Matt and Co, 26Mar11

Subject: Fishing report from Saturday 26th March 2011
From: Matt Reid
Date: 28/03/2011 12:35 PM

Yakkers on the water: Jeff, Maverick, Gemini, Whalebait (and a few AKFF members from Brisbane on Hobies)

Not much to report from Saturday's expedition. Jeff and Stu (Maverick) caught a few little whalers, and some longtail were hooked, but not landed. The wind picked up around 10AM and we all made our way in.

Still plenty of bait getting around, but the tuna weren't interested in our slugs at all.

Ian, Wal and Dan, 25Mar11

Subject: fishing today 25Mar11
From: "Ian"
Date: 25/03/2011 6:16 PM

Hi Hookers,

I paddled today launching at 12.25pm with Wal and I got 1 shark and Wal lost a very big fish that he couldn't stop. It busted him off after taking about 150metres of line in around a minute. There were Longtail and Mack Tuna up towards LH. I think it would be worth having a paddle early tomorrow.

I spoke to a hobie pedaller [editor: probably Dan (Imax)] on the way in. He got Longtail and Trevally yesterday trolling a slug up towards LH.

call sign;eye tag

Dan's experience:

Subject: fishing today, 25Mar11
From: "Dan"
Date: 25/03/2011 7:13 PM

I wasn't feeling up to a paddle this morning so I went this afternoon instead. I was on the water about 2pm and headed for little halls in the chop. This made the tuna hard to see but eventually I found a big school and gave chase.

I finally caught up to them north of Teewah township. This seemed to be where most of the schools were hanging out. I landed a Mac tuna and longtail with many more dropped before heading for home. I had a couple of very small bust ups occur in front of me on the way back and hooked up to more tuna in each of these.

Then trolling a gold halco hard body on the way home I hooked and landed a small spotty mackerel. It went 66cm and became my Dad’s birthday present (he loves mackerel). The spotty was caught about 1km north of the dirty water line of the river mouth.
So after all that I would suggest heading up north shore to try and find the schools tomorrow.

Dan, 4 longtails, 24Mar11

Subject: next NY fishing trip
From: "Dan"
Date: 24/03/2011 8:48 PM

It should be worth heading up tomorrow. I was out today and landed 4 longtails and 2 trevally. I ended up keeping one of the long tails and it went 900mm and 9kgs. At one stage there was myself and 2 other yakkers hooked up to a tuna each. There was also no surf to worry about for the landing and I think tomorrow will be the same.

I will be heading out again tomorrow and will aim for a 5.30 launch.


Stu and huge shark, 24Mar11

Subject: Fishing today - 24Mar11
From: Maverick
Date: 24/03/2011 4:39 PM

I launched about 8 am after a late decision. Conditions were absolutely perfect, no swell or wind to speak of.

I met up with a Kiwi bloke by the name of Mike who ended up fishing with me through the morning.

After an easy paddle out we turned left and headed to the river mouth where there were a heap of birds and bait activity.

Upon arriving just North of the mouth there were spotties, tuna everywhere, very reminiscent of last season. The only problem was that they were not taking slugs. I tried all sizes, 15 to 30 grams without much luck. I eventually hooked up to a spottie which was taken by a hungry shark just as it came into sight. I then caught a very big fish on a trolling slimey which gave two long hard runs before the line was bitten through above the wire trace.

About an hour passed without any further luck so I paddled over towards a couple of guys in a tinnie who made a trip down from Brisbane after reports of large amounts of baitfish in the Bay. One of the chaps flicked a slug into a bait mass and pulled up a very nice Cobia. The other chap had something very big on his line when it was taken by a shark. I joked that it must have been a big tiger shark. They joked and said rather them on a boat than a kayak.

As I paddled away towards another baitball (aprox 1k offshore) a tiger shark bigger than my yak surfaced right next to me, his head was the size of a small car and body length longer than my 4.1 meter yak, I f*****g SHAT myself and paddled straight back to the boat stating in a few profound words that I may have to board. After about 5 mins and no sign of the shark I paddled back towards the river mouth with Mike and decided to call it a day as I had some undies to clean!

