10 starters, 25Jan11

Subject: fishing today -- 25Jan11
From: sunshiner
Date: 25/01/2011 1:45 PM

Cloud cover: cloudless (all but, anyway)
Wind direction & speed: light SW, then dropping off to calm, then from NE
Sea state: low swell
current direction & speed: very slight current toward NNE

Participants: Jaro, jimbo, sam, jag-one, turtleboy, hollywood harry, dugout, leroux, pedro, me (10!)

Today was the first decent launch day in a week and so jaro's call to arms attracted a good response, especially as Harry had nailed a beautiful Spaniard last week. Even though it was still quite dark at 0430, when I arrived at the carpark, pedro had already launched. Jaro and jag-one were setting up and then sam turned up about 30 seconds after me. It could get crowded out there...

The 0445am launch was easy even though the low tide led to an occasional small wave breaking before it reached the end of the groyne. The inshore water was still murky and we'd all decided that Jew Shoal was to be the target today so before long, as the light gradually improved and as soon as we were ready, we headed north on a near smooth sea, assisted by the gentlest of SW breezes. Dugout, who'd joined us out the back after launching in the SE corner of the bay, Sam and I formed the second of two small groups and we followed jaro and jag-one out to the shoal. No bird or surface action was apparent and there were no dolphins -- not a good sign.

Right on schedule the edge of the sun's disk peeped over the horizon at 0515 and, noticing that Sam would cross in front of the disk from my viewpoint, I pulled out the camera to record the event. Actually, it's not often that we see the sun's disk at sunrise -- usually there's cloud in the way. At this stage we were 1500 metres short of my chosen mark at Jew Shoal.

0520am. Sam Boulden in his Viking Tempo heading for Jew Shoal

Shortly after we started to fish I set up my first drift by paddling to the SW corner of the shoal, intending to drift with the breeze from SW to NE, about 800 metres. No sooner was the drift set up than Jaro announced by radio that he'd just boated a really nice snapper, around 65-70cm. So, the snapper were still around. By now jimbo had joined us also and harry and Turtleboy announced by radio that they were on their way. Pedro was trolling gently and unobtrusively and also out there, as I found out later was LeRoux.

For almost an hour there was no indication of action. Having attracted no fish on my chosen drift I opted to head for the Pinnacles and drift outward into deeper water out to the NE. This did the trick for me. Just as Turtleboy was calling me on the radio my soft plastic was slammed and I could feel the "thumps" typical of a snapper trying to escape transmitted through the line to the rod. Soon I'd boated my first reasonable fish for the 25 day-old year of 2011. Note that I'm a long way behind Harry, Jaro and Jimbo in this respect but I'll work on catching up.

0650am. 54cm snapper taken on 1/4 oz jighead and 4 inch Squidgy SP. Water depth 17-20m.

While this fish and Jaro's earlier snapper no doubt gave all the NYs fishing out there some hope the reality is that it was very quiet. The water was still murky and there was no sign of the usual surface action you'd expect at this time of the year. Still, it was a beautiful morning and the light SW wind began to gradually drop.

Jimbo was next on the board. I just happened to be paddling past him to reset my drift when his trailing outfit went off at the same time as his casting outfit snagged up. I paddled over to take a look.

0757am. Jimbo's snapper which would have been nicer if only it had a proper tail which appeared as if it had been destroyed by a fungus or similar. Perhaps our vets could comment on this?

We fished on even though some of our colleagues had dispersed to various other favourite locations. About 10 minutes after the above pic was taken and not far away from it (Jimbo, jag-one and I were drifting the same line) jag-one hooked up big time on a small pilchard bait. I paddled over with the camera and noticed that the fish was holding vertically downward and really giving jag-one some curry. He looked decidedly under-gunned, which happens from time to time at JS -- there are some monsters out there.

0814am. Geoff (jag-one) doing all that he could in an unsuccessful attempt to keep from being bricked.

