Stormin's Day, 31Mar13

TR by Jaro
Conditions: Great with vey little wind, mainly sunny skys.
Current: There was a bit of a current at JS but none at Halls Reef.

Participants: Whalebait, Stormin, Doctor Dog and Jaro.

It was Stormin Norman's day today

Except for Dr Dog we all arrived at MG around the same time at about 5.15am. We checked out the waves and decided to have a go even though the sand monster was working with a vengeance. Timing would be crucial.

I went first and waited in the channel for quite a long time before deciding the set was over. With adrenalin surging in my veins, I paddled like fury and got out unscathed bar getting a wet bum but a dry top. Stormin came through ok also and also got wet.

We readied ourselves for the paddle to JS and by the time I was ready to go Whalebait still had not appeared. Stormin had not finished his preps so I went ahead. A short time later he called and told me Whalebait had made it out. His radio was not working and he later told us he had a meeting with the sand monster....twice. Shows us yakkers are a brave lot.

I got to JS without any action and was joined there by Stormin and Whalebait. Whalebait decided to troll to Halls Reef while we did some bottom fishing. Stormin caught what may have been a Maori Cod which he released. With no more action occurring we also headed for Halls Reef.

To summarise... I caught a shark there which I kept. Stormin caught a variety of fish, a snapper, 2 sharks and a sweet lip. All were released. Stormin also had 3 large strikes and lost his lure each time. I think he will use wire next time but he did get a nice fat Spottie Mac using a trailing pillie to take home. Dr Dog had contacted us and told us Whalebait was returning to MG, fishless. He had made it out ok and was going to venture out towards us.

Photo below of Stormin' with his FSM ( Fat Spottie Mac )

 photo 5ec833c0-0426-4eb4-b3c7-a994f7cfecd4_zpsdc1bffbd.jpg

Photo by Jaro

At 10.15am we decided to call it a day and left Dr Dog out there to continue trying his luck.
There were still large sets pounding MG but both of us timed our run perfectly and landed upright without any dramas.


Coolumgatta Gold, 29Mar13

I suspect there's more to be revealed about today's fishing escapades around Noosa but sprocket, salticrak and big kev did Coolum today, in spectacular style, apparently. Looks like big kev blew his chance on registering a Noosa Yakkers record spotty. Anyway, here's sprocket's report on AKFF


Yakfinn's Good Friday, 29Mar13

TR by Yakfinn with additional contributions below from Soren and panno
Wind: Offshore less around 5 knots
Swell: 1m SE
Current: Gentle
Launch point: Middle Groyne

Participants: Yakfinn, Jaro, JamieD, Soren, Emil, WhaleRider, Panno, DocDog and Turtleboy

With a bit of patience and lucky timing I was able to make it out reasonably unscathed this morning despite some reasonable sized dumpers causing havoc at the end of the groyne.

My plan was to head to A-Bay, Sunshine area and try and find the pelagics, however the closer I got to A-Bay reef the more convinced I became that there was not that much happening out there. After arriving at ABay reef and doing a few quick troll laps around the area I had seen no signs of life and decide to follow the endless flurry of birds to the north and then bay into the bay.

I trolled all the way back to Jew Shoal without a touch and without seeing any surface action. Once at Jew Shoal I rendezvoused with Jaro who had just had a fair stoush with a pretty decent sized shark before it broke free of his line. We decided to try our luck at Halls reef, Jaro choosing to troll a whole gar, whilst I was still trolling my Rapala xrap hard body lure. We figured between the two of us, hopefully we would entice a strike. Probably half way between Jew Shoal and Halls reef we encountered a reasonable sized patch of bait, with several birds dive bombing for an easy meal. There were no signs of any predatory activity though, however it was looking the most encouraging it had all morning. Another few minutes paddling past the bait school and my trolled line went off. I was stoked to get a hit, my first strike this year. I started to play the fish and it initially felt like it was only something very small, I was expecting a bonito or a small mak tuna. As i got it close to the yak I saw that it looked more like a Mackerel and as soon as it saw the yak it took of for a short but speedy run. It only had one more short run in it and i had it by the side of the yak. A decent sized spotty Mak. I'm always nervous getting a fish on board, basically because I've felt the heartbreak of losing a decent sized pelagic getting it on board before, but this one was no trouble.

