Pedro, solo, 31Jan12

TR by Pedro

From: Pete
Date: 31 January 2012 13:51:42 AEST
Subject: fishing tuesday 31.01.12

Wind: NNE 9 knots swinging E 5-10 knots
Swell: E .5 to 1m
Participant: Pedro

I launched around 5am making it between sets with a wet bum.

Trolled a lure past the RM then headed for JS arriving with 1 small shark caught and released.

Tasted the water along the way and very fresh from the beach but saltier at JS.

Bottom fished with prawn and pilly till 11.30 with 1 keeper snapper and sweetlip. All in all very dead with no decent bites and losing very few baits.

There was some surface bustups at JS but they were short lived and it seemed like the predators were small.

There was plenty of bait on the sounder throughout the bay.

It could have been better but I did get to try out my new comfort cushion (inflatable seat) and fins so I'm ready for a race next time Jaro.


Laguna Bay quiet, 19Jan12

TR by Jaro

From: "Jaro Cerny"
Date: 19 January 2012 11:36:55 AEST
Subject: Fishing Today Thursday 19/01/2012

Conditions: Cloudy with ocasional very light drizzle and sun patches. Wind pretty constant at around 8 knots from the S to SE.
Participants: Pedro, Jaro

I arrived at the car park at 4.30am to find Pedro preparing his yak. Pedro had checked the scene and said it looked easy and easy it was. The tide was in and except for an ocasional big wave none broke at the end of MG so we both got out totally dry.

Due to the off shore wind the sea was calm in Laguna Bay. After getting organised we decided to follow the National Park coastline to Granite Bay. On the way birds in the hundreds flew over us out to sea. We were hoping that was an omen for things to come.

It was not to be as, except for the odd bird here and there, we didn't see any decent bird activity the whole time we were out there. On arrival at Granite Bay, as the conditions were still good, we decided to go to JS.

Once there, I started to do bottom fishing while Pedro continued trolling and after a while he too started bottom fishing. Pedro got one small bite for the whole morning. I had a little more excitement as when I was reeling in my pilchard to do another drift, I got a powerful strike and the fish started to pull out the line at a rapid rate. Half the reel went out and I was starting to worry that it was going to empty the reel when it went slack. Bugger!! It took everything. It was probably a shark and a big one at that.

After another half hour or so we pulled the pin at around 7.45am and paddled back to MG via the National Park uneventfully. The tide was now out and there were some big sets coming in. However, like the pros we were, we timed it perfectly and paddled in together and never looked like we could end up in trouble.

So all in all a disappointing day on a day when the conditions were pretty good.


JS and SR, tuna wins, 14Jan12

Base TR by sunshiner, further contributions from richmond, jaro

Wind: NE 5-7knots
Swell: low E
Current: at Jew Shoal, none
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: richmond, eyetag, jaro, pedro, sunshiner

Three small white lights were bobbing around just off Middle Groyne at 4:00am and as I watched from my beach vantage point they started to move off toward the east. Eyetag, richmond and pedro were heading off for Sunshine Reef. Jaro and I launched shortly afterward when there was just enough light and both of us got a bit wet as the NE breeze, which had been blowing most of the night, had generated a very short period chop. Avoiding a small breaking wave at launch was almost impossible this morning but at least the water temp of around 25 degrees C minimized the discomfort.

We had a slow paddle out to Jew Shoal. I deliberately kept my speed down to better handle the chop and I noticed Jaro also was travelling slower than usual, but still faster than I was.

About 50 minutes after departure I reached the shoal, opting to head for the NE corner in order to drift fish NE to SW. Both of us had trolled HB lures all the way out without a touch. The water looked very fishy and there were quite a few flying fish, even inside the bay. Although initially there were quite a lot of terns flying around and dipping down every now and again, within 30 minutes or so they’d mainly shot through. I saw no sign of fishy predators today, but some baitfish were evident on the sonar.

Jaro was on a different drift line from mine, using bait as he usually does. I was using a single rod armed with a soft plastic. The bait started getting results, a small snapper, tiny sweetlip, and then sharks, several of them. My SP went untouched through two drifts so I knew that Jew Shoal had not improved much over our last few trips, which have been abysmal.

Jaro battling yet another shark this morning

At 06:15 richmond, out at Sunshine Reef, came up on the radio announcing he was hooked up to something big. Then pedro, who was near him, started to relay occasional updates to the rest of us. I’ll let richmond tell his story and add it to this post.

By 8:00am I was convinced that Jew Shoal was dead today, except for the small fish and sharks that jaro had been attracting. So I headed for home, the first of us to do so, having a very fast ride back with comparatively little effort due to the NE breeze and chop right up my tail.

