Spanish still around. 27Apr14

TR by Aussie_stu

Wind: SE approx. 10 knots
Swell: minimal
Current: at Jew Shoal, northerly
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: Soren, Stormin, Weeksie, Scater, Aussie_stu

Launched at Middle groyne about 5.30, found the swell to be just a small little shorey, so was a dry bum launch. Soren, Weeksie and I trolled out to Jew Shoal without a touch, while Stormin and Scater launched a bit later and seemed to come out closer to the National Park, again not a touch on the way out. Scater reported some bust ups pretty close to the headland which lured Soren, Stormin and myself over for a look. Unfortunately the fish dispersed each time before getting a good crack at them. Soren, Stormin and Scater kept heading round the headland towards A-Bay while I returned to Jew Shoal and started flicking some plastics hoping for a reefy, while Weeksie kept trolling jew shoal.

Not long after returning from the darkside, Scater pulled the pin while Stormin and Soren started a bit of bottom bashing. After a slow hour or so, I found myself well south of the Pinnacles mark and finally had a run on a pilly I had floating out the back. After a decent run the fish spat the hooks, bugger. About five minutes later I picked up a just legal grassy on the plastic. About this time Stormin and Soren called to say they were starting the troll back towards the beach. I think they took the bad juju with them 'cos not long after they left I had another good run on the floater, which when I set the hooks, he hit the afterburners and put in a couple of real nice runs before I managed to drag him into the yak (I took great pleasure in announcing my first pedro to the boys).

After getting him on the ice I pulled the pin too and got a little side tracked by the numerous bust ups in the bay (I think they were mainly mac tuna, but Stormin and Weeksie reported some decent fish mixed in there too).

Very easy return to the beach and I found Soren having a yak (pun intended) to Eyetag, who, after Soren refused to take another picture of one of my fish, took the pic for me. I do apologise though for afterwards I was informed by Stormin and Eyetag that I broke the cardinal rule of getting a buxom young beachgoer to hold the fish for the pics, so next time I will hopefully redeem myself.

So all in all a pretty quiet trip out, but having had three runs on Friday (no hook ups) and two today on floaters, there are still a few macks about. They don't seem too keen on the trolled baits for some reason and all the hits have come from well south of the Pinnacles.


Turn up the mega bass 25Apr14

Location: Ewen  Maddock Dam
Winds: Light SE
Water Temp: 24.5
Participants: DC

I arrived at the car park around 5.00am, very dark, there were already others getting ready in the car park.  I got ready quickly as I wanted to be on the water in the dark and launched about 10 minutes later.  

Initially, making my way along the northern edge of the dam trolling a cicada & flicking a surface popper with no action to be had.  Stopped on the corner where the previous two weeks I had a couple of significant surface strikes...not to be today.  Made my way across the open water to the western side of the dam and first cast got smashed with the fish immediately heading down and under a snag, moved the yak from one side to the other trying to free fish, rod and knots were being tested...finally saw some leader and ended up grabbing with my hands and giving a pull, the fish was free and he was not happy!  Zigging and zagging collecting as much weed as possible seemed to be its mission and after a few hairy moments I finally saw it...holy crap was my first thought!  It looked massive and was off again...after another few minutes it was netted, measured and returned to the water...biggest Bass I'd ever caught measuring at 49cm...a Noosa Yakkers record?

49cm Bass caught on Ewen Maddock Dam

Well after that it was a quiet morning, a small Spangled Perch just bigger than the lure it ate and a little later on a 30cm Tilapia which was dispatched and thrown in the back for disposal on my return to the beach...

Pulled the PIN at 9.30am and met the family in the park for coffee and a late breakfast

A great day on the water


Solo after noon. 23Apr14

TR by sunshiner

Wind: SE to 10knots
Swell: less than 1m E
Water temp: 26°C
Current: at Jew Shoal, none
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: sunshiner only
Keen Angler Program: sunshiner contributed

Watch out: carpark change, potential fine. See later in the TR.

Great kayak fishing weather Noosa's been having. I've been in Sydney watching with envy as it unfolded up here but yesterday afternoon I got back. First thing I did was set up and transfer the Supalite onto the Zook, ready for the next opportunity, which I reckoned correctly would be today.

