pedro's first cobia, 30Jul12

TR by sunshiner with contribution by Eli at the end

Wind: SW, starting at less than 5 knots, dropping to calm around 11:00
Swell: 1.5m S
Current: at JS, none
Water conditions: clean, no sign of turbidity
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: pedro, richmond, eli, turtleboy, sunshiner

Great sea forecast today, but the air temp was way down (8 degrees). Accordingly I opted to launch after sunrise along with turtleboy who was happy with my plan. Pedro and richmond must be made of sterner stuff as they both launched much earlier, into a glassy sea with little swell, thankfully. On arrival at the carpark I noticed that Eli’s 4WD was present. In fact he’d occupied spot number 1, which eyetag usually manages to grab.

So turtleboy and I trundled down to the sunlit beach to be met by the easiest possible beach launch.

Noosa Main Beach, mid winter

With a SW breeze obvious we headed off for the SW edge of Jew Shoal and when about 1 km into the journey we managed to make radio contact with pedro who was out at North Sunshine somewhere. He’d already done pretty well, with a cobia (his first) and a couple of decent grassies already in the bag. Richmond was heading out toward him but both were reporting a pretty stiff breeze out there. This breeze was the reason I didn’t head for SR myself. Not because the breeze itself was uncomfortable but any increase in its strength would make the long paddle home very difficult.

Conditions were superb at Jew Shoal, with a gentle breeze in sunny conditions propelling us at an ideal drift pace right across the main part of the shoal. We took an hour to drift the approx one kilometre from our start point to NE of the pinnacles. But no fish. Not even a touch for me.

After this drift I set up another just as richmond joined us from Sunshine Reef, a 3.6 km paddle into the breeze. On this drift turtleboy and richmond started to get some action mainly from little reefies such as wire netting cod and black tipped cod but no snapper or sweetlip. I remained without a hit. Pedro then turned up from Sunshine and settled into the routine also, hoping to improve his score.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Richmond and mac tuna taken today. The mac tuna were popping up singly and in small groups all over, but rarely clearing the water. Pic by turtleboy

None of us had seen Eli out there but then his trademark straw hat could be seen. He was mounted on a different craft than his usual ski, and approaching from the east. Eli had upgraded to a Viking Ozzie, although he explained to me that it was borrowed. He’d nailed one mac tuna only at this stage.

Eli in his upgrade. Note he’s still using the same paddle, however.

Having started drift fishing at 0845, and not had a touch by 11:30 I was resigned to a fishless trip. But just as I was sitting in the warm sunshine chatting to pedro my cast SP went off and I quickly hauled in a small but keeper snapper. The SP was taken suddenly while drifting downward toward the bottom in 21m.

My small snapper, a worthwhile meal for two.

Shortly after this all except Eli opted to head for home, arriving on the beach around 12:45. Some beach pics:

An excellent brace of sweetlip caught by pedro, the larger one a candidate for a new Noosa Yakkers Record.

Pedro’s first cobia (107cm), and the first eligible to become a Noosa Yakkers Record since the Record List was established in December last year.

Pedro and his cobe, on the beach.

Results for today (excl Eli): pedro, see pics above; richmond, two mac tuna; turtleboy, one mac tuna; sunshiner, one snapper.

Eli, please let us know how you finished up.

Contribution by Eli

Today's Journey... Success!!

After launching at just after 6 I headed out to Sunshine Reef to test out the borrowed kayak. With not even a bite out there I decided to try my luck at Jew Shoal. Picked up a small mac tuna on the troll on the way over, with bust ups all around. Fished again with no bites and when everyone decided to head back I began to follow only five minutes behind. Mac tuna were all around as I left and with a strike on my trolled hardbody (Halco lp in pilchard) two minutes into my paddle I was certain that this is what it was. As my Daiwa baitcaster spooled with 15lb braid began to reach the halfway point on the spool I realised I had connected with something bigger. A great deal of winding and being pulled around in circles eventually led to me boating a good size longtail which was well worth the seven hours I spent out on the water today (arms got a little red, should probably add sunscreen to my bag). It measured in at 106cm and 12.1kg, making it my biggest.