As I watched I thought that the fight indicated a big sweetlip. It was holding position and eventually got its head down and went for the bottom in an unstoppable run which ended with a broken line. Hard luck Geoff, but that happens quite frequently out there.

Between then and 0930 when jimbo and I set out for the run back to the beach there was very little action -- jimbo getting one more small keeper snapper. At one stage I asked pedro, as he pedalled past, how he was going and he replied that he'd hooked three small sharks. At about this time jaro reported hooking another shark and releasing it so perhaps the sharks were moving in. I recalled last year out at Sunshine Reef when the sharks moved in on us and took every bait and lure we put down -- perhaps they were going to do that again.

Anyway, jimbo and I shot through about 0930 leaving the ever-determined Jaro accompanied by Pedro and Geoff to continue trying to coax a biggy onto their lines. Jim and I had a great cruise back with a gradually freshening northerly and encountered Sam waiting for us on the beach. The swell at MG posed no problem for us although there were a couple of rare but occasional waves which could have proved challenging if we'd been careless about timing.

Anyway, here's hoping Jaro puts up a pic of his snapper. If any participants have anything further to add of interest please let us know.

Thanks for organizing, Jaro, and for coming along, guys. Hopefully we'll get another trip soon.

Red & white Stealth Supalite, black paddle
VHF channel 09 or 22 (if alone), Call Sign: sunshiner

2 trips, no fish, 24Jan11

Subject: fishing today -- 24Jan10
From: "Ian"
Date: 25/01/2011 5:34 PM

Hi all,

What a day I missed today, almost perfect only the fish were missing.

Things were similar yesterday. Fishing SR I lost 1 Pilchard bait and a Bonito had its back bitten leaving a hole which exposed 2 hooks and somehow didn't hook up. I was back on shore by 9.00.

After mowing some grass at home I noticed there wasn't much wind so I checked seabreeze and there was a light S/E blowing. So at 3.pm I went for another paddle this time I headed to hells gates trolling a hard body. I had one hook up and fought the fish for 5 minutes with fierce head shakes and it managed to shake the lure free, so for the 2nd time in a day I went home fishless.

call sign;eye tag

Harry's Spaniard, 19Jan11

Subject: fishing today -- 19Jan11
From: sunshiner
Date: 19/01/2011 2:22 PM

Cloud cover:, varied throughout the morning
Wind direction & speed: light ESE
Sea state: low swell
Current direction & speed: SE to NW about 2kph
Full moon

Participants: pedro, jaro, jimbo, Dan, hollywood and I

On arrival in the MG carpark at 0440-ish my headlights lit up Jaro standing with someone I didn't recognize, but guessed was Dan Dreier -- a recently joined Noosa Yakker (future nickname/callsign Imax). This was confirmed as Jaro, anxious to get going, asked if I'd look after Dan on this his first foray with Noosa Yakkers. Dan was still setting up his Hobie Adventure Island (AI) but I was happy to have him tag along and help him through the ferocious surf. By this time also, pedro had been launched at least 30 minutes and was reportedly heading for LH Reef. Jimbo had just launched.

0504hrs. Dan's almost ready to launch on a sea as flat as it gets.

Dan had never been to Jew Shoal, our intended destination, despite a lifetime so far spent mainly in this area, and had never fished offshore before. Before long we were heading north on a glassy, brown, sea, the newly-risen sun masked by Noosa Headland. Dan was pedalling (no breeze for that sail) and he had no trouble keeping up with me, in fact perhaps he slowed down a bit. The colour of the sea did not give me confidence in our fishing prospects but it was a great morning to be out so why not?

A turtle bobbed up in our path while we were still a couple of km from JS and other than lots of terns passing us heading NE, there were no signals to show that there might be fish around. Jimbo and jaro were already fishing on the shoal by the time we reached JS around 0545. I briefed Dan on the underwater topography and left him to his own devices. Jimbo had told me by radio that there was a strong current running toward the NW so I paddled the 800m right across the shoal to the SE corner to start drift fishing. Still no sign of surface fish, although there were a few patches of baitfish showing on the sonar.

