010 4:26 PM

Launched at 6.05 and paddled across RM up towards LH. Had a bust up 30 metres ahead. 2nd cast I hooked up to a Mack Tuna. While fighting the tuna I hooked up on my trolled Sunshiner Special in Qantas colours. After landing the foul hooked Tuna, a good 6kg specimen, I managed to land the Spotty that was still on the other line. Things were pretty quiet after this with 2 more Mack Tuna on cast slug. Then I paddled across to First Point and back to LH for no fish. On my way home from LH I got another 2 Spotties on a Sunshiner Special. The bust ups were short and scattered, but it was a beautiful morning on the water, with a 2-3 foot E/SE swell that was standing up at MG but with long breaks between sets.
Call sign:eye tag

From Andycav
Subject: Re: Fishing today 30Apr-10
Date: Saturday, 1 May 2010 12:14 PM


Thanks for the company yesterday morning and the loan of a successful lure. (My lure box was left safely at home with my wallet and on top of my PFD). I basically followed a similar path to Ian but returned a bit earlier due to a golfing commitment. I managed to catch my two Mack Tuna and a Spottie with all released safely. Didn't want to leave them in the car whilst playing golf. The Tuna were both caught casting, one with a metal slug, and the other with a surface popper with the biggest being 54cm. The Spottie (73cm) was caught within 400m of Middle Groyne on Ian's borrowed lure. Thanks Mate! Hope you saw that I left it on your hat on your roof?

Having returned all 3 fish to the water I would have thought that the water god would have been happy but obviously the water god on the golf course didn't think that.


spotties and idiots, 29Apr10

From: "brian"
Subject: Fishing today 29Apr-10
Date: Thursday, 29 April 2010 1:33 PM


Had a quick paddle this morning, launched 6am from MG. Conditions perrfect!

Headed straight to the river mouth, where I quickly picked up a spotty of approx 80cm trolling. Numerous bustups between the river mouth and MG. Scored another spotty the same size casting slugs. Had a powerboat full of $^$%&%heads go straight over the school I was
casting into, cutting off my line & lure in the process, can only hope it fouls their prop. Lots of boats, so be very aware out there.

Apart from that back on the beach by 8:30am.

cheers brian

Great plan, plenty of fish, 28Apr10

From: "kevin long"
Subject: fishing today -- 28Apr10
Date: Wednesday, 28 April 2010 2:42 PM

Isn't it great when a plan comes together...

For the last several days Rod, an old mate from Army days many years ago, and his wife have been visiting and staying with us. Their home is near Perth WA so we see each other rarely but whenever we do get together we usually fit in a fishing trip for fishing is a passion for both of us. Fortunately his brief visit this time coincided with a great kayak fishing weather day so an offshore kayak fishing trip, his first, was on the cards.

And so it was this morning. My Sierra trundled into our usual beach parking area before 0530 this morning with Rod and me aboard plus my two Espris on the roof. On arrival we could see WayneD, Bigkev, and madkeenfishman (all AKFF members from Brisbane) plus Noosa Yakker regular, whalebait all prepping their yaks. Another NY stalwart, Ian, had earlier parked his car in its usual spot and presumably was by now somewhere out there. Then jimbo arrived -- the place was getting crowded.

Before long we were assembling on the beach facing a flat sea with no breeze -- great conditions. But it was still pretty dark, certainly too dark for me to tie a knot in the ambient light so we hung around a bit waiting for the sun to provide a little more visibility.

0548hrs. Rod, ready to launch, waits for improved launch light.

Soon we judged that the light was adequate and off we went, no trouble on such a calm morning. While I was floating off the groyne setting up Ian called me on the radio and gave me some useful information which led me to decide to paddle over to the river mouth area initially. I was keen to put Rod onto his first ever kayak-caught fish on his first ever proper kayak fishing trip and that was my main mission today. Thanks for the info, Ian.

And so it happened that Rod and I, alone of all the yakkers present, headed NW once we were set up. We were both trolling Halco Laser lures of the same size but different patterns and were also rigged up ready to cast slugs into feeding masses of tuna or mackerel should the opportunity present itself. As the darkness gradually diminished we could see terns searching and occasional surface splashes indicating the presence of fishy predators.

As we travelled gently WNW I spotted more intense bird activity closer to the river mouth so Rod and I turned toward it.

Then came the satisfying buzz of the ratchet on my Penn overhead trolling reel.

0626hrs. A feisty spotty mac comes to my gaff. (Still from video)

My spotty mac.