Tarzan of Laguna Bay

Glassy at JS, 29Jul12

TR by Jaro
Conditions... Perfect... Cloudless, wind under 5 knots, no waves to speak of, water clear and remarkably warm considering how cold it was before sun up.
There was no current to speak of at JS.
Participant: Jaro

All intending participants got up early (between 4.00 and 5.00am), had a look at Seabreeze, saw the wind was up and that it was bloody cold leading everyone to email each other saying they were going back to bed. I noted that the wind was predicted to die so said I would check Seabreeze after I woke up which turned out to be at 6.30am. Noted that the wind was dying and eventually decided to go at 7.45am. I notified everyone that I was going but no others ended up joining me.
Below is what greeted me... an absolutely picture perfect day.

I have never seen it as flat as this before

I was on the water at 8.20am and only got my feet wet up to my ankles and had an easy paddle out to JS. As my GPS is in for repairs I was hoping someone would be out at JS to give an indication as to where it was and then use my fish finder from then on.

There were a number of boats out there so my problem was solved though it did me little good as I had one miserable nibble all morning and therefore no fish to brag about. The boats also had no luck as I kept a close eye on them to see if they were having better luck than I. It was not too long before they all started to leave for home. I met up with another yakker from Brisbane in a tri hobie who had at least caught something... a mac tuna as he was coming out to JS. I pulled the plug at 11.30am and had an uneventful paddle back to MG. No fish but a beautiful day on the water.


Tiberium reports

TR by Tiberium

G'day all just a little report from me.

Today went well in a way, I got to MG at 6 to see Carlton rigging up and Richmond’s car with no Richmond in sight.

Carlton and I launched and I ended up drenched. Lucky I was wearing a wetty and stayed warm. We were heading to JS to get some luck with the snapper just like the last report and to find Richmond.

Sunrise. Pic by Carlton

On the way there we saw a bust up with some decent macs (editor: possibly mac tuna?) jumping and a big dolphin pod.

The water was very clear we could see six metres down, the best I have seen for a long time and there was a lot of eggs and/or little jellyfish around.


We found Richmond at JS and threw out the sea anchors but with the annoying NW pushing us it didn’t feel like the anchors were doing much.

Carlton got a fish straight up, a small snapper I believe, and a baby Spangled (editor: probably a grassy?) later.

I didn’t have any luck. I blame myself because I forgot to charge the fish finder battery and didn’t bring enough tackle; just two rigs that I lost so I sat at JS with nothing to do for 30 minutes just sponging up the view of Laguna and Noosa when a whale jumped one km away. This was very impressive for me because I have never been close to one and aren’t they loud when they land?

Around the early 10 mark I pulled the pin and headed to MG but half way there I saw a brown water about 20m long and 5m wide of just rubbish. I saw water bottles, thongs, half a cd, beer cans and plastic with a couple of dead fish which looked like bream. It was a bit disgusting to see it but I should have got a picture of it to show what littering does.

The View

At Middle Groyne I got some photos.

Some fish are loving the channel

Richmond coming in

Carlton and Richmond

Today was a good day for the others but a day of exercise for me but I enjoyed it. Can’t wait for next time.

Cheers Izak

Cobwebs blown. JS. 27Jul12

TR by richmond

Blow off the cobwebs.

Wind - NW to 10 knots
Swell- Low
Current - None
Launch Point - Middle Groyne
Participants - Richmond, Carlton, Tiberium (Izak)

I was keen for a fish as I hadn't been offshore for a few weeks due to work and weather. I left the beach at 5.30am this morning, dry bum as I could see the smallish sets coming thanks to the moon.

My destination was Jew Shoal as the boys have done alright out there of late.

I arrived at the Shoal before sunrise. I should have taken a pic as it was a beauty this morning. I trolled around for a bit with a shallow running LP as there were a few boils here and there, Mack Tuna I presumed. Yep, after a couple of minutes of trolling the rod was bending over. I dispatched an 80cm Mack Tuna to the fishbox for future baits and then decided to sink a soft plastic.

Mack Tuna 80cm

I also had a prawn floating around out the back mid water. The wind was quite strong out there, 10 knots or more, there was no current to speak of but even with my small drogue out I was clipping along at 2 kph.

It was about then I saw Carlton and Izak turn up. After a little chat we went our own way. I then heard Carlton yell out that he was on. Apparently a small Netted Sweetlip I think he said. Whenever I looked over at Izak, his rod was bent! He kept trying to pull the plug out.

