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.

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