Hitting the bottom. 30Mar14

TR by sunshiner with contribution by dee-cee and later contribution by tarzan

Wind: calm
Swell: 1m E
Water temp: 26°C
Current: at Jew Shoal, about 1.5kph, toward the east
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: jaro, tarzan and bro Aden, scottyD, aussie-stu, pauly, dee-cee, soren, sunshiner. Plus eyetag (beach reception committee)
Keen Angler Program: sunshiner offered snapper frames

The forecast for today was spot on. What we didn't know was how Laguna Bay had been affected by the dump of rain we received, at last, during the week. We've had clean water right through the summer, a rare privilege in my experience and that has probably contributed to the pelagic scorecard.

Completely saturated air this morning was indicated by the mists that hung around Noosa, but were not present over the water. In near darkness, no moon, overcast, we gathered on the beach peering into the gloom. The lack of white water at the end of the groyne was a sign that the sand monster was off duty and so it proved. ScottyD, our newest member, was here for his first beach launch and ocean paddle in his new completely unscathed Stealth Evo. He and I waited together on the beach until all the others had disappeared northward into the darkness then off he went leaving me to tail the field.

Lots of stinkies going out today and I spent much of the first 15 minutes of the trip to Jew Shoal (for that's where we'd all opted to head) looking over my left shoulder to change course or switch on bright lights in the event that one of these came too close.

ScottyD stuck with me as he had no GPS and probably thought we were in with a chance as I certainly did when a small bustup of tuna occurred on our path. They were possibly yellowfin as they seemed too small to be longtails; but they were leaping clear of the water, their tails continuing to vibrate rapidly in a vain attempt to propel them upward through the air. It fizzled out quickly but at least we knew there were fish present.

Our nine kayaks joined two or three stinkies at the shoal and we started to do our thing, each fishing the way it suited him best, some trolling, some bottom fishing. The wind had died away and the shoal water was divided by a visible surface line running SW-NE which had cleaner water on the north side than on the south side. The water was overall murkier than before the rain and certainly seemed less fishy, although many of us saw the odd Spaniard, tuna or spotty-mac leap clear, but no bustups worthy of the name.

By 6:30 am no one had reported any hookups, then shortly afterward tarzan came up on the radio revealing that he'd boated a small but keeper grassy taken on a drifted half-pillie.

Pic taken a little later than at capture time as I was busy.

Hardly had we digested this welcome news when I noticed that aussie-stu, who was chucking SPs around not far from me, had hooked up so I paddled toward him intent on taking a pic.

This stonker of a grassy took an SP. Good fish but not a Noosa Yakkers record. Fuzzy lens because of high water content in the air.

I'd been fishing with a SP also, without a touch, but noted that Stu had a heavier jig head on than I had because, he explained, he didn't think he was getting down to the bottom with a lighter jig head. My GPS, which I was monitoring carefully was showing me that we were moving quite quickly toward the east and I'd noticed also that my SP seemed to be drifting above the bottom so I changed to a heavier jig head.

It took nearly an hour before this change produced a fish for me. Stu's fish was hooked up about 400m east of the Pinnacles so I decided that I'd start my drifts near the Pinnacles and follow the current eastward. Once I'd moved to 500m or so from the Pinnacles I'd paddle back to the start and try again. I was on my second drift on this plan when I was shaken into life by a decent strike at 300m east. Two grassies had been caught but I was pretty sure my fish was a snapper and so it turned out to be. I was on the board!

46cm snapper. Very welcome after a bit of a drought!

By the time I was ready to fish again I'd drifted out of my target zone so paddled back to the 250m from P mark and re-started the drift. This time the SP got hit on the way to the bottom. Bewdy, hookups on consecutive casts! Soon another snapper was thrumming away in the fishbox.

Snapper #2. 41cm.

By 8:00am, with few fish and the temperature starting to climb as the overcast burned off with no cooling breeze, yakkers were beginning to head back to Middle Groyne. Aussie-stu had revealed by farewell radio call that he'd got another grassy about 42cm on an SP but nobody else was reporting fish. Just before I pulled the pin at 8:30 am soren nailed a grassy about 35 cm using bait. He, scottyD and I were the last yakkers to leave Jew Shoal and we enjoyed a quick trip back on a glassy sea.