Fishing was quiet and rather difficult with the wind. I ended up with a 40cm Squire, a Bream that went 29cm and a throwback Grassy.

All on prawn bait, my sp offerings didn't get a touch. It was about then that the boys decided to head for home fishless.

With no action on my soft plastic I decided to try a slow sinking bibless hardbody. This lure looks unreal in the water, it sinks on a horizontal plane, sinks slowly and has a great action when you give the rod a rip. It can also be trolled, going from one spot to another.

As I was letting the lure slowly sink, I had a massive hit. Unfortunately, I hooked up for about 10 seconds and it was all over. The lure came up with some battle scars at least.

I left shortly after that and was suprised to see Izak and Carlton still on the beach. They were heading off to fish the river.

So, a relatively quiet day, no birds dipping, hardly any bustups, We did see some Humpbacks putting on a show and there was a large pod of Dolphins browsing in the bay.

I'm looking forward to my next trip out with the bibless hardbody, I reckon it'll be a winner.

Richmond (Jeff)

Jew Shoal fires up. 26Jul12

TR by sunshiner with pic contribution by Eli

Wind: SSE, starting at less than 5 knots, building to about 8 knots
Swell: 1.5m SE
Current: at JS, none
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: pedro, jaro, kahuna (first trip with NY), eli, sunshiner

One of those memorable days, today. It started early with a meeting for the first time with new Noosa Yakker Rob (nickname kahuna) who was offloading his red and white Barracuda thermo moulded plastic yak in eyetag’s spot in the MG carpark. Meanwhile, I’d managed to snare my long time favourite parking spot which usually richmond (couldn’t go today) manages to grab before I get there.

Pedro had brought the Benz today and was already launched by the time jaro, kahuna and I hit the beach.

That's jaro just visible in the channel, and, in the foreground, kahuna, ready for his first Middle Groyne launch.

I managed to keep the top of my head dry, but that was all, by carefully timing my exit with the arrival of a small but exuberant wave which broke just as I got to it. But getting a wet arse in Noosa in midwinter is nothing much really and it did serve to completely rouse me from my semi-torpid state.

Jew Shoal was the planned destination and all known participants were present or already nearly there. But wait, there’s one more. Just before we paddled off we spotted Eli in his trademark big straw hat paddling out too. We bade him good morning and set off, with Eli looking as if he were heading for LH Reef.

Jaro popped his sail, picking up a small push from the southerly while kahuna and I exercised our upper limbs in paddling, and our tongues in getting acquainted, settling in to the four km paddle to the shoal.

The first thing I noticed after launching and as we headed north was that the water seemed remarkably clear. I’d seen it from land two days ago, while the SE wind was in the final stages of seven days straight 20-35 knots and it was very murky then. I really thought that the bay would be still the same, but the water clarity gave me hope that Jew Shoal might be shrouded in clean water for the first time in several months.

And so it turned out to be. As the light gradually improved I was amazed at the transition. Beautifully clean and blue water everywhere. Pedro and I speculated later that perhaps a clean ocean eddy had suddenly arrived, sweeping all the murk away. The water had a distinct “good fishing” look about it. Yahoo! Just like it used to be a couple of years back.

Pedro briefed us by radio that he’d caught a hairtail while trolling on the way out (pic later) and shortly after we arrived (about 30 minutes after he had) he boated a nice snapper. Excellent!

Kahuna had no radio so I passed on to him some of this info and we three new arrivals settled in to fishing. It wasn’t long before the action started. My usual snapper catching procedure (single rod, 1/8 ounce SP, 6kg braid) worked pretty quickly. I got a solid strike and right from the first few seconds I knew I had a decent snapper on. I played it carefully for a couple of minutes before the rod straightened suddenly, all pressure being removed. Something had gone wrong for me and right for the snapper. On examining the business end of my equipment I found the leader intact but with a curly bit of line on the end where the jighead used to be. Probably snapper teeth had worn through the knot.

Cursing myself for allowing such a thing to happen, I rerigged knowing for sure that my best chance for a decent fish today had been squandered. To make matters worse, I was cold because I’d been soaked on the way out and the southerly breeze was cutting into me. No sunshine out there today!