Couldn't get away early however, and opted for the late shift, which put me in the packed Middle Groyne carpark around 11:00am. No spots available in either of car parks #1 and #2, on the other side of the road. So I had to double park until I eventually grabbed a spot in #2. Still, I was in no hurry and as the pic below shows, I was ready to launch at 11:20.

Within a couple of minutes of starting to paddle towards Jew Shoal I could see tuna busting out spasmodically and very briefly. Towed a HLP all the way (backwards as it turned out, as I'd failed to perform my usual check that it was swimming OK, dopey!), and a couple of times had fish busting out quite close, half expecting the HLP to go off.

The surface action quit at the 2km mark from the beach and I saw no more until I headed home.

Conditions looked good, and I was after a snapper or sweetlip, or both. Last night Jaro and I were talking about yak fishing over dinner at the Sunshine Beach Surf Club and he was explaining how he had his favourite Jew Shoal snapper and sweetlip spots marked and they were both in 22m deep, apparently featureless, water. On the other hand I like to fish the shallower areas for these species, 14m to 20m. He fishes with bait, I with SPs. Today was a good chance to try out my system. There was a pretty strong breeze from the SE, causing some whitecaps, but not so bad that it was too crappy to fish. The water was beautifully clear and I had the place all to myself.

On arrival at around 12:05 I chose to start my first drift in about 17m depth about 300m east of The Pinnacles, knowing that the wind would push me toward the west. Actually, it pushed me NNW but that was OK as that path put me on track to cover the NE section of the shallower section of the reef. First I deployed my trailing outfit, its SP left hanging about 5-8m down. Then out came my casting outfit and I started my usual procedure of getting the cast SP (half ounce) to jiggle around near the bottom.

Here's my first fish, taken on the cast SP in 17m, directly below the yak, within 15 minutes of starting. A nice pan sized fish at 38cm.

That was the only fish in the first drift, although I did have the SP tail nipped off in a quick bump-bump but no hookup. The paddle back to restart the drift was pretty sloppy but was only 300m or so.

And here's the second, also caught on the cast SP, but this time at 18m. A fat 38cm grassy, very welcome, and kept for the table.

The third drift I let take me into deeper water, Jaro's territory, but got no action and shortly after that I decided to head for shore, being very happy with two fish for the plate.

Again, once within two kilometres of the shore, the tuna could be seen busting out, but there were no serious concentrations, just bust outs well separated from each other. One lot of fish I saw breaking clear of the water looked as if they could have been yellowfin, but I couldn't be certain of that. Probably most were mackerel tuna. The tuna action continued to within 600m of the beach, but I couldn't get close enough for a decent cast at them and got no hits on my HLP, being trolled the correct way this time!

The rain, which had threatened all afternoon, was bucketing down by the time I hit the beach.

On the way back through the carpark I took the opportunity to take a pic of the new sign (how long has that been there?) next to car park number 1, usually eyetag's favourite.

Don't get caught.

Anyway, an enjoyable result for me today and I'll be hitting the water again ASAP.

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

Spaniard From a Battleship - 21Apr14

TR by Jimbo
Launch Point: Middle Groyne.
Conditions: Clear & sunny
Wind: SW, ~5 knots initially, then dropping out to nil
Swell: Less than 0.5 m
Current: ~1.0 kph SW to NE
Participants: Swabio, Pauley, Jimbo

Having determined from home the previous night that the launch conditions at MG would be ideal, I thought I would have a go at launching in the dark at Middle Groyne, something I normally wouldn't do with any breaking waves happening. So I arrived at the MG car park at 0435 and had nearly completed unloading when Swabio arrived with his Hobie Pro Angler 14 (read, aircraft carrier) mounted on purpose built carrier bars on a trailer, after a 2+ hour drive from the Gold Coast. Although having been a NY for over two years, Swabio now lives in Canberra and was holidaying on the GC and keen to have his first try in Laguna Bay. Not long after, Pauley arrived and I left these two to get their kayaks prepared as my yak was now at the water's edge and ready to go.

The moon was still high making it easy to see that the launch conditions, as predicted, were an absolute doddle, even though it was only about 2 hours before low tide. After a quick set up I was on my way to Jew Sh by 0500 towing a Halco Lazer Pro (HLP) hard-bodied lure.

With no strikes on the trolled HLP, I went straight into bottom fishing with prawns in the same location where Jaro had landed quite a few sweetlip in recent days. There was a steady SW-NE current flowing aided by a slight breeze in the same direction. Shortly afterwards, Swabio arrived and proceeded to troll all around the Pinnacles while getting a “feel” for the bottom structure via his sounder, shadowed by Pauley on, I think, only first or second trip out to JS (my apologies, Pauley if I've got that wrong).

