S-M mayhem. 25Jan14

TR by sunshiner with contributions by scater, gemini and redwood at bottom

Wind: SW less than 5 knots
Swell: 1.3m E
Water temp: 26°C
Current: at Jew Shoal none detected, too busy catching fish
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: stormin, soren, emil, redwood, scater, salty, jaro, gemini, clappo, weeksie, aussie-stu, pauley, panno, deecee, turtleboy, whalerider, sunshiner (17). Please let me know if I've omitted anyone. Also we had well known Brissy-based AKFF members paulo and wife Lynette with friend Steve, all in Hobies.

WooHoo! What a morning! Launch wasn't too challenging but the young bucks politely(?) stepped aside and let the two oldest yakkers show them how to do it in the dark while facing occasional biggies which loomed up out of the blackness.

The whole fleet, I think, headed for Jew Shoal, led by Jaro, stormin and I. About 1000m short of Jew Shoal I found John, a local loner from Kin Kin, playing a fish. Turned out to be a spotty mac. Caught on a trolled HB.

I've invited John to join Noosa Yakkers, but he seems content to fish alone. He's been fishing out there from time to time for years. Launches from Coward's Corner, I think.

Nothing much was happening at Jew Shoal at first, no bustups, a few terns flapping around. A couple of stinkies were there before us and seemed to be just trolling, as were we. Perfect conditions. And then the radio traffic started to tell a tale of fish being sighted and hooked (by Noosa Yakkers or others). Kayaks arriving from Middle Groyne soon outnumbered the few stinkies that were present.

Soren's Spaniard seemed to be the bell ringer.

Taken on a HLP, the fourth Spaniard on the same lure

Shortly after this, the first bustups became visible nearby and the yaks and a couple of stinkies started to jockey for position; the air was full of slugs, whoops and the sound of singing drag clickers. The fish were not at all shy of our yaks.

There were two separate locations where all of this happened, simultaneously, a few hundred metres apart. I was in the group near the Pinnacles, while others were in a group to the SW of mine.

Here I had not even paddled into the bustup; it had happened around me.

Anyway, for at least the next hour the fish were very cooperative. They had the bait schools balled up on the shoal and all we had to do was hang around, maybe paddle 50m or so to bring the latest bustup within range. Bent rods everywhere, cries of triumph and frustration filled the air. Many slugs lost to bite-offs and at least one gaff lost, but the fish was bagged. Mayhem it was. Spotty mac mayhem.

Scater with his first spotty mac from a yak

Pauley and his first

Redwood and his first

Hanging around waiting for the next bustup

My first, for the morning.

This was probably jaro's bag limit fish

Gemini hooked up, again

Anchovy, coughed up by spotty Mac

New Noosa Yakkers record spotty mac? Redwood hopes so.

Planting the gaff, Redwood again

Beach pics

Everyone hooked fish and everyone brought fish home. Many bagged out, including clappo who bagged out on Spaniards and aussie-stu who was on his very first trip with us and on his first surf launch. There should be some video available soon as a few yakkers were shooting video out there.

A signature Noosa Yakkers day.

Kev Long
Author Kayak Fishing Manual for iPad and Mac (click linked text to view)
Stealth Supalite X, yellow/orange

Video added by scater

Video added by Gemini

Addition by Redwood

Well, I'm I glad I dragged myself out of bed this morning! I think I must have hit that snooze button 3 times. Muuust get uuup, baaaay full of pelaaagics. By 4am I was in the car park and for a second thought it was another Stealth comp; the bays were full of bustling yakkers, chatting and prepping. The excitement was palpable.

Sunshiner led the way and with his Supalite rocker pointed at Jew Shoal, scaled a few medium sized rollers with ease. A few others managed the same. I was hanging back, counting the waves. Stormin decided it was time to go, but his timing was a little off and I passed him waist deep holding onto his new yak on my way out. My timing, for a change, was perfect.

I rigged my HLP on one side and my Pulsator skirt with a mullet strip on the other. Yip, hedging my bets. I decided to do a few laps around the shark nets which, yielded nothing, before making my way to JS following the headland. This as it turned out this was a poor move as it seems this was also the stinky route to Sunshine Reef. By this time there was enough light and I was sure I could be seen reasonably enough and wasn't concerned.

I reached JS without a touch. In front of me a guy in a stinky reeled in a Spanish. He told me he got it, and 13 others the day before, on a qantas HLP. It was his first time in Noosa, the lucky so and so.

Soren then radioed in his Spanish and shortly after Emil his spotty. No mayhem yet, just a tinge of green coming over me and this time it wasn't sea-sickness. I decided to switch the grey speckled HLP for the qantas one. I've heard colour doesn't matter, but rather safe than sorry. I trolled the bait and the HB around for a while trying to avoid getting tangled up in trolling lines, which wasn't easy.

Then, a big bust-up right in front of me! I thought I had seen bust-ups before, but this was something else and here I was right in front of it with a loaded slug ready to go. Fire, fire, fire! I lobbed the slug into the middle of the boil and retrieved a slack line. Slug and leader gone. Fargaindagnabbit!! Plan B; chuck the HLP into the middle. I grabbed the rod and again reeled in another slack line. Grrrrrrr. Plan C; dispatch the mullet bait. It appeared mullet wasn't on the menu. Plan D; re-rig my casting outfit.  This took about 10 minutes and when I was done, much to my delight, the mayhem was still on just a little further to the West.