Tying another 1/8 ounce jighead on, I returned to my drift, by now pretty glum. Not only had I lost a decent fish, but also I was down a jighead and SP! Ten minutes later my spirits soared when I got hit again, this time in much shallower water around 12m. I was 90% sure this was another snapper as the familiar thumping was there and the occasional fast straight runs. Gradually I got line back and then, another great surprise: I could see my fish way down below me and yes, it was a snapper, its pink sides faded to blue by the intervening depth and the lack of sunlight. What a brilliant sight! A minute or so later she was secured. The fishing gods had given me a second chance today!

Self portrait, blind shooting with camera at arm’s length.

Although I continued fishing, I would have been happy to quit then. This was victory snatched from defeat. A great feeling. On to other matters of interest.

All morning so far we’d seen small tuna ripping through the waves nearby, usually sighting only their dorsal fins as they pursued prey. Now, off to the north not far away, could be seen an aggregation of terns and gannets, wheeling about and diving into a maelstrom of churned up water. We knew that the fish causing the ruckus were probably mackerel tuna, which we encounter all year round. At one stage I’d briefly seen Eli in that area but then had lost sight of him. But among we four only pedro, who’d not seen much action in the last hour, succumbed to the temptation to find out, if in fact, we were right. He pedalled off toward them just as the birds disappeared. But we were right, and pedro proved that.

By now I was bloody cold. I never take cold weather gear out as it’s not usually necessary here. But today the sun hadn’t broken through at all, the breeze was coming from down near Melbourne, and I’d got a thorough soaking to start with at launch time. I started to think about pulling the pin.

But kahuna, remember, on his first trip with us, caught my attention. He was about 100m away, his heavy trolling rod was severely bent and in response to my shouted query managed to indicate that no, this was no fish, but the bottom. I left him to it and then looked back a couple of minutes later and now his casting outfit, which he’d been using to fish with SPs, was severely bent. I watched the rod tip closely and soon spotted the tell-tale signs that this time he had a fish on, not the bottom. Soon he was punching the air in exuberance and then paddling over to me to show me this, his first ever fish caught from a kayak and his first ever fish caught by him in Australia (he’s from NZ).

Kahuna, with quite a decent first kayak-caught fish.

Immediately after this jaro’s relieved voice came up on the radio. He was the only one of us that was fishless at this stage, but now he announced that he was on the board with a decent sweetlip. Shortly afterward he let us know that he’d caught, in quick succession, a small snapper and a bream, both of which he’d released.

About 10:15 I raised the question of heading in and found agreement among all that maybe that time had come. The sun still wasn’t out, and all of us had fish to take home. By 10:30 we were paddling back together. Just as I left the shoal my trolling outfit took a strike, enough to pull line off against the drag, but whatever had taken a liking to the Halco LP had managed to shake the hooks. Probably a mac tuna.

The beach return was dead easy but the cold overcast conditions resulted in few holidaymakers on the beach. Nevertheless we attracted attention among them as the fish were brought out.

Beach pics

Pedro’s snapper

Pedro’s hairtail, 1140mm long

Kahuna’s snapper

Sunshiner’s snapper

Jaro’s sweetlip

Yaks on beach

Frauleins with fish

A few minutes earlier she couldn’t bear to touch the fish!

Thanks for coming along guys. Great morning!

Contribution by eli

Landed two of these (pic below) today at JS and lost two, in the space of about 20min. Had no other hits or anything much to tell.

Also the front of the ski is sporting the Noosa Yakkers sticker (made sure I got it in the pic).


Surf and snapper, vid, 18Jul12

TR by sunshiner with contribution from mangrove-mac at the end

Wind: Southerly, but calm inside the Bay. Blew up to about 8 knots from south at Jew Shoal.
Swell: 2m easterly
Current: at Jew Shoal, none detected
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: pedro, jag-one, jaro, sunshiner
Water quality: Clean at Jew Shoal

Having endured two weeks straight of foul weather we were understandably anxious to get out today, forecast light winds, even though the forecast swell at Middle Groyne was 2m from the east. The main reason we were keen to get out was that the forecast also showed little opportunity for the next seven days. Desperation levels were off the scale.

A dawn start was planned, with the proviso that rain or unfavourable winds at dawn might cause our organizer, Jaro, and others to stay in bed instead. In the event, it was raining at 5:00am, and 6:00, and 7:00 with more approaching on the Mt Kanigan radar. Jag-one travels from Gympie, around 90 minutes from launch, and eventually he decided that he was coming to Noosa anyway, with a planned launch time of 10:00. Jaro and I, noting an improvement in the local weather conditions, agreed that we’d also launch later, as close as we reasonably could to jag-one’s nominated launch time.