With the fish secured, Jaro took a photo and we were on our way again.

 photo f6995f17-0621-4370-a727-c54e9582adfc_zps08c39db7.jpg
Photo by Jaro

I departed for middle groin shortly after, as Jess was meeting me there with her Kayak at 0930 so we could go for a paddle around the bays.

I did the slow paddle back to MG with a smile on my face the whole way home. A long paddle, having departed MG for A-Bay, then heading back to Jew Shoal, onto Halls and back to MG, but a very enjoyable morning on the water, and well worth it.

 photo e10c46dc-5700-49bc-8404-3518849df01c_zpsbc56228c.jpg
Photo by TurtleBoy

Good to see a good turn out of guys today. Hope everyone had a good day.

Cheers, Sean (Yakfinn)

Additional Contribution from Soren

Emil and I went to Sunshine reef about 2 km out from Abay. I caught a grassy sweetlip 38cm. Emil also caught one 42cm plus a spotty mackerel 73cm. He caught a small cod which we threw back.We had a nice morning and spotted a few turtles and a sea snake. The return to MG was more successful than the departure where I got dunked !

Photo below of Emil and his catch, courtesy of Soren

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Contribution by panno, 05Apr13
Well guys, following some gentle persuasion (Possibly from fellow victims wishing to spread the shame perhaps?), I am pleased to be able to re-tell the sorry tale of my sand-monster-demise of Friday past, and the Stealth repair that followed. Please read on if this is of interest… [Editor: If you’re a Noosa Yakker, it’s of great interest, IMHO.]

As described by Yakfinn in the original trip report, the wind was light, however there were “reasonable size dumpers causing havoc” out in front of the groyne. Oh how true those words were!

At very first light, Jaro and a few others began their cautious paddle into the gutter towards the end of the groyne, where they cleverly held position as they assessed conditions and waited for a window to sneak out unscathed. I held up Redwood’s departure by asking him to do a quick radio check with me (my radio is sadly misbehaving at present), but once this was done (radio still no good except if on zero squelch setting), we too headed out into the gutter. I had stowed my rods and tackle, but had left a PVC holder-extension tube (to be used to elevate my reels above splash/spray) in the left hand rod holder, as I figured it was cheap to replace if things went pear-shaped… I had also fitted my Lowrance sounder onto its bracket. [Editor: Whoaah, how did the sounder cope, or haven’t you found it yet?]

Ignoring the bad omen of the radio malfunction, and believing myself to be some kind of hero surf club ski paddler, I stupidly gave the surf only a cursory glance as I paddled straight past Jaro and into what quickly became the sand monster and his family. I managed to brace through the first three waves as they smashed me backwards, but I was still upright. I can still do this, I thought, but then, as I paddled flatstrap towards the horizon and safety, the big daddy monster reared up out of nowhere and I was caught in the absolutely-worst place possible, wearing the monster’s full fury across my chest.

Things then get a bit foggy for me – I vaguely recall having to right my upturned Stealth twice, so I must have worn a second wave on the head, but then there was a lull so I jumped on board and paddled like a bastard and got out the back, wet, but in one piece (or so I thought).

Due to embarrassment I consciously avoided the other yakkers who appeared dry and were setting up their equipment to begin trolling. I did similar, but when I reached back to place my trolling rod in the holder I was shocked to see a gaping jagged hole where the holder used to be. With hindsight, the PVC tube proved my undoing as it must have jammed into the sandbar when I was rolled, ripping out the tube and the Stealth holder in the process.

So what to do? Unsure as to how much water I had taken on, the obvious choice was to head straight back in. Couple of problems with that though – the sand monster was still likely to be hungry for at least a few hours until the tide rose, and surely there would be merciless teasing and reproach from those still on shore. So what’s a guy (an embarrassed, wet guy with a broken yak) to do? Head out to sea of course, to try and redeem himself, keeping clear of all other lifeforms until I caught a fish!

After 5-10 minutes of paddling I was confident I wasn’t carrying too much water, as the boat wasn’t overly pitching forwards/backwards with the runners as would happen if I was swamped. Out went my mullet imitation lure and, long story short, about 600m west of nthn Sunshine Reef I got a strong hit by what turned out to be a nice little yellowfin – see photo hereabouts. Redwood, Soren and Emil came over and witnessed the landing, and it was then back home for me to begin preparations for eating the fish (sashimi and nummus at First Point for dinner), and repairing my yak.