Rod was nearby and on seeing my fish immediately adopted a trolling pattern around the area where I'd hooked it. While dealing with my fish I was hoping that he'd get a strike and was engrossed with securing my fish when I heard that unmistakeable howling buzz in the otherwise almost silent environment. I looked up and saw that Rod was only 30 metres or so away and clearly hooked up to a pretty good fish. After a couple of minutes he identified the fish, unsurprisingly, as another spotty mac and soon brought it to gaff.

0633hrs. Rod gaffs his spotty mac.

This being his first yak caught fish, his next action was an understandable mistake. He dropped the spotty, complete with lure in its jaw, between his legs into the footwell of the yak, but with the head end closest to his groin. Ouch! The spotty thrashed around and the unembedded second hook penetrated Rod's board shorts and then his upper, inner leg. And the thrashing spotty was still attached. Some time later Rod managed to extricate himself with the help of a knife and pliers as fortunately the hook had not penetrated his leg past the barb. But for a while the situation looked decidedly tricky.

Rod with his first yak-caught fish on his first kayak fishing trip.

So now we had a keeper each. We hung around the same area for a while without further action and eventually I suggested that we move to the eastern side of the bay to see what was happening over there.

Here we found some schools of mac tuna massacring scattered pods of baitfish. Rod opted to cast a slug into the feeding mass and came up trumps with a hookup while I couldn't elicit a strike at all despite several attempts. So I concentrated on the camera.

Here's his mac tuna as it passed near my yak while I was shooting video. (Still from video)

Before long Rod had his second yak-caught fish in hand.

This mackerel tuna was released.

With that we decided to head for home as we had domestic obligations and we'd already had a great morning. We hit the beach almost exactly at 9am, coming across NY LeRoux on his way out just before we hit the beach. Waiting on the beach was Bill Barnett, another Noosa Yakker, who had launched later than we had but had also decided to call it a day and was fishless.

As per usual, we found a couple of ladies keen to be photographed holding our fish.

Rod and I with our yaks and fish

Rod's fish, top, and mine. Yep, his was bigger.

Another great morning in Laguna Bay... How'd the rest of you go? (See three further reports below)

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

From Brian (whalebait)
Subject: fishing today -- 28Apr10 - the others
Date: Wednesday, 28 April 2010 3:23 PM

I paddled and paddled and paddled and drifted and drifted and drifted today MG to sunshine, sunshine to Jew Shoal jew shoal back to MG where I hooked a 80cm spotty 400m from the beach!

Ian scored a few nice grassies & a squire, Le Roux - I'm not sure.

May have a quick go close in tomorrow.

- cheers brian

From Stu (maverick)
Subject: Fishing today
Date: Wednesday, 28 April 2010 5:25 PM

I launched at 06:00hrs just after seeing 6 kayaks disappearing off in the distance towards SR. I started out for Jew Shoal but saw 4 yakkers paddling towards Laguna Bay - I thought either there was too much swell or there were fish there so I opted to follow which turned out to be a fun morning!

I saw a heap of fish jumping and decided to investigate - never have I seen so many spotties! I was using light line and a light graphite rod with a small halco twister, a Spotty took it on the first cast and gave me a good fight and landed him after about fifteen minutes. I was then tangled up with my hard body I had been trolling and lost my lure! I tried another one which had no effect at all.

At this time I paddled closer to the North Shore side of laguna and met up with a Redcliffe kayaker by the name of Kevin Crawford (good guy). Together Kevin and I fished the bay for a couple of hours and lost a good few fish between the two of us (both using light tackle) the highlight was when Kevin lost a good size Spotty to a couple dolphins who played with his Spotty right next to his yak before taking off with it!!! We both ended up with one last spotty before calling it a day. See attachment.

Stu’s fish

and BigKev’s

From Ian (eyetag)
Subject: Re: fishing today -- 28Apr10 - the others
Date: Wednesday, 28 April 2010 7:09 PM

I ended up with 4 Grassies 37-46cm, 2 Squire 38 and 48cm, 1 Tusk fish 34 and 1 Shark 92cm.

I was chasing Spaniards early, first at JS then SR and didn't lose a bait. Most of the reefies were caught on a blade. For a first I caught a Maori Cod and a Grassy on a blade at the same time, one on each treble. The day was great weather wise but I stayed out too long. Some of us never learn. I will be paddling again Friday, launching around 5.30 and staying closer to home, that's the plan anyway.

Spotties again, 25Apr10

From: "kevin long"
Subject: fishing today -- 25Apr10
Date: Sunday, 25 April 2010 3:03 PM

It was midnight and I was still in bed and still awake and the rain continued, pattering on the roof. But the wake-up alarm was set for 0500 for the forecast was good, with light winds for the first time in a couple of weeks.