This situation prevailed for about an hour with nothing happening on the bottom, but Swabio reporting the odd bait ball on his sounder. At around 0700 we received a radio call from Scater who reported a few brief bust ups not long after exiting the river mouth in a stinky. There seemed to be a simultaneous change in conditions at JS.

Swabio had been trolling two lines, one with a HLP, and the other with a slimy mackerel on a ?? rig. Swabio reported having a big strike close to the Pinnacles, but quickly announced his disappointment having his line break at the leader joining knot. He then began to re-rig his broken line, with a slimy now just hanging out behind his yak on his other trolling rod. And yes, you guessed it, the slimy then got hit with another fast runner. A short fight ensued with Swabio announcing he had landed his first ever spaniard, making his long trip from the GC all worthwhile.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Here's Swabio with his spaniard aboard his Hobie "battleship" (pic by Pauley).

Very shortly after this, I boated a keeper snapper about 38cm, but then set off on a lap around the Pinnacles trolling a HLP in the hope that there was yet another spaniard out there for the taking, but such was not the case. At some time amongst all this, Scater arrived with his mate in their stinky, presumably encouraged by Swabio's success. However, everything seemed to go quiet after their arrival, so they stayed only a short while before heading back towards the river mouth and the north shore.

I resumed bottom fishing using the current to zig zag across just about every mark I had on my GPS to the east and north-east of the Pinnacles, but this resulted in only one undersized squire and a couple of reefies. Some time after 0800 Pauley announced he had to head for home, while Swabio set off in pursuit of a bust up about 300m to the south, also being contested by about four stinkies. In the meantime we were now getting reports from Scater that there were continuing, albeit brief, tuna bust ups occurring all along the north shore. As I had used the last of my prawns, and Swabio had quickly realised chasing bustups with stinkies charging into the midst of the bust up was a fairly futile exercise, we both decided to head towards the north shore.

Ultimately, I went only to the lower north shore, then across the river mouth and back to MG, but Swabio continued further to the north eventually meeting up with Scater in his stinky who had finally managed to land a mac tuna by casting a slug through one of the many bust ups occurring. Scater also measured Swabio's spaniard for him which went to 99cm. Swabio then followed me back back to MG some half hour later, but not before hooking and releasing a sizeable shark that he estimated at about 1.4m.

In summary, a great day out on in Laguna Bay, particularly for Swabio having made the effort to tow his "battleship" all the way from the Goldie for the experience.


And now here's Swabio’s (a little more animated) version of events:

Wow .... What an epic day for me! A few firsts for me! First time fishing in Noosa, first Laguna Bay experience, first time hooking a squid on a laser pro! And my first ever spanish mackerel!

The day started with me arriving at about 0445 to find a almost ready to roll Jimbo! I had a bit of farting around to do, so ended up launching with Paul. He showed me the way out to Jew Shoal.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I started by trolling (two lines) a pilly and a qantas laser pro. Managed to nab a little squid on the laser! Very bizarre indeed!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

An uneventful trip out to JS ensued. The lack of activity on the sounder and skies had me questioning the decision to head so far north after reports of a couple of quiet days. For the whole drive up I was tossing up just stopping at Moffats instead, but my desire to finally hit Laguna Bay won out!

I decided to troll around for a bit ... read that as the whole time! I was beginning to become a little disheartened, but then ... zzzzzzzzzzz ... pause ... zzzzzzzzz, on my qantas laser pro. I picked it up and thought ... "Yeah baby! Here we go!” ... Then nothing. All gone,leader gone too. Hmmmm, either a dodgy leader knot or the knot was hit also. A quick look at the sounder showed bait everywhere!

So I start re rigging, and as I was about to start the knot ... zzzzzzzzz goes the tyrnos overhead. I’m thinking shark, as I was now dragging a large slimy mac. (Anyhow) the spaniard came to yak side, and I was now a tad nervous as I had never caught a spaniard before, nor gaffed anything from the yak. The moment of truth and dreams had arrived! Loosened the drag right off, grab the leader ... Swipe one .... MISS!! Nooooo, I’m thinking, don't dislodge those hooks! Take a breath ... Swipe two .... Goallll! Just behind the gills, and the spaniard is in the yak! Win! So I spike it, and into my catch bag!

