Doggie Beach tuna, 25Apr13

TR by sunshiner with contribution by deecee (Darren), at end

Wind: Light SSE
Swell: 1m S
Current: at Doggie Beach Reef, and Sunshine, none
Launch point: Doggie Beach
Participants: beejay, whalebait, bomber, yakfinn, darren cole, redwood, jaro, sunshiner

The easiest ever Doggie Beach launch and return, Jaro reckoned…

Jaro and I were last there, and slightly early. The small carpark seemed to be overwhelmed by cars each with a yak on its roof, except for one in the quietest corner whose towel-curtained windows indicated a mobile bedroom for somebody whose slumber was about to be interrupted. I parked next to them.

"Waiting for the experts," the six Noosa Yakkers said as Jaro and I sauntered over. Indeed, they were waiting for our advice as to the launch suitability. Very reasonable, I thought, as beejay, redwood and yakfinn had never launched at Doggie Beach before, bomber only once, and darren had never before launched in the surf at all. Whalebait is qualified, I reckon, but Jaro had made the call to arms and had to make the final recommendation.

A couple of minutes later those of us who hadn't this morning already visited the moonlit beach were on the water's edge. Right out front of the access path there were waves building but, just as we'd hoped, the big gutter just 100m to the north was still in place. Here the only white water to be seen was from the small shore break. On either side of a 100m wide gap, waves were building and occasionally breaking. On return to the carpark, where all yaks were still on the car roofs, I announced that it was "baby bath" conditions and the action started.

The big beach wheels were the go today. Being first ready, I waited at the launch point for the guys who hadn't launched here before to help if they needed advice and also to have the camera ready, just in case.

First ready. My yak in foreground, Jaro's in background.

The beach erosion has created cliffs. Redwood's and my yaks.

In the event, it was a doddle. Jaro literally dry bummed it, paddling out first and gently just as number three, yakfinn I think, arrived at the gutter. One at a time, the others all launched easily and my advice was scarcely needed. I warned them however that it is not always like this.

Whalebait then yakfinn demonstrate

Our intentions were to paddle, trolling, out to Doggie Beach Reef, 1.5km out and there play it by ear. It was noticeable that several terns were hanging around just outside the break zone so perhaps there were fishy predators hanging around. I remember passing Beejay as he was rigging up just out the back and I proceeded directly to Doggie Beach Reef. Yakfinn had mentioned on the beach that he had a terrible headache and might not last long out there and before I got to my mark he let me know that in fact he was pulling the pin and heading in.

The six of us out at the reef then started our own fishing routines in beautiful conditions, with just enough breeze to get a nice drift going and the sun just clearing the horizon and lighting up the land behind us.

This peaceful setting was soon interrupted by beejay's radio call telling us that he was hooked up and that fish were busting out all around him. Immediately yakfinn came up with the news that he also was hooked up fairly close to beejay, having been hit on the way back in. These announcements caused a flurry of activity among the other four of us who had radios, resulting in a general movement back toward Sunshine Beach headland, especially when beejay confirmed that he had one longtail in the fishbox. Yakfinn's fish had spat the lure after a fifteen minute tussle.

I was trolling my only remaining HLP when it went off, right in the hot zone, about 500m off the headland. This was clearly a big fish, and here I was with a new Shimano Charter Special reel and new 20 pound mono. Somehow, after five minutes or so, I managed to bump the lever drag up a little too high (Just now I realise, as I write this, that I hadn't set the strike drag for the new line.) and pow! I was busted. This was just the start of my humiliation today, as you'll find out.

By now, almost all of us were trolling around off the headland, with reports coming in by radio of occasional bustups and general surface activity. The line had busted at my newly tied knot, as expected. Next lure in the lineup was a Qantas coloured big bib job which had nailed a longtail for me last week. As there were few more reports of action I figured that the fish I'd just lost was my one chance for the day, but put the lure out anyway and paddled off. Scream, off it went within five minutes. This time, I played the fish very carefully, knowing that my drag setting was far too coarse for the line. To my horror, when backing the drag off a little (just to be extra careful) when the fish was looking tired, I found I was virtually in free spool. A quick surge from the fish caused the spool to over-run and I had a birds nest in my hands, 40m of line out and a rampaging longtail on the end of it. The birds nest had recoiled on itself with the effect that no more line could go out. I was in deep shit! Fortunately the fish was tiring, but I was certain that one good run would result in a loud bang as the line broke, probably at the reel! Thumbing the spool, I played the fish ultra carefully but it was a tense time. Eventually the fish, a big longtail, came within view. (I had to spool line over the top of the birds nest to get line back.) Out came my trusty gaff, which I've used on hundreds of fish for the last seven years. The longtail swept round within reach and I made the decision to gaff it as soon as I could anywhere I could rather than wait for the best shot, in the head. The fat tail section presented a target and I took it, burying the gaff, and lifting the tail out of the water. At this the longtail went berserk and with its tail out of the water, my gaff with me hanging on to it buried in its tail, it vibrated violently. Holding on to the gaff was impossible and next thing I know the gaff and fish are gone, into a large hole in the ocean where the fish's torso used to be. Remember, I had only about 30-40m of line to play with at the most. The tuna roared off pulling line off the spool until the inevitable happened, the birds nest refused to give any line and there was one final heavy surge and the line broke, at the terminal knot. The longtails of my past are getting back at me. I've now lost four lures and my gaff in eight days, all to longtails. I'd not lost four lures in two years and never lost a gaff. Bugger, bugger, bugger!

