Doc Dog in WA, 31Aug11

Subject: Wandering Powells
From: Mark Powell
Date: 31/08/2011 10:33 PM

Hi all,

Just thought I would give you a fishing update from our travels.

This afternoon I went for a paddle in the Indian ocean off Cape Leveque 200 km north of Broome. The ocean was alive with life of all sorts but sorry no pics. Whales galore, turtles, beautiful coral. I could see lots of table fish but none wanted to take my lures and as I only had shallow diving lures aimed at pelagics the Norwest snapper ignored my offerings.

Not so 1.5 m of very speedy black tip reef shark. He monstered my Halco laser Pro meant for a Mackerel and tried to bury me in the reef but eventually he and a very frayed leader came back to the kayak. He was very compliant and patient while I performed some serious dentistry to remove the lure.

Initially I thought I would have to cut him free or kill him but fortunately I was able to relieve him of his newfound piercings and send him on his way.

I did recently catch 4 Sooty grunter from the kayak in Elenbrae Lagoon but none was larger than 35 cms so it was all catch and release.

I did also manage to nail this lovely Barra from Chamberlain Gorge at El Questro station however due to the prevalence of Salties I was casting from a safe rock platform so it does not rate as a kayak capture. It was particularly tasty and has frozen well so we were able to have fish supper tonight in spite of me returning empty handed this evening.


Mac tuna only, vid, 30Aug11

Wind: very light SE
Swell: low NE
Current: at Sunshine Reef, from south, ~1kph
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: Richmond, Sunshiner

0445. Body at low ebb. iPad wakes me, and wife. Wife grunts, turns over, I groan, turn out. Check weather on waking up device (aka iPad). Fabulous. Can't even hear any surf on Sunshine Beach. Maybe because I'm deaf. Turn good ear to east. Now can hear surf, but nothing to worry about. No significant wind, not even at DIP.

Brekky over, visit toilet then drag on wetsuit. Bad luck and stupid to don wetty before visiting toilet. Zook and Supalite wait in carport, both preloaded yesterday arvo. Zook starts -- bewdy!

Still bloody dark at MG carpark. Lucky zook headlights work better than tail lights. Richmond there already, with headlight thingy on head, stuffing things into/onto BFS. Down to beach together, only one other person, possibly somnambulist. Still only 0530. Sunrise 0600. Warm today but not giving up wetsuit just yet. Maybe last trip wearing wetty for this year.

Oops, left PFD in car. Return to beach to find Rich and yak have become barely recognizable fuzzy blob just off end of groyne. My turn. No probs. Dry bum.

Radio checks done, we paddle off in different directions, Rich to north. I go east, intent on nailing the cobia I know is hunting near shark net. Or Spaniard if cobia slept in.

Lots of stuff on sounder, probably beach toys lost by tourists. Or drowned tourists. Cobia and Spaniard miss chance of lifetime to become famous. Now passing Fairy Pools and only fish are small mac tuna breakfasting and not interested in my trolled offering, thankfully.

Rich is out at JS, reporting mac tuna and small bt cod. My Etrex says A-Bay Reef 1.48km. Sea almost flat, no wind, mac tuna splashing. No fish on sounder when reef reached, no fish on sounder anywhere out here.

Tie on secret weapon, set at 28m with heavy outfit. Should go off pretty soon. Then SP swims to bottom. Surprised not eaten immediately. Try again, and again. Secret weapon still a secret after 30min. SP virgo intacta. Conditions to die for, but dead.

Rich arrives from NW. Screaming ratchet on arrival, HULLO! Excitement at last. Lines in, camera out. Nice size mac tuna. Returned alive, but knackered.

Above: 40 second video of the capture and the fish

Probably better at deeper spot further out. We go.

Not better. Deeper, but still dead. Except for toadies. SP chopped to pieces but secret weapon still intact. 0825 Rich heads for home via Jew Shoal.

Drifting north, watching 30-33m bottom unroll on sounder, jigging SP. SLAM. Rod bends, drag screams, I'm on, bloody bewdy. Six seconds, line goes slack. How do they DO that? Hook sharp, drag smooth, Legend holding rod, HOW? At least I wasn't busted.