Next thing I know I'm dragging myself out of bed as a learned response to the blare of the alarm. The rain had stopped and a quick glance outside revealed twinkling stars and no sign of a breeze. A quick check of Seabreeze showed light winds at Double Island Point so the fishing trip was a go.

Twenty minutes later I'm rolling into the carpark at Main Beach. Other than a couple of overnighters, the only other cars around were two other 4WD right up near the beach end. Each of them had a yak next to it. Obviously whalebait, a regular fishing companion, and Keith were already here. Keith had sent me a message several weeks ago via AKFF and asked if he could come along on one of our trips. So here he was, setting up his Profish.

The swell was small and the breeze almost non existent. In the half darkness I checked out the launch spot. No problems there today.

0546hrs. Whalebait and madkeenfisher (Keith) have launched just ahead of me in the dawn gloom.

By 0610 we were all set up and ready for the fray. We'd decided to head in the general direction of Jew Shoal to see what we could find as we expected the spotty macs may still be around from yesterday, when whalebait depleted their population by one. All three of us trolled one hard body lure each, with whalebait and madkeen opting to troll dead baits on a second outfit as well.

I had my favourite Halco Laser on and it throbbed satisfyingly as I paddled along at about 5kph. Here and there terns could be seen searching for signs of surface activity. This is always a good indicator that predators will be around so our optimism lifted. It didn't take long...

Six minutes after setting out, when I would have been less than one kilometre from launch point and the sun had just cleared the cloudy horizon, the ratchet on my Penn overhead buzzed. I'd set the drag quite lightly and as I stowed the paddle and picked up the trolling outfit the reel buzzed again in response to a fast run. A brief tussle ensued resulting in a nice 80cm spotty mac being dropped into the foot well. These fish look magnificent in the early morning light, silvery and powerful and the terror of the tiny baitfish of which there are many presently in Laguna Bay.

0625hrs. Spotty mac number 1 is secured. My mission accomplished for the day.

Knowing that Keith was closer to shore than I, I looked for him while I was fighting the fish and saw him hove-to about 200m away. The light wasn't good enough for me to discern exactly what he was up to but I knew it was possible he'd also hooked a fish. As this was his first time out with us, I waited for him to catch up to show him that we do, indeed, catch fish here in Noosa. He paddled over after several minutes and held up two fingers. "You got two?" I asked. This was confirmed with a great big smile.

0632hrs. Madkeenfishman (aka Keith) shows off his two spotties, simultaneously hooked, the first he'd caught from his yak although he had caught this species off the beach before. Cloud-capped Noosa Hill in the background.

Whalebait was fishless though he reported "dropping" one fish. I was happy, Keith was happy and we decided to troll on, still in the direction of Jew Shoal, now 2.5km away. Shortly after we'd restarted, a yell of triumph forced me to turn and check. Sure enough, Keith was hooked up again.

0642hrs. Can't wipe the grin off Keith's face as he displays his third spotty mac within 30 minutes.

Keith is holidaying in Noosa and announced he was now satisfied and intended to have a paddle around in the superb conditions and then head back to his caravan and surprise his two young daughters and their Mum (and probably the near neighbours in the Noosa River Caravan Park also). I left him and paddled toward Whalebait who was loitering in the distance not far from Jew Shoal, still fishless but not strike-less.

We met up near the shoal and he proposed a paddle over to Little Halls Reef, about 3km to the SW from our present position. So off we went. I was still trolling my Halco Laser only, while whalebait deployed a hardbody lure plus a whole (dead) slimy mackerel. Soon he was hooked up big time, the slimy mackerel having been eaten. This was clearly no spotty mac. We were both hoping for a big Spaniard.

0723hrs, about 10 minutes into the fight. Whalebait puts pressure on. Note the turbulence behind the yak as it is towed and swung.

Some time later he spotted his foe -- a shark estimated at about 2-2.5m long. I was shooting video while this was going on and several times I thought he might be rolled as the shark powered downward. Neither of us was too disappointed when the leader gave out.

We agreed to carry on toward Little Hall's so I set course first while Whalebait re-rigged. Just before 0800, and when about 1.5km short of Little Halls, my trolled Halco went off again.

0804hrs. My spotty mac #2 is secured. Note the relative size of that powerful mackerel tail.

I waited while whalebait caught up to me, lifting my second spotty high as he approached to show him how big it was. The troll toward Little Halls continued.

At 0815hrs whalebait's trolled bait went off again. This was another shark, of keeper size this time. So whalebait opted to take it as he still had no fish in the yak today.

Whalebait gaffs the shark, which wasn't happy at this turn of events. (Still from movie.)