Now I could no longer fish as my heavy outfit was out of action and in any case I had no gaff, not to mention that my lure supply was low. Then bomber announced he was on and beejay on again so I reverted to cameraman role. My tail was really down, I can tell you.

Beejay was thoroughly enjoying himself. He'd driven up from Brissy last night, launched from Doggie Beach for the first time this morning, already had one longtail in the fishbox and was fighting another and had barely paddled one kilometre!

Beejay having a nice day!

Aside from jaro's catch of a large mac tuna, just outside the surf zone, no other fish were boated. Yakfinn dropped at least one, bomber dropped two (the first longtails he'd hooked from his yak). Over in Laguna Bay I could hear by radio that eyetag was encountering longtails but am unsure of the final situation there.

beejay on the beach

As far as I'm aware all of the Doggie Beach launchers returned to the beach without hassles. If anything, I think it was calmer when we came back in than when we went out. Jaro is talking about doing it all again, tomorrow.


Contribution by deecee

Finally got out there!

Woke early around 4.45am, checked the email and saw no one had pulled the pin yet so jumped in the car and headed to Doggy Beach carpark.

Arrived around 5.20am to a car park half full of cars with yaks on and a group of guys chatting. Sunshiner and Jaro arrived soon after and a few of us went down to do a recce on the conditions just as first light was happening. The gutter Jaro spoke about the day before was still there with waves breaking either side and a bit of a shore dump as well. Sunshiner provided some experienced words in relation to the launch for myself and Redwood. I was still very apprehensive but had been putting this off for far too long already. Today I was doing it.

Back to the car park and rigged up the yak for the trip out. I didn’t know it yet but I had forgotten to pack the camera, my pliers and my knife…

After nearly causing myself a hernia trying to get my yak to the launching spot (no beach wheels) Sunshiner had more reassuring words. I watched Jaro and Redwood go and then it was time for me to launch. I could feel the adrenaline running through me as I walked into the water, quickly jumped on and made my way out to the safety of the deep water… Piece of cake!

Once ‘out the back’ I set up my two rods, one was to be for trolling out to and one with an SP for the reef… it was now I found out I forgotten a couple of things… better luck next time.

Paddled slowly out to Sunshine Reef following the first two paddlers, also noticed quite a few stink boats around. Fished the reef for only a few minutes before there was a mass exodus of kayakers…

I was later told by Redwood this was because of BeeJay’s hook up being broadcast on the radio (my next purchase). I trolled back towards them and almost immediately had a strike. By the time I got my hand on the rod and got sorted I had dropped it… damn it.

Ten minutes later I thought I was on again but I had just caught Redwood’s trailing lure, quickly untangled and back into it. I hooked up again about ten minutes later and after a brief struggle felt the line go slack. Reeled it in to find I was minus one brand new lure. Seem to be having a run of them of late losing a few to the submerged hiding places of Yandina bass a few days before.

No more strikes for the morning but I did stop and watch Sunshiner have a brief fight with one of his fish and Jaro boat his mac tuna just outside the surf zone off Doggy Beach.

Was time for me to make a move after that so headed in not knowing what to expect. I paddled slowly all the way to the beach, no issues at all landing…

If I didn't have a hernia on the way after dragging the yak to the water I certainly was well on the way after skull dragging the yak up the sand to the walkway after a couple of hours of

Did a contra deal with Yakfinn loading the kayaks on the roof and it was time to go spend the rest of ANZAC Day with the family.

Appreciate the words of wisdom from all who supplied!



iTag and Cool iPaul, 25Apr13

TR by TurtleBoy
Launch location: MG
Swell: Calm
Wind: 2 to 8 knots from the SE
Conditions: Slight wind chop

Participants: EyeTag, Whalerider, TurtleBoy and Paul from Coolongatta

Whalerider and I arrived at MG car park at first light 5.45am to find Eyetg's car plus one other already loaded and gone. Dry Bum launch onto a pond and placed a call to Eyetag who was already on Halls Reef. Rigged up we headed to LHR.