At this point everything becomes a blur. So many yakkers, so many stinkies, so many bent rods, so much whooping and cheering. I felt like Private Ryan on Omaha Beach. Amongst the madness something did grab my attention; it was Sunshiner, he looked like he was in one of those movies where all the action is frozen and someone is wondering in and amongst it all in a time warp. So calm and composed; taking a snap here, giving some advice there.

I snapped out of it, fired off my slug and was on immediately boating my first Spottie (picture above courtesy Sunshiner/Timewarper). I fired off another and could see the fish chasing the retrieve. Come on, come on, yes, it took the slug just at the boat but took it so strongly that the braid broke. Bugger. I was running out of leader and slugs. I re-rigged again with a 40gm halco twisty and got into it again. Soren saw my retrieve method and told me I need to reel in faster. I did so on the next cast and was on and then off. Thanks for the tip Soren because the next hookup was a beauty! A 99cm Spottie (picture above courtesy Sunshiner/Timewarper).

By this time a number of yakkers had bagged out and were just fishing for the fun of it. Panno was using a softie, which was getting results. I had 3 to go to bag out so I followed the action West and landed another two Spotties by which time most of the yakkers had headed in. Only Whalerider, Turtle Boy and myself remained at JS. Turtle Boy was having a terrible time of it; breaking his rod, loosing countless lures and as many fish. I encouraged him to have another go as the fish were still about. He did and hooked up to a nice one, but again it managed to slip from his grasp at the last minute.

We'd decided we'd had enough and it was time to head in. On the way back we saw more yakkers and boats corralled around a bust-up. I radioed Turtle Boy and said I was going to have a look. Hopefully I could snag another and bag out. The bust-up looked even bigger with many more birds. It wasn't long before I boated my 5th spottie and I was officially bagged out. Weeksie had also got two in this bust-up earlier, but when I started for MG only stinkies were left.

At MG the BNE Hobie's, Weeksie, Turtle Boy, Whalerider and myself were lined up to run the gauntlet. Turtle Boy went first and made it, but Whalerider wasn't so lucky and was rolled on a large one. I'd been watching the waves break on the rocks for 10 min while packing away and thought I had the measure of the sets. My trick is to watch for two big breaking waves in a row and then gun it. I had just started out when I saw a big swell behind me, so I hung back, let it pass under me and then went for it. Success. What a blast.

What a beauty!
Redwood bagged out
Fillets from the big SM
One reason why the fish should be gaffed near the head

Spaniards & Schoolies - 24Jan14

TR by Jimbo
Launch Point: Middle Groyne.
Wind: E-SE, 10-12 knots, with numerous rain periods early.
Swell: 1.2m ESE with with lumpy chop
Current: Not tested (wind predominant & paddling continuously)
Participants: Noddy, Clappo, Stretch, Jimbo

When I arrived at the MG car park in darkness at 0420, Noddy (having driven from Ipswitch), and relatively new NY, Clappo, were already unloading and preparing to trundle their yaks down to the beach. By the time I joined them at the water's edge it was just light enough to determine the shore break at fairly low tide was quite doable with just the odd wave standing up at the end of the rock groyne. On returning my trolly to my car I found Stretch, unloading his yak in preparation for one of his infrequent fishing trips (Stretch and his mate, Hollywood, spend much of their spare time involved in dragon boat racing).

I soon joined Noddy and Clappo out the back, getting just a little bit wet in the process, and after the usual preparations we three set out in the general direction of Jew Shoal, some hundreds of metres apart. However, this was about the last we saw of each other as the wind-chopped swell combined with numerous rain downpours made visibility quite poor (thank heavens for our trusty GPSs).

About half way out to Jew Shoal my rolled Halco Lazer Pro (HLP) went off and I easily reeled in a small school mackerel about 60 cm long. I nice start to the day me thinks.

When only about 150m from the Pinnacles, my trolled HLP went off again, this time a nice spaniard (later measured at 95 cm) was reeled into the yak after a brief fight. An even better start to the day me thinks. I radioed this info to my unseen NY mates, and was delighted to lean from Clappo that he too had boated a spaniard on a trolled mullie (another name for a pilchard?) somewhere out to the east of the Pinnacles. I had not heard from Stretch at all and was unaware of his location after launching.

It was becoming apparent there were plenty of palagics in the vicinity of JS, but not having a sounder to target areas of bait fish, I decided to paddle a "wheel spoke" pattern back and forth across the pinnacles. Also, there were only a few birds dipping and diving randomly in the area, and if there was any surface bust-ups happening it was practically impossible to see or hear them because of the choppy/rainy conditions. My strategy of "spoke-wheeling" the pinnacles seemed to be paying dividends when, on about my third crossing the trolled HLP screamed for my attention once more. However, I had just picked up the rod for a second or two, sufficient to feel the weight of a sizeable fish, when the line went slack. Upon reeling in the line it was clear a mackerel (most likely) had shredded the main line above the wire trace. Unfortunately this meant I had also lost my favoured HLP lure in the grey/silver/mullet colour.

I tried two other lures and made about three more crossings but there were no other strikes. It was now about 0800 and the wind had gone around to the SE and strengthened to the point where white caps were starting to become prevalent. Having two nice fish in the bag I decided to head for home via Teatree Bay hoping I might be able to see some surface bust-ups in the relative shelter of the National Park headland. I radioed my intentions to Clappo and Noddy, and was delight to hear from the latter that he had boated two spaniards and a spotty (see later), and was also heading for home.