After some stuffing around, during which Whalebait's knife blade snapped off, inside the shark, the shark was despatched and secured in whalebait's forward hold with a little help from me (rafted up, employing the "leg-over" technique). We then decided to turn directly toward our launch point, some 2.5km away and along which path we could discern some birds working. Earlier, whalebait had cut off his only hard body lure rather than risk entangling the line with the fish he was fighting (which turned out to be the big shark). Noting my success with my Halco, he asked if I had a spare. I passed over my little Rapala deep runner, the only other hard body lure I had with me.

Soon we arrived in prime spotty mac territory, signalled by the splashes all round and by whalebait's hard body trolling outfit (equipped with my Rapala) going off. He boated that spotty and while he was thus engaged I meandered closely over to some surface splashing and had one cast with my casting outfit, set up with a little white slug, defended by a strand of wire. Five cranks of the handle and the slug was monstered accompanied by a big splash and the beautiful scream of my Sienna 4000's Slade spool (yes, they're interchangeable). This fish was another spotty Mac.

0858hrs. My spotty mac #3, this time taken on the slug pictured. Note wire trace.

This was enough fish for me; whalebait agreed that the shark plus a spotty mac were enough for him so we headed directly for the beach, deviating a little, perhaps, to closely observe spotty macs terrorising baitfish.

By now it was dead low tide. A consequence of this was that the sandbank at the seaward end of the groyne was now very shallow and the waves were breaking right across to the west. The situation was little different elsewhere nearby. Worse, the exit channel is presently scarcely one kayak wide at its choke point so a well timed approach is essential to avoid acute embarrassment. I opted to re-enter about 20m west of the groyne, as further west was not an option due to the presence of a surf school undergoing initiation just there. While waiting to do my run I nearly got clobbered by a big wave which stood up VERY tall. I'd spotted this menace when it was still 30 seconds or so away and turned bow on to meet it, paddling strongly to just crest the wave as it started to break, much to watching whalebait's disappointment. Time to go in. I picked a small set and went like hell for the beach only to be overtaken by a breaking wave which increased my speed alarmingly and threatened to rub my yak's nose in the sand with nasty consequences. Fortunately my standard defence of digging the paddle in on the starboard side stopped me rolling but took away all semblance of directional control. Luckily, the kid I almost ran down wasn't deaf and he managed to throw himself and his learner surf board out of my path before I ruined both of our days.

Whalebait was now disappointed on two counts. A work of fiction would now reveal that whalebait got smashed on the way in, but this is a work of fact, so whalebait did a nice job of it, despite being overtaken by a wave and tossed sideways like me. But his wave was nowhere near as big as mine.

Lots of beachgoers, curious to examine these boats and question their strangely dressed occupants, appeared. We were forced to show our fish (slack jaws at the sight of the shark) and forced to answer the same old questions about our weird but intensely interesting hobby. A couple of ladies agreed to co-star in pictures with fish.

Ladies from two of three generations pose with two of my spotty macs.

A visitor from France with whalebait's shark and spotty mac

My three spotty macs

Whalebait's shark and spotty mac.

Just then, Ian appeared, still in his work clothes. On seeing the spotties and hearing our first hand report he dashed off to return a few minutes later, ready to go.

And off he went, through that nasty little break, promising to let us know how he went.

Ian's report, emailed later:
I paddled out to the spot pointed out to me by Sunshiner and Whalebait and caught 2 Spotties 85 and 70 cm before they seemed to disappear so I headed towards LH where I had a ball catching and releasing Mack Tuna around the 4-6 kg mark. In all I released 7 and must have dropped 17 they were so thick. Exhausted I decided to paddle home which was a slow boring paddle apart from a Devil or Duckbill Ray that was jumping some 30 metres ahead of me for about 5 minutes.

I forgot to mention the Seadoo I got busted up on he must have been 150-200 kg, glad he got away don't know what I would've done if I got him alongside.

callsign:eye tag

Another great Noosa Yakkers day. Thanks for the company WB, and for giving me my now scratched Rapala back.

Wednesday's looking good.

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

Sharks and spotties, 24Apr10

From: "madcowes"
Subject: fishing today -- 24Apr10
Date: Saturday, 24 April 2010 12:08 PM

Hookers & lookers,

Launched at MG at 5:45, after chatting to & meeting a yakker who was going to launch his hobie outrigger with sail & head to Halls reef.

Launch conditions were o.k & got out easily in flat seas and 2 foot swell with light drizzle.

THAT was as good as the conditions got, within 10 minutes of paddling heading towards granite bay, my “shallow diving hard bodied” rapala went off, while I was dealing with a feisty 1m shark, the weather gods decided to have some fun, the skies opened up, the wind was now 15knots, gusting to 20, and the swell had doubled, with white caps everywhere! – At least I was not in a hobie outrigger under sail.