With regards the repair, it was a bit tricky in so far as the self tap screw holes were all ripped open and the original (round) hole in the hull was now jagged, incorporating the rips out to the screw holes. I’m not sure if this is just an issue with my Evo, but the deck material thickness is really poor in this region, almost cardboard like, so no wonder the holder ripped out so easily. Anyway, I cut back the jagged hole all the way around using a Stanley knife (Yes, that’s how thin the deck is in that particular spot!), so that I had a smooth and clean hole to work with. I then applied fibreglass resin mix all around the hole and laid fibreglass matting all the way around (using 4 separate thin strips). The matting therefore covered not just the edge of the hole but also went over the top and past where the screw holes were. I then flooded the matting with more resin and left it all to set. Once hard, I cut the hole back to an appropriate diameter so as to accommodate the new rod holder. It was then just a simple re-insertion and drilling of new holes for the new screws, and then siliconing the whole thing to ensure it was watertight. The end product looks great and I figure it will be more robust than the original – see photo (unfortunately I didn’t take a “before” photo to provide perspective).

So that’s it – paddler humbled, fish eaten and boat repaired – it’s been an interesting week! Lessons learnt? – be more cautious when observing the conditions, remember my paddle speed is much less than a racing ski and the target area for a wave to hit is also much wider in the Stealth, always stow all gear underneath, regardless of conditions, and never give up!

Happy paddling


Coolum longtail, 27Mar13

Salticrak, well known AKFFer has recently upgraded to become a Noosa Yakker. His reputation for mixing it with the big blue is well deserved, and here he is getting out from Coolum and nailing a nice longtail, the first fish for his new boat. AKFF post here.


Woolgoolga, Rounds 2 & 3. Yes! 26Mar13

TR by sunshiner

Wind: NE less than 5 knots
Swell: 1m easterly
Current: toward north, gentle
Launch point: Woolgoolga Main Beach
Participants: me, alone

Woolgoolga, Rounds 2 and 3 (see Round 1 posted yesterday)

The weather continued to hold and by afternoon 25Mar I was keen to have another crack to see if I could get the monkey off my back. This time I at least had a known starting point, where I'd dropped the suspected snapper in the morning. This time it was a low tide launch and the kelp swirling around meant I embarked with several lengths of the stuff wrapped around my feet and legs.

3:30pm yesterday. I'd promised to be back about 5:30pm.

It was only a 10 minute paddle out to the spot I'd located in the morning. The breeze was now from the SE, which allowed me to set up a nice drift over the target area. Of course, my GPS was critical in helping relocate this spot and I'd recharged its batteries while I'd been ashore.

The result was no fish, although I did get busted by one almost certain snapper, and had an SP picked up as it dropped toward the ocean floor but I struck too soon and pulled the SP out of its mouth. I was pretty pissed off at still not catching a fish but at least Mary met me on the beach, carrying the trolley. And tomorrow is another day.

Tomorrow dawned and my luck with the weather held. Instead of charging down to the beach and launching at first light I decided to firstly partake of a leisurely brekky. This meant a 09:30 launch by the time I got going.

Fifteen minutes later I'm on my mark and now the drift was toward the south, propelled by a gentle NE breeze. I'd not changed my rigs from the afternoon before and deployed them Noosa style, with the trailing rig out the back carrying a 1/2 ounce jighead and four inch white snapback. The casting outfit was loaded with a 1/8 ounce jighead and 4 inch squidgee SP.

After 15 minutes of no action the headland about 1km south started to attract my attention. This caused me to abandon plan A (temporarily) in the hope of finding a better location among the wash areas close in to the headland. I thought better of this after discovering several bommies which reached up suddenly to 4m depth. Even in this low swell, occasional waves were breaking on them, so I turned back to Plan A and arrived back at my mark, adjusted for the planned drift, at about 10:25. As I had now only 90 minutes before I had to head back to the beach I resolved to stick with my plan. After all, I had found this spot, and I'd had some action, and disappointment, here yesterday, so it had to be my best choice.

On arrival I deployed the trailing outfit and then turned my attention to changing the casting rig by upgrading to 1/4 ounce to keep it near the bottom for longer while drifting. In the middle of this process that sound, that glorious sound, of a squealing drag interrupted me. Clearly there was a reasonable fish on the trailing outfit, deployed less than a minute ago.