Wasn't too far before we could see bird activity in closer to shore so we intersected with Eyetag who was on his way back from Halls.  Shortly afterwards Eyetag announced he was on, see Longtail photo below.

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We then proceeded to do a loop north along the shore line and out to LHR then South and back again. This didn't produce any more catches but I did have one hit on my paddle South but no hook up.

It was at about this time we spotted another paddler in a Hobie following us back. Paul was up from Coolongatta and having read our blog decided to fish Halls with waypoints provided by the Noosa Yakkers blog. He was also successful as per photo below, Whalerider and Eyetag in the background.

 photo 97561e7e-a176-4444-b3ba-b10e5109bbec_zps7ff58a18.jpg

The other points of interest during the morning included a few pods of dolphins in close to the launch point and also on LHR plus Eyetag's sighting of a pilot whale in close to shore south west of the centre of LHR. His estimation was about 8 to 10 metres in length.

All safely landed without incident.

 photo 9b9029c9-1c8b-4478-ae49-f558fec053a7_zps9f25fe5e.jpg
Eyetag and Whalerider at MG. Paul walking into right of screen.

 photo e59dee24-48a2-4e9f-b645-4660552221e3_zpsd17f8216.jpg

 photo 672657b6-57db-4529-a1b3-c57552337f14_zps9ad0f147.jpg
iTag and Cool iPaul at MG with Longtails.

Fantastic morning on the water, but no Sashimi today for Whalerider and myself !

Thanks for the paddle guys.

Good to meet you Paul, hope to see you again in Laguna Bay.


Photos by TurtleBoy

Smelly fishbox. 22Apr13

TR by solman

Swell: Negligible (southern)
Wind: Nothing early on increasing to around 10knts WNW
Current: Running east 2kmh at Halls
Conditions: Perfect
Participants: Solman and sunshiner

What a morning! The expected southerly swell and very low wind produced perfect conditions to launch at MG.

I arrived in the carpark at around 0520, shortly followed by Kev. We discussed tactics and Kev had decided to head to A-Bay Reef to target some reefies, and I was heading to Halls again chasing my first longtail.

A quick look at the beach confirmed the conditions and we both were on the water in no time. My first actual 'drybum' launch - I usually manage to fill up my seat and footwells with water for the journey.

0549. A typical Noosa sunrise. Sunshiner in the distance, on his way.

After fussing around with my sounder (not working - wet mount, story for another day) and trying to get some nice GoPro footage with the sun rising behind me I finally set off and within a short time frame I was passing Little Halls and soon coming up on my Halls mark, my new Halco Laser Pro 120DD (red and white) in tow. To my surprise, I had seen absolutely no signs of pelagic activity! One single bird was fluttering around. The water was perfectly calm, but I couldn't hear any splashes or any other birds calling to their mates… unlike last Wednesday when they were splashing around all over Halls.

A mere 50m off my Halls GPS mark and my trolling rod gets hammered. I quickly switch on the GoPro and grab the rod from its holder, line peeling off at a reasonable rate, but with 500m of braid on my Penn spinfisher I wasn't too concerned. Never having fought any pelagics from my yak I was kind of unsure how to go about it. Kev had told me not to be afraid to put some hurt on it early on as the fight can last up to an hour. So hurt it I did. Tightened the drag up a bit and held on, just trying to get a feel for how the yak handles the fish. Towing me around at about 3.5km/h for a while, the fish tired easily. In what seemed like no time (but was in fact around 20 minutes), the fish started doing circles underneath me. Just prior to this stage I was beginning to doubt it was a tuna… but the circling assured me and I settled in for a bit more of a tug of war. Taking some line and giving some back as the tuna circled underneath the yak I finally got a glimpse of my fish - a beautiful longtail. Nervousness gave way to excitement and I finally let out a bit of a cheer.

Next step - landing the fish. With thoughts of yakfinn's first attempt at putting a gaff in a tuna (ask him next time you see him) in the back of my mind, I clumsily missed the fish's head and hit my leader. Luckily no damage! The fish was very calm at this point, lying quietly in the water beside me, so I put the gaff in its mouth and with a quick tug, pulled it through its cheek. Game over. One small thrash from the fish but I had it securely across my lap. A quick victory raise to the GoPro and into the fishbox she goes.

0703. Longtail safely in the hatch.

A quick call to Kev on the radio to tell him of my success and then I was off on the troll again. (Kev: at this stage I was at A-Bay Reef and we could communicate perfectly well, a remarkable distance).

Still without any signs of birds or other predatory fish, I decided to try my luck on the bottom. Without my sounder I was fishing blind and the current was quite strong, so I soon gave that up.

For the next hour I trolled around Halls. No surface action, no hits on the lure. Another quick call to Kev to tell him I was heading slowly back to MG and he told me that he had not had a touch and would be doing the same thing very shortly.