I decided to tough it out for a while and head to the relative shelter of the NP headland. Constant rain & gusting winds made me wonder why I wasn’t still in bed, but….

After hooking another shark on my only slimy, I decided enough was enough and I’'d head for home. But then the squalls stopped and the wind dropped, and there was birds working 100m away.

Plan B was quick enacted and resulted in a nice spotty, taken on my trolled HB, followed by another spotty that spat the hooks right back at me at the side of the yak.

I then met another yakker that had been out on JS earlier (with no luck) but had caught two spotties from this area, (straight out from MG at the southern end of granite bay).

Le Roux then joined us (see his report at the end of mine) and promptly hooked up on to another @$$^&*& shark, and then I hooked another @#$%^ shark and decided to head home, wet but happy’ish with my spotty.

Return to shore was hazardous but dry thankfully, back on the beach by 8:30. Did spot another two unrecognized yakkers on my way back in, so I was not the only desperate one out there today.

Cheers brian
(will head out again tomorrow forecast permitting )

Spotty Mac - 75cm

Spotty mac stomach contents

LeRoux's report
From: "LeRoux Uys"
Subject: Fishing report Saturday 24/04/09
Date: Monday, 26 April 2010 8:32 PM

G'day fellow fishing fanatics,

Well I can only echo what Brian has already said regarding the weather... I had planned to leave home at 05h30 for a 6am launch, but some heavy showers in Sunrise saw me hide-out at home until around 6 and I probably didn't launch until 06h30; easy launch, but I had to time it as the tide had already started going out.

Cloud cover at this stage was probably 9/10, the water was relatively clear, but there was a stiff (prob 10kt) ESE blowing. I was going to stay in close as I got my 2 mackerel last week within 400m of the beach, so headed northeast from MG straight into the teeth of the wind which was getting stronger and now accompanied by heavy rain... I was also wondering why I wasn't still in bed.

3 Sharks later I reached Brian and his companion (?) about 3km or so out towards the reefs and subsequently hooked another $%#*! shark right after they had just both boated spotty macs. There were a couple of stinkboats about so I continued trolling my mac special loaded with a pilly while Brian & co headed for shore. About 10mins (and another shark!!) later I was rewarded with my first spotty on this trolled lure and was completely chuffed that I had stayed out. I continued to troll around for another hour or so chasing bust ups and bird activity, but continued to catch only... yes you guessed it - sharks!!

By this time (prob about 9-30 am) there was heaps of bird activity and regular bust ups everywhere and at times I found myself sitting in schools of spotty macs and sharks, the spotty macs chasing my metal slug right up to the yak time after time, but not taking it for some or other reason (when I eventually saw the size of the bait fish I knew why, but didn't have a smaller slug with me...). Then I hooked up big time in the middle of a school and thought 'this must be a record spotty mac'. After a fight that probably lasted about the better part of 10 mins and numerous strong runs a huge mac tuna appeared, foul hooked mid body just behind the dorsal fin - you can imagine my disappointment!! Oh well.

About half an hour (and more sharks - I had now stopped counting...) later I finally managed to fool another spotty with my too large lure and my haul now grew to 2 - much smaller this week than the ones I got last week, 77 and 78cm and they all seemed to be in this size range as a few hundred more had now chased my lure all the way to the yak - bugger! I had by now taken to winding in my pilly laden mac special and only casting the lure when I came close to the schools as all it was attracting were sharks, but had no further luck.

I turned and paddled for home trolling my mac special and got another bronzie on the way in as well just for old times' sake. Now came the fun part - as I got closer to MG I noticed quite a few surfers in the water, disappearing behind the lips of the waves they took off on; not good news. I secured everything on board and cautiously paddled closer waiting for a lull between the sets, but instead noticed 2 humongous waves peaking from outside. I turned and paddled for my life and had to bust through both lips just as they started to break...

Saturated and a bit shaken I considered my options as the whole beach was basically closing out as a result of the low tide. It did cross my mind to paddle through the bar and around for a moment, but then thought it probably wouldn't look much better over there, so I waited patiently for a lull between the sets and then paddled like hell. I got through OK, but as a result of the very low tide even the smaller waves were pitching and bowling, so I got done in the shorebreak causing a bit of embarrassment, but at least I didn't lose any equipment this time and my fish were tied on. I was glad to be on shore, but totally spaghetti armed so I was even happier that I had this time brought along a trolley to wheel my yak back to the car (I normally carry it down and back up...).