Going on today, tomorrow morning might prove to be very good fishing, if I did not have to work I would be there shark or not.


Sharks, 22Mar11

Subject: Yak Fishing Report - Tues 22nd
From: "Jim Thompson"
Date: 22/03/2011 5:02 PM

Hi Yakkers,

Cloud: Clear initially (moonlit night), then overcast which burnt off to be 2/10 and pretty hot by 0900
Wind: W-SW <5 knots
Swell: 1.5m from ENE

Not much to report.
Launch conditions were a bit tricky with the 1.5m swell coming straight into the beach combined with low tide ~0530 causing the waves to break on the sand bar now established out from the end of the groyne. I actually chose the eastern (Surf Club) side to launch and got through okay, albeit pretty wet from having to punch through a couple of waves.

I initially headed for Jew Sh taking a curved route towards Tee Tree and Granite Bays trolling a HB Rapala lure. Disappointingly, while the conditions were perfect, there was no sign of birds or surface action, and upon arrival discovered I had been dragging a grinner for probably the last 2km which had badly twisted my heavier trolling line. I did a bit of bottom bashing with SPs on the western side of JS whilst trailing the trolled line to un-twist it, but didn't get a single bite.

I decided to head for Little Halls trolling a 30cm bonito mounted on a chin guard with three fairly large 6/0 ganged hooks set into its lower belly. About 1km from LHR the trolled line gave one big but short lived scream and I retrieved the chin guard with just the tail of the bonito cleanly bitten through still attached to the last gang hook. Isn't it amazing how a fish can do this and not get hooked on at least one of the ganged hooks?

I then attached my standard (smaller) skirted 3-gang lure with a slimey and this was taken almost immediately by a 90cm shark which I decide to keep (shows how desperate I've become!). There were sporadic occasions of tuna breaking the surface around LHR, but no concentrated bust ups nor bird activity. I caught and released an under-sized snapper, and had a good hook up and short tussle with another shark (I think) on a SP before its rough skin abraded the 12lb braid. It was now 0945 and getting pretty hot with virtually no breeze at LHR so decided to head back in taking a curved route via the river mouth trolling a brand new fairly large sized bright orange/gold coloured Halco HB lure (not a Laser Pro). Right opposite the river mouth the trolled line screamed briefly and I retrieved the line minus the lure and wire trace.

The return conditions were a bit easier with the higher tide, but still a shore break happening for the whole length of the groyne right to the beach.

That's it. A nice paddle but only one shark kept. There was one other kayak trolley under the MG Life Guard's hut that I didn't recognize. Maybe that person can tell us how he fared, if he's a Noosa Yakker and is reading this.


First trip longtail, 19Mar11

Subject: Fishing today - 19th March 2011
From: Matt Reid
Date: 19/03/2011 7:53 PM

Hi all,

Just a rough report from today, as Steve and Ian have all the photos.

Participants: Matt (gemini) Ian (eyetag), Steve (turtleboy? forgive me if that's wrong), and Jeff (did you pick a call sign Jeff?)
Conditions: Light breeze, 5 knots or so, but gusting a bit harder when the storm came in.

Eyetag, Jeff, and I arrived at MG just before 5AM to launch into some fairly placid conditions around 5:30 (Steve arrived much later in the morning). We elected to make an easy paddle up to little halls in search of tuna at first light. Once the birds started out after dawn there was a fair amount of surface activity and baitfish getting about. Eyetag managed a mac tuna fairly early on, which was released. Not too long after Jeff scored a very nice longtail tuna, breaking his rod in the process. We then trolled about little halls for a while with no success. During this time Steve advised us on the VHF from MG he that would be with us in 30 minutes or so.