That’s all from me. Hopefully the others might have some more interesting stuff to pass on.


Contribution by richmond

I met Ian and Peter in the carpark early this morn, we basically launched around the same time and headed off to Sunshine Reef with me straggling 5 minutes behind.
I'd decided to troll a Halco laser Pro and a ganged pilchard with a skirt. The Spaniards that had been caught of late I'd noticed were on floating or trolled pillies high up in the water column.

After an hour or so of trolling I headed off in a northerly direction when I had a massive strike on the ganged pillie. This fish was very fast and strong. My reel was singing and I'd lost enough 30lb braid to only show the mono backing on my reel. I was calling it for a big Spaniard as it really burnt some line and actually headed for the surface after that scorching first run. I also thought a possible Cobia when it headed for the surface but it was too quick for a Cobe.

After 20 minutes or so, Peter trundled over to keep me company, thanks Pete I appreciated it. Peter arrived to see me in a bit of a mess with my other line tangled around the line connected to the fish. What a mess! I cut the line either side of the tangle and kept fighting the brute.

By now I'd worked it out to be a tuna of some sort and quite big or so we thought. Ian had arrived also to witness the pain and anguish I was going through.

Above and below, pics by eyetag

I slowly started to win a lot more line back onto the reel, when the tangled mess around my main line hit the tip guide it forced the tangle down toward my leader which was ok and what I'd hope would happen. I was running a long leader, about 2.5 metres in length, and when the tangle hit the leader knot it stopped the line going through the tip guide!

We could now see the fish, a very, very stubborn and tough Longtail of about 10/12 kg.

As I couldn't wind any further than my leader knot and with the fish doing tight circles below the yak, I decided to grab the leader and coax the fish to me. As I had no give with the leader wrapped around my hand, the Longy decided on another short burst and ping, it wins its freedom after fighting me for at least 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour!

Inspection of the leader found a very frayed area where the line had parted.

I learnt a bit today fighting that fish, it was my own fault that I lost it, bad management from not winding the other line in early on in the fight and a couple of other bad decisions I also made.

You live and learn. Thanks to Pedro and Eyetag for sticking around and thanks to the now emancipated Longtail that fought well above his weight.

They are an awesome fish.

Above: My pillie rig



From: "Jaro Cerny"
Date: 14 January 2012 15:03:23 AEST
Subject: Fishing today 14/01/2012

Hi Yakkers,

Nothing much to add to Kev's report. Hooked 3 sharks... 2 busted my line as I got them to the yak, the 3rd I boated and let go, much to the chagrin of Carolyn as she loves flake so I promised her that the next one I catch will be taken home.

I had many bites and hook ups but most were just size or undersize snapper which I released. I kept one snapper (37 cm) to keep Carolyn happy (and she was). I was eager to use the sail with the brisk wind at my back but would you know it the wind died down considerably just as I was leaving JS. Still it was a help, coming homing at a nice and easy 7 k/h.


First tuna a YFT, 11Jan12

TR by sunshiner

Wind: calm initially, then NW to about 5 knots at Jew Shoal
Swell: low northerly
Current: toward east at Jew Shoal
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: jaro, sunshiner, jimbo, turtleboy, GrantW, windy, beejay, gemini

Several people had their sleep interrupted this morning. They happened to be sleeping in campervans parked in our carpark. Jaro, in his usual parking spot, was rummaging around in the dark around 4:00am setting up his yak on one side of one such van, as I pulled into my favourite spot on the other side of the van. Then the garbage truck arrived. I’d be surprised if the van’s occupants stayed another night.

The moon was shining brightly, still 2.5 hrs short of setting so Jaro’s frequent rejoinder about the futility of day-time fishing while the moon is full came to mind. I resolved to remind him of it if the fish were biting, and had the opportunity to do just that a couple of hours later.

Six of the flotilla launched around 0430, turtleboy and GrantW (you must get a callsign/nickname, Grant) having been delayed somewhat at Grant’s surprise birthday party the previous night. Gemini and jimbo opted to travel to Little Halls Reef while the remainder of us, led by windy, headed for Jew Shoal.

We’d just set out when Gemini came up on the radio and announced he was hooked up, trolling. At the time I figured he was at shark central, near the river mouth, but nevertheless I deviated west just in case he’d come across a patch of feeding tuna or mackerel instead of the probable shark. With his quick confirmation that he’d caught and boated a small shark (and therefore had bagged out on sharks) I turned again for Jew Shoal.

