Tuna takes SP, 29Aug12

TR by sunshiner

Wind: calm
Swell: not much
Current: at LH Reef and Jew Shoal, none
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: pedro, richmond, sunshiner, kahuna, doctor dog, daveygee, turtleboy

Still the calm days continue, and still the fish fail to show up. But the hookers continue to go hunting, because you never know when the fish will return. Mostly our winters are slow, fish wise, but we have had some cracker days at this time in the past, so when a beautiful day beckons it’s hard to resist. You just never know.

And so it was today. Anyone who can interpret a weather forecast could see that offshore conditions were likely to be superb so there was a great rollup this morning. I'd nominated my launch time to be anywhere between 0600 and 0730 and found that pedro and richmond had both launched by the time I parked my zook (thanks, Jeff, for leaving that parking spot for me).

Fanbloodytastic! Launch time.

As soon as I was out I turned on the radio to hear jimbo (in the river) calling richmond. From this brief conversation I learned that pedro and richmond were at LH Reef and that baitfish were schooling nearby but that they'd had no action so far. Sounded good to me, so I immediately opted to head to Little Halls Reef.

I'd been paddling only a couple of minutes when kahuna radioed from the beach. Looking back, I could see him standing there with his yak but he explained that he had to get rid of some onboard waste but would be following me out.

The sea was so flat that I could see pedro from about 1.2km out. By now richmond had decided to reconnoitre Halls Reef, a couple of km further north so pedro and I had LH to ourselves for the moment. It took a while to find the densely packed baitfish which were clustered around the shallow peak which lies very close to our Little Halls Reef waypoint. Once we did, pedro and I shadowed them, hoping that predators would show up. With his bait jig, pedro showed that these fish were probably small tailor as that was what he was pulling up from time to time. He had a live yakka out and that crazed look on his face when he's seriously hunting for BIG fish.

Meantime, we got the radio message that the late shift had now assembled on the beach. After some deliberations they too decided to head for Little Halls Reef.

Kahuna, meanwhile, was plugging along toward us. He was trying out a brand new electronic toy this morning and I expected that he would have no difficulty finding us. He duly arrived on our horizon, a bit further to the east than I would have expected, but there nevertheless.

This new toy wasn't working, through no fault of the manufacturer I hasten to add. A short consultation between us and a bit of hatch opening and messing around in the innards of his yak gave the new toy what it needed to come to life and soon kahuna was trying to figure out how it worked.

Kahuna and new toy

Pedro and I were still shadowing the baitfish and every now and again they'd come up to the surface and flip out, causing a ruffle and giving us encouragement that maybe the big guys had arrived for brekky. But no, looks like the big guys were eating elsewhere this morning. The gannets, of course, were having a great time, plummeting with folded flying gear into the packed bait from about 20 metres up within 50 metres of us and bobbing up again like a cork. Sometimes they were successful, sometimes not.

The arrival of the late shift at this scene didn't change anything. Only pedro had caught any fish, a couple of undersized snapper, on bait, and several baitfish on his bait jig. The six of us milled around, hoping for action but getting none. But it was a glorious morning, with nary a stinkboat in sight. Everyone was smiling, even kahuna who was gradually making sense of the info the new toy was giving him.

Turtleboy reflecting on his good fortune. Pic by daveyG

When I announced I was moving to Jew Shoal richmond came up on the radio and revealed that Halls Reef was today populated by only small fingermark and sharks. This caused kahuna and doc dog to defect from the LH reef group and join me. Jew Shoal is just over three km from Little Halls Reef so I set course, opting to troll the jig that I'd been trailing along behind me as I shadowed the bait.

Within a couple of minutes the jig went off, the 10kg overhead outfit screaming in a long, straight run reminiscent of a Spaniard. Pretty quickly I decided that I'd picked up a longtail as the yak was being towed in a straight line back toward the group still hanging around the baitfish. Visions of richmond's longtail record being smashed appeared in my mind as this fish was still going hard. But then, quite suddenly, it showed signs of tiring but was still strong enough to be pulling the yak around in circles for the last few minutes of the fight.

Being towed around, near end of the fight. Pic by daveyG.

To my surprise the fish turned out to be a mackerel tuna, albeit a pretty big one. As I was with him when pedro had caught his Noosa Yakkers record mac tuna back in March, I knew the record was 83cm so opted to gaff this fish because I could see that it was close to that size. I was also pretty sure (I was right) that the fish would be welcomed as food by one of our party so there would be no waste involved.

Mackerel tuna.

And this is the lure that it took, trolled about 50m behind the yak.

So kahuna, doctor dog and I headed for Jew Shoal, which we reached quite quickly without interruption and without seeing any surface action on the way. Here conditions looked perfect, with clear water, a gentle SE breeze, and only a dive boat on the shoal.

Despite all this, none of us got any action, the usual story at present. Doc dog and I pulled the pin at 1100 while kahuna and pedro, who'd come over to Jew Shoal later, hung about for a couple more hours.