Remember, up to this time, I hadn't boated a fish this year. This whole year! So, understandably, I was calling out to the fishing gods to please let this be a snapper and let it not escape. There it was, after a short tussle, floating next to the yak, a snapper indeed. Not a big one but ideal for my purposes. At the moment I put it into the hatch I heard a splash and swear I saw a monkey swimming away toward the beach. Bewdy!!

My first snapper and first fish for 2013 (not for want of trying).

My shouts of victory were probably heard on the beach, only ten minutes away by yak. Now I knew where the snapper were and how to catch them.

It's amazing how a small victory such as this can change your attitude. Now I was keen to fish on and try for better. I had about an hour to go before I had to head back to the beach again.

It took all of that hour, but at 11:58 my casting outfit got slammed in typical snapper style. This confirmed that my location and techniques were sound. This was a better fish and was certain to put me in the good books with my daughter in law in Sydney who was hoping that we could dine on fresh snapper on Wednesday (ie tomorrow) night.

Snapper #2. By now the monkey was probably up a tree somewhere in the far distance.

Beach time, and I left immediately, without even a final cast. Again Mary met me on the beach, carrying my trolley. This time I had better news.

On the beach, Woolgoolga.

Interestingly, there were several fishing boats, mainly tinnies, arriving back at the beach at the same time as I did. I chatted to the occupants and learned that none of them had caught anything for days and that they have been going through a similar season as Noosa has just experienced, with dirty water and paucity of fish. Their water is now clean, to which I can attest and perhaps they will start to get fish, including Spaniards, soon.

Anyway, I'm going back for the arvo session to see if I have my knack back.

See you in a couple of weeks.


Longtail, Snaps and Sweeties, 25Mar13

TR by Jimbo with additional contribution from Pedro

Wind: 5 knots nw
Swell: 0.5m
Current: Very strong at A-Bay Rf, 1.5-2.0 kph to SSE
Launch Point: Middle Groyne
Participants: Pedro, Yak Finn, Redwood, Tarzan, Jimbo

At last! A day when there was almost no swell or wind, the water quite clear, cloudy initially then sunny, and a few NYs caught a some fish! It seems like more than year since the conditions were so ... normal.

When I arrived at MG car park at 0515, followed minutes later by Tarzan, Pedro had already launched, and Yak Finn and Redwood had their yaks on the beach and were preparing to launch. Redwood was a little restricted for time and so decided to head for Jew Shoal. The rest of us decided to head for Sunshine Reef, encouraged by Whalebait landing a massive Spaniard there on Sunday. The launch was dead easy with the low swell and only an hour before high tide.

Heading out past the Witches Cauldron (the headland on western end of Teetree Bay), I was surprised, but delighted, to wind in a ~40cm snapper that had attached my trolled gold bomber lure.

On arriving at A-Bay Reef, Yak Finn and Tarzan had headed further south chasing a bust up of longtails but had not been able to get within casting distance. There were a few sporadic surface bust ups during the morning at Sunshine and Jew Shoal (reported by Redwood), sufficient to indicate there were longtails around, but none sufficiently large, or remaining long enough to be able to chase. We all bottom/drift fished at our chosen locations, but generally agreed the action was slow. A summary of the spread of NY and their fortunes for the morning is as follows:

Pedro landed 3 or 4 keeper sweetlip at the northern end of Sunshine Reef on bait (mullet strips?). He also tried Jew Shoal briefly on his way home but without adding to his tally.

Redwood hooked up to something pretty big at Jew Shoal and fought it for about 30 minutes before it broke his braid line. In hindsight Redwood thinks it was probably a shark. Without the necessary tackle to re-tie his terminal gear, and with flat batteries in his GPS, he decided to head for home, probably a little earlier than he had initially anticipated.

Yak Finn and I both initially bottom bashed around A-Bay Reef, having to reset our drifts often and by significant distances because of the very strong SSE current. After about an hour, Yak Finn moved off to try his luck at Jew Shoal but eventually returned home without success.

I tried a mark about 800m east of A-Bay Reef without success, then returned to A-Bay Reef where I landed two more snapper in fairly quick succession. One was about 55cm on a trailed pilchard, the other just legal size (but returned) on prawn.