As we headed back in the general direction of MG, I spotted some dolphins having a relaxing swim about the area. Not too long after I had the pod breaching within meters of my yak which was a pleasant surprise. Sometime around 8-9AM? (I didn't have a watch handy) we met up with Steve on our way back towards the river mouth. By this time all surface activity and birds had pretty much stopped, and the bait balls we had seen in abundance on our sounders had all but disappeared. It was not looking good, but we elected to head out to jew shoal for a look.

This was when the "fun" began. Shark after shark was landed, all with rapid succession. We landed 7 between us, all little whalers no bigger than 1m. Some actually gave a good fight too, so it wasn't all bad, but they were the last fish we would see for the day.

During the paddle towards jew shoal a squall line was rolling in over the ocean towards us, and I noted several water spouts forming up and dissipating fairly quickly from the edge of the line. Eyetag may have some photos of this if they turned out.

And that, as they say, is that. Steve reached jew shoal first and reported to us the lack of activity extended there as well. The weather was turning by this stage too, so we headed in, only just making it to the beach before the rain came.

Call sign: Gemini

Email from Jeff (richmond)
Subject: fishing today 19 March 2011
From: "Jeff Adams"
Date: 19/03/2011 9:19 PM

G'day all,
My first beach launch and return today, in fact my first offshore paddle in a yak. The launch and return was pretty easy. I was sure glad about that!

I wonder if Matt and Ian knew I was quietly anxious and apprehensive?

Was very happy landing a nice Longtail on a trolled Rapala CD-18, fished a long way back. A couple of small noahs, and I also had my slice snipped off too, even though I had a very short piece of 44lb wire.
(the broken rod........that'll teach me not to high stick!)

Had a great day, I'm a bit sore now, but I'll get used to that.

I just want to say thank you to Ian, Matt and Steve for all your help and education today, it was greatly appreciated.

I also want to say that it's great to find a bunch of fishos who look out for each other and have the camaraderie that you have. Well done Noosa Yakkers.

Thanks again guys, can't wait for the next trip.

ps. I'll get my handheld VHF fixed as soon as poss!

Cheers fellas, Jeff

Pics from Jeff


Pics by Ian

Adventures, Laguna Bay, 18Mar11

Subject: fishing today -- 18mar11
From: sunshiner
Date: 18/03/2011 1:38 PM

At last the weather came good. It's been two weeks since we were reasonably able to get out and today was a cracker, with low swell, light winds, overcast, and pelagic fish chasing smaller fish right in close to our launch point...

Cloud cover: overcast
Wind direction & speed: none
Sea state: low swell

Participants: kodaz (Jon); andy_cav (Andy), whalebait (Brian), Hollywood (Harry); sunshiner (Kev -- me)

With Jaro's absence for several weeks I've taken over as trip coordinator so called for a 0530 launch this morning -- just on first light. Whalebait's presence was a pleasant surprise to me and he'd brought along his brand spanking new Profish to launch it for the first time in the hallowed waters of Laguna Bay. All of us were there on time and we assembled on the beach together ready to launch, on our way passing a plump blonde lady with very long and prominent legs who was sleeping alone just beside our trolley track down to the beach. Probably she was also the person who'd used my favourite parking spot.

0540. L-R Hollywood; andy_cav; kodaz; whalebait

Above: whalebait's Profish

We launched together and were all afloat out the back by 0545. Immediately noticeable was extensive dimpling of the smooth water all around us as baitfish came up to say good morning. This looked promising. Then Hollywood pointed out that there were birds working just to our north, well within view even though the sun was still way below the horizon.

No one needed directing as to where to go and before long we were all headed in the same approximate direction like a Wild West posse who have the baddies in sight. Well inside the shark net (which floats 600m offshore) we could see swirls and the occasional splash as predatory fish took advantage of the improving light to acquire fresh breakfast.

For various reasons today, only whalebait and I had radios. And before long he and I were approaching an active area just near the shark net anchored off National Park. There were huge numbers of terns wherever we looked. Also in view were splashes, some large, some small, some in company with lots of others and some just loners.