Thunder. Only 0915. No more action. Head for home, arrive 1020.

Glad no one asks "How'd ya go?". Pleased heart still working after non-stop unassisted drag of Supalite (glad not Supaheavy) up to wash point (new NY record for age?).

Gotta love kayak fishing...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Cobia for jimbo, 17Aug11

Subject: Fishing today, 17Aug11 -- cobia
From: sunshiner
Date: 17/08/2011 2:24 PM

Cloud cover: 5/10
Wind direction & speed: southerly ~5knots
Sea state: low swell
If applicable (often at NSR): no current
Participants: jimbo, justin, sunshiner

Despite reports of few if any fish from the local area by pedro and richmond over the last couple of days, we resolved today to take advantage of the forecast light winds, a rare event in recent times. Possibly because it was a public holiday in Brisbane, Justin Mabey, the newest Noosa Yakker and Brisbane resident, opted to come along also.

Launch time, 0627. Nice conditions. Justin on left.

Although there was no danger of being smashed by the waves we were reluctant to get wet and all successfully picked the lull and got out with dry bums.

As soon as Justin was ready to paddle he and I left for Jew Shoal, some 3.5km away, leaving Jimbo to complete his preparations and follow along behind. As usual, once past the shark net we deployed our hard body lures because you never know what might be lurking in the bay. We'd been trolling about five minutes when the radio blared. Jimbo was announcing that he was hooked up, just after leaving the shark net, and 400m or so behind us. Interested in getting some pics I immediately turned through 180 degrees and started to head back toward Jim, whose rod I could see was still in action, sporting a decent bend. When I was about 200m away Jimbo announced by radio that he had a shark on. Not being particularly interested in shark pics I again turned through 180 degrees and headed back toward the now confused Justin (he has no radio) only to have Jimbo announce that he'd made a mistake and he now thought he had a cobia. OK, this was more like it, so I again turned back toward Jimbo, arriving just as he was gaffing the fish.

0659, Jimbo's first ever cobia. Note in the pic below the prominent shark-like pectoral fins.

This is a decent fish and Jimbo showed how versatile his Espri is by promptly stowing the fish in his custom made fishbox.

The capture of this cobia is interesting in that it is at least the fourth to be taken by NYs close to the shark nets in recent years. All of the cobia were taken early in the morning, near the start of a fishing trip, and three of the four were taken on deep running hard bodied lures. Later, on examining the stomach contents of this fish we found a red spot crab, a small crayfish-like animal and a long skinny fish resembling a grinner. Clearly, an early morning troll near the shark net and over the rubbly ground near National Park may be worthwhile as cobia probably feed over sandy bottoms where they find stingrays and crabs. Note that the three previous cobia taken were recorded in the summer months.

With all this excitement over we resumed our journey to Jew Shoal. On arrival we found good conditions, a southerly breeze and clean, deep-blue water. But no fish activity. Except this wire netting cod which took a liking to my SP and was released ...

Wire netting cod, min legal length believed to be 38cm

By 0930, with no more fish action, Jimbo and I headed for the beach, leaving Justin to keep trying a little longer.

Justin, left behind, in his Stealth Supalite X

MG beach has heaps of sand on it presently and the channel we used to use to sneak in to and out from the beach is now gone. The result is that waves, albeit usually small, are now breaking right across the beach and so good timing of re-entry is even more important. I paddled in and was picked up by a mid-sized wave which the Stealth handled well, giving me a fast ride right in to the sand. Jimbo's entry was text book perfect and beautifully timed between waves. Perhaps the fact that I had the movie camera running helped.

When Jimbo pulled the cobia out of the Espri a crowd of holidaymakers sauntered over, oohing and ahhing as usual.

Just on a metre long

A lady from Perth, WA volunteered to hold the fish for a photo.

So a good day for Jimbo but the snapper are clearly not on at JS at the moment. Never mind, there are possibly a few good days coming up. Hope to see you out there soon, NYs.

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