Tarzan was fortunate to land a "standard" sized (90-100 cm) longtail on bait while bottom fishing about 750m south of A-Bay Reef, but then had a long paddle back home against the strong head current, as we all did.

 photo 3ab3dcf6-4c7c-49e8-b5bf-36b3bdec3c73_zpsb47dba9f.jpg

Photo by TurtleBoy

Well that's about it. The return to shore shore was a little more tricky with the tide now quite low and the odd wave standing up on the sand bar about 20m out from the end of the groyne. After de-rigging I started to follow my normal procedure of positioning myself parallel with the beach just outside of what I thought was the break zone, ready for a lull in the sets to make my run into shore. Annoyingly, I was surprised by a rogue wave that quickly sat up just to seaward of me before I could turn into it and was ungraciously rolled as Turtleboy was filming from the shore. Hopefully this action will be too distant from the camera to be useful, and Steve will insert the footage of me cruising gracefully into shore after righting my yak and climbing aboard.

Click below to see Jimbo's video, take 1 and take 2

For those who will be around, the Easter long weekend looks like offering a few great days to get out, but be careful of fleet of stink boats that will inevitably be out there as well, particularly if you are crossing the river mouth.

 photo IMG_0475_zps81dc7faa.jpg

Photo by TurtleBoy


Contribution from Pedro

I launched at 4.30am after trying to get a few live mullet with the castnet at Lions park, I only managed to catch one around 40cm which I kept for fresh bait.

The paddle out to Hells Gates was uneventful and I found the bait schools that Turtleboy mentioned yesterday and did laps trolling pilchard and large SP without result.

So I headed out to North Sunshine and drift fished, discovering how fast the current was running I changed tactics and used the peddles to slow down the drift and keep my bait near the bottom (hover fishing,hobies only). The fishing improved and I landed three average grassies with the biggest going 42cm.

I stopped off at JS on the way back and managed to get bricked by something before returning to MG around lunchtime, deciding to land with rods up, always risky, and made it in upright between waves.


Woolgoolga, Round 1, 25Mar13

TR by sunshiner

Wind: NW less than 5 knots
Swell: 1m easterly
Current: toward north, gentle
Launch point: Woolgoolga Main Beach
Participants: me, alone

First time fishing in a new place is always a challenge. Add a kayak launch on a surf beach and a new dimension is added.

I'd chosen Woolgoolga as a two day stopover with the yak mainly because it's about half way to Sydney. Accommodation within a short yak trundle of the beach was also important, so here we are at Woolgoolga Beach Caravan Park, and we've cracked great weather with light winds and low swell.

Here's the situation. The location bubble is where our cabin sits.

Daylight savings time applies in NSW so it was a late start this morning, particularly as the sun presently rises a little later here anyway.

Launch time. Beaches down here are afflicted with what looks like a type of kelp.

Getting out was dead easy and after setting up I immediately set out for the big bommie, as visible on the map above. A young couple in a double yak with a fishing rod were also out, earlier than I was and we exchanged good mornings as they headed back in toward the beach, fishless, I understand.

I found that there was lots of structure east of the bommie in 12-14m depth, so decided to fish Noosa style here. Other than a shoal of small baitfish that I drifted over, I got and saw no action, so started to look around. About 800m east there was a stinky with a couple of blokes in it so I paddled over to find out why they were there. The water here was 20m or so but these guys were catching nothing so I decided to hang around there for a while and did so, for two drifts in about 45 min before I started to get the itch to have more of a look around.

The view from offshore.

To the south the headland you can see just east of my launch point caught my attention so I headed out in a straight line across the bay toward it. All of the time I was paddling I had a lure out, just in case. On this track I came across obvious surface upwellings and at the same time began noticing the depth reducing from around 18m to 16m. Here there were also some faint surface actions and a few terns hanging about. After taking a good look around with the sounder I decided it was worth a try so pulled up and deployed my plastics. No action at all, and as my self imposed deadline of 09:30 was imminent it was time to head for the beach. My trailing outfit had been hanging out the back with a four inch SP on it and as I was retrieving this quickly it got slammed and I was on.

The fish seemed to me to have been probably a snapper around maybe 50cm so I was really stoked as I was clearly going to break my duck. Then the line went slack. Bummer; the hook had dislodged. Headed for the beach, tail between legs, cursing loudly.