I did see one bust-up within the "L" formed by the two shark nets but this had disappeared by the time I reeled in my trolled line in order to cross the nets to get to the area.

Once back in the car park Noddy showed me his two spaniards, both about 85 cm, and his "spotty". I'm not good at picking the difference between spotty and school mackerel, but I think Noddy's "spotty" was more likely a school mackerel. In either case, it was at least 92 cm and would be a NY record if Noddy has taken sufficient photographic evidence and wished to claim it as a record school mackerel. For Noddy, I'm suggesting you claim for a school mackerel, because having returned from MG this morning (Sat), I know at least ten NY bagged out during a session of "spotty mayhem" and there is more than likely a new spotty mack record amongst the many spotties taken this morning.

I also caught up with Stretch in the car park who reported that he had initially headed towards JS, but was diverted back into the bay and towards the river mouth chasing numerous surface bust-ups and bird activity in this area. Although experiencing a couple of equipment malfunctions, he still managed to boat two schoolies on trolled HBLs.

Clappo was the last of our band to return to shore, and he was pleased as punch to show off, not only his first spaniard boated out at JS (~85 cm), but a very nice 1.24m spaniard caught by casting a slug into a bust-up close to the shark nets on his return to MG. Here's Clappo with his larger spaniard.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

And here's my spaniard taken at home (after gutting).
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

That's it guys; five spaniards and four schoolies amongst four of us. A great morning's fishing in less than ideal conditions.


yft and macks. 23Jan14

TR by sunshiner with added pics from soren and contribution by pedro at end

Wind: calm to gentle NE
Swell: 1.0m ESE
Water temp: 26°
Current: n/a
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: pedro, soren, sunshiner

Yesterday (Wednesday), the last few kilometres of our 1200km drive home from Sydney were along David Low Way, the route deliberately chosen so I could observe the swell on Noosa's eastern beaches. As I'd hoped, it was small, and totally consistent with the Sea Breeze forecast, as was the wind. Having neither paddled nor fished for over two weeks I was keen to get out today.

Despite my best efforts, pedro was already parked (in my favourite spot) and had his yak on the beach before I'd even turned off the zook’s engine. It was only about 04:15. Shortly afterward soren rumbled in. Low tide, but no launch problems. A shower or two threatened but getting rained on would be a pleasure as the air temperature was still around 22°C, I'd say. And we did get rained on, for only a few minutes.

Very little stinkboat traffic, and a solitary catamaran anchored in the bay, about 1000m out, its masthead light gleaming like a just-risen planet to the north east. No wind here in the inner bay, making for glassy swells and easy paddling.

To avoid the shark net deployed E-W across part of the path to Jew Shoal, I usually paddle NW initially and deploy my chosen trolled HB as soon as I can and did so today. Once I judge I'm clear of the net I alter course more to the NNE and head for The Pinnacles, at this stage about 3km away. When I was passing the anchored catamaran, whose crew had yet to show signs of life, my trolled HLP was grabbed and then after a quick flurry of action was dropped. Reeling in to check that all was well, then redeploying the lure 35-40 strokes behind, I paddled off again only to have the lure grabbed again very soon afterward. This time the strike was more assertive, and the line pulled off against the drag, whose clicker emitted that satisfying buzz which we all enjoy.

The water was very clear, for even in the half-light I could see, from the chrome-like flash below, that I had hooked one of the mackerel species as it came up for a first look at the yak. Mistaking it for a spotty mac at first, I quickly saw that it was a schoolie once I got a good look at it.

Queensland school mackerel, min length 50cm, possession limit 10. It's easy to mistake this species for a spotty mac, which has different minimum length and possession limits. The schoolie usually displays spots on its flanks (as does the fish above), but these spots are always bigger than the fish's eye, while on the spotty mac they're smaller, and usually more numerous.

School mackerel can often be caught in large numbers as they hang around together. Almost certainly the earlier strike would have been a schoolie also. With bigger fish in mind, and fresh fish dinner in the hatch, I headed on toward Jew Shoal, which was being worked over now by only two stinkies plus pedro, of course.

About 1km south from the Pinnacles mark, just as soren passed me, I turned on the sounder to check for the presence of baitfish. None, or not very much, anyway. No terns present. But pedro was displaying his fishing skills by simultaneously trolling with one outfit and casting with another, indicating he could probably see something worth casting toward so I headed for his location, near The Pinnacles. Here I also could see large baitfish showering out. They looked to me like small longtoms or perhaps wolf herring (aka ribbon fish), as they left the water like a shower of arrows at the Battle of Hastings. Just as I got up to pedro he hooked up to what turned out to be a longtom, of a size typical of those which hang around Jew Shoal, that is, nearly a metre long, and skinny and squirmy as a snake. This he intends to take home and rig as a Spaniard bait! How about a pic of your rigged longtom bait, pedro? Presumably you'll have a stinger right in the tail?

About now pedro and I started to see Spaniards leaping clear of the water, just to the north, and mixed up with them some tuna, also leaping clear, but not as high as the Spaniards. So that's where we headed, all the time letting soren and each other know by radio what was going on. Pedro reckoned the tuna might be yellowfin and I agreed.

