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.