The morning was sultry and calm, already hinting of the hot northerly winds to come. Here’s the scene from my armchair ride position.

0455hrs. Looking west

0512hrs. Looking east, with beejay centred

Figuring that there would possibly be a NW breeze, as the DIP live weather indicator had shown at 4:00am, I headed initially for the western edge of Jew Shoal, intent on drift fishing for snapper if there were no pelagics evident. Not only were there no pelagics, but also there was no significant breeze so there was no point in deploying my drogue when I started drift fishing around 05:30. Soon however the GPS told me that we were drifting east, so I was being carried across just the territory I hoped I would be. Now, would there be any fish biting? Or would it be just like the previous several trips with little or no action?

Quite quickly I had a partial answer, at least. My SP was clobbered as it drifted along near the bottom in around 17m depth. Shortly I had a keeper in the boat.

0540hrs. It’s nice to get a keeper in the boat so quickly.

The very next cast I hooked and released a juvenile black-tipped cod. Clearly things were different today than on several recent trips where I couldn’t even attract a bite from the reef ooglies. Jaro was fishing nearby with pilchard and prawn baits and soon reported bites also, and then a really nice (probable Noosa Yakkers Record) grass sweetlip.

Windy and I were keeping an eye out for pelagics as we drifted along and before long the unmistakeable white splashes appeared under a flock of terns to the east. This action, as is typical, lasted only a couple of minutes before fading away. But at least we knew that there were some predators around. Then a bust-up happened just behind me. My attention was drawn to it because I could hear the splashes. Things were warming up so I started to swap my SP for a metal slug just as windy announced that there was another bust up just to the north of us and thus behind me. This was too much for windy who set off in pursuit, pedalling his Hobie furiously while holding his casting outfit in his right hand. I was also approaching the feeding fish, somewhat slower than windy and saw him cast and yell as he hooked up immediately. By now I could see individual fish jumping and could identify them as small yellowfin tuna but as soon as I readied a cast the feeding frenzy ceased.

This gave me the opportunity to hang around windy who was fighting his first ever tuna with a huge smile on his face and saying stuff like “AWEsome!”

0720hrs. Windy had never gaffed a fish before, apparently, so he was sweating with this, his first tuna.

Windy bags his first tuna. Very unusual for a first to be a YFT instead of a mac tuna! May there be many more with Noosa Yakkers.

By now we'd been joined by turtleboy and GrantW, with gemini also paddling into our patch from the western side of Laguna Bay. Windy’s success and the facts that the tuna could still be seen popping up from time to time, while the bottom fishing was pretty quiet, resulted in seven of us paddling north from Jew Shoal, trying (usually unsuccessfully) to get close enough to cast slugs to the fish. Despite this effort, no-one else achieved a hookup but it must be admitted that the casting opportunities were very limited. But it was so frustrating to see these magnificent little speedsters leaping from the water and not be able to challenge them.

Eventually, enthusiasm for the chase wavered, especially as the bustups became less common and further away to the north. Jaro and I returned to drift fishing with jaro achieving instant further success despite the increasing light levels.

All of this time we’d been tracking jimbo’s progress to the west. He’d gone from LH Reef, where he’d bagged a small sweetlip, to Halls Reef and there met maverick, one of our Noosa Yakkers who now has a stinky and was using it today to get a feed of sweetlip. Jimbo eventually decided, around 0830, to head off back to Middle Groyne, a 5km or so paddle from Halls Reef.

Gradually the rest of us at Jew Shoal decided to head back too, knowing that the air temperature was likely to rise to uncomfortable levels in the absence of a cooling breeze. Jaro was the last to leave, and he left them biting, getting quite a bit of action between 0830 and 0900. Perhaps jaro will give us a little more info about the details of his catch?

The return paddle/pedal was undertaken in very hot conditions with sweat pouring off me, at least, due to the high relative humidity and the lack of cooling breeze. No problems were encountered at the last stage as it was now high tide and there was no surf zone in the channel close to the wall. All were on the beach by 1015, with beejay being the tail-end charlie.

Here most of us plunged into the sea to cool off. It’s a great place to finish a yak fishing trip on a hot day. Any day, come to think of it. Grant’s family were present to welcome him home and make sure he didn’t stack it in the surf again.

Elouise, GrantW’s daughter, volunteered to pose with windy’s YFT.

Gemini’s shark, one less to hassle us as we troll the bay and good food for gemini’s family (Reminder: possession limit 1, max size 1.5m)

Jaro’s grass sweetlip, 47cm, breaking his own record in the new Noosa Yakkers Record Fish List, providing he applies to the recorder as required by the rules.