Watch this space, the pints are getting bigger, and I am almost to the point where I'd feel deserving of the Noosa Yakkers sticker on my ute...

Wednesday is looking good. Tight lines!

2 longtails, 17Apr10

email from Ian
Date: Saturday, 17 April 2010 7:12 PM

I launched at MG 5.15 with a 5 knot SW breeze thinking how lucky I was, then 10 minutes later I was heading into a gusty 10-15 knot S/SE that got stronger as the morning went on. I paddled to Granite Bay, rigged a Slimey on a Spaniard Special and headed for JS. I paddled around for an hour with no result, so I checked my bait, which was fine, put it back out and kept paddling, another half hour went by and having seen the odd Tuna jump I decided to put out a shallow swimming hard body which lasted about 15 minutes before it took off. The first run almost spooled my 300 metres of 12lb braid on the Shimano Symetre 4000. This got me thinking Mackerel after a 30 minute fight. Feeling very lucky not to get tangled with my other line,I boated a 9kg Longtail. After this I brought the Spaniard Special in and trolled the hard body again heading for home when it got hit again this time there was no run after the strike but there were head shakes that went on for about 30 seconds before a big run and this time I was sure it was a Mackerel but it turned out to be another Longtail 7.5kg. He was boated and I headed in, happy, after what was probably the washiest conditions I'd experienced on the yak.
Sorry but the only photos were taken by Bill Watson and should appear on fishingnoosa.com.au by 9.o'clock Monday night.
p.s. I couldn't wait that long to report in.

Spotties for rooter, 15Apr10

From: "LeRoux Uys"
Subject: Belated fishing report for 15/04/10
Date: Tuesday, 20 April 2010 12:15

G'day Ladies and Gentlemen,

I do apologise for the delay in writing this report but life has been a tad hectic since arriving back in Oz after our whirlwind round the world trip last week and I had to dash down the Gold Coast shortly after my exciting trip out last Thursday.

All I can say though is 'Home sweet home!' Especially after concluding our trip in a very smelly and polluted Hong Kong. I could not wait to get back and take the yak for a spin, but the first few days saw such bad weather and wind that I had to console myself with (very unsatisfying) beach fishing. For a change I have something to report though...

I meant to head out early last Thu, but woke to quite a heavy shower at 4am and was reasonably happy to move my alarm an hour ahead to 5am which saw similar conditions. By this time our lovely 5 month old lass was awake and after helping out with the morning chores, it was 7am before I headed for the middle groyne and started to 'saddle up'.

When I got down to the water's edge I saw that someone (any takers?) had beaten me to it by the marks in the sand, but there was no-one that I saw out there apart from stink boats. There was a 6/10 cloud cover which later improved to a 4/10 and already a reasonably stiff 8kt SE breeze blowing; still nice and protected in the bay though; water clarity was about 5/10. I saw some bird activity out towards Jew Shoal, but knew that the wind was predicted to freshen, so I chose to rather pursue the few birds which were also working around the river mouth.

I rigged up with a mackerel special laden with a nice big pilly on one rod and my favourite hard bodied lure on the other and set off. Hardly had I crossed in line with the groyne on the eastern side of the river mouth and my overhead with the mackerel special on started screaming, completely waking me from my remaining slumbers. At last! I thought, as so far this seaon I must be the only yakker who hasn't landed a mackerel of any kind (not that I had been out millions of times, but that's no excuse). A couple of minutes later after an 'odd' struggle my hopes were dashed as a metre plus bronzie appeared underneath my kayak - bugger!!

Oh well I thought, at least a bit of excitement and rigged up again continuing along further up parallel with the north shore for about 5-10 mins. As the wind was now definitely freshening I decided to turn around and head back towards MG. A tough paddle right into the teeth of a now around 10kt SE'ly to about the same spot where I hooked up before saw me hook the same bronzie once more (or so it seemed - similar size, and unfriendly attitude; the buggers have a go at you when you try to retrieve your tackle!!) and this time brought 2 or 3 of his mates up towards the surface as well as a result of his struggling.

Now I saw some bird activity up towards Tea Tree bay and since it was more sheltered in towards the headland I set off in that direction. As I passed about 400m wide of MG the overhead went off once more, this time more lively, but again only a slightly bigger bronzie surfaced - this was getting irritating, they were taking all my good pillies! A paddle out towards the western edge of Granite Bay saw no further action, but then I spotted some bird and surface action a bit wider in the wind affected water and (eagerly, but reluctantly as I knew what the paddle back was going to be like) I headed out there, but by the time I got there everything had disappeared and I headed straight back towards the headland, battling against the wind, only to see a school of mackerel/tuna moving rapidly and undisturbedly past in the calmer waters next to the headland; couldn't catch up with them even if I had an outboard though! I then did a couple of drifts along with the wind sending a pilly to the bottom with a heavy sinker, but not even a touch.