Once on the beach I pulled out the measure mat and found that my tuna was, at 82cm, two cm too short to qualify as a record. I remember saying, when pedro set the record, that it would be hard to beat.

It was a great morning regardless. I wonder what the trigger will be that will bring the fish back on to the bite?



Winners get grinners, 26Aug12

TR by sunshiner

Wind: SW land breeze initially, then gentle SE, turning to NE seabreeze later
Swell: not much
Current: at Jew Shoal, none
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: beejay, gemini, tarzan, sunshiner, salty (Greg S)

For almost a week Seabreeze had been predicting beautiful offshore kayaking weather for today. And so it proved to be, unfortunately accompanied by a very slow period for fish. Many fishing hours have been spent in the last couple of weeks for very few fish.

But the only way to find out if the fish are there is to get out and take a look, so several of us decided to do just that.

Beejay, gemini, I and tarzan (Eli has agreed that his nickname can be tarzan) fronted the beach together on a chilly morning, hopefully the last chilly morning of the year.

Launch time. Tarzan and his new ride, an OK Scupper Pro, as owned also by doc dog.

Easy launch, dolphins leaping and cavorting nearby, sun just peeping over the hill. Bloody beautiful. An easy breeze assisted paddle (sail assisted for beejay) to Jew Shoal followed for three of us, while tarzan headed north west.

At Jew Shoal beejay and gemini were using baits while I was using SPs only. The baits produced, but only littlies, with beejay bringing home the only keeper, a small grassy. Several grinners featured also. I got one fumbled strike, possibly a grassy, and that’s all, in 90 minutes of drifting and re-drifting over much of the shoal.

And I was pretty cold, wishing I'd worn my wetsuit instead of my ballet tights.

Tarzan made his customary cameo appearance, arriving at Jew Shoal from the NW about an hour after we had settled in, presumably having already visited Halls Reef. I didn't get a chance to speak with him and so don't know whether he'd had any result. Tarzan, please let us know. Nice yak, too, mate, probably dryer and warmer than the previous!

The lack of action forced me to break and run first, just after the landbreeze was replaced by a gentle SE. Richmond called me from Middle Groyne, where he was basking in the sunshine, and hung around to say hello until the three of us older guys came back in.

Then Greg S (brand new NY, but old salt) paddled in from the north, also fishless. We hadn't known he was out there. Later, as we were packing up, he asked that his nickname be "salty", to fit in with his email address.

More great weather coming up. Might be a chance for a Doggie Beach launch this week.

Thanks for coming along, guys. See you next time.


Additional photos by Gemini (extracted from video):

Unidentified Cod

Grinner number 3

Baby lizard

GPS Track
Distance 12.5 km
Max Speed 11.5 km/hour
Avg Speed 2.8 km/hour

Weyba lads, 25Aug12

TR by Tiberium

Wind: Mostly a gentle 6knots southerly with gusts hitting 10knots
Tides: Low 9:17am. High 3:37pm
Weather: A summer's day
Launch point: Munna Point
Participants: Carlton, Tiberium
Date: 25Aug12

G'day Readers

Sorry for not having a message sent out about today but Carlton and I made the plans late Friday night.

Today felt like a summer's day. We arrived at Munna Point at 10am to find that my battery for the fish finder is a goner, not a good start. But on the good side the weather was looking great and the river wasn't so busy, just a few boats.

We were targeting the favoured whiting so we headed straight for some yabbies at Frying Pan. Already only 10 minutes in I could feel the heat kicking in and the UV pounding on my skin. Sometimes the rainy clouds would come to the rescue and block out the sun for a few minutes or a gust would cool me down. I miss those days.


At Frying Pan the yabbie population was in good shape so it only took a few minutes to have a fish on and another and another and another. After a while Carlton suggested we give Weyba Creek islands a hit because the only fish we were catching were undersize.

The tide was pushing us all the way to the creek and down it so it was a easy getting around. We stopped at every island and were finally rewarded with some legal fish. Carlton caught four legals and two for me (I accidentally dropped one).

Before we knew it we were out of bait and called it a day. Now came the fun part, going against the tide.


It was a beautiful day and it was pleasing to have a good feed for dinner.



Slow going on Lake Mac, 25Aug12

TR by Gemini

Participants:  Gemini, DarrenC (Yet to pick a call sign)
Conditions: Cloudy periods, mild wind (5-10knots from W/SW)

I arrived at the botanical gardens boat ramp just before 7AM to find Darren already on the water in his Prowler. Asides from Darren and a handful of sculls in various sizes, there were few others around. With a quick hand from Darren I unpacked and hit the water.

The going was slow. We looped around the park side of the lake towards the wall and then out towards Bass Bay with no touches. We skipped the bubbler and focussed on hitting the edges of Bass Bay and adjoining channels instead, but alas nothing.

Darren suggested we hit Gazebo Bay before heading home, as he had some success there during his last visit. By this stage the wind was picking up, so we were paddling every few casts to keep ourselves clear of the bank. Finally luck smiled on us, and I hooked a nice 40cm Bass in close to the bank. See video with boot-scootin soundtrack below. :D

After releasing the Bass we slowly made out way back to the boat ramp, letting the wind push us along while continuing to cast, but with no further success.