Another fun day yakkers, even though the fish were scarce. Thanks for coming along.

One Snapper, Pedro, 10Jan12

Hi All,

I launched this morning around 4.45am and headed for little halls trolling a HB.  As the wind was NW, I planned to then head for JS with the tailwind.

I arrived at JS without a hit so changed to a spaniard special and trolled around for another hour without any joy. Not to be beaten, I bottom bashed for about two hours and finally landed a 44cm snapper.

The bay seems even thicker with baitfish and there was some surface action NE of JS. I caught up with but they didn't like my offering. They seemed to be small bonito. I also saw a stinky land a longtail around 8kg.

Sorry I can't report a bagout on snapper,spotties and spanish ( I think I would sink)

Good luck tomorrow.It might be worth taking a bait jig as there were plenty of herring at JS.


Tough time at JS, 08Jan12

TR by sunshiner with contributions by richmond, kodaz, jaro, justin

Wind: calm inside the bay, then SW to about 5 knots at Jew Shoal
Swell: low ENE
Current: none at Jew Shoal
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: eyetag, richmond, jaro, sunshiner, justin mabey, justin's friend Dan, kodaz, kodaz' brother Duncan

This is only the first part of the TR as I (sunshiner) came home early, leaving the others out there. Hopefully some of the other participants will add their contributions, incl pics if available. I found no subject worth adding to our photo collection, at least none that I had an opportunity to record.

On sauntering down to the water’s edge with my yak (love that trolley) at first light I came across Justin and Dan standing next to their yaks peering at the swell and surf break in the very low ambient light. It turned out that it was Dan's first surf launch (other than a failed attempt on the Gold Coast). But Justin was looking after him so I headed off before them, launching without difficulty and was glad, a couple of minutes later, to see Dan successfully clearing the small break which featured occasional dumpers. I imagine he was relieved too!

Jaro and I headed for Jew Shoal, following our illustrious fellow yakkers eyetag and richmond who were about 40 minutes ahead of us. Weather at Jew Shoal was vastly different from yesterday in that today’s SW breeze gave us little or no drift, whereas yesterday’s SE breeze was vigorous enough to give a good drift toward the NW and stir up the ocean a bit too. Maybe that was why, after an hour, we hadn’t caught anything, although yesterday wasn’t particularly memorable for fishing quality anyway.

Today there were many schools of baitfish showing on the sonar and occasionally near the surface, as the swooping terns indicated. But I didn’t see any marine predators at all, and I don’t think anyone else did either, at least up until the time I left. The one bright spot in the first two hours was the capture of a snapper (size guessed at 50-55cm) by use of a soft plastic bait, by Dan, the guy who did his first successful beach launch today. [Editor: Note that the fish ID was conveyed by radio call and as a result the species was mis-reported. The fish was actually a slatey bream.]

By around 7:00am I decided I’d had enough and out of boredom headed for LH Reef trolling a Halco LP, leaving my seven companions to continue their vigil.

All the 3.5 km or so across the bay to LH Reef the sonar showed schools of baitfish down deep, in mid water. But not once did I see a surface splash which might indicate a tuna or mackerel. From LH Reef I paddled directly the further 3plus km to Middle Groyne in glassy conditions (wind dropped to zero) to finish my day’s fishing, being on the beach by around 8:30am. This was my fourth early morning launch in five consecutive days. All I had to show for around 50km paddling was two small snapper and bulging biceps!

The bay has huge amounts of baitfish at present and nothing is hassling them. Surely the mackerel will find them soon?



Update from Richmond
Well, what have I got to add?  Bugger all!

After Kev headed off to LH I continued fishing with my soft plastic and ended up landing a barely legal Grassy that went 32cm. Other than a couple of small taps, that's all I could muster!

We did see a tinny at JS hooked up to something pretty decent, it turned out to be a fella in a grey suit.

Lovely conditions, but gee it's tough work of late. I hope Justin's mate Daniel didn't meet the sand monster on the way back in, because there were some good dumpers when I went and had a swim after my yak was on the roof. Oh well, we've all met the monster before haven't we?

Congrats to Dan by the way on a nice fish for his maiden offshore voyage.

As everyone else has been saying...........................where are the pelagics?

There's always next time.

Jeff (Richmond)


Update from Kodaz
Kev, can't report much else. My brother and I followed in your footsteps to LH reef about 30 minutes after you left. Saw plenty of baitfish but not a single splash to indicate there was anything worthy of capture. I'll see you guys again when the pelagics move into the bay.