The drift was indeed fast, with a very light SE breeze. Once I was set up on my drift my GPS consistently showed a speed of between 2 and 2.5kph. What was noticeable also was that the current appeared to be non-existent down near the bottom, as demonstrated by the fact that my jig head, once cast and down about 10 metres, was very quickly passed and left behind by the yak. This meant that any baits or SPs spent very little time near the bottom before needing to be recast. And to boot, the water was still discoloured.

While drifting I was fishing with one rod only, and that was loaded with a SP on a 1/4oz jighead. Jimbo, who was drifting with a trailing pilchard bait as well as a SP, was soon announcing the capture of a snapper on the trailed pillie. Then Jaro chimed in with a story of a lost fish which escaped because his braid line somehow became jammed in the roller of the bail arm, resulting in a bust off. Then came my turn. My SP was picked up by what was clearly a decent snapper and the yak swung into the current as the fish took off. I was just congratulating myself when the line went slack leaving me to retrieve the ejected jighead and SP bait.

That was my only action for the day. Jaro and jimbo were also having a lean time of it so I announced one last drift around 0745 as did jimbo. Hollywood then called up and announced that he was heading our way, having launched around 0730 so Jaro opted to hang around and fish with him for a while -- a fortunate decision as it turned out. Just as I was about to turn for home Jaro's yell of triumph carried across the shoal so I paddled the short distance over to him to get a pic of his catch.

0820. Jaro bags a nice little snapper.

A few minutes later I'm heading for home, with Jimbo visible a few hundred metres ahead of me. By now Dan had opted to unfurl his sail and also wend his way home but I couldn't see where he was.

Even though Harry was on his way out to JS I couldn't spot him (because, as it turned out, he was approaching from an unusual direction). But when I was about half way in to MG Harry came up on the radio briefly "I'm on, a pretty big fish", or words to that effect. Subsequent radio messages revealed that he'd paddled toward Jaro and when fairly close to him, took a big strike. Harry went on to bag a beautiful Spaniard (his first) about 1.3m long, apparently, which Jaro helped him to stow through the forward hatch of Harry's Swing. Jaro reckoned he got a heap of photos of all of this so we look forward to seeing the result.

Back on the beach jimbo and Dan waited for me and I took a couple more pics.

Jimbo's very nice snapper -- 64cm.

Again, with yaks piled up on the beach.

Dan with his AI neatly folded, ready for dragging up to the washpoint.

So, we await more detailed info from Pedro, Harry and Jaro. Please feel in the gaps, guys.

[See report below from Jaro...]

I think if we get a week or so without significant rain we'll see some pelagic action in the Bay.

Red & white Stealth Supalite, black paddle
VHF channel 09 or 22 (if alone), Call Sign: sunshiner

Email from Jaro
Hi Yakkers,

The story of the day was Hollywood Harry's first Spanish mackerel. Harry had a strike about 100 metres from where I was drifting and it was obvious that it was a "biggie." I could see that it would take some time to land this fish and paddled over to see Harry's fishmanship. The fish was taking the yak in different directions and putting up a great fight but Harry was showing good patience and took his time to slowly wear the fish out. Harry was saying he thought that it was a shark whereas I, being the optimist, told him I thought it would be a Spaniard as they were about. Eventually he had the fish nearing the yak where he suddenly saw the tell tale markings of a Spaniard. Harry was now definitely very excited and I had to tell him to settle down.

Harry with the Spaniard now in view

By this time the fish was well and truly buggered but Harry was taking no chances and gaffed it with great ferocity and hauled it on board the yak. After helping him to secure the fish with one of my metal clips and his big rope from his drogue I took this photo (actually many photos)

One very chuffed kayak fisherman

We put the fish in the forward hatch but later it had to be put in the back hatch as when Harry started paddling the front of the yak tended to dip down due to the weight of the fish, threatening to sink him. Of course Harry caught this monster with the ever reliable Halco Laser Pro.