I re-rigged in the hope for more, but that was it after a couple of hours for zilch around the shoal. Then some bust up happened a few hundred metres away and off I went. Got a couple of casts in, but apparently if you are boat-based you're more likely to hook up by trolling straight through the bust up.

So a bit more chasing then off with Jimbo towards Scater over near North Shore. I bid farewell to Jimbo who was not keen to chase the tuna busting up. After a while ... zzzzzzzz goes the tyrnos again. A while later a shark pops up ... Hmmmm too big for landing in the yak ... so cut it off was the call. Scater came over with Jake for a bo peep and took some pictures ...

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I then started the long pedal back to MG, now much harder than before ... was there a tide change? ... Who knows. I landed on the beach and was lucky enough to have someone offer to help skull drag the monster Pro Angler up the sand (with one tyre looking like it was about to come off the rim).

Caught Jimbo again and loaded my yak again with some assistance from Jimbo. All up I covered 22.3 km apparently!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Then the drive home via a servo for ice. Wow the Bruce Hwy sucked but! It was very busy and I was very tired, but eventually I made it home! So I was absolutely chuffed, and it made the uber long commute from the Gold Coast worth it!

Thanks to Jimbo and Paul for showing me around and Paul for his camera work! I only have my ipad so it is a pain in the bum to type a report!

I was very appreciative of all the assistance and guidance and was impressed to see the teamwork (with the use of radios) to try and get everyone onto the fish!

Until next time Noosa Yakkers! I can barely wait!


Richard (Swabio)

Back on the Mac - 18/19Apr14

TR by Gemini

Participants:  Gemini, Kylie (observer)
Conditions: fine, very light breeze
Launch Point: Lake MacDonald - Strawberry Patch (18Apr), Hoy Road ramp (19Apr)

After ditching the kids for the night (woohoo!), Kylie and myself took a trip down to the Strawberry patch launch at Lake MacDonald in the late afternoon for a paddle. Kylie doesn't get out onto the water often, so I made sure I packed the rod with the hope I could show off a bit. :)

Not ten meters off the bank I had a missed strike on my baby vibe, so I was feeling good about my chances.

We paddled around the Strawberry patch a while, and the lack of weed due to the high water level made casting a very pleasant exercise. I had not been touched by a fish for a while, so I changed to a Jackal and dove a bit deeper. As we rounded the bend I took my first fish for the day, and he measured in at 32cm before going back.

We paddled along to toga bay, and here Kylie decided the light was fading too fast for her, so we turned back. Not far from where I landed my first fish I noticed a large splash off to my left, so I cast into the ripple on the off chance he was still there. He was waiting for me, although I didn't know it at first. I felt the tug, but then the line went slack. I let it drift a second, then gave it a tweak. Nothing. I reeled it back and it appeared to come in as normal...until I had it beside the boat. The line kept moving under the yak after I stopped winding. I applied some pressure to the line to bring it up, and only then did the fish kick some. He still came in fairly easy though, and he measured in at a nice 39cm. You can't tell by the photo, but he had big red eyes, which was a bit creepy in the twilight. :)

We kept heading for the launch point, and I had a few more casts. As we passed the six mile channel I had another take near the bank on the bird hide side. He was a smaller bass at 30cm.

Kylie landed, and I had a couple of last minute casts near where I had the first missed strike of the day. Once again, he was waiting for me. This guy kicked a bit, and gave me a nice fight to end the day. He measured in at 38cm.

We decided to make use of our kid free time, and planned another trip in the morning from the Hoy Road ramp. Unfortunately we slept in a little longer than we intended, but we still managed to hit the water by 7AM. The bass weren't quite as frisky as the day before, but I still managed 3 over 30cm. The one below has some sort of disease or injury on the tail and dorsal fin, although I have seen similar before so my guess is disease/parasite. Any fish doctors know what it is?

As usual the bird life of Lake Mac put on a show for Kylie, so it was a great morning out. With the water so high at the moment, and the weed so low, it's a really good time to check out the lake.


I couldn't help myself and went out again this afternoon. It was a slow going lap of the lower half of the lake, but I did manage one fish from amongst the lilies just past the Strawberry Patch. Once again, this fish played me and I didn't know he was still hooked up until he came close. He hugged the bottom for a while and I had to give him some decent pressure to get him up and out of the weeds. He was a nice size, and I had to crack out the brag mat to see if I had beaten any records, but unfortunately not. He was just under 1cm shy of my personal best (44cm), and 2cm off the NY record (at 45cm).