Whalebait was the first to hook up (on a cast slug) and I opted to get some pics so hung around him to see what he'd nailed.

0602. Brian's hooked up. Note the birds on the horizon. A small swell hides the kayak.

We both thought it was a tuna and as this was the first fish in a new boat an occasion worth recording. Here he is again, a few minutes later, same fish:

0608. First fish in a new yak -- not a bad start. The very plump mac tuna, about 5kg, was released.

Above: baitfish about 75mm long, one of two regurgitated on whalebait's yak by the tuna

Shortly after this we encountered Hollywood, looking a bit startled. He'd already lost two slugs and had been almost spooled. Later the fish really cleaned him up -- I came across him and he showed me his casting outfit whose spool was completely devoid of line. Unstoppable...

Attracted by different bustups, whalebait and I now drifted apart. I got a couple of casts away but couldn't raise any interest with my Halco slug, even though the fish were blasting through the baitfish only a few metres away from where I was casting. Then whalebait came up on the radio "Got a nice cobia...". OK, I need pics of a cobia so we paddled to a rendezvous where I took a few pics.

0634. Second fish, first trip in a new yak. Cobia about 1m, taken on slimy mac (dead, with skirt) which was drifting behind while he was casting to feeding tuna, 500m north of the NP shark net.

Just after I took that pic, we noticed kodaz nearby with a severely bent rod. Whalebait and I paddled over to see whether assistance was needed. At this stage, I might add, I hadn't hooked up at all and had spent quite some time on the camera, or trying unsuccessfully to entice a strike. Whenever possible during this activity I short trolled a Halco Laser Pro and had received one explosive surface strike on it which didn't hook up.

Kodaz was of the opinion that he also had hooked a cobia so I hung around to get the photos, shooting movie from time to time.

0637. Kodaz hooked up on trolled HB lure (image cropped from movie frame)

Despite Kodaz' best efforts this fish unhooked itself very late in the fight just after he identified it as a longtail tuna.

OK, now it was time for me to get serious. I decided to switch slugs as I'd given the Halco Twisty many opportunities to attract a strike and it had failed to deliver. In all fairness, perhaps the fine wire trace I was using was making a difference today. And as there appeared to be no mackerel around the chance of a bite-off was reduced. So on went a brand new lure, a River2Sea SeaRock, 14gm, without wire trace.

The next bustup I approached I had one cast for no result, then a second ...

0758. Hookup. (image from chestcam movie frame)

This fish fought so doggedly on the 12 pound line that I was convinced it was a longtail tuna, of which I've caught a few. It took me 20 minutes to subdue it but eventually I could see that it was a very nuggety mac tuna. Because I intended to release it I grabbed it by the tail wrist as eyetag does and hauled it aboard for a photo with the Sea Rock bling it had picked up.

Above: with R2S Sea Rock lure, a work of art as well as a fish attractor
Below: Just before release

While I was fighting this fish whalebait came up on the radio and reported that he was hooked up too, about one click away but that he'd just seen a large shark attacking a bait school right next to him and was attempting to leave the area.

Later I met up with whalebait again and he told me he had also caught and released a couple more mac tuna and a couple of sharks, the latter caught on dead baits.

The activity continued but whalebait and I decided to give it away and were back on the beach before 0930. Our three companions from earlier had presumably left or were still out there somewhere.

Whalebait's cobia, his PB at 103cm (when straightened)

If anyone else has anything of interest to add, please don't hesitate to tell us by reply email. Thanks for coming along guys.
[See emails below]

Tomorrow's yakkers should have an interesting time and we look forward to hearing how you went. All the action we encountered was in the inner bay no further than 1.6km from the beach. Just look out for the terns. And hope for some spotty macs to show up.

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

Email from Jono
Subject: RE: fishing today -- 18mar11
From: Jono Lomas
Date: 19/03/2011 11:17 AM

I'll pick up from when kev paddled off after witnessing me lose a respectable long-tail at the side of the yak.