Anyway after all this excitement we continued to fish with no luck and so we decided on one last drift and as so often happens on the last drift I had a really good strike. The fish pulled out quite a lot of line a few times and then just refused to come up. Eventually it tired and to my surprise it turned out to be a large snapper which I successfully gaffed and stowed away. This encouraged us to have one more last drift but to no avail and so we headed back at 11.10 and arrived back on the beach to be swamped by the usual onlookers. Here are a few more photos.

One proud Harry with his 133cm Spanish mackerel (weight unknown...est at 15-16Kgs)

This bathing beauty offered to hold the tail for a side view of the Spaniard

And finally my two snappers... the top one measured 71cm and the bottom 51cm

So all in all a great day.



Steam train at JS, 18Jan2011

Subject: Fishing Today (tuesday)
From: Pete
Date: 18/01/2011 5:47 PM

Hi All

Launched around 4.45am resulting in the first dry bum in a while (pre dawn launches can be exciting) as the swell had dropped off.

Arrived at js and moved around looking for bait shoals as I had plans of using live bait. Found a large patch on the sounder and marked it and proceeded to rig up.

5 minutes later I set off to find my mark and was surprised at how long it was taking to get there, a good 10 to 15 minute paddle after a 5 min drift. On arriving I decided to anchor as the current wasn't much less than brisbane river last week.

The bait jig produced a small angel fish, so I baited up and waited, throwing out a pilly on my other rod. The angel fish was eventually picked up by a steam train only to be broken off above the leader. Now my leaders are longer as I suspect the back half of the train cut it.

Other than that not much to report except one keeper sweetlip.

Beached the yak around 11.30 with no waves breaking through the gutter.

I picked up some supplies at davo's and was told halls is productive with snapper and good sweeties so I plan to go there tomorrow launching around the same time 4.45

thats all for now.

Snaps and spots, 05Jan11

Subject: fishing today -- 05jan11
From: sunshiner
Date: 5/01/2011 2:29 PM

Cloud cover: up to 5/10
Wind direction & speed: E to 10 knots
Sea state: Low swell from SE
Participants: pedro, jaro, sunshiner

Pedro's 4wd was already there, and its engine cooled down, by the time Jaro and I hit the carpark around 04:15am. The day was just dawning, and the only other signs of life were the garbage truck operator whose lights proved useful while we prepped our yaks, and the usual (occupied) campervan parked next to Pedro's parking spot.

Down to the beach we trundled in light so poor that I decided not to attempt a launch time photo. By about 04:30 we were out past the break, Jaro dry and me a little damp as I managed to encounter, as I often do, the wave of the day while exiting.

Jew Shoal was the target and we headed for it with a slight tail wind on an all-but glassy sea. It being so early there were few terns obvious at first but gradually as the light levels increased more and more terns passed us, all heading about the same way as we were -- north.

Other than a brief diversion east to closely investigate some tern activity, which, as often happens, dissipated on our arrival, we headed straight for The Pinnacles. There being no surface activity at all, Jaro opted to fish using bait (a good move as it turned out) while I opted to troll a Halco LP around the shallower areas hoping for a Spaniard, spotty or a snapper -- or anything, really. This was around 05:30 and by now we'd also established communication with Pedro out at Sunshine Reef and so far fishless.

First cast (prawn bait) Jaro hooked up and boated a 40cm+ snapper, announcing its arrival by radio. I trolled on. A few minutes later Jaro breathlessly reported contact with a massive fish which had proved unstoppable and which had taken a pilchard complete with the hardware connecting it with his main line. Having no bait, anyway, I continued trolling. Again the radio came to life -- Jaro announcing yet another monster which had also escaped, this time with the terminal hook of a three-hook gang.

OK, time for me to stop trolling and switch to drifting SPs. The drift was entirely breeze driven, SE to NW, and not too quick, given the light wind. With the improving light I could now see that the water covering Jew Shoal was still green tinged, but much clearer than the last couple of times I'd been out. Jaro's and my drift paths coincided somewhat from time to time and so next time the monster came to visit Jaro I was on hand with the camera.