Long & Sweet - 18Apr14

TR by Jaro
Launch Point: Middle Groyne.
Conditions: Idyllic & sunny
Wind: Less than 5 knots then reducing to zero
Swell: Less than 0.5m
Current: 1.3 kph (direction?)
Participants: Soren, Aussie Stu, Jaro

We all arrived at MG car park at around 5.00am and were soon on the water wuith dry bums as there was virtually no waves to speak of. We all headed for JS and with about 1 km to go Aussie Stu radioed to say he had a strike and was fighting a pretty big fish. As Soren and I were well ahead we continued on toward JS with Aussie Stu letting us know how he was faring via radio. It was pretty obvious he had a tuna from the tell tale refusal to come up from under his yak. At last, he radioed to say he had finally boarded a nice big tuna.

After trolling around JS for a short time we settled in for some bottom fishing with me going to my favourite spot and it was not long before I had my first sweet lip (about 39cm) on board. Things got a bit quiet for a while with us sharing the reef with a lot of stink boats.

Soren and Aussie Stu were having a barren time of it. I finally had another strike and had a good fight with what turned out to be a nice big fat sweetlip of 52cm. Both sweetlips were caught using banana prawns. Somewhat later I had a another good strike which turned out to be a shark which was released.

During our fishing I took a picture of Aussie Stu with his northern bluefin tuna (longtail).

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Aussie Stu looking very pleased with himself with his longtail that I estimated to be about 110 cm long, but which was later weighed at 10.5 kg.

Soren and AussieStew headed back in at 8.30am and I followed at 9.00am. Entry was dead easy as there was no waves to speak of.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
My 52 cm sweet lip.

Another idyllic day on Laguna Bay.


Spotty, snaps and sweeties. 13Apr14

TR by Jaro

Participants: Josh, Jaro, Salty from MG and Weeksey (I think from Sunshine Beach)
Conditions: Sky overcast, no wind to speak of until late when it blew up to 15 knots, neglible current, no swell.

Josh and I arrived at MG at around 5.00am and were ready to go when Salty arrived. We were going to head for JS with Salty saying he would join us later. However, he did not turn up and there was no radio contact. What happened, Salty? Did you go elsewhere and if so can you add to this report how you went. Weeksey how did you go if you ended up going via Sunshine Beach?

There was only a ripple of a wave so the exit was even easier than on Friday and as on Friday we had our rods up and ready on the yaks before launching which made for a quick getway. Josh and I headed for JS and at about the same place where Josh had a strike and lost the fish on Friday, he had another strike and this time landed a very nice Spotty Mac of 85cm. Josh had a short sharp tussle of about 5
five or so minutes before landing it and as I was right there I took the following pic.

We continued on to JS where there were many stink boats all trying their luck either trolling or bottom fishing which Josh and I proceeded to do also.

The end result was Josh boated a 43cm snapper and a 41cm snapper plus a few other littlies and had a large bite off. I ended up with two sweetlip of 37 and 39cm plus also a few undersize sweeties and snapper.

I had run out of bait by 9.20am and so headed back to MG with Josh following soon after. The wind sprang up suddenly on the way back making it hard work. As there was no swell, entry was the easiest I have experienced.

Below is a pic of Josh with all his booty.

So all in all another great day's fishing at Noosa.


Bottom better, 11Apr14

TR by Jaro
Participants: Jimbo, Josh (this being his first outing as a Noosa Yakker), Jaro
Conditions: No wind early increasing to 8 knot westerly. Seas flat. Current negligible.
Sky clear to somewhat cloudy.

We all arrived around 5.00am at the MG car park and found the seas to be flat calm with a ripple shore break so the exit was the easiest ever, for me anyway.

Josh and I headed off first towards JS and about 1.5 km from Jew Shoal Josh had a good strike but the fish dislodged the hooks soon after. Then Jimbo reported that he had hooked and landed a Spaniard only for the Spaniard to suddenly thresh about, dislodging the hook and flapping back into the sea before Jimbo could seize it. He was not happy!