As I watched Kev paddle off towards the immeasurable number of birds working the waters, I set about trolling up my red-head rapala countdown lure which had been the agent of choice on the lost fish. It wasn't long before it was smashed just off from the first set of shark nets off main beach. It became immediately clear this was a big fish and was seriously out gunning my 20lb outfit. It almost spooled me on the first run but I was able to get the line back to the start of the leader when it took off again before I could see what it was. Three runs later I could feel the heat radiating from the reel's drag and I was beginning to realise this was most likely a large tuna. By the time I got to the leader after the 4th run my heart skipped a beat when a saw the unmistakable irridescent fluoro markings of a 15-20kg yellowfin tuna. It probably did the same thing when it saw me because it took off again swinging around to head out to sea. This was about the one hour mark in what would turn out to be a 3 hour battle with the beast. At this stage I was still pretty fresh and spurred on by the possibility of landing my first yellowfin. Over the next hour the fish steadily made its way out to jew shoal and it was beginning to get really hard to get anything back on the reel. At the 2 hour mark I got to the leader and understood why it was now so much harder; the bugger had hooked himself on the side of the gill plate so I was having to contend with not only the power of the fish but also its drag through the water, which was amplified by the fact he was spending almost all his time directly underneath me.

After more dogged fighting I was starting to get a little nervous as I watched the sounder hit 35 metres, I knew I must have passed Jew shoal. By the time I looked at my GPS I realised I was probably 10 or 12 km offshore and way past the reef. Although the wind was next to nil I was starting to get pretty exhausted and dehydrated as my water supply was not easily accessible with this fish on. By 3 hours my arms were aching of lactic acid and my mouth was dry and I knew time was up, especially since I didn't have an EPIRB. I tightened up the drag up and started to try to skull drag him up to the surface. I eventually got colour but he was just too strong and continued to circle underneath the yak out of gaffing distance. Eventually after yet another run down to the 40 meter mark the leader knot failed and he was gone. The few seconds of utter disappointment were quickly replaced by a feeling of relief that the ordeal was over. I drank up, put on some more sunscreen, and made the arduous paddle back to middle groyne arriving just after 12:30.

In retrospect I know I would never have let myself get so far out with even a small chance of bad weather, but yesterday's conditions were sublime even by the time I was leaving noosa at 3pm. Still, it's made me think about getting an EPIRB and definately convinced me to get a radio.

No picture of the fish unfortunately, all I have is my GPS plot which shows the journey (attached).

See you next time

Email from Andy Cav
Subject: Re: fishing today -- 18mar11
From: andy_cav
Date: 19/03/2011 12:29 PM

What an eventful morning it was for me.

After a longer than usual float out the back to rig my rods (left my pre-rigged leaders on the kitchen table) I finally got underway to be confronted by bust-ups in all directions so I decided to head south towards the most activity. I trolled a lure I hadn't used before, a Bolt Mystique 14cm in Qantas colours. Literally after a dozen strokes my rod bent over and I managed to hook a small shark (50cm) which I was able to release pretty promptly with a flick of the gaff and then continued on my path to the south to hook up again on a larger shark (70cm) with this one also released.

Third time lucky and 5 minutes later I hooked another shark (60cm) but this time it managed to engulf the leading lure and I could not dislodge it with my gaff. Having grabbed the shark behind the head I proceeded to work the lure out of the shark with my pliers and knife. Without warning and 3 minutes into the lure extraction the shark decided to shake causing me to lose my grip slightly so I decided that I would drop it (as my rod was leashed and it wasn't going anywhere) and start the process again. In theory it was a good option but in practice not so good with the rear treble deciding to embed itself in my thumb on the way down.