I was trolling my usual HLP which had already scored two strikes this morning for one fish in the hatch. The surface action was spasmodic and no clusters of terns could be seen, just one or two terns flying around and dipping every now and again to feed off baitfish which had fatally swum too close to the surface. No flying fish. Down deep there were occasional shoals of bait displayed on the sounder and the whole place felt very fishy. Foolishly, the stinkies had by now left for so-called greener pastures, so it was only we three Noosa Yakkers out there.

As I often do, I'd paddled upwind, which was also up-sun today, with the intention of turning through 180° and running with the wind (sun nicely at my back) in a SW direction back toward The Pinnacles. I'd made my u-turn and was enjoying the better view and the easier paddle when off went the HLP again. You never know what you might hook at Jew Shoal but it's fun trying to work out what it might be. By now the sun was high enough to push photons further into the depths and soon I was rewarded with the splendid view of a chunky yellowfin tuna, down deep, its huge pectorals spread and its brassy colours resplendent. Unfortunately it was nowhere near as big as stormin's whopper from just over a year ago, but nice to have anyway, especially as they're so good to eat. I let my companions know that I was hooked up to a yellowfin because where there's one yft there are usually more. Soren started paddling over to me, just north of The Pinnacles. I'd just gaffed and hatched my fish when soren arrived, with a bang. He let out a whoop as his trolled HLP went off, not 20 metres from me. "Probably you've got a yellowfin too", I opined as he got down to business with this nice surprise. I think soren was hoping that it was a yellowfin, but if so his hopes were dashed as he saw the unmistakeable vertical bars of a Spaniard and let out a louder whoop.

Soren hooked up.

My yft

Soren's second Spaniard. Nice shoes, soren.

I'd planned to get home early today and with two nice-eating fish in the hatch decided to head back in soon afterward.

My journey back in was notable only for the fact that there were a few shoals of bait inside the bay, around 1 to 1.5km out from the beach (about where I got my schoolie on the way out). There was no surface action, however, but if the bait hangs around the predators will surely arrive. A mix of spotties, Spaniards, longtails would be nice, so close in, as we have encountered them before. Fun days ahead, methinks.

A couple of beach pics of my fish

Who's coming on Saturday?

Kev Long
Author Kayak Fishing Manual for iPad and Mac (click linked text to view)
Stealth Supalite X, yellow/orange

Late addition from soren

Here I am showing the prominent pectoral fins of the yellowfin tuna. Pic by soren.

Soren finished up with two Spaniards, 89 and 81cm. Pic by soren

Contribution by pedro

I trolled all day today…

Launched 4.30, trolled around JS with slimey mac on home-made rig.

You tie baitfish's mouth shut with copper wire and keep the front hook at an angle; swims great.

With pedro as my call sign it was a hard choice at 10.30 to head in. I've a grand tally of one Spanish in four years of yak fishing.

As sunshiner and soren reported, the bait fish were in the inner bay and the birds were working small bustups when I got there. It's amazing how your whole attitude changes and energy comes from nowhere when there's a chance to turn around my donut.

I chased bustups for the next three hours ending up with two yellowfin and one spotty mac, missing two other hookups and losing my gaff on the first fish.

I saw a fish close to the yak just hit the surface, you know how they create a vacuum implosion. It was huge.... no large dorsal, ruling out shark and dolphin, it was an estimated 2m long 45cm wide, amazing.

All fish were caught on cast slugs.
32k on GPS
Check out the parasite eggs in one of the tuna in the pics below.


Early morning River Session 18-Jan-2014

TR by eyetag

Wind: 5-10 knot SE
Current: Run out tide
Launch Point: Noosa Heads Lions Park
Participants: Eyetag

I launched 1.am and trolled a Gold Bomber to Ricky's only getting one Hairtail along the way. So I had a few drifts slow rolling Gladiator Prawns across the bottom from Ricky's down stream for about 300 metres,there was plenty of action, getting bitten off twice and two good fish putting me into snags. I managed to land 2 Flathead and 3 Big eye all around 40cm,all released. I also landed a nice Mangrove Jack and a Stargazer which is one species we don't see too often.

When I saw the sun was starting to rise I headed back to the Woods Bays and trolled a Gold Bomber hoping for another Jack but after an hour or so all I had was another Hairtail so I pulled the pin.

Action packed night on the river, 16Jan14

TR by Redwood

Trip date: 16 January 2013
Participants: Redwood
Launch Site:  Lions Park
Destination:  Rivermouth
Conditions:  Wind SE 15 knots at times, tide high running in

Very late in the day I decided to load up the yak and hit the river seeings as I would be right there for a meeting at Noosa Community Radio (or Noosa 101.3FM as they'd now like to be called). The meeting ended about 8.00 and I was in the water by 8.30. Although it was full moon their was full cloud cover, so it was much darker than expected, but I had remembered my headlamp this time.

I headed up to Ricky's and tootled between the boats in the Woods Bay trolling a gold bomber and R2S live minnow. I rounded the bay point and crossed over to the South side to the jetties just before Ricky's. As I approached Ricky's I could see a group of 'utes' (youths) fishing from one of the boat ramps. "You got lines out mate, 'cause so do we", one of them said. I'd started to head away from them when the reel went off. Bugger I thought, I've snagged their lines, but it turned out to be a Hairtail. The utes were most impressed. I told them what it was and that they were not very good eating, but one of them said he'd eat it. I paddled over and dropped the fish on the ramp at their feet, which was followed by an explosion of expletives from the boys and screeching from the girls. In short, they'd never seen anything like it. They were also not so keen to eat it any longer, so I put it back.