The sand monster was now prowling around at the groyne, but was not as aggressive as sometimes. The return was a good opportunity for scottyD to learn the Middle Groyne ropes and he did well, picking the lull very well and powering in with no white water to bother him. As far as I'm aware everyone got in right way up despite the opportunity for serious embarrassment being present. Around every three minutes a big wave would arrive seemingly out of nowhere but in between these arrivals there were enough smaller waves to keep a couple of board riders interested and a bunch of yakkers on their toes.

Yak fishing tragic, staunch Noosa Yakker and local media identity eyetag was hanging around at the beach, showing his scar and injury to anyone who cared to take a look.

Eyetag's bicep repair surgery scar.

The man himself. He reckons he'll be back in action in his yak in a couple of months.

Several years ago Jew Shoal had plenty of grassies and today's results indicate that perhaps they are returning. Thanks to aussie-stu for reminding me that sometimes extra weight is necessary to get the SP down to where the fish are.

Added after tarzan's contribution was received:
I now realize that tarzan and Aden were still out there when I left Jew Shoal, but I couldn't see them and heard nothing from them when I announced my departure. In any case, that's a great fish taken by Aden which likely would have given him the Noosa Yakkers spangled emperor record if he'd been a member.

Nice fishing, tarzan and Aden.

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

Contribution by dee cee

A big Donut for me today…

Arrived around 4.45am and there were already a few yakkers rigging up. Bit windier than I thought it was going to be but trip was a goer, finally got to use my beach wheelz this morning, WOW…

Dry bum launch, easiest yet… trolled out to JS with a Halco redhead 3m for nothing, changed to a Pilchard coloured Laser Pro at Jew Shoal, trolled around a bit for nothing, tried some bottom bashing when I saw others having success with that, no touches on the SP either, changed back to Pilchard coloured LP and headed for shore as I had somewhere to be at 10.00am. A dry bum landing and I enjoyed a pleasurable stroll up the beach on my new wheelz :)

What are the chances of getting a bit of a library or pics of what others are using as far as Soft plastics go to catch their fish?


Contribution by tarzan

Copy of his email text to me: "Couple of pics from today's paddle.
All caught on pillies, with Aden picking up the bigger snapper and spangled emperor not long after you left.

Ignore date/time stamp as that is processed time, not image capture time.

Noosa Yakkers Trip Report 24Mar14

TR by Doctor Dog
Date: 24 March 2014
Wind: ESE less than 5 knots
Swell: .75m E
Launch Point: MG
Participants: Corie,Jimbo,Pedro,Doctor Dog

I arrived at MG car park at 5.30 am to find Corie and Pedro already on the water and Jimbo about to launch. There was some discussion about the increasing swell but Jimbo assured me the launch looked "doable" as far as he could see in the half dark. The breeze was very light from the ESE.
I took a little time with my preparations this morning as I have developed some lower back pain during recent adventures on the yak - a few minutes of stretching exercises delayed me a little but I was on the water at 6.00 am and started trolling towards LH Reef shortly after.
I had 2 trolling outfits and a slug caster at the ready. One trolling rod was armed with a Halco Laser Pro HB and the other with a Pilchard on an easy troll lead head gang of 3 x 6/0 hooks with swivels between the hooks.
I only deployed the later outfit once past the river mouth as I wanted to avoid the small sharks that are often about close in.
I had not reached LH when the trolled pilchard outfit - a big baitrunner overloaded with 50 lb mono on a Shimano 2 piece rod - went off with a very fast heavy fish heading east in a blistering run against a moderate drag. There were no birds working or bust-ups evident when the fish initially hit but soon afterwards there was action all round Laguna Bay but I was the only one hooked up.
By radio I let the Noosa Yakkers know I was hooked up and there was action aplenty all-round but it seemed they were all around in A - Bay.
I had sight of the fish after 15 mins and was fairly confident in calling it for a Longtail Tuna but then it settled in for it's classic dogged circling fight and refused to come to the gaff for another hour. My misplaced gaff shot ( into the cheek plate) barely held long enough for me to get the fish aboard when the hooks fell from the tuna's mouth.
The surface splashes and bird flocks had dropped off by this time and both Corie and Pedro had returned from the outer bays only to be disappointed by the inactivity.