With the shark in the water trying to escape and the lure attached to my thumb I had no option but to drag the shark aboard using my thumb. This achieved getting the shark onboard, forcing the hook out through the other side, also tearing a hole down the side of my thumb and having a couple of 4 letter words leave my mouth. After quickly securing the shark with my feet I proceeded to try and separate the shark from the lure with my knife as my pliers weren't capable of cutting through the large treble. After about 5 minutes I wasn't able to achieve much but signalled to a couple of fellow yakkers to assist with the situation and thankfully they were able to. Thanks guys! (I was sorry I didn't get their names at the time)

After sawing through the shark's mouth we were able to remove the shark from the lure and then finally cut the treble from the lure (with someone else's pliers) which enabled me to push the remainder of the hook through my thumb and out the other side. After wrapping my thumb with a bit of a rag I decided that I wouldn't venture too far from the beach so that I could return to shore if need be. I only managed to troll for a further half an hour or so before my thumb became too sore to continue.

With a slow but event free return to the beach and one-handed pack-up, I dropped in at the local medical centre to have my thumb looked at. A quick inspection of my thumb confirmed that stiches were required and I now have 5 stiches and a good reason not to mow the lawn.

Whilst it wasn't the first lure I had removed from my hand it emphasised an oversight on my part that I didn't have a set of pliers capable of cutting through the size trebles I was using. (This has now been resolved with a pair of wire cutters being added to my yak tackle box.)

I thought this experience was worth sharing so others may consider what to do in a similar situation.


Pedro, no fish, 17Mar11

Re: fishing 17Mar11
From: Pete
Date: 17/03/2011 6:54 PM

Hi All,
No fish caught today
I trolled hardbodies out to sr with john from Kin Kin. With no strikes or bird activity we turned around. Closer to the headland and js there were short lived scattered surface boils with birds working. I headed for js to drift pillies (a couple of good hits no hookups) and john headed in chasing the birds.

Good luck tomorrow

Tuna and spotties, 05Mar11

Subject: Belated fishing report - Saturday 05Mar11
From: Maverick
Date: 10/03/2011 1:32 PM

I woke up and decided the weather would play fair game for a while so I opted for a quick fish in the Bay.

I launched at approx 6am and took only light gear comprising of two 5kg graphite rods fitted with 8lb mono. I was hoping to find some surface activity and flick a couple slugs.

I paddled the Bay up to the boiling pot then decided to paddle to the river mouth after nil signs of surface activity. Once I arrived at the river mouth I saw another kayaker heading in my direction from North Shore direction, this turned out to be Ian (Eyetag). As per usual Ian already had a fish on board which turned out to be a Spotty Mak which was caught just on the dirty water mark North side of the river mouth with a Kev and Jaro halco special.

I decided to troll a slug behind the kayak in the hopes of picking up a spotty. As I was paddling just North of the river mouth my outfit screamed. I fought what I'd thought would be a keeper Spotty however turned out to be just 55Cm's, 5 cm shy of dinner :(

Ian and I kept paddling around the Bay in the hopes of nailing a couple more pelagics, however with no surface activity decided to give one more run just North of the mouth then return home (9am at this time).

Once just past the mouth we observed a lot of birds towards Little Halls so decided to head out and investigate. The ocean began to boil with Tuna, Mackerel you name it jumping all over the place. I threw a slug into a boil of fish and hooked onto what I was hoping to be a longtail. This fish almost spooled me tree times before I managed to get him under control (8lb line) I was pulled around for about an hour and 1km past Little Halls according to Ian's GPS.

In the time I was fighting the fish Ian hooked, caught and released a shark, then nailed a decent size Spotty Mak which he boated before paddling over to see how I was going. Much to my disgust I got a first look of my fish which turned out to be an 8kg Mak Tuna, oh well at least it was good fun.

The wind and rain had now really picked up so we decided to head back in. Two hours later and almost giving up on paddling against 30 knot winds we made it back to MG. We met a Brazilian kayaker who was very happy to take the Mak Tuna off my hands.

Ian took some pics.

Hopefully see you guys on the water over the next week or so if the weather improves.