50min or so later and I was safely on the beach at MG. My girlfriend, Teone, had come up to have a swim so we took a couple photos and waited for Kev to show up whilst showing some excited beach goers my catch, much to the delight of a youngster who was trying to make his toy hammerhead eat my longtail.

Kev arrived shortly after and took a couple more photos.

The longtail went 105cm on the brag mat and I'm guessing around 12-13kg. Not a massive one - but my first and certainly most enjoyable!

0915. Victory!


JamieD, 21Apr13

TR by JamieD

Wind: Light
Swell: Less than a metre

Participants: JamieD

I launched 5.30am, 0-2 knot wind no breaking wave above one foot at MG. I trolled a Rapala SXR-12 in lemon and red and a Predatek Viper in sand to Little Halls - no sight of Tuna.

Sighted large group of jumping long tails 400 m SW of Halls Reef and about the same distance NW of halls could not get them to eat hardbody lures or skirted trolled pilchard.

I left to troll to Jew Shoal at 8.00am but at 8.30am and still 1 km from Jew Shoal the predicted 15 knots showed up all of a sudden from no where, so I aborted attempt to try Jewies.  That was the first wind of the morning other than that had 0-5 knots all morning .

Cheers everyone see yah on another club outing.

Jamie D

Too Windy at Halls, 20Apr13

Swell: Less than 1 metre
Wind: NW up to 12 knots at Halls Reef
Current: Negligible
Conditions: Small chop at LHR, heavier at Halls
Participants: WhaleBait, Kahuna, Stormin, Gemini, WhaleRider, Owen and TurtleBoy. Later Eyetag.

It was a good turn out this morning as the expectations were high. Launching at first light, Kahuna and WhaleBait headed out towards Jew Shoal, whilst the rest of us decided to head north to Halls via LHR.

It wasn't long until we started to see some bird activity and small bust ups approaching LHR. Stormin' also fished the bottom with some success including sweetlip, snapper and a bream taking prawn bait. Within our group we trawled a combination of hard body lures and pilchards and had slugs at the ready to cast, but without much success.

After cruising LHR for about 30 minutes, with a dolphin as company, we decided to head north to Halls Reef. In hindsight, a bad decision as the wind sprang up with an uncomfortable offshore chop making going tough. I did speak to some guys in a stink who told me that they had been smoked by a large strike a little earlier. I am not sure, but one of the guys looked like Casey Stoner the ex Moto GP rider. Go Ducati !

Having had enough of the chop we decided to head back south and sure enough the wind dropped off as we approached LHR.

Not much more to report today, only Stormin's success and this photo of Owen on his maiden voyage in his new Prowler 4.3 Ultra. Love the hat Owie. Did you pinch it from Barry McKenzie ?

 photo c7a3e15a-d88d-4b45-af80-b42ef6de9af6_zps90679f05.jpg

Photo by TurtleBoy.

We all negotiated Panno's bar ok and met Sunshiner and Mrs.WhaleRider on the beach, plus Eyetag who had just come off of an early shift at the golf club and was heading out. He later called me to advise that whilst seeing some bust-up's, unfortunately, no landings.

Good luck tomorrow guys.


Mac tuna today. 19Apr13

TR by yakfinn

Participants: Yakfinn, Graeme (Yakfinn's Dad), Des.

The conditions were looking top notch again this morning, with a slightly cooler westerly breeze blowing early on. Conditions on the water were good and continued to improve throughout the morning as the bay glassed over.

We set off for Halls Reef trolling hard body Rapala xraps, I had a light yellow/green colour lure whilst Graeme had a green xrap.

We saw a few small patches of surface activity on the way up to Halls however it was a bit sporadic. On arrival at Halls it seemed to die right off for about the first half an hour, and then the surface activity returned again in patches. I had sighted numerous longtails breaking well clear of the water and we were all in good spirits and hopeful of attracting a strike.

We chased the small bustups for a while, getting a cast away here and there, but the fish would only surface for short periods of time before going deep again. At one point I managed to get a hook up on my slug however I dropped the fish after about thirty seconds. Damn!

Des had reported no luck and Graeme had not had a touch on the trolled xrap either.

I continued to chase the birds and after a while I rounded up a small school of feeding mac tuna and was able to boat and release two of them, the second fighting a bit harder than the first. Great fun.

After several hours of chasing small bustups we made the call to slowly start to head for home. I diverted a few times to investigate small patches of surface activity however had no luck.

A great day on the water. Graeme (my Dad) really enjoyed his first paddle out on the bay and will probably be back again soon I think.

Graeme, yakfinn's Dad


Laguna longtails, again. 18Apr13

TR by Jaro

Conditions: A fine, partially cloudy day with sun patches. Light 3 to 6 knot NW winds early dying to nothing. No swell to speak of.
Participants: Sprocket, Salticrack, Kahuna, Soren, Jaro and visitor, Joe.