I did a couple of laps up and down past Ricky's but didn't get any more action, so decided to press on towards the rivermouth. I passed the sandbags and crossed for a run in the Frying Pan, which yielded nothing, so I hugged the North Shore and headed down to the mouth.

As I got closer to the mouth I could see a few fishermen on the bank. I tried to avoid their lines and thought I had succeeded, but the reel going off landed up being one of their lines. I beached the yak and spent 5 minutes untangling before continuing further down toward the mouth. Just as I headed off, the bomber went off and I reeled in another Hairtail. Somehow in trying to set the thing loose my lines had become tangled so I beached the yak again and sorted it out. I had unfortunately lost my R2S in the process. I re-rigged with something similar but smaller. Tying Albright knots in the wind is a bugger. I took a few pics of the Hairtail while I had it out of the water and noticed that it had a big chunk missing from it's tail which, might explain why it was jumping out of the water while I was reeling it in.

Hairtail with some tail missing
The stuff of nightmares (my daughter tells me she won't sleep after seeing this).
I sorted everything out and jumped back in the yak hoping for something better tasting and nicer looking. On the North West end of the mouth I could see a few waves breaking on a sandbank. They didn't look like much trouble but I was keen to avoid them and the sandbar causing them. The wind was pumping in from the South and the long Evo was putty in it's hands. Soon enough the bomber reel went off again and this time a 38cm Trevally. I reached for the net and secured the fish, but unfortunately the 3 trebles on the bomber had also secured themselves in the net's webbing. While trying to unhook them I was getting pushed quite rapidly toward the waves and before I knew it I was in amongst them. Not too much trouble I thought until one stood up, about 4 feet, and crashed over me and the open hatch. I was very fortunate that the bow of the boat was 90 degrees to the wave and the nose punched through. If I'd been a bit sideways I would have gone over for sure. I closed the hatch and paddled out of the waves and beached the yak again.

I quickly headed out again and very soon was on again, but it came off. Not to worry, because 2 minutes after that I landed another 40cm Trevally, this time without the net, just lifted and aimed for the open hatch. Once inside, I closed the hatch and beached the yak again. This looked like it might become the pattern for the evening. Headed out again from the North shore diagonally across to the fishing platform on the South bank, staying away from the waves as much as possible. I reached the other side and on my return was hit by something a bit bigger. This time a very nice Tailor that landed up measuring 56cm. Again, I managed to lift and drag it into the hatch and with line and hooks still in I paddled and beached the yak again.

By this time, around 10.30, the clouds had cleared and the full moon illuminated the landscape like a spotlight. There were a couple stinkies around and quite a few fishing from the South bank, but not as many as I would have expected on a full moon. I repeated the process and in a very similar spot landed a very nice 46cm Trevally. All the fish so far had been gained on the gold bomber.

I started trolling again and been hadn't been paddling long when I noticed a large black shape breach the water just behind me. I assumed the thing was going for my bomber which was dangling about 20cm above the water surface. I quickly dropped the bomber in the water and sure enough I was immediately onto what ever was chasing it; another Hairtail. I beached the yak and tried to release the Hairtail, but I think it was too far gone. I decided to to one more loop and then head for home. The loop yielded nothing and so did the paddle back.

I arrived back at Lions Park at midnight and unfortunately instead of coming back in piece and quiet, some drunken utes where having an altercation near the Sheraton. This is the second time I've come back to this type of nonsense in as many weeks. Unpleasant utes aside, what a top night and thanks again gold bomber.

The nights bounty

Slow Day at Jew Shoal - 12Jan14

TR by Redwood

Trip date: 12 January 2013
Participants: Jono, Red Greg, Ben, Redwood
Launch Site:  Middle Groyne
Destination:  Jew Shoal
Conditions:  Wind SE 5 knots, in close and 10 knots at JS. Swell 1.5m. Current very strong to the south

Jono, Ben (not sure if NY or not) and myself set out from MG at 4.30 with the first crack of light. I was planning to head to Little Hall's and then JS but both Ben and Jono didn't have a GPS and with Ben mentioning that he was just easing back into things, I changed tack and decided to accompany the guys and go directly to JS.

The previous afternoon I'd been surfing with my daughter at MG so I knew timing was going to be crucial on exit. I think we all got a bit wet, but timing was good and we made it through the surf zone unscathed. I pointed Ben in the direction of JS and he headed out first with myself and Jono following soon after.

We all trolled various lures to JS. I was using a Halco LP on one side and the Pulsator lure I'd won at the Stealth comp on the other. Dennis T had said these are intended for use with no bait or a strip bait. I had no strip bait so I trolled it bait free. None of us had any hits on the way out.

I positioned Jono and Ben on the Pinnacles as they were keen for a bit of bottom bashing, while I trolled around for a bit. I decided to add a pillie to the Pulsator skirt to see if that changed anything, It didn't. After 10 min trolling I decided to use the early morning for some bottom fishing as it seems fish like Grassy and Snapper are often on the bite early. In my experience they seem to be active early, then go quiet and then pick up again later (around 10.30 to lunchtime).

Jono soon announced that he'd caught and boated his first fish; an undersize Squire. Unfortunately for Jono, despite having the most active session of all of us for the day, all of his catches were undersized. Jono reported catches of Squire, Flathead, Grinners and reef Cod, totalling about 10 fish.