Snap and tusky, LB, 22Aug12

TR by sunshiner

Wind: Very little, the whole session. The seabreeze kicked in around 1:00pm, but didn’t exceed 7knots or so.
Swell: ?? not much anyway
Current: at Halls Reef, none
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: sunshiner, pedro

Is winter gone? It certainly felt so to me this morning The yak was loaded last night but I still had time this morning for brekky on the deck with M before heading for Middle Groyne. I theorised that the lack of fish recently was justification for a late start. I wasn't expecting to catch anything so a later start couldn’t make things worse, could it?

One of the problems with a late start on a nice beach day is car parking. Keep that in mind guys, but at 9:00am there were still a few slots although my usual preferred spot, selected because it’s easy for me to unload and load my Stealth in it, was already taken. In a jiffy I was trundling the yak down to the beach where I expected to find a flat calm launch only to discover there was a small wave running. Nothing that would deter the determined Noosa Yakker though. I knew that richmond and pedro were out there somewhere and planned to get them on the radio straight after launch.

Launch time. Crowded. Stefan, the French kayak rental guy, was taking out some punters for what seemed to be the first time they’d been afloat.

No problems getting out. Fired up the radio and richmond came up right away, teasing me with his casual comment that there was something fishy and over a metre long in his fishbox. I had planned on hitting Jew Shoal but richmond’s description of the baitfish up at Hall’s and LH reefs convinced me that I should try that area.

Having reached LH without interruption I met richmond there as we’d planned by radio. He filled me in on the detail and I then turned directly for Hall’s (1.8km further) as richmond headed for home. Just like tag team wrestling.

Conditions were perfect and I had the ocean to myself. Not a sign of pelagic action, though. Gannets were bombing the water here and there but my shallow running HLP avoided their attention somehow, even though they travelled directly above it a couple of times.

I was now in touch with pedro, out at Sunshine Reef, where he'd managed only a small keeper Venus tusk fish. Despite my best efforts, with two SPs out, I failed to get a touch in 90 minutes or so at Halls Reef, drifting beautifully from east to west with the help of a gentle breeze. My next move was to LH Reef, which was on the way home, anyway. In the meantime pedro had travelled from Sunshine Reef to Jew Shoal which turned out to be just as quiet as everywhere else. When he heard that I was heading for LH Reef he agreed to meet me there, which he did. We were drifting along close together in the sunshine, he with baits out, and I with two trailing SPs, when my heavy trailing outfit went off loudly and vigorously. This had been rigged with a 1/2 ounce jighead with a white snapback on it. Depth was 13m and the jig was drifting along about 8m depth. A fish at last!

Not big, but a welcome keeper on a quiet day.

Shortly afterward, we decided to head for home. As usual we both trolled back and I had opted to troll with the rig that had just caught the snapper. This rig was quickly lost when it was bitten off at a sudden strike, probably by a tailor. We knew tailor were around as richmond had caught a couple earlier.

With the dropping tide the swell was kicking up a wave at Middle Groyne, especially as a great deal of sand has been deposited around the end of the wall. Look out for this if the swell picks up a bit.


Another winter Longtail, 22Aug12

TR by Richmond
Wind: Variable, initially S-SSW ~5k, then swinging S-SSE-SE and increasing to ~8k.
Current : SW to NE ~1k at Lt Halls Reef
Launch Point : Middle groyne
Participants : Richmond

I got to Middle Groyne at 5.15am ready for a 5.30am launch. Pedro was out past the shark nets when I checked conditions, heading for Sunshine Reef. My plan was to troll in close to the beach, head out to Little Halls Reef, then on to Halls Reef. Wet bum launch for me today, dead low tide with the small swell breaking on that ever present sand bank 10 metres from the end of the wall.

I was hoping to catch an early season Cobia today, so I put on a 20+ Gold Killalure deep diving minnow. I also covered the Longtail scenario where I trolled a Threadybuster soft vibe. One of either fish would do me.

Conditions were perfect. I stopped for a sunrise pic on the way along the beach near the first cutting.
When I was due west of Little Halls Reef, I turned and headed east to troll over the top of the reef and the area around it. There was a bit of bait rippling the surface and bait down below on the sounder. I trolled over the bait and got a strike. Not much of a strike I might add, no line was being taken from the reel, the ratchet was silent. I could feel little headshakes through the line, I predicted Snapper. Yep, I was right, bang on 35cm, it was his lucky day.

just legal squire
I trolled around for a bit longer at LH's to no avail. I decided to head for Halls Reef. There was no bird activity except for a few Gannets diving here and there, no visible tuna bustups. But, there was a lot of bait on Halls Reef.

screen shot
I threw out the threadybuster and let it sink. I had a good hit as it was sinking but sadly, pulled the hooks on what would have been a good fish. I kept at it, looking for the bait and dropping my lure into it. I caught a Honeycomb Cod, some Moses Perch and a tiny Tailor. I think that's what the bait was, small Tailor about 20cm long as I got one on Little Halls as well.
I then decided to get back to my plan and troll. I'm glad I did as the threadybuster took a solid hit. Line screamed off the 4000 size threadline as the braid cut through the water causing a rooster tail which is always great to see. I don't know why I persist in trolling 2 lures. You guessed it, major tangle! After sorting that mess out and cursing to whoever would listen, I got down to fighting this fish. Typical Longtail fight, hard, deep circle work. I subdued him in pretty quick time and had a nice Longy on deck. (I could here my missus from home saying "not another bloody tuna"!)

longy on deck
It went 107cm on the lie detector.