I returned to MG for a safe passage back to the beach inspite of the increasing swell.

Eyetag was on station to record my return to the beach only to be disappointed when I stayed upright. His healing biceps injury is twitching to get back on the yak but will keep him off the water for another month at least.

The bathing beauties came from the shorter set to check out the fish.
Thanks for the company guys - Pedro was still out there fishless at last radio report - Jimbo had a small shark and Corie too was fishless today.

EMD Quick Flick - 23Mar14

TR by Gemini

Participants:  Gemini
Conditions: Fine, light breeze

It's hard to imagine, but I haven't been out on the water since the day before Australia Day. The crazy was building within me, so I took the opportunity to hit Ewan Maddock dam while on my way to a family gathering.

I hit the water just shy of 6AM, and made my way across the lake to the opposite bank from the swimming area. From there I lazily cast along the edges for about 20 minutes before my first strike.

I didn't measure him before releasing, but he would have been barely legal.

I held my course, and about 10 minutes later I had bass number 2 on board.

Once again, not measured and released.

Still heading along that one edge of the lake, casting towards the reeds, I had a brief tap on the lure. I stopped, let it sink, then twitched and very slowly retrieved. This gave me the strike that held, and I pulled in....

...this little guy!

The spangled perch have a healthy appetite. The lure I was using was almost as big as the fish!

From here I made my way across to the north west corner of the lake and tried my luck. I chatted to a few other yakkers along the way who were having no luck at all. After a while I took another spangly, but that was it for my day. I called it quits around 9AM.

Judging from the grumbling in the car park from other fisherman the fish were few and far between that morning, so I felt lucky to catch what I did.

Laguna Bay trip. 23Mar14

TR by Tunny
Wind: S less than 5 knots
Swell: 1.5m E
Launch Point: MG
Participants: Corie, Redgreg, Scater, Soren, Stew, Stormin, Tunny

The launch needed reasonably good timing with closely spaced waves breaking just behind the end of the rock wall. Corie was the first out at around 5am with the rest following over the next 20 minutes without any problems. We headed to Jew Shoal trolling pilchards and hard bodied lures, while Stormin trolled a slimy with a squid skirt. With so many of the Yakkers call signs starting in “S” I thought Spaniards would be a certainty. But there were virtually no signs of birds diving or fish bust-ups. Stormin saw a couple of Longtail jump out the water just out of casting range. At Jew Shoal Stew switched to jigging a soft plastic and caught a keeper snapper (40 cm). With no further action Stormin and RegGreg decided to head for Little Halls. I followed shortly after, with my skirted pilchard in tow. About 500m from Jew Shoal I hooked and released an undersized spottie mackerel (56cm). Now that I knew there were fish in the area I did a few more circuits using the same rig, but had no further bites so headed off to Little Halls to catch up with Redgreg and Stormin. Stormin landed and released three small snapper, all under 30 cm while RedGreg caught some small slimys for live bait. I headed back to MG at around 9.30 am, leaving Stormin and Redgreg at Little Halls.

I miss-timed the return at MG and got broadsided by the Sand Monster. No harm done – just got wet and dented my pride!!


River Fun Run 16Mar14

TR by Redwood

Trip date: 16 March 2014
Participants: Tunny, Redwood
Launch Site:  Noosa Sound
Destination:  River Mouth/Woods Bay/Ricky's
Conditions:  Wind NE 25 knots at river mouth

Tunny, Peter (friend of Tunny's) and myself met at the back of Noosa Sound for an early night session on the river. The wind had picked up significantly in the past few hours and was really blowing a gale in the open areas. We knew the wind might be a bit annoying, but in the river you have many options to deal with wind. So we dropped our yaks in the river at 5.30pm and headed anti-clockwise to Ricky's. I was using Stormin's Hobie loaner for the night as my arm is still cactus (thanks Stormin!).

We weaved in and out of the boats in the Woods Bay and then headed across to Ricky's. Just next to Ricky's I could see mullet sized fish jumping out and a couple of Turns diving which gave us a bit of hope considering our lunar and tide timing wasn't perfect.