Again an easy surf zone transit. Now getting ready for a late arvo session, same place. Then tomorrow morning again. Wish me luck.

See you in a couple of weeks.


Isobar and Dave, 24Mar13

TR by Isobar

I launched with my friend Dave at 6:00am from Moffat beach, Caloundra. We planned to head north towards Rapier shoal, but halfway there we saw many terns and birds feeding on bait fish, but without a sign of pelagics.

We trolled our lures. I was with a small mullet Frenzy, like the one I gave Jaro, and Dave was trolling a green mullet Halco LP 120 through the bait schools.

At some point I got a strike, which felt quite tame at first, but gradually put on a nice fight which ended eventually with a circa 60cm shark that I kept.

We kept trolling for another hour or so, without any result and decided to head back. As we were just off Dickey beach (less than 1k from our launch site), Dave was hit hard.

I got close and gave him my best advice how to handle the fish and setting the drag. Dave played the fish beautifully and 10 minutes later, the long silhouette of the Spaniard made it to the surface, where I gaffed it and helped Dave land it.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photo by IsoBar

From there it was an easy 10 minutes paddle back to the beach, with lots of interest and questions from locals.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photo courtesy of IsoBar

It seems like the fish are back!

Cheers, IsoBar and Dave

What a sunset! - 24Mar13

TR by Gemini
Participants:  Gemini
Launch Site: Jamesy's Run, Lake MacDonald
Conditions: Fine, light breeze

Today I decided to try a different launch site for Lake MacDonald. There is a rarely used "ramp" off Hoy Road which I discovered one day while geocaching and, although overgrown, is still in perfect working order. I hit the water around 4:20PM, only planning to fish until dark.

I headed over to the far bank and turned north, attempting to find the open water in between the weeds. It was hard going. The algae in this section of the lake was catching my lure frequently, and it's a pain to remove compared to the weed there. Not far up I had my first (and only) take for the day. This fish had a few cracks at the lure before he took it, but when he did it went down whole. He felt like a good size, and I wasn't disappointed. At 42cm he gave me a new personal best for bass. Only a 1cm difference from my last PB, but i'll take it!

From there on the going was slow. I cruised around the 3-Ways and annoyed some bird life, and then made my way back. I had a hit along the way, but it didn't take and I couldn't entice him back for a second serve.

As the sun started to disappear I was greeted with one mighty fantastic sunset. The pictures really don't do it justice, but you get the idea.


Matt (Gemini)

Big Spaniard, 24Mar13

TR by WhaleBait

A solo trip report today from me as Gemini and BJ pulled out due to launch conditions. I launched at 5:30am and paddled out to Sunshine Reef. The water is still very dirty with a few birds heading north but no surface action.

I did 1 drift with no action so started paddling back up my drift line when my trolled pillie was smashed. The first run very nearly spooled me and after 45 minutes, 2 more big runs and an epic tug of war under the kayak, I now found myself along way from home (southern end of Abay) with a very large Spaniard on my lap.

It was a very slow and unbalanced trip home which took nearly 2hours. Somehow I managed to land upright back on the beach.

The 162 cm beast weighed in at Davos at 24kg.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photo by Bill Watson / Davo's Fishing Tackle.

Sorry for the rambling report but very tired. My first paddle for 3 months.

cheers, Brian

Conditions improving, 23Mar13

TR by sunshiner

Wind: SW less than 5 knots
Swell: 1.8m easterly
Current: At Jew Shoal, toward the east
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: solman, yakfinn, stormin, kahuna, sunshiner, and possibly tarzan (spotted his car in carpark after return)

At last, a near windless day. Four of us assembled on the beach at Middle Groyne in the near darkness about 5:15. A quick assessment of the break made each of us aware that a wet bum, but nothing worse, was a strong possibility. Even though the tide was high, there was enough swell to cause waves to break on the bank about 30m out from the groyne. There were lulls, but not very consistent and not easy to predict.

Out I went, first, and had passed the end of the wall and was going well until one of THOSE waves started to rise quickly seemingly out of nothing. I knew I’d crash through OK, but don't like getting wet on the way out, especially when there are observers like yakfinn on the beach. Anyway I switched on the shiraz powered afterburner (refuelled the night before) and cleared the dumper just before it collapsed into a chaotic frothy wall behind me.