Meanwhile pedro, bullet proof as he is, had launched anyway, in showers, at around 6:00am. But he is a 50 year old youngster after all!

And so it happened that I rolled into the damp carpark at around 10:30 and immediately recognized the only two people hanging about there. Richmond, who was unable to launch today, had brought his camera down hoping to get some pics of us coming back in, while jag-one was finalizing launch preparations. Jaro, out of sight, was already on the beach with his yak. Richmond changed his plans and opted to get some pics of us launching, and made his way out to a good vantage point on the end of the groyne. Without even a cursory look at the conditions I started to unload my yak.

By the time I got down to the beach, about ten minutes later, jaro and jag-one were lined up in the channel, waiting for an opportunity to get out through the break.

Pic by richmond

Pic by richmond

The long awaited break in the sets came and jaro and jag-one took the opportunity to go.

Pic by richmond

I was waiting and watching on the beach, ready to launch, or not. Now that they had got out OK, I knew I couldn’t turn around and go home. There were some sizeable waves dropping onto the sandbank and a photographer on the wall. My turn! All I had to do was time my arrival in the break zone properly.

Fortunately a lull arrived just after I boarded and so had an easy time of it compared with my two companions, getting out very quickly and almost completely dry.

Pic by richmond

And so we headed for Jew Shoal, where pedro had been fishing for several hours already and had caught a couple of fish, including a mac tuna which took a 190mm HB lure just as he arrived at the shoal early this morning.

My course was set for the eastern end of the shoal because I was pretty sure that the breeze out there would be from the east. Jaro and jag-one went further toward the west. Travelling was easy as the wind was light and there was no chop but the swell got more apparent the closer I got to Jew Shoal.

On arrival at Jew Shoal, SE of The Pinnacles at around 11:45, I encountered pedro and he confirmed that he’d boated three snapper in this shallow area (around 15m) so I opted to try a drift there in the hope of emulating his success. After a couple of casts there with my SP rig I decided that it was a little shallow and snaggy for me so opted to head for deeper water which I knew to be just a little further east.

This move brought almost instantaneous results. I was drift fishing in 20m using only my 6kg threadline casting outfit, as I often do, rigged with a 1/8 ounce jighead loaded with a 100mm SP (pic later). The SP had slowly descended so that the kayak had drifted directly over the top of it as the jig sank. There was a quick strike and at first I thought it was an average keeper snapper. But I quickly changed my mind as the fish took line and thumped away. Snapper like this can be easily worn down. There’s no need to apply maximum pressure; just keep working away steadily at the fish, retrieving line as the opportunity arises and letting it run when necessary. In a few minutes the snapper was lying beaten next to the yak, the gaff did its job and the fish was in the fish box. A nice fish, near 70cm and the sort of fish that would make anyone’s day better.

There’s the jig inside its mouth.

Safely in the fishbox of the Stealth. Later it measured 68 cm.

The SP and jighead which did the trick. Note the snapper teeth marks on the lead head.

As I said to pedro who paddled over to take a look, I could have gone home right now, quite happy with my day. I’d only been fishing a few minutes.

As it turned out, that was my only action, fish wise, for the day. I was not to know that, of course, so kept trying, and hoping for more.

Pedro, meanwhile, was occasionally adding to his score. At one stage he got a snapper double header and jaro was nearby to take a pic.

Pic by jaro (time not set accurately)

Rain was all around us but we didn’t have heavy rain on us; once or twice light showers scudded across, but that’s all. But the visual results were interesting.

That’s jag-one in the foreground; pedro behind.

Noosa Head being masked by a heavy shower.

I think it was pedro who first raised the question of heading home, about seven hours after he’d launched. Jaro was keen to avoid the effects of the 13:15 low tide on the beach and its swell. Reasonable, we thought, so the move back didn’t start till close to 14:30, when we all headed back pretty much together.

From a couple of kilometres out we could tell that the beach return was probably going to be challenging. The tide was still low and the waves were hollowing out and dropping with a crash about 20m out from the end of the groyne. Nowhere else along the beach, except perhaps for Coward's Corner, offered a better option. At least with Middle Groyne you just have to run that 20-30m to get to safety. It’s all in the timing, as usual.