Again I saw some surface activity a bit wider and thought 'no way, I'll have to paddle back against that wind again' but this time it was much more pronounced and there were a couple of stink boats following it and throwing lures, so I decided to pursue finding quite a tight bundle of baitfish with predators smashing through them continuously. This time I got my mac special and the pilly I had on a treble to pass perfectly right next to the bait school and held my breath as I kept paddling. Within a couple of seconds the overhead screamed followed a couple of seconds later by the spinning outfit - a double hook-up, Whooohah!!! Both bronze whalers!!! Whoohah no more as they really made a mess of my lines and tackle, the bast***rds!! Is Noosa aboriginal for bronze whaler??!! With that I decided that's it, I've had enough fun for one day and started paddling back towards MG. I rigged back up with a mac special loaded with a small pilly (as the bloody sharks had taken all the good ones!!) and paddled back, this time just enjoying the day and the scenery - the wind had by this time eased a bit and it was nice and sunny. When I came back to within 400m of MG the overhead screamed once more and I thought 'if this bloody shark takes my mac special I'm gonna be very P*d off', but this time saw a much more energetic run absolutely stripping line off and about 5 mins later saw me landing a 83cm spotty that went just under 4kg. By the time I had yahooo'ed and laughed with excitement admiring my first mac for the season the breeze had taken me a good 300m further out and I thought 'well if there's one, there must be more' so I loaded up with another pilly and set for the shore. Not 5 mins later and probably only 300m from MG the overhead screamed again and after a good fight another nice mackerel appeared under the yak, accompanied by 3 good sized bronzies, one of which had a go at him before I could get him in, but only managed to take some bark off behind one of the pectoral fins - cheeky little so'n'sos!! This fellow went 90cm and just under 5kg and I managed to get 5kg worth of prime fillets from the 2 of them. I thought this was also a spotty, but after closer inspection it also has some bars dorsally - is this a barred mac or what?? Maybe someone can enlighten me?

Any case, so after all was said and done and easy paddle back in saw me into shore at 1pm with a tally of 5 bronzies and 2 nice mackerel - a very happy camper!!!

Till next time, tight lines
(Mackerel virgin no more!)

Smashed, Spaniard, 10Apr10

From: "madcowes"
Subject: fishing today --10Apr10
Date: Saturday, 10 April 2010 3:54 PM

Cloud cover: 3/10 (see pic)
Wind direction & speed: 5 knots, through to NW 8 knots later
Sea state: low swell, clean water
Yakkers: whalebait & eyetag
Destination: Sunshine reef

Great conditions launched about 5:30'ish (1 hour behind Ian). Lots of boat traffic and very little bird activity.

15 minutes past hells gates I heard a loud "boof" behind me followed by a substantial splash, next thing I saw my 15kg rod buckled over and line peeling off it - 5 minutes later my line went slack. I retrieved my line to find only a short section of wire trace attached to my swivel & main line.

Great I've found a new way to lose a fish, 40 pound, 3 strand wire bitten through!

Shortly after Ian hooked up and boated a spaniard of approx 10kg - see pic below.

I then decided to troll a large yellow tail gifted to me by kev from a previous trip - this bait lasted about 20 minutes before being inhaled and another good run until once again slack line and defeat, the fish had missed the stinger treble by 5mm.

We trolled around sunshine for a while and headed back in both of us losing whole slimy mackeral baits off ganged hooks, without noticing - how do they
do this?

Arrived back at MG approx 12:30pm after 20-25km paddle. conditions were excellent and a least one good fish was landed.

Once again a few small isolated tuna splashes but nothing major.

That's fishing - cheers brian

Vikings at JS, 08Apr10

From: "kevin long"
Subject: fishing today -- 08Apr10
Date: Thursday, 8 April 2010 2:26 PM

Cloud cover: 3/10 (see pic)
Wind direction & speed: initially calm, then west ~5knots, through to NW 10 knots later
Sea state: low swell, clean water

0542hrs. Trundling the yak down to the beach, I was suddenly confronted with this. See what you're missing?

Andy was already in the carpark prepping his yak when I arrived just before 0530. The sea was quite noisy, but the air was cooler than it has been for months, possibly a connection between these. I wandered down to the beach and could watch our deep channel next to the groyne doing its thing. No launch problems today.

Jimbo arrived shortly afterward and then I took the pic above. In light of Whalebait's report from yesterday we three opted to visit Jew Shoal.