107 on mat
I then went back to Little Halls and played around for a bit. I met up with Sunshiner as he was a late starter heading to Halls Reef. No other action was encountered so I headed for Middle Groyne to a full tide landing. Nice.

Jimbo's Clayton's Trip, 21Aug12

TR by Jimbo
Wind: Very variable, initially S-SSW ~5k, then swinging S-SSE-SE and increasing to ~8k, then dropping to almost nil on return into the lee of National park headland.
Current : NW>SE ~1k at Lt Halls Rf
Launch Point : Middle groyne
Participants : Jimbo & Eli (Tarzan)

I arrived in the MG car park at 0545 and dry-bum launched at 0610 in pancake flat, very low tide conditions. I literally had to drag the yak over a sandbar to about 15-20m from the seaward end of the rock groyne before I even got my feet wet.

I trolled a HLP across the river mouth and in close up along the lower north shore and then out to Little Halls Reef. I bottom bashed with prawns and a trailing pillie for about an hour, and then for another half hour at a mark just south of Halls Reef, all with nil result, save for a couple of small reefies.

Only two things worth noting:

1. Shortly after arriving at Little Halls, an unrecognized yakker approached from the direction of MG. This turned out to be Eli, aka Tarzan, trying out his new kayak just purchased on eBay and picked up for the Gold Coast yesterday. I didn't catch the make but it looked quite impressive. It is about twice the length of, and a considerable improvement on, his previous modified "surf ski". Separately, I am uncertain that Eli recognizes nor wants that nickname.

After a brief chat, Eli continued trolling north towards Halls Reef, obviously hoping to snare another random Longtail. Eli doesn't have a radio so I can't report his success or otherwise. Eli .... how did you go, and tell us a bit about your new yak?

2. There was a considerable NW to SE current flowing in the vicinity of Little Halls which at one point practically negated the brisk S-SE breeze resulting in me being almost stationary, despite the drogue being well deployed. I had to withdraw the drogue to get some reasonable drift "over the ground".

Although I wasn't confident of any better results, I trolled to Jew Shoal and bottom bashed at a few marks to the West and SW of the Pinnacles, again with nil result. At 10:30, having donated about a dozen nice banana prawns to the reefies, I pulled the pin and trolled back to MG for a (still) dry bum landing at 11:20am.

A nice paddle and some upper body exercise, but no fish. I think I'll stick to the river until someone reports some action on the close-in reefs.


Jew Shoal, 20Aug12

TR by Carlton
Wind: SW, 5-10knots
Swell: ESE, 0.5m
Current: none
Launch Point: Middle Groyne

Participants: Stormin', Mark(AKFF: “bogey”), Carlton

I left home at 5:30am knowing that Stormin' would be there at 6:30am and wasn’t sure if Mark was coming or not. I arrived at MG at 6:05am and went straight for the beach where I noticed that Mark was in the process of launching. I left the kayak on the sand and went to the end of the rock wall to introduce myself to him. He said that he would meet us out there.

I decided to wait for stormin and have some company on the way. He arrived not long after then about 6:45am we launched without an issue. Stormin' decided to troll the way out there hoping to get his first Longtail. With the wind at our backs it only took 35mins to reach mark on Jew Shoal.

We went our own ways in hope of finding fish. My fish finder wanted to play up so I just chucked the line out anywhere. After about 30mins the wind picked up and was getting quite choppy and cold because there were clouds everywhere. The sun only showed now and then for a few minutes then disappeared.

I put a half pilchard down and threw it in  the rod holder hoping the fish would just get hooked, and it did. About five minutes later it was bending over, it was a nice keeper squire(see picture at end).

I went over to Stormin' and Mark and they hadn’t got anything worth keeping, the wind was up and it was freezing, so I called it quits, we all headed back and landed without trouble(absolutely flat).

Photo of the 3 Hobies below with a very calm Laguna Bay and MG as backdrop

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

My 37cm Squire


Stop blubbering. 15Aug12.

TR by sunshiner

Wind: W, starting at 5 knots, swinging to NW, 8 knots
Swell: SE, 1.5 metres
Current: at Jew Shoal, none
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: daveyG, imax, baptism (Adrian Tan), kahuna, sunshiner, pedro and family

Breezier today than yesterday mid-day and from the west, but still sparklingly sunny with clear water. Kahuna and I met in the carpark at Middle Groyne and were ready to launch at 07:20 but hung about to see if there were any other starters (there weren’t) for the 7:30 announced launch time.