Pics by Ian

BigKev, spottymac, 03Mar11

Subject: fishing today -- 03Mar11
From: sunshiner
Date: 3/03/2011 1:42 PM

Cloud cover: about 4/10, concentrated to the east
Wind direction & speed: very light SW, then northerly
Sea state: low swell
current: Sunshine Reef, about 1kph toward the south
Participants: jimbo, sunshiner, bigkev, hollywood, maverick, paddlepara

Every now and again we get the possible opportunity to launch from Sunshine Beach (Doggie Beach -- DB). Even in favourable forecast conditions it can be touch and go, with the shorebreak being as tricky to pick as the beach worms which live there.

Arriving earlier than planned at the DB carpark (04:55) I still found that I was the the third yakker to arrive. Jimbo and bigkev had already parked and were presumably down at the beach, checking out the launch situation. Sure enough, there they were on the otherwise deserted beach in the gradually improving light levels, watching and timing the sets and staring down the shore break. It seemed doable with care to me and shortly we agreed we'd give it a go.

Some fifteen minutes later I got the camera out as jimbo readied himself at our chosen launch point:

0518hrs. Jimbo waiting for the right moment to board.

At this beach in good conditions you have at least 100m to travel before you're out of the break zone and you're in it from the moment you board your yak. I've several times been clobbered by a wave here immediately on boarding so bear that in mind if you intend to launch at DB. The 100m journey through the break zone takes at least a minute if you have a good run -- so count on longer.

Jimbo and bigkev launched and a few seconds later so did I, possibly a bit too close to jimbo. I saw jimbo get hit by a pretty big wave and knocked sideways into my path so I backed off, getting a bath in the process, then manoeuvred around behind jimbo intending to go to his left and look for clear water there (fat chance). The execution of the plan was going OK until I was caught at slightly less than ninety degrees to the next broken wave. The bow, being first to encounter the wave, whipped around to face north and the whole yak was suddenly side-on to the waves. Fortunately, I've been side-on in the surf many times in my Espri, usually coming in, and I found myself instinctively leaning into the broken wave with the paddle pushing down. A few seconds later I was back on the beach having travelled the 15m or so the right way up, but sideways, except for the last couple of metres when we ran out of depth and the skeg struck bottom and we rolled. I did a quick visual check of the yak -- nothing loose, or damaged, dragged it back out and jumped back on to make a relatively easy exit, joining bigkev out the back. "Gets the heart rate up, doesn't it?" said Kev. I barely had enough breath to agree.

While paddling out into the safe zone I glanced back a couple of times to see if I could see jimbo, but couldn't. Once in the safe zone I removed my radio from its dry bag and called him. He replied, explaining that he'd aborted the launch attempt, having received an elbow injury and damaged some gear. This is something to bear in mind, I think, especially for those less experienced in the surf -- there is no point in being gung-ho and ending up badly knocked about. If you don't feel fully confident in a surf launch situation, don't launch. It's OK to abort.

So bigkev and I paddled out to one of our closest reef fishing marks (1.5km out from the beach) where I put down a large flashy jig in the hope of nailing a sweetlip. A few minutes later it went off -- to a beautiful snapper about 60cm. Back he went to his reefie home.

Shortly we were joined by hollywood and maverick, both of whom had also had interesting launches at Doggie Beach. During the next couple of hours we were also joined by paddleparra in his main-hull-only Adventure Island who had pedalled all the way round to Sunshine Beach after launching at MG. Then bigkev radioed that he'd caught a spotty mac to the north so maverick and hollywood and I decided to investigate that area. Shortly we found some flocks of terns working over occasional bust-ups of fish just out from Alexandria Bay. Despite some great opportunities to present my lure to them, however, I couldn't get a hit and decided around 8:00am that I'd head for the beach. I might add at this time that, for various reasons, the only yakker I had radio communication with was bigkev.

As I paddled back toward Doggie Beach I came across a bust up of tuna and had one last cast. The Halco slug was taken and within a few seconds after a couple of powerful runs I suffered a bust off. On rechecking the drag I found it was a little tighter than I would normally use. Don't know how that happened, as I check my drag frequently.

