Wind: SE, starting at 5 knots, building to 10knots
Swell: low SE
Current: none detected
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: richmond, pedro, jayman, yakfinn, jag-one, jimbo, sunshiner
How nice to get out with a totally dry bum today. I was last to launch and just took my time and waited until the lull appeared and paddled across the break zone without even having a small wave break over the bow.
Quick radio interrogation revealed that pedro was already at Jew Shoal and richmond was on his way there to take a look before deciding where to go. What we were hoping for, of course, were terns, fluttering and diving above white splashes.
Although there were seven of us either at or on the way to Jew Shoal we were spread out, with each choosing his own route to the destination. Jimbo chose to head east first then turn north toward Jew Shoal and as this seemed a good idea I did the same, albeit 500 metres or so behind him. As a result we both travelled inside the buoys which mark the shark hooks permanently located out from Dolphin Point.
When I was about one km from Jew Shoal I heard a drag ratchet blaring on the radio, followed by jimbo announcing that he was hooked up. This was a nice start so I let him know that I was not far behind and would bring the camera over, trolling as I went of course.
I went away for a while and then returned near the end of the fight and shot some video which I'll edit and put onto youtube later. But here's a pic from the video.
And now, a day later, is the video
With this fish despatched, I left jimbo and headed east and north of Hell’s Gates, where radio reports in the last ten minutes or so were indicating that there were terns fluttering and diving. Before I could get there, however, this activity had turned out to be ”baitfish eating smaller baitfish”. Worse, no large predators appeared to be accompanying the action. This resulted in all of us gravitating to Jew Shoal where some trolled and others, I included, opted to bottom fish.
Conditions were ideal, with a light SE breeze with just an occasional whitecap allowing a perfect drift toward the NW. The trouble was that there was almost no action and none at all for some of us. Richmond announced that he was hooked up on a soft plastic, then a couple of minutes later ”Bitten off!” Yakfinn had been shadowing a bunch of terns just to the NE, trolling a Rapala, and he announced a hookup, only to come back a minute or so later with the news that the lure was gone and that possibly the leader had been bitten through. Then jimbo announced a bite off on his bait rig. Possibly the sharks had moved in. Meanwhile, I hadn’t even had a touch on my two SP offerings. Jag-one had managed to jag a few little reefies on prawn bait, then jimbo capped off his tuna with a small keeper snapper taken on prawn. Slowly, it was dawning on us that there were few fish biting today. The result was that our numbers out there started to dwindle as the procession back to Middle Groyne began.
When I pulled the pin at about 10:15 having not had a single touch, only jag-one and the indefatigable pedro were left. At least pedro had nailed one sweetlip, a 40cm monster (and had also suffered a bite-off).
The paddle back in for me was therapeutic, with light winds, blue sky and strong sunlight. To make things more interesting there were occasional longtail sightings, with one or two harassing small baitfish and jumping clear of the water within 1.3 km of Middle Groyne. I trolled around the area a bit, as indicated by several terns fluttering nearby, but could entice no strikes despite occasional longtail sightings within 50m of me.
One thing worth reporting on was the arrival from the river mouth of the Fisheries Patrol, who immediately flagged down a nearby rubber ducky stinky and proceeded to check him out.
For those among us who haven’t encountered these guys before I have always found that they rarely check kayaks (and they didn’t check me today, despite the fact that mine was the only other boat nearby). I think turtleboy was asked once out at JS whether he had fish aboard. In any case, be aware that even on weekdays the patrol can arrive, so ensure that any fish you keep are within the legal limits, both size and possession (which I expect you do, anyway).
The last I heard of jag-one and pedro was that they’d decided to investigate bird action near the river mouth as they followed me in. Care was still needed on coming back in to the beach but of course the high tide had made the water depth much better than earlier.
A good rollup today, and while the fish were scarce, it was certainly a glorious day to be out there. More opportunities are coming up and, as always with fishing, you never know when the action will crank up so get out whenever you can.
Email from jag-one
The day finished with Pete and I chasing birds and bust-ups where you noted. Pete managed a Mac tuna and lost another, possibly longtail. That was my first chance to try some spinning, so good fun, even though I didn't hook up.
Cheers, See you on the water
Call Sign ..JaG one
Email from pedro
Firstly to add to trip report.
Jag One and I chased the terns in close to MG for an hour resulting in 1 small mac tuna, 1 larger fish (longtail) that got off before a visual and 1 other strike for me. Nothing for Jag One.
The other matter is when I looked at my trip computer on GPS it said 188klm?
Being the third time out with a new GPS (the old one crashed) and leaving it on last time on the way home, 121kph max speed (overtaking car on way home),
I have mistakenly thought that clearing the current track would reset the trip computer as well.
So the 34klm quoted on my previous trip report is incorrect and was the total for two trips.
Sorry for that everyone.