So, drybum, off to a good start. My companions followed. I think solman got a wet bum as he managed to pick a set of four all of which he climbed over accompanied by a fair bit of spray which was clearly visible from my vantage point a further 150m out.

Noting that the water seemed murky, I opted to head for Jew Shoal in the hope that the clean water boundary might be between here and there. Paddling conditions were great, for a change, with almost dead calm conditions in the bay. Sunrise on the bay is always a pleasure in such conditions.

Very occasionally I spotted a tern, or maybe three or four, but there was no surface activity, and the terns would have found it difficult to get breakfast I think. Jew Shoal did not look inviting as the water had that tinge which usually means no fish in my experience. But I gave it my best shot, as did my companions all of whom had followed me out there. The sounder had a very occasional showing of fish, or debris, in mid water, but generally the indications were that there was little around. Kahuna arrived about 40 minutes after calling us up from Middle Groyne and just as he arrived he reported that he'd got and dropped a quick strike at The Pinnacles after which a longtail jumped nearby.

Solman with wet straw hat (probably a launch casualty) in his quite new Supalite X.

After 90 minutes or so of no action, not even for stormin, who was using prawns for bait, I opted to head toward Little Halls Reef to take a look. Ominously, just as I announced this I spotted two stinkboats coming toward us from that very place. The closer I got to Little Halls Reef the more attractive the idea of pulling the pin became because there was no improvement in water quality, no signs of terns feeding, no surface action. My decision to head for the beach was also influenced by the announcements from solman and stormin that they and yakfinn were heading in.

And so we four arrived back at the beach together. The surf zone was turbulent but managed well by all, although stormin did come close to moving the rock wall a little to the east.

I reckon those who go out tomorrow should head for A-Bay Reef or Sunshine, where the water may be clearer and more amenable to the fish.

Thanks for coming guys. See you in a couple of weeks.


Additional Contribution by Kahuna

I hauled in a nice snapper at Jew Shoal about 9.30am after you guys choofed off.  It was 750cm long and I reckon weighted about 5kgs. I didn't have anything to weigh it with so cant be sure. There is a large area there that I'd not identified previously, as I hadn't had the opportunity to have a good look before. It is only about 8-9m deep and that's where I got the snapper on a combo pillie and prawn bait.

I had noticed it before breaking during the last really big swell a couple of months back and figured there was a shoal there that was quite shallow. Lots of rough ground and lots of bait fish around yesterday. I also saw three explosions as Longtails launched themselves into the air close by me during my time out there.

Don't know how Tarzan did. I launched about the same time as him but he disappeared towards Sunshine Reef with a vigour and speed I was unable to match.

cheers, Kahuna.

Sharks, mainly. 17Mar13

TR by sunshiner

Wind: NW to SW 5 knots
Swell: 1.5m SE
Current: In Laguna Bay, toward the east
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: lazybugger, jaro, jimbo, solman, yakfinn, soren, emil, stormin, redwood, sunshiner (sorry if I've missed any other NYs present).

Background: Since our previous offshore trip, 24Feb13, three weeks ago, until today, the wind had exceeded 20 knots and the swell exceeded three metres so no offshore fishing opportunities have arisen. In February we got out offshore only once. We have also experienced high and ongoing rainfall events which have only just stopped in the last several days. After today's light winds and low swell the forecast is for no more offshore fishing days in Noosa for the next week -- a grim prospect, but hopefully the rain will hold off and give the sea a chance to clear.

The Middle Groyne carpark was busy at 05:10 when I arrived. I expected to be one of the earlier starters but was upstaged by several others. All three of my favourite (favourite because they have clear space on one side which makes for easy unloading and loading single handed) carpark spots were taken so I had to make do with a "normal" park which forced me to seek help to get my yak off.

Down at the beach the first three of us, jaro, lazybugger and I, could see that launch would be easy and that proved to be the case. Dry bum! Except for some!

The water was still murky :-(, but at least the wind was light. Gradually the launchers arrived out the back. Plans varied. Some were heading for Halls Reef, others for Jew Shoal. No one for Sunshine Reef. Lazybugger, jaro and I headed for Jew Shoal. Everyone was hoping to find clean water and thus, possibly, fish.