I created a circuit from Ricky's, to the current line, through the boats and back to Ricky's trolling against the tide and drifting a gladiator with it. I'm still to have any success on soft plastics so I was really hoping I'd get something so that I could break my duck. After a few laps I gave up and decided I would revert to my tried and tested route down to the river mouth before it got too dark. On a side note I finally managed to see the current line Itag's been talking about; that's a relief as I thought I must have been a drongo for not being able to pick it up before.. reserved for ace fisho's only.

I radioed Tunny to tell him my plans and he told me Peter had just landed an undersized Potato Cod. I left them doing their thing around the Woods Bay and headed across to the frying pan. I've not snagged anything at all in the frying pan yet, but it looks like such a good stretch of water that I always give it a troll before heading down to the mouth. No fish in the Frying Pan again. I rounded the entrance of the FP and headed NE to the river mouth. The wind was fierce. I was pumping away at the pedals at the same pace I had been for the past hour and looking across the wide section of the river I seemed to be making good progress; the water was rushing past and all looked tickiey-boo. I then looked to the close side and saw I was not making any ground at all, if not loosing ground. Time for the turbos. I pumped as hard as I could and with a considerable amount of effort, I eventually made it to the mouth.

Once there, I set up a loop which took me across the back of the mouth proper to the south side fishing jetty, then in-river a bit and back again. This little circuit has proved very successful in the past and on the second loop proved successful again with a 20cm Big Eye Trevally. The wind was making the loops very hard work and what should have taken very little effort was taking a great amount. I radioed Tunny to tell him I'd most likely be heading back to calmer waters soon. He said he'd picked up a Hairtail and that Peter had headed home. On what was meant to be my final loop I had a very good hit but didn't hook up, so I decided to do a few more which, yielded nothing.

I headed back towards Ricky's with the wind pushing me down the river at a healthy pace. Around the sand bags I met up with Tunny and I said I was headed back to Ricky's when a huge fish jumped clear out of the water. With the moon shining bright I could see it's outline clearly and it was at least a metre long but I couldn't identify it from it's shape. It was enough though to encourage Tunny and I to troll the deep channel near the sand bags and rock wall for a bit. On my way toward Ricky's I got a very good hit on the bomber but it turned out to be a big Hairtail. I thought I might take this one home to show the kids, but as I was pondering where to put this toothy critter in the Hobie, it managed to spit the hooks. I headed back Ricky', turned and headed back through the channel where I picked up another big Hairtail on the bomber. The R2S minnow had not had a touch all evening. Tunny and I did a few more loops before deciding to head back to the cars. Tunny went via the Sheraton whilst I opted to go via Munna Point.

I'd not explored the canals around the sound fully so thought I might do that this evening. The first canal to the left was a dead end so I passed it. I went under the bridge and then took the second canal to the left. I didn't know it at the time but my trolling lines were out much further than I thought they were and just as I'd gone round the bend into the canal my bomber was hit by something big. The thing on the end meant business and by the time I'd managed to get the rod out of the holder the fish had pulled me into a moored boat. I suspected it might be a very nice Jack, but would have to be much bigger than the last one I caught as this was putting up a real fight. It was at this point that I started to appreciate the mirage drive fully as I had to try and untangle myself and get off the boat (my other line was wrapped around me and the other rod). I manage to do this and get myself into a decent fighting position when the hooks came out. Buggerybollocks!

I did a few laps of the area hoping in vain for another hookup after which I headed back to the launch spot where Tunny and I ended an enjoyable evening on the river despite the wind and only the one fish to show for it.

Stealth Adder Rock Competition: 8-9 March 2014

TR by Tunny (addition by Redwood at bottom)
Wind:  ESE 20-25 knots
Swell:  1 m
Launch Point:  Adder Rock Beach, North Stradbroke (see maps below)
Participants:  Entrants competed both as individuals and teams, with the Sunshine Coast Team comprising Sprocket, Salti, Redgreg, Ido, Pedro and Tunny.  Eyetag and Redwood attended but injuries unfortunately prevented them fishing.  Several other NY members participated in the Brisbane teams as the teams were based on where you live.
Keen Angler Program:  Both my fish, plus most fish filleted on the beach were donated to the program.
Thanks: To Dennis and Thomas from Australian Kayak Specialists for hosting the competition and also for some of the photos; to the Sponsors; to Sunshiner for the maps.