Jono (Kodaz)


Update from Justin
Hi guys well I haven't got much to add other than it was a beautiful morning for a paddle. I had one hit all morning which I failed to connect too.

My mate Dan did well for his first surf launch getting out well and made it in quite respectable although he did meet the sand monster right at the end haha. Also he managed a good fish believed to be a morwong can someone please confirm I've added a picture it went 63cm and took a gulp soft plastic.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Cheers Justin


Update from Jaro
Hi Yakkers,

I have, using Jeff's vernacular, bugger all to add to today's report. I was the last to leave JS at 10.00am being obviously the most determined to to catch something but to no avail, having just three fruitless bites all day.

Still it was a beautiful day on the water. A gentle north easter came in as predicted so I had the wind directly behind me for the paddle home and so had a wonderful sail home doing a steady 7k/h with no effort.

Dan and Justin, who were already onshore were most impressed...especially with the speed that I travelled.

By the way, as Jeff said, getting in was very tricky, timing and knowing when to stop and start during entry was vital in coming in upright. After a few anxious moments I made it OK.

Dan showed me the impressive sized fish that he had caught (his first from a yak I believe). There was some conjecture as to what it was and I ended up thinking it was more than likely a slatey bream which I now am certain that is what is was after looking up Google. I had warned Dan that if it was a slatey bream it would be best put in the rubbish bin as it is awful to eat after the experience I had with it.



JS getting better, 07Jan12

TR by sunshiner

Wind: calm inside the bay, then SE to about 10 knots at Jew Shoal
Swell: low ENE
Current: none at Jew Shoal
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: jaro, sunshiner, bigkev, andy-cav, carlo

Third day out of four for me today and I'd yet to hook a fish in 2012... Today HAD to be different.

At 0345, wakey time, Seabreeze was indicating 10-15 knot SE at DIP so I reckoned Jew Shoal would be breezy, but not too bad, so it was go.

Launch today was easy, so before long jaro, bigkev and I were headed NE into the small chop generated by the SE breeze wrapping around the headland. The SE breeze cut in at full strength quite quickly when we left the shelter provided by the headland and the chop and swell quickly combined into a sloppy SE sea with very occasional whitecaps.

Anticipating the SE wind, I'd headed from Middle Groyne directly toward the SE corner of Jew Shoal, intending to drift NW across the shoal in search of snapper unless feeding pelagics were present (which they weren't). My first cast was at about 0525, the breeze helping me to cast the 1/8th ounce jig and almost weightless SP a good distance downdrift.

0529hrs. Sea conditions as seen from my yak, looking east, camera held down near water surface.

Even though the drift was pretty quick I'd made up my mind today to stick with the light gear, essentially exactly copying the technique described in this blog "Snapper on SPs", which was written about five years ago. I also wanted to try out a new SP at the request of a friend, who imports them. And, as I often do, I fished with only one rod, giving it my full attention.

The combination of light jighead, buoyant SP and 6kg braid made the rig sink v-e-r-y slowly, so much of the time after a cast I was watching loose line lying on the surface as the jig descended. Nevertheless, the jig was getting down to 18m OK, as I could confirm with a brief hangup on the reef at that depth on the second or third cast. By the time the yak was directly above the sinking jig the jig was pretty close to maximum depth and before long I had the first take and retrieved this beastie.

0535hrs. Yellow emperor. Do not kiss or lick this fish, or lick your fingers after handling it, as it is believed capable of secreting toxins under stress. More here.

Five minutes later the jig got hit again, this time with a more valued fish.

0540hrs. My first snapper for 2012 (41cm).

A quick radio call made sure that the other Noosa Yakkers out there knew that the snapper might be around and biting.

I noticed today that the water seemed a lot clearer than it was last Wednesday, the first calm day after the big blow, and it also seemed more fishy. Very noticeable were flying fish, up to 75mm long, many of which became airborne in my path as I pounded upwind against the chop when resetting my drift. These fish are wonderfully graceful as they leave the water in an upwind orientation (probably to get airborne as quickly as possible, like aircraft), then curve off to one side while flying (actually gliding), presumably to confuse predators. One I saw travelled an estimated 30m in the air before returning to its normal environment.

At some stage soon after bagging the snapper I noticed a patch of a couple of dozen terns milling around in a SW direction, about 500m away. Shortly afterward bigkev reported that he could see large splashes under the terns whose behaviour had now changed to being focussed on and close to the water’s surface. I was tempted to change rigs and paddle over but opted to wait until the action stabilized into continuous feeding. Sure enough, in a few minutes the terns had dispersed and no sign of the activity remained. It was about now that andy-cav turned up, having left Middle Groyne quite a bit later than we did.