Kahuna gets his leg over.

As soon as we were out past the ferocious break I pulled out the radio from its cosy and dry storage and called imax, whom I knew to be out there because I recognized his vehicle in the carpark. He responded immediately and revealed that he, daveyG and baptism (Adrian’s AKFF name) were out at Jew Shoal but that no fish had been boated.

Kahuna and I headed for the western side of the shoal on the basis that the westerly wind would push us on a drift from west to east. This assessment proved accurate once we started to drift, some 40 minutes later.

The shoal was busy, with three or four stinkies, and the Noosa Yakkers flotilla which comprised imax's pedal and sail craft (AI), baptism's pedal and paddle craft (Revo), and three paddle craft constructed respectively from fibreglass, thermo plastic, and polyethylene. Quite a variety.

Despite my best attempts to put people onto fish, the latter just weren’t cooperating today, duplicating jaro’s experience from yesterday. Nor were there any bustups visible, at least not while I was there.

As if to demonstrate that the fish we sought probably were not present in sufficient quantity, I did catch a lone grassy, undersize, which I returned after a quick pic.

Handsome little guy, eh?

Baptism's wife loves crabs so he carries crab pots around on his Revo. Without knowing this, I watched him and wondered why every now and again, he'd leave a tethered white float out there and return to it from time to time. I rationalised that it was probably to do with navigation and assessing drift, as I used to do that myself in pre-GPS days, marking interesting places using a float. A subsequent discussion with him out there revealed his great interest in Scylla serrata, the mud crab. His pot deployed on Jew Shoal was an attempt to find out if there were crabs of any sort there. His results: negative, today.

This result was not surprising, as there seemed bugger all alive out there, except more of the jelly blubber (Catostylus mosaicus) which have recently been reported in large numbers in Moreton Bay.

Jelly blubber. Pic courtesy Wikipedia.

Just after daveyG pulled the pin and headed in, we were visited by two double kayaks. Aboard these craft were pedro and Wendy and pedro's daughter Brianna and her partner Dave, all out for a jaunt on the Bay. Yes, they were trolling but only one rod per boat. We chatted briefly and then they headed off in the direction of Hells Gates.

Soon after this excitement the wind started to pick up a bit and, coincidentally, I decided that two hours of fishing without action was enough and I was going in, too. By now, imax had also headed for the beach, so my departure left kahuna and baptism out there.

Sloppy conditions with the increased NW breeze made my trip back slower than normal and by the time I’d arrived at the beach the double kayaks just mentioned were also coming in. Putting the camera in movie mode I headed out on foot in the shallow water almost to the end of the groyne, where there was a small wave breaking.

Pedro and Wendy. Pic from movie frame.

Dave and Brianna take successful action to avoid hitting the wall. Pic from movie frame.

Just before I departed the car park for home I had the opportunity to find out from baptism and kahuna that they’d come in fishless, too. Baptism reckoned he was now going to launch in the Noosa River upstream in a quest to take a muddie home.

And that was it for today. Dave, we owe you two stickers. I’ll drop them in sometime in the next few days. Thanks for coming along guys.


Longtails for two, 14Aug12

TR by Jaro

Wind SE at 10-12 knots early swinging to an easterly and abating from about 9.00am on to about 5 Knots
Sky cloudless
Participants: Richmond and Eye Tag (very early), Pedro (early) and Jaro (sensible hour)

I arrived at MG car park and noted that the three other yakkers had already departed. Getting out with a dry bum was easy with a little care and I found the wind was at my back so had an easy three km with my sail up going at a fair clip. I still do not have my GPS back from repairs for speed readings. The wind then changed to an easterly so down went the sail and I had to work the rest of the way. The other guys were at SR but in view of the wind I decided to fish at MG.

I tried all kinds of bait without success and returned home fishless. Pedro caught a nice longtail tuna somewhere at SR. Eye Tag caught a few insignificant reefies.

Around 9.30 Richmond had trolled to my position at JS where we chatted for a few moments before he started to set off for some more trolling and bingo he had a strike. So for the next 20 minutes or so I followed and observed and took photos of his skilful fight with what was obviously a good size longtail. I was wondering who would tire out first as he was having to rest his arms every now and then. Eventually, Richmond boarded a 109 cm longtail in excellent condition.

Here is Richmond, looking very pleased with himself, doing battle

One very happy Noosa Yakker with his monster longtail.

Of course, Richmond caught the longtail with the Cerny special... the Halco Laser Pro. Shortly after we all decided to head for home and we all landed safely with dry bums at around 11.00am.

Naturally we attracted the usual crowd and there were many oohs and ahs when they saw the fish.

Pedro's longtail is the bottom one measuring 102cm and Richmond's measuring 109cm

Richmond and Pedro with their booty

A great day even for those that didn't catch anything.