I arrived at the MG car park at 5.25am and Soren, Kahuna and Joe arriving shortly after. I was first out (easily and dry as did all the others) and headed for HR followed by Joe. Soren and Kahuna headed for JS.

I trolled all the way without success (the story of my day) and met up with Sprocket who was fighting a good fish using a soft plastic. Salticrack was nearby. Both had ventured out much earlier than the rest of us.

I stayed round till Sprocket landed his nice sized longtail tuna as shown on the photo below. Salticrack was soon also fighting a longtail but lost it after a while.

Sprocket with his first longtail of 2013

Meanwhile Kahuna and Soren reported a couple of big unsuccessful hits but nothing after that so they later paddled to where the action was between HR and LHR. The longtails were jumping out over a large area with the birds also covering a large area.

As I said before I had no strikes regardless of the lure I was using. Even dragging slugs through the schools did not result in a strike. Sprocket caught and released a mac tuna and it became obvious that the macs now outnumbered the longtails. I found out later that Joe had caught a longtail also. Others had strikes and short unsuccessful battles with both longtails and mac tunas. Kahuna was most disappointed with his loss as he had the fish (a big longtail, so he claims) on the line for quite a while before his line snapped.

As it appeared it would not be my day I pulled the plug at 9.00am and arrived on the beach uneventfully at about 10.00am. Some of the others arrived back, just as I was about to drive off, with no other news of success.

So the fish are still there for the taking, it is just a matter of using the right lures. Another beautiful day spent on Laguna Bay.


Strike 3 you're Out, 17Apr13

TR by TurtleBoy with contribution at end by sunshiner

Swell: Less than 1 metre
Wind: Light from the SE
Current: 2 kph to the North
Conditions: Calm and smooth
Participants: YakFinn, Solman, Tunny, Sunshiner, Pedro, Wendy and Turtleboy

I pulled into the carpark and walked down onto the beach just as Yakfinn, Solman, Tunny and Sunshiner were heading off to Halls Reef. I quickly got my yak off the car, placed a call to Sunshiner and was ready to go. A quick count of the number of waves in the small sets and laughed as I flew over the top of  "Panno's Bar and Grill".

I started to see some bird activity from Little Halls onwards and then fish jumping as early at 1.6 klms from our central Halls Reef mark. By this stage Pedro called in to announce he and Wendy were on their way to join us at Halls. It was a pretty quick paddle at an average of 6.9 kph up to Halls assisted by the underlying current as per above. A bit tougher coming home against it !

We were all positioned across Halls and I was paddling in close proximity to Sunshine when my reel started to scream, but then it stopped. Bugger, there goes my brand new Rapala!  Sure enough something had taken the lure and wire leaving a distinctive frayed marking up the mono line. It was then that Kevin told me that he had already lost two lures during the morning.

Regrouped, I heard Sunshiner call out that he was on

 photo f83323fc-b425-447b-a46a-eaee9b7ef51b_zpsc7aacad9.jpg

and about 45 minutes later at 8.30am he landed a very nice Longtail Tuna. Strike Three and you're Out !

 photo 22addf14-0b77-433d-ab03-ce147d1158c3_zpsd4bc35f0.jpg

Photos by TurtleBoy

With the fish safely stowed, Sunshiner turned and announced he was headed for home as he had guests coming for lunch. Within 30 minutes we were all doing the same.

Whilst it was a tougher paddle home, it was a pretty easy landing by keeping to the deeper water in close by the rock wall at MG.

Its still looking pretty good for the next few days and the Tuna are still patrolling up the North Shore.



PS, Bragmat details to be provided later.

Contribution by sunshiner

Yeah, I was peeved today when I lost two lures on two strikes, both wired up. Line breakage possibly due to old line and/or drag which needs servicing. When I got the third strike I played him really carefully. The water was dirty and all three lures I used were very pale coloured so maybe that's why I got the hits.

Thanks for turtleboy for hanging about and taking pics. It's about time I featured in the gallery, I reckon. Here are a couple more pics taken with my camera, on the beach.

He went 102cm

Fraulein from Munchen, thanks.

Go get em, guys. Can't go tomorrow, but you may sight me down at the beach in the morning.


Jaro, Jaro, Jaro 16Apr13

Conditions: Very little wind, later 5 knots northerly. Some cloud early clearing to sunny.
Seas smooth with largish swell out to sea. In a word....great.

Participants, Sprocket, Salty Crack and Jaro.

We arrived at MG at around 5.45am to 6.00am and found that care would need to be taken to get out unscathed as it was low tide and the sand monster was working.

I was the first to go, stayed in the channel for 2 large sets then went for it as it appeared to be flat calm and just as I thought I was going to get through unscathed King Neptune decided to make a wave appear from nowhere. It broke right on me. I thought I was still going to stay upright but , no, over I went. Fortunately, I was able to get back on quickly and get out ok. Sprocket timed it well and got out dry while Salty Crack got wet but got out ok.