Pedro was ready to go first and Jaro and I soon afterward. The three of us, however, hung back like mice about to run past a scary cat, trying to judge the best time to go. We couldn’t hold too close to the end of the wall because the larger waves were steepening and breaking much further out than usual. I turned chest cam on and was about to go when Jaro shot through from behind me and launched himself at the sand monster in a truly great sacrifice. What happened? Well you’ll just have to watch the movie (1:11, embedded below).

Pedro and I hit the beach together, right way up and looked back on a scene of desolation. And as we watched Jaro work his way back to the shore jag-one decided to go and was also gobbled up by the sand monster. I didn’t have the heart to film it but here he is eventually getting back to shore.

Some beach pics (no fish holders available, due to the foul weather). I apologise for the water droplets on the lens but it was very wet and raining also:

The main part of pedro’s catch, including another snapper bag limit.

Me with my snapper, 68cm.

Another great Noosa Yakkers fishing expedition. Thanks for coming along guys and thanks for reading.

Contribution from mangrove-mac, received 20Jul12

[Note from editor: New Noosa Yakker Greg (nickname mangrove-mac) didn’t email us, declaring his intentions, otherwise he would have been included in the emails between the known participants which started around 4:00am. As I’ve already mentioned to him, usually our arrangements proceed as announced the day before but sometimes it’s necessary to make changes at very short notice. To be in the loop for the late changes we need to know that you are a probable starter.]

Well I didn't tell everyone that I would probably be going on Wednesday as I actually was sick with a cold and I wasn't sure if I'd be up to going. I didn't want anyone waiting for me unnecessarily so I resolved to simply turn up on time. I arrived at the car park expecting to see lots of kayak people and only found a white Mercedes van (Ed: pedro’s second best car) parked in a good spot. I parked my Pajero and with a torch went down to MG. First light was at 5:50. The mystery kayaker (pedro) was skilfully manoeuvering in the channel waiting for the lull between sets. Before long he went out and made it look easy. I don't have a radio yet so unfortunately couldn't call him. And I forgot to put Geoff's (jag-one) phone number in my phone so was unable to contact him. I met Geoff, also a Gympie-ite, recently and he showed me his kayak setup.

I decided to get my kayak ready and hoped one or two others might have decided to brave the bleak conditions, at least it wasn't cold! By 6:45 I was at the water’s edge and decided to go anyway since all my gear was stowed and life jacket on. I copied the mystery kayaker; it was very hard to pick the sets but there seemed to be a lull so I went for it! Going over a couple of small waves, I was past the end of the groyne with hardly a drop on me. I could hardly believe my luck. I began to relax thinking I was past the break. Suddenly a large swell began to loom and was going to break further out than the others... on top of me! I started to paddle urgently again and just managed to punch through the wave. I worried about being washed off but the seat held, I was drenched, the trusty Espri resembled a bath tub (at least I was still sitting in it) and it took a minute for all the water to drain out. I let out a whoop and punched the air with the paddle. [Ed: well done mangrove-mac]

Having no radio or GPS I decided to stick to the coastline to find some sheltered spot to fish around the National Park but I only got as far as the NP car park when I realised I was way too low on energy and besides the large splashes of spray on the distant headland indicated little shelter so I decided to head back.

Back at MG (about 7:45) I dreaded the prospect of going back in. Very hard to pick the right time to go again. Didn't want to scratch the kayak on the rocks so came in 20 metres away from MG, got lucky again and was carried in by three surging waves. Certainly got my heart rate up. [Ed: well done again, mangrove-mac]

I was soaked and cold but felt happy with the Espri's first sea trial. Next trip hopefully I'll meet some more of the NY crew, won't have a cold and might catch some fish as a bonus.

Cheers for now, Greg (mangrove-mac)

Bagout, pedro, DIP 03Jul12

TR by pedro

Wind: 5 to 10 southerly
Swell: .5m easterly
Current: slight, from the north.
Launch point: North west side DIP
Participants: Pedro

I arrived at DIP 6.30am, glad the high tide wasn't any earlier as travel up the beach was easy but there definitely wasn't a lot of sand out of the water.