At Jew Shoal the water was still somewhat murky, but not so bad as in close. Although the sun by now had risen there was no sign of surface activity. A few terns could be seen from time to time, but except for one brief flurry of activity about 1500m west of the Pinnacles there was nothing happening. Jaro was fishing with his usual baits and immediately started to catch sharks. Radio reports from the west, around Halls Reef and Little Halls Reef, indicated the same result.

At one stage jaro saw a couple of tuna leap right in front of him but I saw none. No turtles or dolphins either.

By 08:30 I and some others had exhausted our patience. The area looked and felt dead, except for sharks. Stormin reported the catch of a "cod" just under 40cm, which he released. Solman managed to convince another shark to take an SP which would have provided a great tussle with a disappointing end. Imagine thinking that a decent snapper had taken your offering only to have a small shark appear next to the yak with your offering in its mouth. Jimbo reported releasing a very small snapper, caught on bait.

The great paddle/pedal back in started about now and by around 10:00am most of us were either on the beach or pretty close to it. It was good to see such a strong rollup and I'm sure the practice gained will stand all in good stead in the next few months.

Colour on the beach as we assembled for a chat afterward.

Thanks for coming guys


Lake Mac Quickie - 01Mar13

TR by Gemini
Participants:  Gemini
Launch Site: Strawberry Patch, Lake MacDonald
Conditions: Overcast, rain periods, light breeze

After yesterdays failed trip (for reasons you can see here) I was pretty keen to get out on the water today, regardless of weather. After a slight delay getting ready, I finally launched at around 4PM into a light rain.

The action was slow going for a while. Bait fish were jumping all over the place with birds cleaning them up, but the mummy and daddy fish were apparently still asleep. I made my way around towards Toga Bay, passing a nest full of baby birds of prey high up in a tree. They were too high for my GoPro to get a shot of unfortunately, but they were big and noisy. I'm still trying to identify the species.

I moved up towards the Palm Farm and found some inquisitive swans barring the way. They were honking and carrying on, but they didn't seem too worried when my path led right between a pair of them.

At the top end of the Palm Farm, after no strikes whatsoever, I decided to let the breeze push me back the way I had came and take the lazy way home. Good plan said the fish, we'll play now...

Strike one gave me the first bass of the day, measuring in at 37cm.

Strike two happened not 3 casts after releasing the first bass. This fella measured in at 35cm.

Only another 5 minutes had passed when strike three had my reel buzzing. This guy felt like a good fish, diving and running about like crazy. He measured in at 39cm.

After the excitement I had no further luck. I had a couple of missed strikes near Toga Bay (one I managed to get on video), but no takers. By this time it was getting dark, so I called it a day. As usual, video to come later.


Matt (Gemini)

Sprocket on a rocket. 01Mar13

TR by sprocket

After the AI handled the rough stuff so well at Straddie I decided not to heed Jaro's call on the surf conditions and give it a bash on Friday 01Mar. I arrived early and met Pedro on his way out. He went to Sunshine Reef and I went north in the hunt for clean water. I had a light onshore breeze which with a little pedalling pushed me up the coast, hoping by the time I got to Halls that I might find some clean salt water. Sailed over both Little Halls and Halls, with the water still fresh, only a hint of salt. About half a mile north of Halls I turned and headed east and it took me another mile before finally crossing the foamy edge of the dirty water line; plenty of birds looking but none feeding. I trolled 5 different lures down the edge of the fresh until I was off Jew Shoal and then headed in over the top of it in hope of a hit before I was eating donuts.

Donuts it was as Pedro arrived at Middle Groyne in front of me with a couple of lippers.

Now for the fun part. Pedro made the beach with no problems while I did a couple of passes looking for a gap. Now I am a pretty impatient bloke and generally will jump on any wave to come in in any shape, so that's what I did. I had marvelled at Trev under full sail at Straddie surfing nicely in front of a nice wave and thought I would try the same, although the wave felt a little bigger and they were dumping on a sand bar at the end of the rockwall. My chosen wave picked me up and shot me down the face, my heart was pumping, everything was a blur and next thing you know I was on the beach. Wow that was fun, let's do it again sometime. NOT.

Pedro snapped a photo of me on the wave. Maybe he will post it and show how he saw my re-entry. Thanks.


Photo by pedro