This was the second annual Queensland offshore kayak fishing comp, organized by Dennis and Thomas from Australian Kayak Specialists.  The comp started off with a barbecue and briefing on the Friday night kindly hosted by Dennis and Thomas.  It was a great evening, with a “boerewors” barbecue, a few beers and good company, with Salti sharing some of his high octane rocket fuel in preparation for the 5h30 start.  By 5h15 Saturday the competitors were gathering on the beach, with most heading out shortly after 5h30.  The waves were well spaced and most of us got out without too much of a problem, although Redgreg got hammered several times while launching his Hobie Adventure Island.  He eventually gave that up and switched to a Stealth Supalite.

With the wind blowing from the SSE we headed east from Adder Rock towards Shag Rock.  Redwood’s mate who fishes here regularly suggested the area between Shag Rock and the Easterly point of North Stradbroke so I decided to cover this area.  I was trolling a skirted pillie.  About 200m past Shag Rock near the east end of Cylinder beach the reel started screaming and after a short battle I was loading my first Spaniard into the kayak just as Ido came past.  Using another pilchard I continued trolling in an easterly direction and within 20 minutes had a second fish on the line.  This turned out to be a nice Spottie.

I had radioed in my Spanish catch, but had not heard many other reports of fish so was getting hopeful that these two fish would put me in the lead.  But it was not to be.  By 10am I had had no further bites so headed back towards Adder Rock Beach to meet the 11am deadline for weighing in fish for the morning session.  The beach landing was a bit tricky but I managed to get in without rolling.  On arrival at the beach Dennis measured my Spaniard at 107cm and the combined lengths of my Spanish and Spottie put me in 5th position in the comp. 

Tunny assessing the surf
 Sproket showing off some surf skills
Tunny riding it home upright

The stand-out catch of the morning was Sprocket who got a Spaniard, Spottie and nice Snapper, while Ido got a very nice Spaniard and big Spangled Emperor.

 Tunny with a Spottie and his first Spanish. The Spaniard taken very early in the session.
 Sprocket and his threefir, Spanish, Spottie and Snapper
Ido and his Spanish and Spangly. No mean feat to bag those in a sit in!

The afternoon session ran from 14h30 to 18h00 and Salti caught 2 big Spaniards,  Redgreg got himself a nice Yellowfin Tuna while I never had a bite.  That night Redwood, Eyetag, Pedro and I barbequed some of my Spanish and Spottie Mackeral which was most enjoyable.  Next year I won’t pack food – just take a couple of lemons to have with the fish!!

Unfortunately the wind picked up further on day 2 so fishing was cancelled.  But this improved the surf and several participants tested their kayak surfing skills.

 Salti cracked it with a very nice Spaniard and a Spottie (helped by rocket fuel remnants)
Redgreg, after abandoning his AI launch in the morning session is rewarded with a YFT in the afternoon session. See his launch video below.
Tunny's successful homemade Spanish Special - the secret is in the small split sinker pinched onto the hook.

The comp turned out to be a huge success for the Sunshine Coast Team, with Sprocket taking first place (winning a set of beach wheels) as well as the prize for the most species.  The Sunshine coast team took five of the top six positions, and with that also the team trophy.

The Scoring System:

Entrants were awarded 1 Point per cm ( Fish need to be legal of course). Entrants with fish over 1 metre in length were awarded an extra 50%, and those with fish of over 1.5 m were awarded an extra 100%. I.e.: a 120 cm Spanish Mackerel would get 180 points. An 80 cm mackerel would get 80 points. Etc…

The Scores:

• 1st Place – Sprocket with 464 points
• 2nd Place – Yaqdog with 327 Points
• 3rd Place – Salti with 267 Points
• 4th Place – Dave Anderson ( Saltis Brother ) with 243 points
• 5th Place – Dave Tunny with 238 Points
• 6th Place – Ido with 231 Points
• 7th Place – Clive with 189 Points
• 8th Place – Rod with 162 Points
• 9th Place – Wayne Eden with 121 Points
• 10th Place – Killer with 115 Points
• 11th Place – Douglas with 94 Points
• 12th Place – Tommie with 89 Points
• 13th Place – Jbonez with 78 Points
• 14th Place – RedGreg with 77 Points
• 15th Place – Lapse with 43 Points
• 16th Place – Paddle Parra with 39 Points

 The Sunnycoasters coasted to an easy victory, miles ahead of the nearest rivals
 Sprocket claims beach wheels and another prize for individual winner and most species caught
Group pic of all the 2014 Adder Rock Comp yakkers

Overall this was a superb event.  See you all next year !!  And may the best team continue to win.