With an easy launch, I followed the headland trolling hb and gar as I headed toward the bommie just off the cliffs under the northern side of the light-house. I trolled around the bommie a couple of times hoping for a snapper. With no hits on trolling, I dropped the anchor upwind of a show on the sounder and let out rope until I was sitting over the drop off.

I saw my first whale as I set up the berley pot and chopped pilly cubes. Record numbers are on their way they say.

I fed a very lightly weighted banana prawn and an unweighted slimy into the berley trail, and after losing a couple of prawns my next prawn was taken by a solid fish that swung the yak around back toward the heart of the bommie and cut the braid.

The action continued resulting in four snapper 40-50cm bagged and seven released.

A bag limit…

In the middle of this, while checking the slimy floater that hadn't had a sniff by the snapper I noticed line slowly peeling off the reel that was set in freespool. Just picking up the rod and thumbing the line told the fish something was wrong and it turned on its turbo as I engaged the drag. The speed was amazing; I'd lost 200m in six seconds and with 50m to go and no chance of unhooking the anchor. I screwed down the drag and it all went slack… the hook pulled.



Solo snapper, 03Jul12

TR by sunshiner

Wind: Calm then gentle NE
Swell: tiny easterly
Current: at Jew Shoal, none
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: sunshiner
Water quality: Quite clean at top of tide, even at Middle Groyne, but murky later as the run out tide allowed the Noosa River to discharge into the bay.

A serendipitous event, today (go on, look it up). I got up late because it was bloody cold today. But it was sunny, and CALM! It was still calm at 9:00am. The yak was already loaded on its motorised yak trolley, so, why not! Laguna Bay sent out an irresistible call.

Knowing that finding a suitable carpark at that time of day during school holidays might be a problem I was delighted to nab the spot right next to the single (vacant) handicapped spot. Leaping out of the zook, I looked across toward the washpoint where I spied fellow Noosa Yakker Eli nonchalantly holding a longtail by the tail and fending off incredulous enquiries by sundry awe-struck passers by. Ten minutes or so later I had the photos I wanted and was trundling my yak down to the bay's edge. And what a beautiful edge it was.

Sorry you couldn’t make it (Eli excepted)

I had snapper on my mind so headed for Jew Shoal even though I suspected that a large longtail awaited me up the North Shore somewhere. The murky water which I suspected would be present was nowhere to be seen, except a plume showing up in the swell right down at the river mouth. Flat calm conditions, cloudless, deep blue sky, and nary another boat to be seen.

In fact, I had Jew Shoal all to myself although I did encounter two pedalling kayak fishers heading south west away from JS when I was about 1500m out. They didn’t seem inclined to stop and chat so I have no idea who they were.

As I often do, I decided to use just one rod, with a light SP. Starting at the SW corner of Jew Shoal, I paddled along slowly, watching the sounder, and stopped at the first sign of a plume of bait. Good to see that there were baitfish out there today, as it’s been a bit underpopulated lately.

My SP offering remained untouched, but I did see something interesting. Something silvery and wriggly came up to the surface nearby. Curious as to what it was I paddled over the five metres or so and managed to scoop up half a fish, still struggling but unable to steer.

This told me two things: the baitfish on the sounder were almost certainly yakkas; and there was at least one small shark nearby.

Having got no action in the first half hour, and lost my jig to a snag, a common problem when attempting to work the shallower waters of Jew Shoal, I decided to switch to trolling a deep running hard body between the shallows of the Pinnacles and a similar shallow area 400m SE of that spot.

A couple of circuits of that plan produced no action either. But a NE breeze was beginning to spring up so I decided to take advantage of it and drift fish back onto the shoal with an SP from the deeper water (around 20m) to the NE. This did the trick and it wasn’t long before the targetted snapper, picked up in 17m depth, was in the fishbox. Although it was only 45cm long, it was very welcome for I’ve been going through a Mojo-free zone lately. A "yippee!" which went unheard by anyone else rang out.

Feeling that I could almost certainly bag another I persisted for another hour without further success and eventually pulled the pin at 13:15 as the NE breeze was cooling rapidly and I still had 45 minutes paddling to get back to the beach.

Great trip back, but the murky water now extended much further into the bay, and was very evident from at least 2.5 km from the beach. Oh, and just as I left Jew Shoal I spotted a decent longtail clear the water. This was the only predator surface action I’d seen.

Maybe I’ll go tomorrow again if the wind stays down.