Andy_cav and aircon hat

Jaro, meanwhile, had been feeding the sharks on pilchards and some baby snapper on banana prawns. No one else was reporting any action. But Jew Shoal now had a fishy feel about it, with the clean water, the flying fish and one snapper in the bag. Then jaro came up announcing that he had a keeper snapper in the boat (later measured at 45cm).

It was just over an hour between snapper for me. The next one fought much harder than the first so I was surprised to find that it was the same size.

0652hrs. Snapper #2. Note snapper teeth marks on the jighead. The SP is one of the "Gastronomic Bait" series, 3.5 inches long, made in Japan, also used by richmond in capturing that yellowfin tuna a couple of weeks back.

I fish with this casting rod held in my hand so can sense any bump or take immediately and react accordingly. The important thing with a rig like this is to make sure your drag is smooth and properly set as the take is often sudden and always unexpected. Note also that the jig can be taken at any time after it hits the water.

I rely heavily on my GPS to show me where I am on the shoal, especially the Tracks page. Returning to the start of a successful drift is easy -- all you need to do is paddle back up the present drift line (it helps if you clear old tracks from time to time). Also marking a waypoint where you catch a fish is useful for returning to the exact capture place.

Jaro and I had previously agreed that, because we intended to fish tomorrow, we'd return home early unless exceptional reasons held us out there. So by 8:00am we'd agreed to head back and it was only now that I became aware that carlo was out there with us (I spotted his rig and called him on the radio to confirm).

Andy-cav and I headed off directly for Middle Groyne while jaro, getting his money’s worth out of his sail, headed for Granite Bay which would then place him upwind of Middle Groyne.

We three arrived at Middle Groyne within a couple of minutes of each other, proof once more that jaro’s sail, once deployed, gives him a very good average speed so I reckon I'll ask for a tow next time we come back from JS in a NE breeze.

Richmond was waiting for us on the beach, touting for Noosa Yakkers Record Fish claims (none today, unfortunately). And shortly behind the first three came carlo and bigkev.

Thanks for coming along guys. Who’s up for another run tomorrow?

Better than, Andy, 6Jan12

After being sidelined from yaking for 5 months, today was my first opportunity to blow some cobwebs out (literally) and I thought the weather looked suitable. 

I had a late start this morning at 5am. I was obviously not the first to be parked in the car park, although I'm unsure of who drives what, so I'm not sure whose wheel-tracks were carved into the sand down to the water.  The wheel marks weren't from the moon wheels that have been recently purchased by some NY so that ruled out a few.  
The launch was uneventful although the odd larger set breaks at the end of the rock wall of middle groyne. I trolled a deep diving lure out to Jew Shoal without a touch.  Upon reaching one of my marks on the South-East of Jew Shoal I did a few drifts with my light outfit to only capture 1 undersized snapper.  Not one boat nor yak was out at JS as everyone else was heading out wider.  There were very few birds bombing but there was the odd explosion of baitfish on the surface.
Being my first time back on the water for quite awhile, and not fully fit, I thought I better not expend too much energy paddling back for more drifts so I decided to return back to land.  Again, I trolled without a touch and returned through the small break without incident.
Although I didn't capture anything of note it was great to be back on the water and noteable it glassed out, just as predicted on Seabreeze, shortly after I returned to MG.
A bad days fishing is better than a good day's work!!

Ten starters, 05Jan12

TR by sunshiner, jag-one also contributed by email, scroll down to see

Wind: calm initially, then SE to about 7 knots
Swell: low ENE
Current: none at either SR or Jew Shoal
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: eyetag, pedro, jag-one, jimbo, kodaz, jaro, sunshiner, carlo, turtleboy, GrantW (new NY Looker).

Above, image from Sun n Moon, free iPad App.

Jaro and I launched at 0430-ish with just enough light to see the sets, having been preceded by eyetag, pedro and richmond. Close behind us were carlo, jag-one and kodaz. Turtleboy and GrantW (the latter on his first offshore kayak fishing trip) were quite a bit later.

Launch was easy, although I did wait briefly in the deep hole at the end of the channel while a larger wave passed through (no point in getting wet when it can be avoided).

There was some discussion by radio as to where we'd go but eventually most settled for Sunshine Reef initially, possibly based on my report from yesterday which indicated that Jew Shoal was not fishing well.

Soon there was a chain of kayak fishers heading east, following the now cold tracks of eyetag and pedro who had launched around midnight (or maybe a little later)...