Josh out in Laguna Bay

We continued to Jew Shoal and after a bit of trolling settled for some bottom fishing with me going to my favourite spot. Over the next two hours I caught three sweetlip and one snapper. One was a big fat 50cm, another was 41cm and the snapper and remaining sweetlip were 39cm.

Jimbo finally caught one sweetlip also about 39cm. Josh ran out of bait and remained fishless. All fish were caught with prawns (tiger prawns for me and banana prawns for Jimbo).

We all pulled up stakes at around 9.30am and paddled back to shore where a little care was required as it was now low tide but we all judged it well and landed upright quite easily.

Beach pics:

Jaro and all five fish

Jaro's catch

Jimbo and his sweetie

Poaching snapper in Sydney. 11Apr14

TR by sunshiner

Wind: calm
Swell: 0.5m
Water temp: 24°C
Current: n/a
Launch point: Bilgola Beach, NSW
Participants: sunshiner only
Keen Angler Program: n/a

As some of you are aware, I'm presently in the Sydney area visiting close family. We're staying at our son's residence within sight of the beach on the northern suburbs of Sydney so naturally I've brought my beloved Supalite X, which travels easily on the racks on our family Forester.

Anyway, conditions were looking great for an open ocean launch on Friday, but babysitting and other duties precluded any launch in the morning. By 12:30pm conditions still looked great although the forecast for the weekend showed atrocious weather on the way. Now or never was the time and nearby Bilgola Beach, small and confined between two headlands, looked inviting.

Bilgola Beach, courtesy Google Earth.

Launch time conditions

As you can see, launch was easy and the distant showers and clouds visible in the pic above were harbingers of the foul weather expected to arrive within 12 hours. I'd launched here once before, last November, and had marked as a waypoint on my little Etrex GPS the area I'd fished then and found a large school of yellowtail kingfish, all apparently undersize, and so called by the locals "rat kings".

This waypoint was around 1500m from the launch site and I headed straight for it, trolling a soft plastic as I paddled along on the calm and clear ocean. I'd seen no surface activity as I went along but pretty soon I was hooked up, as the buzzing drag told me.

This fish put up a spirited fight and as soon as it jumped, close to the yak I recognized it as a tailor, which we rarely catch offshore in Noosa.

Tailor, around 45cm. Naturally, the soft plastic was torn to shreds and totally unusable as a lure afterward.

So, this was a good start. A keeper in the yak already. I had some faint hopes of perhaps providing a fresh fish meal for the family group but would need a few more fillets to do the job.

My waypoint was reached a short while later without further action. Depth here was 13-15m and there were plenty of signs of baitfish and other squiggles on the sonar. Hoping for a snapper, I set up my usual Jew Shoal routine and started chucking the SP around and working it back to the yak. Early on I felt some extra weight on the SP and put it down to squid or cuttlefish having a go then dropping off as I started to retrieve.

Then came the hit I was waiting for. A typical, albeit small, snapper take. Sure enough, up popped a small keeper, about 35cm (NSW minimum legal is 30cm) proved that snapper were present.

Small but welcome. Hopefully a sign of more to come.

At this time I was fishing with only one outfit, but I still had a spare spinning outfit, which I'd earlier rigged for trolling a HB lure. Knowing that I was running out of time to catch a feed I decided to re-rig this outfit with a SP and just hang it out the back in mid water. This done, I chucked it out about ten metres and put the rod butt in the port side rod holder.

I'd just turned my attention back to casting and retrieving an SP with outfit number one when I sensed the yak rolling to port. Ahah! I know why, I thought. Sure enough, the number two reel was now beginning to give line against the lightly set drag and the bouncing rod tip was pointing straight down into the depths. A struggling snapper on the end is a very satisfying feeling and soon I knew my goal of a family feed was now within reach as snapper number two joined the tailor and earlier smaller snapper in the fish box.

The weather was starting to look more ominous but I was only 1500m from my launch spot and much closer to the nearest usable beach. Showers were visible out to sea and further south, but I was comfortable and catching fish and the winds still light and variable, right here.

Then a tap on the cast outfit and a hookup, but slightly different from a snapper hit.

Sydneysiders know this species well. Sergeant Baker, not an esteemed eating fish so returned to the sea.