Down on the beach Andy surprised us when he pulled out his Eagle VHF radio, being used for the first time today. By my reckoning now, at least seven of the hookers (including all of the hard core) have VHF radios, a huge safety improvement in the last year. Andy's callsign is "Andypaddles".

Launch, as predicted, was easy and soon we were out the back rigging up and conducting radio checks as the sun gradually illuminated our part of the world.

Jimbo headed off first. Knowing that Andy has no GPS I hung around a few minutes until he was ready to tag along, taking a mood pic while I waited.

0608hrs. Calm sea -- graphic weather report.

After all the paddling out to Sunshine Reef, the mere 3.5km out to JS seems like a picnic in the park. As we headed NE we encountered some power boat traffic, no doubt as a result of the school holidays which seem to have packed Noosa once more.

Noting that the breeze was from the west, I headed for my most westerly mark on Jew Shoal, nicknamed "Old faithful" for some long-forgotten reason. I was after sweetlip or snapper and set up my usual drift, but fishing with only my casting outfit. Andy drifted nearby. Sure enough, soon the GPS was confirming a solid easterly drift and I could see many of my well established Jew Shoal waypoints clustered on the GPS display, down drift a few hundred metres away.

I drifted past the pinnacles, 420m from my start point without getting a touch and kept going out into the deeper water beyond. Still nothing. I turned back to do the drift again. Jimbo was on a similar drift but nobody was reporting any action. Second drift. I'd laid out my first cast and was working the jig head a little just before retrieving it to cast again when whack! then nothing. Suspecting the worst, I reeled in to find a severed line with some shredding evident in the last 10cm. Bugger, down one jighead and one SP and nothing to show for it!

That was all the action I had on that drift. I turned and set out back to the same drift start point, passing Jimbo on the way. Shortly afterward he reported that he'd just boated a small but keeper sweetlip. A few minutes later he boated a second larger one at the same spot, which he'd marked on his GPS. At his invitation, I joined him, as did Andy. The three of us then intensively fished this area for the next 15 minutes without attracting any more action.

At this time I noted that we'd been fishing for 2 hours in beautiful conditions for small result so resolved to try one of my deeper spots for 15 minutes before heading home. Andy and I fished this mark on a very nice drift for the allotted time for zip! Time to go home.

With the breeze starting to move more into the NW, the trip back was easy. All three of us paddled the 4 km or so in under 40 minutes. I got back into the beach first and turned to watch Andy come through. By now there were a lot of holidaymakers around but fortunately none blocking our channel in which a strong seaward current was running. This necessitated a fair bit of extra paddling effort when the narrowest part of the channel was negotiated. Watching Andy, I was surprised when he stopped paddling in this narrowest section and hopped over the port side. Not as surprised as Andy who now found that he couldn't touch bottom and keep breathing on that side, while the starboard side was knee deep. He manoeuvered his yak, still the right way up, over to the rocks then climbed back aboard to finish off his aborted beach return, somewhat red faced. In the meantime Jimbo managed to pick a nice little wave and did a little surfing on the way in, accompanied by his usual flayling legs and arms balance act.

Jimbo's two grass sweetlip, the only keepers today.

Two hookers and a looker. Andy, Jimbo and NY Looker Geoff Gettons, who came over for a look.

The Vikings have landed. From front, my Espri, Jim's Espri, Andy's Nemo. Pity we hadn't had a Profish and a Tempo present.

Thanks for coming along guys and well done on the sweeties, Jim (both on soft plastics BTW).

Looks like some superb fishing weather coming up but I'll be away for a week or so and can't participate. Hopefully there'll be some trip reports popping into my mail box.

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

Solo whalebait, 07Apr10

From: "brian"
Subject: fishing today: 07Apr10
Date: Wednesday, 7 April 2010 2:17 PM

Cloud cover: overcast until 9am then sunny
Wind direction & speed: ENE <10knots dropping to about 5knts
Sea state: 1m swell
Drift: 1 -1.5kms p/hour toward NW - WITHOUT drogue

Not much to report launched MG at 5:45 & headed to sunshine wide A403 headed to some birds working only to have a boat plough right through the middle of them before I could get there & put the school down.

That was the last I saw of them.

There was sporadic free jumping tuna every now and then with a few splashes here & there but no bird activity as witnessed by kev yesterday - maybe later in the day perhaps?

I trolled, bottom bashed and jigged SP's, fished wide marks, close in marks to no avail, returned to MG at 12pm, covering 22kms, without a serious enquiry.

BEWARE there was lots of blue bottles around today, some making their way up through my scuppers, and also getting wrapped around lines, making life interesting.

Good luck for those venturing out tomorrow, I might have another crack on Sat.

cheers - brian