I headed for JS while Sprocket and Salty Crack went for SR.

I did some bottom fishing at JS with not a touch. Sprocket reported that Salty Crack caught a 2 to 3 Kg yellow fin tuna but otherwise no other action. I noted birds heading for HR so after telling the boys I headed that way. I found birds active over a large area about 2 kms out to sea from LHR and HR with many long tail tunas jumping everywhere. I tried casting slugs over bust ups, changing trolling lures and running myself ragged paddling everywhere, all to no avail.

I stopped at about 8.50am to retrieve my lure to put another on when suddenly the reel screamed and the line took off. You bloody beauty, finally my trusty Halco Laser Pro had done its work. I then proceeded to do battle. And a great battle it was too. I soon realised that it was probably a long tail. This one took the high road then the low road and criss-crossed in all directions , finally settling to do its circuits under the yak before finally giving up the ghost after about 30 minutes. It turned out to be a nice fat 105cm long tail tuna.

During the battle Kev called from shore and said he would wait till I came in. I was too buggered to do any more fishing so, as the wind was behind me, I paddled leisurely back under sail. I had tried to make contact with the other 2 yakkers to no avail, so they will have to fill in the details of their day.

After my morning dip, I took great care with my timing coming in. This time my run was perfect, landing safe and sound. Kev and the usual bevy of girls were waiting to greet me.

Photos by Sunshiner

So all in all a great day!!


Sandbank called Panno's 15Apr13

TR by sunshiner with contribution by bomber

Wind: Calm
Swell: 2m ESE
Current: at Jew Shoal, SW to NE, pretty quick
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: stormin, bomber, sunshiner

All night I could hear the surf booming on Sunshine Beach and put it down to low overnight temperature transmitting the sound better than the warm nights we've been having. After all, hadn't I checked Middle Groyne yesterday arvo and given the launch the thumbs up? The swell was practically non-existent then.

There was a little, shall we say, "reservation" about the demeanour of my two companions when I arrived last, but on time at the carpark in the dark this morning. They told me that they'd been down to the beach for a look and it didn’t look as good as they thought it would be. It wasn't the wind, which was non-existent, but the swell. Somehow yesterday’s low swell had changed overnight, perhaps in response to that deep low way down near Sydney. Curious, I went down for a peep and witnessed a couple of serious close-outs right across the front of the groyne, but 30m out, where the sandbank now named "Panno's", had formed. Still haven't found that rod holder screwed to a jagged piece of blue and white fibreglass have we?

Anyway to placate the two youngsters I proposed we wait until it got a little bit light before launching (or not) and they too readily agreed. The light came and revealed the three of us with our yaks in ready to go configuration, but no one in a hurry to be first. I pointed out the lulls and counted the biggies, no more than three in each set, and still no one moved. As I have the least to lose, being the only one who has already lived an almost full lifetime, and no longer with dependants, the pressure was on me to run the gauntlet and find out whether it was survivable. Bomber was by now showing his intention of having a go, or perhaps he was just stalling, by adding various extra tie-downs to his Esky and stashing as much stuff as possible below decks. Stormin, a veteran of this sort of stuff, could do no more to his yak, everything being already stashed and double strapped and I think was considering going into the bush to attend to another call of nature. Eventually the suspense got to me. Muttering something about young blokes being supposed to look after the old blokes, I floated my boat and jumped on.

The Middle Groyne express was roaring along today. My paddle blades were barely wet before I was into the deeper holding area at the end of the wall, backpaddling to avoid being dragged into the gaping maw of the sand monster just 30m ahead. Two decent waves and then a lull appeared. Off I went, and just as suddenly stopped and backpaddled as another wave face popped up out of nowhere then broke satisfyingly about 20m ahead. The Stealth made short work of that one and I was away again, charging toward the next face, forming already but thankfully not so big as some this morning. With a loud slap we cleared that nasty just before it broke and I was in clear water, paddling like hell, cresting two more before I could truly relax and retrieve the floating lip gripper dragging along on its leash behind me. (I'd changed its securing system but this was its first test run; Fail.)

Now I could settle back and enjoy the show. "One at a time!" I'd warned the youngsters on the beach and soon I could see bomber's white paddle blades upping and downing. There were some pretty big waves coming in and it reminded me of that day a few months back at the end of a trip when Jaro and I were waiting out the back and Jaro got smashed from behind… but that's another story. Anyway I was feeling sorry for young bomber because there was no turning around now. He waited and seemed to make a pretty good call but I knew he was in trouble when he only just punched through one wave, sending spray flying as his bow broke through, and with reduced forward speed faced another, bigger wave which was curling nastily. Remember, I'm out the back, and seeing only that point of view. That wave closed out with a roar, itself sending spray flying vertically upward as the dropping face bounced off the flat surface and bomber, which received it. Next thing I see is the underside of bomber's boat with its stern facing out to sea, left behind in the white frothy mess as the wave continued on its way to our beach. Sand monster scores one.