I was getting didly-squat on my squid bait at one of my favourite marks and the wind was pushing me off the mark very quickly. I decided that as the wind was coming in from the SE I would set up a mega drift from the pinnacles to my mark which is about 500m off the pinnacles to the north. On my way back to the pinnacles I ran into Red Greg; literally. I stopped to ask him his handle and how he was going, when I suddenly found I'd drifted across his lines and they were now across my lap. Red Greg started reeling in the one while I passed the line over my boat. This almost landed up in a prickly situation when the lure suddenly came across and snagged in my hat. It was all a bit of a mess and Red Greg had to cut some line and loose a 'good' lure. He managed to get the other one back, which was a very interesting and heavy contraption hooked up to a Garfish. Luckily Red Greg seemed like a real pro and was re-rigging in no time. Sorry about that Red Greg, my bad; I owe you a lure.

I finally got to the pinnacles mark and started my mega drift. Half way through and still no touch on the squid so I switched to half a pillie and it was immediately hit by what felt like a decent Snapper. A short fight later a 35cm Squire was in the hatch; a very feisty fellow and probably the reason it felt bigger than it was. This buoyed my spirits as I smelt more, but it wasn't to be. Three mega drifts later and not another bite.

By this time, around 8.30am, all the trolling stinky's had headed for home and with the weather deteriorating I thought it was time to do the same. Ben had headed in an hour earlier and Jono was also keen to pull the pin. To boot, I was also sea-sick and not really in the mood for more. We re-rigged for the troll home and headed back. It was a tough paddle into the wind and kudos to Jono for catching up and keeping up to the Evo in the Prowler.

The tide was lower for our return and the bank of surfers at MG didn't bode well for us as they were catching come pretty decent waves. There were people everywhere which made picking a return spot difficult, but we both timed it well and landed without incident, Jono to the right of the groyne and me to the left.

And, so ended a rather slow day at Jew Shoal.

PS - Let us know how you landed up going Red Greg.

Addition by Red Greg

S is for shit of a day lost two head start lures on top of JS. Was on the water at 5am had a hb on one rod and a gar on the other rod, 4 hours going around JS for a donut. So reset with z man SP.  Landed 2 very small snapper (squire) put back by this time it was 11am. So back to the beach MG clean landing no one got hit with my kayak.

Touch the bottom, 12Jan14

TR by Gemini

Participants:  Gemini & parents
Launch Site: Strawberry Patch, Lake MacDonald
Conditions: Fine. Light breeze, but building throughout the morning

Seeing the only opportunity weather wise for a paddle in the coming week, my parents and I decided to have a quick splash about on Lake MacDonald. We started out late in the morning around 7:30, so my fishing spirit was none too optimistic, but Dad and I took the rods for a spin anyway. I was also giving a loaned Stealth kayak a test for the first time after two previous false starts.

The water level at the Strawberry Patch launch is currently very low. What's left of the old Noosa-Cooroy road bridge is clearly visible, and the road itself is now breaching the surface in spots, creating a peak so shallow you have to walk your yak across it. No boat is getting through there in a hurry, that's for sure. On the plus side, if you want freshwater mussels, now is the time to go wading...

We made out way around to the Palm Farm slowly, and the wind had picked up enough that it blew us most of the way. I was checking out the bottom more than I was fishing, as the structure is clearly visible at the moment. It's always good to see what's down there. It wasn't until we had turned around to come back that I had the first strike of the day, but not long into the fight he spat the hook and disapeared. Bugger.

Close to Toga Bay I took another hit, but this one stuck. He was a nice little fighter, and he shot off like a rocket when he saw the yak. A few moments later he was in the net and measured at 38cm.

Asides from the bass and a few dirty looks from a group of pelicans, we had an uneventful trip back in.

Matt (Gemini)

Late New Years Resolution, 06Jan14

TR by Clappo

Wind: Nil in close but 10 knots SE at JS
Swell: Small but lots of chop out wide
Current: Minimal
Launch point: Middle Groin
Participants: Clappo

Pulled up to an empty car park at 4.00, which reminded me how much I love shift work and having days off during the week.

After pulling a doughnut Mackerel wise and the fact that Salty had some luck the day before, I decided to back up with another trip today. Yesterdays trip included one small shark just out from the nets and trolling around a halco HB for several hours without a back treble on it after getting a strike earlier on in the morning. I thought then that I should check my rigs more often. Anyway similar conditions today except for dead flat launch at about 4:30 am. Trolled a Halco HB plus a weighted pillie with a pink skirt (thanks to Salty for that post trip info) out to a fairly rough Jew Shoal. At least I think it was Jew shoal as my GPS battery gave up the ghost about 400m short of the mark. Took a few land marks to get my bearings and ploughed on muttering to myself that I must remember to check my GPS batteries more often. Had the place to myself for about an hour, no birds working and no strikes. Plenty of balled up bait on the sounder so I persevered. At around 6ish the birds turned up in good numbers working in several locations all within a couple of hundred meters of each other, and of course on cue along came the stinkboats also.

I decided to change my pillie to an average size gar and carried on. Paddling into the wind was hard going and I probably was only trolling at around 3-4 knots but on the downwind leg it was more like 7-8 knots. It was on a downwinder that I was rewarded almost immediately after changing baits with a good strike. After getting a small shark the day before I wasn't going to get to excited until I had a closer look. Disappointingly the fish came straight to the kayak without much of a fight. He was quickly measured (800mm) subdued and dispatched into the hull of the Stealth without to much trouble.