Brownie points and snapper! 14Aug12

TR by sunshiner

Wind: S, starting at 5 knots, gradually swinging to NE, less than 5 knots
Swell: SE, 2-3 metres
Current: at Jew Shoal, none
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participant: sunshiner

Stayed in bed this morning while four brave Noosa Yakkers headed into Laguna Bay at dawn. Had a leisurely brekky with M (got some well-needed brownie points there), keeping a close eye on the wind via SeaBreeze all the time. At 9:00 am the trend was clear: the wind down south was slackening from its 15-20 knots overnight, so I loaded the yak onto the Zook. Checked again. Yes, the trend was still downward, I should go.

As M by this time had gone to golf I was a free agent so by 09:35 I was at the Middle Groyne carpark and by 09:45 I was standing on the groyne, with trolleyed yak in hand, talking to jaro by radio. He was at Jew Shoal and confirmed that the wind out there was slackening.

Launch time pic.

I dry bummed it, and within a few minutes was heading for the shoal in ideal conditions. There was a bit of radio traffic among the other, widely separated guys out there, and I’ll leave the writer of that TR to tell you about it. Suffice to say that I was aware that eyetag and pedro were heading back from SR area and that jaro and richmond were together, but also heading back in. The former two I encountered off the baited shark lines south of Jew Shoal where we had a bit of a chat before I went on my way north.

Eyetag and pedro, heading for the beach. Great conditions, eh?

Sensing that the breeze was now starting to come from the NE, I headed for the deeper water to the NE of The Pinnacles, intending to drift from the deep section SW onto the shallows, prospecting as I went. Good choice, as it turned out. Jaro had warned me that there was nothing much biting at Jew Shoal today but I've caught snapper in the middle of the day on several occasions out there and it was a beautiful day so what did I have to lose?

The wind was so light I didn’t even bother with the drogue. My trailing outfit was already rigged with a 1/2 ounce jighead and white 5 inch Snapback so down it went, about 10-12m. The water was beautifully clear with a few of those blue bell shaped jellyfish drifting around down there. Once I was happy with the trailing outfit I fired out my casting rig, the usual 1/8 ounce jig with wobbly tail green SP.

Didn’t have to wait long. Probably about two minutes I reckon. Pow, the green wobbly thing got taken.

And here he (for it was a male) is. No doubt in search of a big female but picking up a snack as he went along. Similar to us, I suppose. The evidence still in his mouth.

At this time the other Noosa Yakkers out there would have been just about to hit the beach so I thought I'd let them know by radio of this instant success. Jaro came back with a gentlemanly response, as one would expect from a gentleman such as he is.

About now I noticed some dolphin activity nearby. These weren’t the usual bottlenose dolphins but Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, which I've seen before hanging around near Main Beach.

Not my pic. Borrowed from Google pics, with my editing.

Soon after tidying up from the first fish I retraced my track on the GPS to do the same drift again. But by now the breeze had shifted slightly so I couldn’t follow the same track exactly. But, no matter, this time the trailing outfit (hanging down about 10m), went off. Don’t you just love that sudden staccato ratchet sound!

Snapper number two.

I fished on a little longer but set myself a time limit as I had several admin things to sort out before going off fishing again tomorrow. So by 12:15 I was pointing the yak toward Middle Groyne and paddling steadily back, a big smile on my face.

Easy landing, at about 13:00, was chatted up by a (quite mature) lady kayak fisher on the beach, trundled the yak up the beach past the envious old blokes sunning themselves at the rock wall, home at 13:45-ish. How good was that?

Hope to see some of you out there tomorrow.


Sunshine Reef Splitters, 08Aug12

Trip Report by Turtleboy
Wind: Westerly, 5 to 10 knots
Swell: Small from the SE
Water conditions: Clear
Launch point: Sunshine Dog Beach
Participants: Jaro, Jimbo, Wendy and Pete, Turtleboy

The group was split for today's paddle. Richmond, Solmon and Yakfinn launched from MG bound for Halls Reef, whilst Jaro, Jimbo and I left from Sunshine Dog Beach. Wendy and Pete did the daily double, launching from MG and paddling around to Sunshine Reef in a tandem.

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Wendy and Pete in their tandem at Sunshine Reef.

Jim and Jaro had already made it to their marks, by the time I launched at Sunshine. We were all assisted by quite a strong cool and offshore predominantly westerly. Even cooler if you had to take a wave over the bow as I did getting out through the surf zone. Later, I heard that Jim took the award from the dry bum launch of the day and Jaro suffered the same fate as me.

Jaro picked up a MacTuna trawling on the way out with his sail set and going no doubt quicker than the 2.8 kph natural unassisted drift. He focused primarily on locations approximately 1 to 1.5 klms directly off our launch point and a little north.

Jim and I ventured further north off A Bay. In close it was a lot warmer whilst protected from the wind. During the morning we thought we heard a transmission announcing that Richmond had hooked up on a large fish. After a while I paddled to Hells Gate so as to get a clear line of sight to Halls Reef and was able to connect with Jeff and confirm that he had in fact boated a nice Longtail Tuna. See separate report. Well done Richmond.