While bomber made his way on foot, chest deep, back to the beach to lick his wounds, find stuff that had broken loose and explain to early morning beach walkers what he was doing, stormin was afloat and on the move toward the end of the groyne. He patiently waited and eventually cracked the right combination and joined me quite quickly, finishing with a big grin and a flourish by pedalling through the last couple of steep faces.

Bomber followed soon afterward, this time laughing at the sand monster as he passed.

Bomber emotionally relates his experience with the sand monster

So, now in good order, we soon set course for Jew Shoal, hoping that the water out there might be a little clearer than here, where murk was everywhere and not a creature dimpled the glassy surface.

Jew Shoal was a little better, clarity wise, but still not perfect. Bomber regained some ground by nailing a keeper grassy almost immediately, on a pillie. Also using bait, stormin was still fishless, as was I, using SPs when, about 08:15 we all decided to head west toward Little Halls Reef to check the prospects there. All we had seen at Jew Shoal were a few splashes, probably marauding longtail, and two dolphins. There was plenty of bait showing on the sounder but we had nothing but bomber's grassy in the fishboxes.

Travelling in loose formation, we were all trolling similar hb lures toward Little Halls Reef and the water was getting murkier, I thought. No doubt the fresh water and debris again pouring through the river mouth were the main cause. Then a quick radio call from stormin, down the back: "I'm on". I was pretty sure this would probably be a longtail and immediately told stormin that I was heading back toward him to get some pics, knowing that stormin has never had a happy encounter with a longtail in the past.

The sea was rolling but like glass and the sun was starting to peep through. Here are a few pics of the action.

Stormin's first longtail

Bomber had hung around to witness the capture and now the three of us continued south with no further action, but a few sightings of longtail, and water becoming more murky until we arrived at Middle Groyne. Guess what, the sand monster was still hanging around, although there was now a little more water over Panno's.

Bomber contrived to get there first and stormin let me know that bomber had "taken a bath" although I think he'd actually made it almost all the way in before the monster snuck up behind and got him. Doc Dog was on the beach at this time, too, just to say hello and so I was on my best behaviour when I went through, unscathed, second. Stormin had stowed the 12kg longtail in his fish bag strapped to the stern and we watched with interest as he slowly and teasingly approached the monster which was rearing up suddenly from time to time. The beach commentary went something like this "Go stormin, go" "Ah, shit", "He's gone". Stormin was in the break zone and had successfully allowed a large wave to roll under him but then had failed to notice that a bigger version was next. Actually we all thought he had a chance for a second or two and we had a clear view of him as if we were viewing him and his yak from above as he stared at the ocean floor when his yak went down the steep face of the wave. Amazingly, he survived the first drop and all we could see was two legs up in the air as he held the yak "upright" on the broken wave. But soon he too was in the drink. Sand monster scores two.

A couple of beach pics

Right on one metre

Thanks for coming along guys, great company.


Contribution by bomber

Well folks as Kev has already stated I headed out this morning with him and Stormin. Stormin and I had arrived first and decided to take a look at the beach while we waited for Kev. Although it was dark we could see some pretty serious shadows of looming dumpers well out past the rock wall. When Kev arrived we waited until light and observed some serious dumpers but with enough time in between sets, maybe! Well Kev told it pretty well actually. When I timed my run I made it past two serious waves only to look up and see an even bigger one ready to break pretty much on top of me. I have rowed surf boats for a number of years so wasn't too concerned about getting nailed, adds to the adventure. What I didn't count on was the bag attached to the rear of my kayak seat ripped open and out floated my sounder, GPS and tackle box. I also had a laser pro lure in the bag which managed to lodge itself in my rash shirt and in my lower back. Oh well luckily I got my gear back and made it to the beach where I asked to passers by if they could assist in removing the hook. It was all fun and games. I then repacked the yak and set off again this time making it out. Once out we all had a good laugh and headed for jew shoal. Now I am usually a SP fisherman as I became addicted to this form of fishing on a trip to Weipa last year. However here at Noosa I have had very little luck so used a snell rig with whole pillies which was hit within 30 seconds of dropping it down and I landed a legal sweetlip, 36cm so not huge but great dinner size fish. After that had a few other strikes but nothing overly decent. Did have the shit scared out of me though by a dolphin that decided to surface directly beside my yak. After that Kev pretty much covered our trip to little halls and Stormins fish. I did see some schools of longtail tuna hitting baits on the surface at times. Yes I did get wet again on trip in but it was no where near as spectacular as Stormin's entrance and I felt like getting wet anyway, at least that's my excuse. Thanks also to Stormin who decided to cut some fair decent slabs off his Tuna so Kev and I could take a bit home. All in all, good company, good laugh and a few fillets of fish for dinner so thanks boys.