On the way out there were few if any signs of predatory fish but once we'd cleared Hell’s Gates the searching terns became rather more abundant and my sonar was showing scattered schools of baitfish 5-15m down as I paddled toward A-Bay reef, my initial target. By now we'd learned by radio that eyetag and pedro were trolling off Sunshine Beach, further south, and were seeing tuna jump from time to time but had no takers on their lures or baits.

Carlo, and perhaps Kodaz, were visiting A-Bay Reef for the first time and they settled in quickly to clobber the snapper and sweetlip we all expected might be hanging around down there, 30m below. It was not to be. Jaro and jag-one were using delicious prawn baits, I was using my favourite soft plastics which have proved to be the demise of many nice fish but only carlo had any result in the first hour -- a grinner! Kodaz decided to chase some tuna which could be seen on the eastern horizon and then reported later that he’d taken a strike on an SP which had bitten the SP in halves.

0617hrs. Glass-out at A-Bay Reef. That's jaro over there, and Mt Coolum on the horizon.

The drift was minimal and the action non-existent so thoughts inevitably turned to other places and techniques. First jimbo, then carlo left for Jew Shoal. Richmond and kodaz were somewhere out there but also turning now for Jew Shoal and eventually only jaro and I stuck with our reef, hoping that it would deliver eventually. By around 0630hrs, after an hour’s fishing with no result at all, jaro and I had to concede that the reef was dead today (we were wrong, as jag-one later discovered). So first jaro then I joined the procession to Jew Shoal 3.5km NW, leaving eyetag, pedro and jag-one out there and no one at A-Bay Reef.

I’m sure we would have relocated to eyetag and pedro’s position, further out, but they were reporting little or no action also, having given up on the trolling in favour of a bit of bottom bashing with finesse.

There was a lot more bait showing on the sonar in the eastern part of Jew Shoal so I opted to start fishing there, in close company with kodaz who'd been there a while, fishing with SPs. Then came the first signal of some success. Turtleboy, fishing near jimbo a few hundred metres north of us announced on the radio that jimbo was hooked up to a decent fish. Shortly afterward we learned that it was a snapper, initially estimated at around 60cm, caught on a pilchard on his trailing outfit. Here was some hope.

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Jimbo gaffs the snapper while GrantW looks on. Pic by turtleboy.

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Fresh snapper for dinner. Pic by turtleboy.

Then kodaz yelled out that he was on. I paddled the 100m or so over with the camera.

0802hrs. This fish managed to “brick” kodaz, that is, find its way to the shelter of an undercut ledge or similar and thus make its extraction difficult.

The fish was lost and kodaz was forced to break off. That happens from time to time out here. I still hadn't had a single bite and nor had bait-using jaro. By 9:00am we and others had decided to give it away. Back to Middle Groyne we trooped, with jaro again using his sail and taking the same amount of time to get back as I did, but he’d travelled further. This migration left jag-one, eyetag and pedro out at SR.

On our way back, at about 09:15 we heard jag-one announce that he’d just had a double hookup on snapper at A-Bay Reef and boated both fish, each around 50cm. That's fishin’...

Turtleboy had arranged for his wife, Kerrie, to come down to the beach to take some pics of the returning kayak fishers.

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GrantW becomes acquainted with the sand monster. Pic by Kerrie.

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Jimbo concentrating on doing it exactly right. Pic by Kerrie

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Five old guys. Pic by Kerrie.

With only one fish to show the beach crowd among at least six kayak fishers we hoped it was a good one. Jimbo didn’t disappoint, pulling a beautiful 69cm snapper from his fish box. Not a Noosa Yakkers Record Fish, but the best this year so far.

Jimbo's fish attracts beach chick and her great-grandchild!

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Kerrie hams it up for the camera. Pic by turtleboy.

Fish on measure mat

Lining up for Saturday, now.

Email and pics from jag-one
From: "geoff stolberg"
Date: 5 January 2012 19:41:30 AEST
Subject: RE: Fishing today, 05Jan12

Hi yakkers,

Just finished reading Kev's report and the pics. That lady was there when we arrived back around midday, and she wanted to buy a fish. I pointed out that after paddling 15klms for my pair, the answer was no! [Editor: besides, sale of fish by amateur fishos is illegal]

I had worked my way out towards the nth reef mark with no success other than an approx .75mtr shark who busted me off beside the yak. I didn't like his looks, either.

Around 10.00am I started to head towards the doggie beach mark. I got sidetracked by birds and y/f tuna, with one clearing the water in front of me. I ended up heading to the A Bay reef mark (it was on the way home, as opposed to doggie reef).