Rerigged with another gar and set off again but by now the sun was getting higher and the stinkboats were stirring the place up quite well. Several more passes proved fruitless so I headed for Granite and trolled the rest of the way in close around the bays back to M.G. Upon arrival I pulled in my lines and found that I had had another strike on my gar rig just missing the rear gang. I wondered how long ago that was. I must remember to check my rigs more often.

Landing was a non event and the beach was fairly deserted for 8am making for a fairly boring pack up and photo session. When I got home I decided it was time to join Noosa Yakkers as I had been reading the blog for quite some time now gleaning lots of intelligence put forward by its members, some of which I had met along the way. Time to join in.

My New Years resolution is the check my gear more often in case you haven't guessed.


S is for Salty, 05Jan14

TR by Salty
Launch Point; MG
Swell; Small to Medium
Wind; Low in close, fresh out past Granite

On arrival at 4.00am I immediately checked out the surf conditions.

Still dark, there was consistent white water on a low tide and not much break between waves, sand almost to the end of the groyne, a heavy haze all around, and, at the time no wind in the bay.

I started my paddle out in breaking light. I had to punch through a couple waves and ended up soaked which I didn't mind as it was very hot and sticky, even at just after 4.00 in the morning. I headed straight to the South to go along the shark nets, then to the East between the shark nets and the national park. I was trolling a HB gold bomber and a pintail SP taking a wide birth around the very last marker buoy of the shark nets.

Thinking I was all in the clear, I began to swing back in towards the shark nets, only to get caught up on the last marker. Initially thought great I've hooked up early. With the slight swell running, it seemed to take forever to retrieve the lure. At this point I changed to a Rapala X-Rap and on the other line a pillie with a skirt and proceeded to hug the coast about 300m off shore.

Once out past Granite the breeze kicked in, quite a fresh breeze, still no touch on my offerings, so I headed across toward JS. On arriving at the reef there was a noticeable cross swell in play, one from the north , one from the south. I re-baited the pillie and the first pass going south to north got the hit, played the fish for about 15 to 20 minutes as I only had a 12lb mono line I wasn't in a rush to get it in.

I let the fish have several good runs and at the same time was trying to bring in my other line so I didn't have a tangle up in the end. Once I got sight of the fish, I've gone to myself 'YES' my first Spanish Mack.

Sunshiner's comments on the S's (Salty) was right. It actually played on my mind to go out for a paddle after I read it. Thanks Sunshiner. Gaffed the fish, got it on board and it placed in between my legs, covered it's head with the PFD to quieten it down. To make sure I wasn't going to loose it, I tied it on to the yak by the tail. My next thought was, "Hey I've had a win, a nice fish, not the biggest by club standards, but very happy with the catch, call it quits and go in".

Back on the beach by 8.00am. Took the necessary photos as per below.

 photo 9f25607b-a977-47ae-8518-0b92679c9239_zpscf71bae2.jpg

 photo 64bad0a9-9268-407b-ac8d-8ac5ee32d48b_zps7baf4c00.jpg

 photo 4ecb1db9-95a8-43f6-a2e1-a0117cc580a1_zps31816e08.jpg

Cheers Salty

Quiet but encouraging. 02Jan14

TR by sunshiner, with contributions by weeksie and tunny.

Wind: calm
Swell: 1.0m ESE
Water temp: 25°-26°
Current: n/a
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: tunny, stormin, weeksie, Iain, lisbeth, soren, andy (unexpected visitor who launched with us), sunshiner

Exactly as forecast, the SE wind dropped overnight from a steady 20 knots at DIP at midnight, to less than 5 knots at 3:30am.

Lazybugger and co faced crappy conditions the day before which forced them to fish the sheltered waters only, with some success, a Spaniard which took a slow-trolled pillie.

But today was perfect. And as I approached The Pinnacles mark at Jew Shoal I started to get strong indications from my fishfinder that there were lots of baitfish present. My HLP was throbbing away, about 2m down and I truly expected it to go off any second.

Just one image in a continuous display of echoes today

Two days ago here there were no such displays, but today the baitfish were packed in, with many instances where the baitfish occupied the entire water column from surface to bottom. When this situation coincides with the presence of fishy predators usually there will be surface eruptions everywhere, accompanied by flocks of fluttering terns. Such days for a kayak fisher out here are truly memorable, the sort of thing which when recalled will still cause palpitations when you're in the old folks' home, and I've seen quite a few of such days over the years. Unfortunately such events are unpredictable, by me anyway, except that they always occur in the warmer months, December to May. The only way to experience such days is to be out there when it happens.

So today I felt confident but the only surface activity I came across was early on when the tops of the densely packed baitfish schools coincided with the surface, bringing that familiar dimpling effect as those at the surface, vulnerable to terns, tried to push down through the writhing mass below, to comparative safety. And the terns did get in on the act briefly, but it would have been slim pickings as to get a good meal they usually rely on the tunas, mackerels and sharks to panic the hapless baitfish, pushing them to the surface. There the baitfish are caught between a rock and a hard place, stay on the surface and be eaten by both fish and fowl or go deep and be eaten only by the fish.

So I and my kayak borne companions and only a few stinkies (jetskis, tinnies and floating gin palaces) trolled back and forth, for nix. No one was getting anything. A huge black and shiny devil ray (or possibly manta?) erupted from the surface, twice, nearby at one stage; boy do they make a splash! I wonder if they'd ever accidentally drop onto a kayak?