06:12am. OK, no monster, but a nice spotty mac nevertheless. Jaro's first spotty for 2011.

This info was now passed to Pedro who then decided, even though he'd caught a snapper, that he'd head back toward us ("See you in about 30 minutes", he said).

So I'm still fishless but trying hard with my usually effective Squidgy. The drifting continues. Jaro bags another small but keeper snapper, then a keeper sweetlip. He's on fire today. I'm not, but ready with the camera. On two occasions my Squidgy is disabled by having the tail removed cleanly -- I suspect spotty macs. Other than a small bar-tailed flathead (released), I've caught nothing.

"Got a biggy on" -- a rushed message from Jaro on the radio. I'm bored and need to paddle back up the drift line anyway so I head over to his yak about 300m away.

07:35am. A very nice snapper (drifted pilchard). Caz WILL be pleased.

I'm thoroughly pissed off, and presumably is Pedro also, who has reported no action despite repeated trolling around Jew Shoal within sight of us for the last hour or so. I set a deadline for departure at 08:15 and Jaro agrees but at 08:10 he has another biggy on -- but it's his last pillie. A few minutes later the story is sent via radio waves. Jaro had hooked a Spaniard, had him up to the yak and the hook pulled free.

By now I'm set up for trolling homeward so when Jaro announces "One last drift?" I opt to head off anyway and wait for him on the beach. It's a slow trip home -- I'm a little seedy I think from the Indian restaurant's spicy meal last night, the accompanying bottle of red and the late bed-time early get up. 1.4km out from MG there's an eruption of water about 100m in front of me and I'm treated to the spectacle of a good sized tuna, probably a longtail, chasing a single silvery fish about 30cm long. Both victim and predator get air several times and I still don't know who won. I didn't -- as my trolled lure was out of the zone by the time I got to the now vacated splash-down spot.

Aware that Jaro is several minutes behind me I plod on toward the beach. You know what's going to happen next, don't you? The radio -- another hasty message -- Jaro has a "biggy" on his trolled Halco, identical to the one I'm trolling. Clearly, today is Jaro's day and definitely not mine. But there's a sad end -- the wire trace broke and the Halco, a veteran of many mackerel battles, is gone. Although he didn't get to see the fish, Jaro reckons it was another Spaniard, and he'd know, he's caught plenty.

The beach is now crowded with people, possibly spectators awaiting Jaro's arrival. But the usual exit spot is clear and we cruise in on small waves at the top of the tide.

Jaro's bag today. Pretty good for an old codger.

The largest snapper went 63cm.

The spotty went 87cm even though it's a bit bent.

Close up of first dorsal fin colour pattern

Thanks for organizing, Jaro. Pete, please let us know how you finished up. [see Pete's report below]

So the Spaniards and the spotties are here. All we need now is a bit of gentle weather for a while to allow the blue sea to return, and the baitfish to pack in to Laguna Bay.

Red & white Stealth Supalite, black paddle
VHF channel 09 or 22 (if alone), Call Sign: sunshiner

From pedro
Hi All,
Yes my motor had cooled down considerably at the late hour of 4.45, and the combi was in my spot...

To add to Sunshiner's report, after they paddled in I was a lip away from a double hook up with what turned out to be spotty mackerel as I got one to the side of the yak the other one didn't hook up. It was hooked in a very small part of its 'nose', eventually pulling itself free.

I ended up with another snapper at 65cm drifting pilchards at JS and the first caught at sunshine, 55cm.

I called it a day at about 1.00, trolling garfish in with no hits.

Quiet at JS, 02Jan11

Subject: Yak Fishing report - Sun 2Jan11
From: "Jim Thompson"
Date: 3/01/2011 12:06 AM

Cloud cover: 8/10, brief patches of sunshine
Wind direction & speed: 10-12 knots ESE
Sea state: 1.5-2.0m ESE swell with wind chop on top
Current direction & speed: Circulating northerly from Main Beach past river mouth towards Lt Halls Rf.
Moon Phase: 3 days before New Moon

Participants: Eyetag, Jaro, Jimbo & new NY Matt Reid making his debut.

