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.

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