Towards the end of the trip Jim, Jaro and I were joined by Wendy and Pete at a point known as A503. We were getting small bite-offs and eventually I caught a trigger fish. He was one of the culprits responsible for my growing collection of SP stumpys.

Meanwhile back on the beach at around 10.30, Sunshiner had arrived and small crowd started to gather. Wendy and Pedro decided to wait around and witness the surf skills, and or, carnage. Jim in ok, my timing ok but unfortunately Jaro was not able to repeat his famous Epic ride and took a little swim to cool off. Whooo went the crowd.

So at the end of the day the Sunshine Beach Olympics standings are as follows

Jimbo - Gold
Turtleboy - Silver
Jaro - Bronze

Video of the beach landings, courtesy of Sunshiner productions.

After washing down and reloading the kayaks on the roof racks we all agreed it was at least a good upper body work out.

Thanks for the paddle guys and thanks to Wendy and Pete for coming over. The duo last seen with Pete in the back with his feet up and hands behind his head enjoying the sunshine. Wendy up front paddling like crazy back to MG!



Record longtail. 08Aug12

TR by Richmond

Wind - 10kts WNW
Current - none
Participants - went out alone, saw Yakfinn and Solman out at Halls.

Seeing that the fishing has been rather slow at Sunshine Reef, Jew Shoal, A-Bay areas, I was primed for a shot at bottom bashing Halls Reef for a grassy or two.

I was on the water at 5.20am and was soaking my first bait at about 6am. The paddle out was a bit wetter than expected. The wind was gusting to 10knots at least out of the westerly quarter.

I deployed my big drogue and set about nailing a grassy. I had a big prawn wafting down on one rig and a 5" flickbait soft plastic on the other rig. I was working the sp pretty hard, changing plastics, changing weights, I couldn't get a touch.

As for the prawn, same deal, changing weight etc, couldn't get a sniff bar the bottom which I snagged up on and lost my rig.

Blow this I thought, even with the big drogue out I was getting pushed along at 1 to 1.5 k's an hour. I'd been fishing the bottom for 2 hours without a sniff, time for a new plan.

I decided to troll a LaserPro into the beach at the third cutting and head for home then out to Little Halls when I was due west of it -- a big circle so to speak. No more than five minutes had elapsed when I hear my reel protest. I'd hooked up but the fish only took about 10 metres of line and was coming to the yak very easily.

I could see a silvery fish and thought it must have been a spotty as it wasn't fighting like a tuna. When the tuna got to about 10 metres from the yak, it realised it was hooked and she took off. Not on a long run, but it went down and stayed down directly under the yak for the next 30 minutes or so. By this time, Yakfinn and Solman had showed up from Little Halls. Yakfinn came over about a minute after I landed the fish and took a pic for me. Thanks Sean.

112cm Longtail

Pic by yakfinn

I chose to head in after that very satisfying fight. I trolled all the way home without another hit and landed easily on the beach where I had a few curious observers checking my catch out. One lady wanted to know what sort of shark it was! When I told her it was a Longtail Tuna she stated "Oh yes, it does have a long tail doesn't it?" Made me giggle anyway.

Longtail Tuna 112cm

112cm Longtail on mat

Jeff (Richmond)

Stumers Creek, 06Aug12

TR by Pedro

Stumers Creek runs into the ocean just north of Coolum. Access is via Stumers Creek Rd, good parking, toilets and tap for washdowns are all present. Access to the launch point on the beach is a flat and hard packed creek bed, the dry on/off ramp of sand is short and gently sloped. Photo below

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There is a series of rocks at the waters edge that lead out into deeper water. The southern side of these held a channel of sorts on the day, sand shifts and I suppose this could change. I drybum launched at first light and headed north east to Hancock Shoal 1.4k to gps mark.

On arrival, I headed into the northwest wind while checking the bottom on the sounder and set up for drift fishing when I felt I was at the western edge.The water depth went from 13 to 23 meters over a drift of 1.5k. The reef was still constant and a couple of charter boats were working further to the east.

My only action so far was two hits in a row on pilchard near the surface. So I headed south for Coolum Reef. 4.8k towing a HB.

No luck there and when the northeaster started I headed in for a drybum landing.


Doggie Beach, flying fish, 06Aug12

TR by sunshiner

Wind: Calm, becoming NE at 5 knots later
Swell: almost none
Current: at SR, none
Launch point: Doggie Beach
Participants: turtleboy, sunshiner

As turtleboy and I both live at Sunshine Beach, we couldn’t ignore the rare perfect conditions which were presented today. I was watching Seabreeze closely from about 08:00, when the wind was NW and quite brisk. Down south the live weather reports at Cape Moreton and Spitfire Channel indicated a wind drop progressing north and sure enough, by 09:30 the leaves and branches of the trees around Sunshine Beach were dead still and baking in the winter sunshine. Turtleboy had already been down to the beach and had confirmed the swell was tiny so the decision was easy, we were doing a Doggie Beach launch.

See what I mean. Knee high shore break.