I arrived at the MG car park in darkness just before 4.15am to find Eyetag's car and new NY Matt Reid (who had driven from Cooroy) already unloading his Viking kayak. Matt had already checked out the surf conditions and, even for a first-time yakker in the half gloom of dawn, reckoned it would be an easy transition across the virtually non-existent surf zone. Jaro arrived, and after unloading our kayaks we were soon down on the beach ready to launch. The wheel marks in the sand from Eyetag's earlier launch were visible.

Jaro was first off, followed a few minutes later by me and then Matt. Jaro was of course ready to paddle off after quickly deploying his pre-rigged rods from their enclosure in his ProFish 45, but it took Matt and me some 10-15 minutes to rig our lines, Matt discovering for the first time the need for organisation of your gear within the confines of a kayak cockpit. A call to Eyetag on the radio revealed he was already at Lt Halls Rf but had not had any bites. It also became apparent as the light levels increased that the water was very murky from the tannin-coloured outflow from the river mouth.

Jaro, I and then Matt met with Eyetag about 1.0 km south of LH as he was trolling back towards us. We soon agreed the water was so dirty all along the North Shore and around LH that we would be better heading to Jew Sh where the water might be clearer, even though this meant a solid paddle for about 3km directly into a stiff 10-12 knot wind and lumpy swell. Soon after leaving Lt Halls the water clarity improved significantly and about half way to JS, Eyetag came across a boil of tuna and hooked up with his first cast. Unfortunately this fish self released after a spirited 2-3 minute fight.

Upon arrival at JS, Jaro headed for a mark to the north of the Pinnacles, Matt and I went to our Jew West mark and Eyetag opted to troll around with a HB lure. Jaro was first to report boating a small but keeper snapper on a prawn bait, and not long after Eyetag boated a 70-80cm mac tuna. The stiff ESEly was causing a fairly quick drift speed and I was having no bites at all on the cast SPs. However, my heavy line with a trailing pilchard eventually went off putting a big bend into the rod and the fish initially taking quite a bit of line. The constant and strong pull from this fish lead me to believe it was a shark. When I eventually got to see it after a good 6-8 min fight, my only surprise was to find that it was a small hammerhead shark, later measured at 1.07m. During this time Eyetag caught and released a second mac tuna of similar size to the one he already had on board.

At around 0900 Eyetag and I decided we had had enough of the windy/lumpy conditions and decided we would head for home. Matt had disappeared from view (we assumed/hoped he had already decided to head for home) and only Jaro initially thought he would fish on. Jaro soon changed his mind and all three of us started the lumpy paddle back to MG with an annoying cross wind swell/chop for most of the way. Just off MG we met up with Matt coming back from the direction of the river mouth. Unfortunately Matt did not have any luck on his maiden voyage as a NY, but he did gain a lot of experience about open ocean kayak fishing.

Thanks for organising Jaro. Next Thursday looks like a possible opportunity.



New Year spotty, 01Jan11

Subject: Fishing Today 01-01-2011
From: "Ian"
Date: 1/01/2011 1:24 PM

Hi all,

I went to bed early last night hoping to go for a paddle this morning, but I woke to rain and wind and decided to go back to bed. I woke again around 6.am and the wind seemed to have eased a little so I decided to get wet.

I launched at MG 7.15 am with an 8-10 knot southerly and paddled up the North Shore trolling a Jaro special.

I hadn't gone far past the RM when my rod buckled and started losing line. It turned out to be a Spotty. He was stowed and off I went paddling up the beach out to LH and as I was heading back toward the beach for my return run home the rod went off again and this time it was a little Black Tip. After this I paddled in and was back at MG by 9.15.

There were birds scattered all over the place but none were concentrated over boils. I will probably do the same tomorrow except not go back to bed. I will have my radio on ch 09.

call sign;eye tag