Bassin' in the rain - 09Apr13

TR by Gemini
Participants:  Gemini, BJ, Panno
Launch Site: Strawberry Patch, Lake MacDonald
Conditions: Overcast, rain periods, moderate wind gusts

I woke up and looked at the radar. Rain was on its way. Oh goody.

Having woken up earlier than I intended, I was first at the launch and proceeded quickly onto the water. Panno arrived not long after, with BJ the last in the car park not long after that. It had already started to rain, and it was a little unpleasant even with wet weather gear. I hate to think how cold Panno was without any protection!

Once all of us were on the water we lapped around the strawberry patch area looking for a strike. I had a missed strike in a hole near the old tree stump, but nothing else. The rain then finally started to clear, and conditions started to improve.

Clearing cloud, featuring a wet Panno and BJ. Apologies, but most GoPro images from today will feature lens moisture.

With the rain easing to a very light sprinkle, the bass decided to come and play. Panno put us on the board with the first fish of the day.

Sorry about the pic mate, it's the best frame of the bunch!

Just after releasing this fish, BJ shouted out to say he was on....then off again. The bass had spat the hook. Bugger!

We made our way around the corner and continued the search. Not too far along Panno landed another bass in near the bank. No decent photo of this one though, so you'll have to take my word for it!

From here we made our way slowly up toward Toga Bay. At this stage Panno decided he best get back to his day job and said his goodbyes, with BJ grabbing a nice photo on his way past.

While BJ was grabbing a photo of Panno off in the distance, I managed to hook my first, and the third fish of the day, just inside Toga Bay.

BJ slowly cast his way over, and then captured a nice posed shot for this report.


From there BJ and I drifted up through the bay and towards the Palm Farm area. By now the clouds were starting to look ominous again in the distance, and the wind was picking up a little. I suggested to BJ we might have a quick try in that general area, and then make our way back before the weather struck. Not long after, I landed fish number two...

...and number three not 5 minutes later.

BJ took some great photos, so I'm making good use of them!

I couldn't let BJ off without at least one head shot... :)

After that brief excitement we headed back around to Six Mile Creek with no further luck. The wind was whipping up, and we had a brief go in the creek, but in the end we called it a day with no further joy. The totals today were 2 bass for Panno, 3 for me, and an unfortunate doughnut for BJ. Not the best weather for his first trip out on Lake Mac, but BJ enjoyed having a look around nonetheless.


Matt (Gemini)

Anyone have a winch? - 07Apr13

TR by Gemini
Participants:  Gemini
Launch Site: Strawberry Patch, Lake MacDonald
Conditions: Overcast, moderate wind gusts

Just a quick report today. I went out yesterday afternoon for a late session after giving BJ a tour of the launch site. After a slow a lap around to the end of toga bay and back with only a bunch of missed strikes on the tally board, I was just about to call it a day when I had a hit not far from the launch site.

As soon as the lure touched the water the bass grabbed it and he seemed mighty cranky straight away. There was a lot of head shaking and carrying on (you can see the rod shaking in the video), and he ran himself deep into the weeds. I had to use a decent amount of force to drag him out, so at least I know my knots and line are still in top shape! He measured in at 39cm. Check it out below.

Fatty the Steamtrain - 01Apr13

TR by Gemini
Participants:  Gemini
Launch Site: Strawberry Patch, Lake MacDonald
Conditions: Fine, moderate wind gusts

I dashed out for a quick late arvo session on Lake Mac today. It was blowing a little which was annoying , but I made do. I tried a few new spots (for me) early on upstream along Six Mile Creek, taking a couple of half hearted strikes in the shallow water. I'll have to remember that for next time...

I putted around the usual spots until turning around for the home run near the end of Toga Bay. The sun was setting and, as usual, this is when the bass decide to get hungry. Before I left Toga Bay I had boated two undersized bass. I won't bother with photos of the tiddlers. I'll put them in the video when I get around to making it.

Around the corner from Toga Bay I had another take. This fish tapped the lure as soon as it hit the water, then took his time running with it. Once I was sure he was on I started pulling him in. To my surprise he just let me reel him in, and it felt like there was no weight on the line........... then he saw the boat. He took off suddenly and ran under the yak, dragging a good part of my rod underwater with him. I had a little give in the drag, and I think that's all that saved me from being snapped off. This guy had some power! He kept running along the other side of the yak, but luckily came up within arms reach, so he was an easy scoop into the net. At 44cm and FAT, he was a good catch. My new personal best for bass, and just shy of the NY record (I'll catch you yet Greg!).


Matt (Gemini)