Off Doggie Beach now, I chose to land at about the same location as we'd launched. By now the swell was slightly bigger and the tide was lower so the wave profile was different than at launch time. My chosen path was through an obvious channel about 20m wide with board riders exploiting the waves breaking on shallower banks on either side. Occasional larger sets were coming through so I waited until a set of four quite big waves went through before starting my run. I must admit to feeling some trepidation every time I come in at Doggie Beach (a good thing perhaps) but all went smoothly and in the last 30m I was run down by a wave which broke almost immediately it caught up with me. The Supalite handled this beautifully and we accelerated as it caught the wave, spray shooting out either side of the bow. Although I was ready to steer with the rudder this wasn't necessary as it maintained a straight track throughout, but perhaps my minimal paddling helped. In what seemed an instant we were on the beach the right way up. Whew!

That's all from me, yakkers. Hopefully other participants will add any items of interest -- particularly any lessons learned from the surf launch and landing today. Hopefully your injury isn't serious, Jimbo. [See bigkev's email below]

Thanks for coming along guys -- looks like a windy few days coming up so no offshore fishing likely until that blows over.

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

Email from bigkev
Subject: RE: fishing today -- 03Mar11
From: "Kevin Crawford"
Date: 3/03/2011 9:49 PM

I made a last minute decision to make the trip to Noosa from the Northern Suburbs of Brisbane based on the fact that I know I have a couple of very busy weeks of work to look forward to and this combination of good weather and new moon should not be wasted when the pelagics are supposed to be around.

I left home at 3.30am and arrived at DB carpark at a bit before 5 to find Jimbo already keen to go. So we checked out the launch and I was more than happy to tackle these conditions and give it a red hot crack. Shortly after the other Kev (Long/Sunshiner) joined us and also agreed that we should launch so we made our way back up the hill and rigged our rides and hit the beach for the second time, this time with intent.

During the launch I took a bit of white water over the bow and got absolutely soaked by the shore break but managed to keep the nose of the yak facing forward and eventually made it out the back. I probably paddled a great deal further than required in this initial frenzy but I am never sure how far is ‘far enough’ when a surf break is involved. Sunshiner made it out behind me and told stories of white water carnage which were later confirmed by Jimbo over the radio as he had not managed to find a safe path through.

Kev, as ever, the gracious host showed me a mark that he frequents as this was my first trip to Sunshine reef, and I had no real idea where I was going as I had decided to fish without a sounder today and concentrate on pelagics without the distractions. I duly marked the area that Kev suggested and then moved on trolling a weighted & stinger hook rigged slimy on a squid skirt on one rod and a Laser Pro on the other in a random pattern around the reef area in the hope of pelagics.

As noted in Kev'’s report the first confirmed hookup of the morning was a solid snapper by him which is unfortunately on the endangered species list this month and was subsequently returned. I continued heading north trolling two outfits until I came across my first patch of birds working. It was at this point the LP was given a rest and a 20g halco twisty was substituted and thrust forth into a small group of feeding fish and diving terns. Half a dozen turns of the reel handle resulted in a solid hookup and a nice spotty mack. Unfortunately this was the only mack for the morning but with numerous patches of tuna working the water we all kept busy chasing these schools to no avail.

After spending way too many more hours with Stu chasing these evil toona fish as they taunted us by letting us get close to be just out of casting range time and time again we eventually gave it away and headed in around 11-ish where I got rolled in the last three metres of the shore break and Stu made it through unscathed.

I have attached pic taken by a tanned local (Stu) of a pastey white brissie boy holding a sleek sunny coast speed machine for your viewing pleasure in the hope of seeing much more favourable images of tanned Noosa locals holding bigger meaner fish in the near future.

Cheers all and I will see you next time the stars, planets, moon and weather systems align.

(not the Long one…, the BIG one.)