By 11:30 I'd dry bummed the launch and was able to see every grain of sand below as I paddled slowly out through a zone normally characterized by white water. Turtleboy was coming along a little later so I pulled out the rods and electronics and set course for a mark on Doggie Beach reef, a mere 1500m away!

As I paddled east I came across mac tuna here and there, splashing on the surface or leaping clear. The water was deep blue and crystal clear, the sky cloudless, and there was no wind. It was good to be alive and out there. How good are fishing kayaks!

The fish, however, were either not present or not cooperative. Turtleboy joined me out there about 30 minutes after I arrived at my mark.

Turtleboy in the seascape.

There was one very unusual event. We are accustomed to seeing small flying fish, usually in summer, but today I saw what I at first thought was a bird. It was travelling parallel with the ocean surface and about 50cm above it, from right to left from my POV and toward turtleboy. It was like no bird I’d seen before. In fact it was shaped and coloured like a fish, about 40cm long and travelled about 50m in a glide before crashing into the sea with a decent splash. It wasn’t a bird, as I quickly realized and can only conclude that it was a flying fish, of a size I’ve only seen before in the centre of the Indian Ocean and around Indonesia. Anyone else seen one around here?

I fished continuously from around noon to 3:00pm with SPs and mac tuna baits dropped to the bottom for only one small fish, whose pic I’ve included as an aid to identification for the many new Noosa Yakkers reading this who may be unfamiliar with this fish which is quite common on Sunshine Reef. Turtleboy also caught and released one.

Maori cod, legal size 45cm. Will eat almost anything you put down there. Very good eating but most we see are below legal size.

So by just after 3:00 pm we were heading back in. The NE breeze and low tide now produced small waves where earlier no waves existed. Having tackled this particular sand monster many times, turtleboy and I took our time and hit the beach right way up.

Turtleboy timed it perfectly. Frame from movie.

Even though we caught no significant fish, today was well worth the trip. To be out at sea in a kayak on such a glorious day was a privilege. Trip distance: a mere 6km.

Arkwright Grassy, 05Aug12

TR by Shaggy

Wind: Westerly @ 6 knots, ceasing to nothing
Swell: 0.5m SSE
Current: None
Launch point: Yaroomba Beach, Warragah Parade
Participants: Shaggy, Damien and Mick

We had a early start up at 4:00am and on the road by 5:00am for a 6:00am launch at Yaroomba Beach, destination Arkwright Shoal. We met at 5:00am at the 7 Eleven on Nicklan Way which is our usual meeting spot for all our adventures. After a short half an hour trip in the car we were at Warragah Parade, Yaroomba Beach. Expectations were high amongst the group as we have not yet had a great fishing session from the yaks.

We all headed down to the beach for a quick look at the conditions and were excited to see that the predictions from Seabreeze and the like were spot on with minimal swell and bugger all wind. We trundled our yaks down to our launch point and were greeted with the sun just peaking its head through a thin band of cloud on the horizon.

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The early morning view.

We then entered the water just after 6:00am and after waiting for a lull in the swell we all made it safely out the back with dry bums, we all got rigged up and started trolling our way to our first mark, we arrived at our first mark after a short paddle as it was only 2klms from our launch point.

I sounded around for a little bit to try and find some better looking structure while Damien and Mick started sending down their sp's to try and get some fish on the board. After about 10-15 mins of sounding around and not finding any promising looking ground and the boys not getting any touches at all on the sp's we decided to move the our next mark a little further north and closer to shore.

By the time we arrived at our next mark the wind had all but ceased and conditions we amazing.

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Mick and Mt Coolum

The water was so flat and clear we were in between 13-16 metres of water and we could clearly see the bottom.  At one point I looked around after staring at my bait just up from the bottom to see that the other lads were doing the same thing. I have never seen water so clear before it was one of those things that money can't buy.

Anyway, we proceeded to send down half pillies with minimal weight and also had our sp's out just floating around but for the next couple of hours but the only fish that was landed was a small grassy from Damien. At 9:40am I yelled out to the lads that I was calling it a day and heading for home.

This is where things get a little interesting well for Damien anyway. Mick was the first one to get everything stowed away and start the paddle into the line up, he couldn't have timed it any better getting all the way to terrafirma without any hassles, then I picked the next lull in the sets and made it to shore only to get a little water in the yak as a little shore break picked me up and broad sided me onto the sand, although I managed to stay upright.

After quickly dragging the yak up the beach I turned around to see Damien starting to paddle but then stopping and I could see and nice size 2 footer building behind him. He had mentioned on one of our other outings a couple of weeks back that he wouldn't mind trying to surf a wave in.  I quickly got my camera out, and well what can I say, a couple of pictures say a thousand words.

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Damien takes a dunking, more work to do on the surfing techniques !

Once we all got packed up and ready to head our separate ways to home we got a quick pic of Damien and his grassy that was in the mid 30's range. Nothing to write home about but still a nice couple of fillets for his efforts.

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Thanks guys and hopefully I can get back up to Noosa and do another trip with you guys shortly as this is the 4th trip we have done down in the Caloundra to Coolum area to date.