As the ambient light increased the terns disappeared and the sun's rays started to heat me up so I announced to my mates that I was pulling the pin early. It was about 06:20.

Trolled all the way back to Middle Groyne without seeing anything to encourage me to stay out longer. But arrived back at Middle Groyne at the same time as Lisbeth and Soren, one of the wife and husband teams in Noosa Yakkers. They'd stayed close to shore today and also had seen nothing fishy and caught nothing. Photo opportunity.

Soren and Lisbeth, a long way from their native Denmark. I think they fit into the Noosa scene really well! Great hat, Lisbeth.

By now the tide had risen. The result at Middle Groyne was a limpid lagoon. No waves; whiting and bream clearly visible foraging around the feet of the few swimmers. It's true: beautiful one day, perfect the next; even if I don't catch fish.

Kev Long
Author Kayak Fishing Manual for iPad and Mac (click linked text to view)
Stealth Supalite X, yellow/orange

Contribution by weeksie (posted on FB)

Paddled around 18km this morning for 0. Did a few laps over Jew Shoal then over to A Bay mark trolling all the way with various lures.
Sunshiner did report bait fish over JS pinnacles coming up on his fish finder. I didn't hear of any catches by the time I returned.

Contribution by tunny

Hi Kev,

Your decision to leave early was a wise one. Stormin and I stayed out until 9 am, with no signs of any fish. The birds also disappeared as you left. I tried trolling Halco lures, and jigged soft plastics at Jew Shoal while Stormin went over to Little Halls. I never saw any fish being caught from stinkies or jet skis. At least with the year starting at a low base it can only improve from here.

Dave (Tunny)

Off to a good start. 01Jan14

TR by lazybugger

Participants: Lazybugger, TarponRob (AKFF), Jbonez (AKFF - not sure if NY member or not yet)
Conditions: SE to ESE later on. Gusting to 20 knots at times but no real white caps until later in the morning. Staying close to the shore - within 500m - made it very doable.
MG Launch and return - both definitely dry bum
Current - trolled so not really noticed, wind drift was severe.

Went to sleep early on New Years, maybe I am getting old but with only one more shot at fishing before 2-3 weeks of mayhem at work, my priority was fishin not boozin. Woke up at 1.30, 15 minutes before the alarm was due. Checked the DI wind on Seabreeze, 20knots, not good. Decided to put my trust in the BOM graphical forecast which suggested 10-15knots closer to shore around Noosa. So off to pickup TarponRob (AKFF) for his first offshore trip. He'd already made it clear to me he was happy to have a go.

Got to a very busy Noosa car park at about 3.40am. Lots of young people wandering around and a few campfires on the beach. It was still too dark to see waves but the surf didn't sound too bad. There was wind but it wasn't 20 knots. When we got our rigged kayaks to the water's edge we could see it would be a dry bum launch.

Out the back with ease I proceeded to set up. The wind was definitely brisk but the seas were flat with no white caps evident, even in the distance. While waiting for Rob to finish setting up I picked up a few small taps on the pilly rig. I picked up the rod, gave it a couple of winds and then I was on. But it wasn't much of a fight. Soon enough a baby school mack about 40cm was being released by the side of the yak. Rob was now up near Jbonez who was battling a small reef shark. He was having a few issues getting his lure out but deciding better he lost his fingers than us, we continued on.

Due to the wind, the plan was to get past the shark nets then head east and follow the national park around to the fairy pools and head to Jew Shoal from there. Well we had an uneventful trip out with the odd gust making the trip hard work but we knew we'd have the wind behind us for the trip home. Only the odd fish on the sounder to this point. As we got nearer to the pools and beyond the wind got heavier. I decided to start heading north to Jew Shoal but it didn't take long until the further I got from the land the more the swell was getting steeper and the wind stronger. The swell was more easterly at this point and I decided the northerly course wasn't worth the risk of struggling against side on swells so turned around.

Talking to the guys we decided to do a few loops of the area. Wasn't long before Jbonez informed us of birds diving. I headed his way and followed them for a while. They took me back towards Jew Shoal but eventually disappeared. On the way the baitfish and some good fish shows had started to appear on the sounder. With no birds around I started heading west again and got back to about 100m from the boys when the TLD started to scream. It was one of the best runs I've had on the reel, better than the GT I caught a couple of weeks ago & I could feel some really good weight. It got even better when I had an even stronger run after I did the drag up. I started trying to reel in the other rod but the leash was getting tangled around the handle and winding it in left handed seemed a bother so I called for help and Rob was soon on the way. He picked up the other rod but it was soon clear it was caught with the other line. Rob did a bit of cutting, the lure came up near the tip of the other combo and was retrieved, problem solved.

Rob got a bit of video on his camera. Unfortunately my gopro had already run out of battery. Anyway Rob reckons it was probably a 15 minute battle to get the beast aboard. It was caught on a palmy army style pilly rig with surprisingly enough a pilly on it.

I cut off the pilly rig in the hatch rather than stuffing around and with both rods requiring re-rigging, I decided my job was done at 7.25am and decided to pull the pin. I told Rob and Jarrod to keep going but Rob followed me in soon after anyway.

Final length was 120cm and it was 23lb or about 10.5kg. Big thanks to Rob for the help with the other rod, taking the photos and helping to fillet the mongrel.