Addition by Redwood

Being sidelined due to injury was tough to take, but I made the best of my time taking pictures and videos. I did manage to get out for the afternoon session on Saturday in the Hobie Revo Stormin lent me and also a stint on the bayside on the Sunday. Thanks again Stormin. I can see why people dislike the Revo in the surf and I can equally see why Revo owners persist with them, because once you're out and setup, they're really quite nice to peddle. Most of the paddlers seemed very tired after battling the wind for hours, but I found the wind no trouble with pedal power. AKF should also have given me an award for landing the Hobie upright 1st time in those conditions. Pedro of course is a seasoned pro and seems to get out and in without any fuss at all.

A big thanks to Redgreg who's given the OK to use the video I shot of him trying to launch the AI. I take my hat off to him for his bravery (he left his Stealth at home so he'd have no option but to give the AI a crack), determination and attitude; he had a smile on his face even when things were getting really tough. There was only one other AI in the comp, and it did get out but only with the help of an initial push by four guys before the sail could be engaged and the AI blasted through the waves.

A warning: this video is 12min long, so go and make a cup of tea before pressing play.

Yakker assessing the conditions at day break, rods akimbo
 Dennis T hard at work
 Pedro psyched for the session. Unusually he came back empty handed.
 Redgreg prepping the AI
Square clouds over the headland
Flight of the Cormorants - Bayside

S is for scater and Spaniard. 02Mar14

TR by scater

Wind: 10-15kn south-easterly
Swell: 1-2m

The launch was pretty easy this morning with good protection from the groyne and only the odd dumping wave beyond the end of the wall. I put a radio call out around 5am before launching but got no reply so I headed out alone. Once beyond the break I could feel a breeze that seemed to be coming more from the south than south east so I decided to skirt the national park on my way out and then turn for Jew Shoal once beyond Granite Bay. I had made up some of the safa pilchard trolling rigs and deployed one after I got clear of the shark nets.

As I made my way around the nets I could see the odd bigger swell line rolling through but once in the lee of the coast it was a beautiful morning for a paddle. A few birds overtook me on the way out and I kept an eye on them as they flew ahead. Eventually as they passed Tea Tree Bay I could see them start to circle and dive and I picked up the pace. I put another call out to any Noosa Yakkers who might have launched by now but still no reply. I lost the birds for a while and the wind swung around to be almost into me as I approached Granite. Here I found the birds once again. They were still diving but I couldn't see any surface splashes from fish so instead of casting blindly with a slug I decided to continue trolling the pillie.

The ratchet went off not long after and when I grabbed the rod there was a heavy but sluggish weight with the odd head-shake. I immediately thought "bugger, shark" but the fish took that as a cue to light the afterburners and streak off in that classic Spaniard run. He punctuated the sprint by leaping about a metre clear of the water with the pink skirt clearly visible on the side of his head which confirmed the ID. As he slowed down I began winding but there was no weight. Assuming he was running towards me I wound flat-out but didn't manage to regain contact and at this point I might have let slip a few expletives. I then noticed that despite the fact I'd stopped winding the line was still moving throught the water and was passing the yak. Beauty, he's still on! The rest of the fight was standard Spanish behaviour - a few runs yak-side and then a tantrum when he felt the gaff.

With a big fish in the hatch I decided to call it early and had a very pleasant paddle back to MG where I found the odd large wave pounding into the rocks and a tourist fishing right next to the wall where I wanted to land. I headed wider and picked my run pretty well but left it a little late and got caught and rolled near the beach in waist deep water. Lovely water temp though! Drew the obligatory crowd on the beach but no bathing beauties for a pic so you'll have to put up with me!

He went 1.16m, I didn't get a weight. Not a bad way to break my yak Spaniard duck and blood the new yak!

Sam (scater)