I found a ledge there with bait fish holding on the leeward side, so started a drift. I'd gone about 50mtrs when the graphite loaded up. Ten seconds later, the other rod went berserk. I took a few turns on the second fish to keep the tension, then back to the first. I was pretty certain they were both snapper. Got the first one onto my towel, covered him, then onto
no. 2. The end result was a 49cm and a 49.5cm.

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0916hrs (so the camera says, possibly time set incorrectly). A brace of nice A-Bay Reef snapper.

I went back over the drift three more times, for zilch. From there I just kept drifting towards H/G, then headed for home, meeting up with Pedro and Eyetag coming in from JS.

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1132hrs (according to camera). Pedro, eyetag and all three yaks. Plus onlookers.

I thank Santa for buying me a w/p camera, so really enjoyed taking the pics. Kev, you'll notice the same lady in my pic.

See you on the water
Geoff Stolberg
Call Sign ..JaG one

Jew Shoal, quiet, 04Jan12

TR by sunshiner

Wind: light SW initially, then SE to about 7 knots
Swell: low ENE
Current: at Jew Shoal, none
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: sunshiner only
Water conditions: at Jew Shoal, still a bit murky from the stirred up silt resulting from the long spell of strong SE winds

I knew I would be alone today, but the 15 consecutive windy days since the previous outing had got to me. I'd hate not to have gone only to find the wind got up again before Thursday. Also I'd made some minor changes to my yak and wanted to see how they performed, and of course, I had to get the new trolley sandy and wet...

I launched around 0445, having the unusual experience of being the only user of the carpark, except for the surf hire truck, which I've never seen move. Usually eyetag, richmond, or pedro's vehicles are there before me on such a nice day as this, but not today.

0440hrs. The new trolley and the beach break at launch time.

The first comment I'd like to make is that the new trolley is an amazing improvement on my previous old cart, which has done sterling service for six years and never failed. The big difference is the balloon tyres which this morning caused the yak to roll smoothly down the beach slope under its own weight. With the previous model I had to drag it DOWN the slope because the wheels just sank into the sand. So you can imagine what it was like in the old days dragging the yak UP the slope.

The good launch news is that the channel next to the western side of the wall is now back in business. The bad launch news is that there's still a sandbank off the end of the wall. It was no problem for me today but watch out for waves breaking on it a good 10 metres out from the end of the wall.

I was set up in a jiffy and opted to paddle straight toward Jew Shoal. No terns were visible at the start and there wasn't even the usual baitfish dimpling the surface just offshore from the groyne.

I put out the Halco LP and trolled it all the way to the Pinnacles for no action. The only other living things I saw on that journey were one dolphin and, about 1km out, a few frail-looking fairy terns lucky-dipping for something too small to be seen by the unaided human eye. It wasn't looking good for fishing.

I expected the drift at JS to be toward the west but it was toward the NW. No problem, I just went where the breeze carried me. The sonar was showing occasional echoes, probably small fish, but nowhere near as many as were visible two weeks ago when we were last out here.

I fished with soft plastics only, my usual style, and had only one take in nearly two hours. That was just a quick bump and release and could have been a snapper but could also have been any of the denizens of the reef. Importantly, I didn't catch anything today, not even a reef oogly. The place was shut down. At one stage I was surrounded by seven stink boats, all trolling at varying speeds but having the same success rate: zero.

At 0730 I pulled the pin and headed for home, trolling all the way back during which time I got no strikes and saw no surface action.

Just thought I'd show off my new GPS holder, made by a Noosa Yakker. It was a great success today and a credit to its creator. Perhaps he'll tell us how he made it.

Neat, eh?

The surf zone transit was easy but there was a strong outgoing current in the channel next to the wall which is fine because it’s doing a dredging job.

NY Tony Walmsley was standing on the wall watching as I came in around 0830 and we chatted briefly before I trolleyed the yak again and sauntered up the slope pulling the yak up one handed. Malaki, the surf hire guy who usually helps me drag up the slope, remarked on how easy it looked today.

Then at the wash point I encountered Noosa Yakker Mike Wykes, cradling Lilly, his six month old daughter.

So despite the lack of fish it was an enjoyable paddle with all my new modifications and gear tried out and found to be considerable improvements over the former arrangements.

So, tomorrow's another day. I intend to be there.

No fish today, Eyetag, 2Jan12

Hi all, no fish to report of today.

I launched 4.15am and trolled a Jaro special up to LH then back again. I didn't see any birds nor bust ups. The wind was light SW at first then swung to the S and got up to about 10 Knots. I was back at MG around 7.15.

call sign;eye tag