The fishing action now dropped off briefly as a heavy but brief shower came through and I was blown off my mark and had to then paddle back to it. My sonar was showing pretty continuous fish activity in the vicinity of the mark with occasional dense patches of what might have been yakkas or similar so I decided to fish until about 3:30 pm. One more snapper would really be nice, I remember thinking, with about ten minutes to go. Shortly after that the familiar lean to port happened again and sure enough, the trailing outfit had snared another victim. This was the third and largest snapper, albeit at 43cm or so not very big, but a fish which would nevertheless yield tasty and decent sized fillets.

Third snapper. Mission accomplished.

Paddling back in to Bilgola Beach, the landing area in the corner to the right (northern end).

Landing was dead easy, in contrast to conditions just 12 hours later when the swell had increased to dangerous levels at the same beach.

Nice bag for a quick fish in a new (for me) fishing spot.

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

Laguna Bay, 06Apr14

TR by sunshiner

Wind: calm
Swell: 1.6m E
Water temp: 27°C
Current: at Jew Shoal, about 1.5kph, toward the north east
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: jimbo, scater, soren, carlo, sunshiner
Keen Angler Program: n/a

The swell was up and the tide was still dropping at launch time, around 5:20am. In the pre-dawn darkness we could see white water at the end of the groyne and decided to hang about until there was a little more light; it looked a bit flaky. Carlo, who had arrived from Gympie at about 11:00 pm and slept in his car at Middle Groyne, reckoned that all night he was imagining six footers crashing into the wall, judging by the noise.

Yes, there were some big waves but everyone picked the gaps, usually after holding in the hole at the end of the groyne before charging out. Even though it was still dark as we assembled out the back the white eyeballs could be seen clearly.

Jew Shoal was the agreed fishing location and we paddled out to it in windless conditions with that swell rolling underneath us.

My progress was interrupted, however, as I had three hookups in the first few minutes after starting paddling toward the north.

Two of the strikes, and probably all three were from small sharks. The second one spat the hooks. No one else was bothered by them.

Soren was in the lead and started reporting surface activity the closer he got to Jew Shoal. Certainly we could see lots of terns, all seemingly heading west, towards Little Halls Reef. Carlo quickly hooked up to what turned out to be a small tuna, species unknown, but it is carrying around one of carlo's lures right now.

Jimbo and I were keen to target the bottom fish, he with bait, I with SPs. He won in what turned out again to be very slow activity. All I could attract with my SP was a beautifully patterned wire netting cod which I released. Jimbo finished up bringing home two sweetlip and a snapper, all taken on prawns and all just over keeper size. His pillies attracted no attention at all.

Meantime, soren and scater were busy chasing bustups which gradually became more common as the sun got higher in the sky. I joined them after spending a couple of hours trying every trick I knew on the SPs. The main activity was around 500m SE of The Pinnacles but bustups tended to be very short in duration, especially with a certain tinny charging through the middle of them at high speed. Scater took the initiative and diplomatically pointed out to this tinny operator that his actions were not considered good manners in Laguna Bay. Apparently his advice was well accepted, which is a good result.

Around 9:00 am I pulled the pin, following carlo who had left about 30 minutes earlier. The remainder of the gang opted to follow me soon afterward. There were still bustups happening and some of the fish were pretty big, judging by the size of the splashes but only scater managed to get a hookup on a big tuna and that came to nothing when the hook pulled.

Middle Groyne was now scary. The tide was lower and the waves seemingly bigger than when we'd launched. In our usual return path the waves were now breaking a good 40 metres out from the wall and stark evidence of this was the half dozen or so boardriders sitting out there. I was first among the final four to arrive back and took one look at the break and decided to avoid it if possible. Picking a good run would have been difficult to say the least as we could not hold any closer than about 60 metres from the wall and that meant using that option we were totally exposed for at least 45 seconds before reaching comparative safety, close to the wall. To the east, however, there were no board riders and this is the option I went for, the first time in a year or so at least.

I went through first followed closely by scater and then I got out the camera to shoot some movie of jimbo and soren as they ran the same path. Some frames from the movie:

Jimbo solves the problem with a spectacular brace

Soren came hooting in at top speed (wave assisted), amazing the beachgoers

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

Into the wilds - 06Apr14

TR by Gemini

Participants:  Gemini
Conditions: Early fog, light breeze
Launch Point: Yabba Creek, Imbil

It was lucky I left a little earlier than I was planning to this morning, as the fog on the drive to Imbil was fairly thick. I took my time getting to the launch site due to the low visibility, but I arrived a little before 6AM as I had originally intended anyway. The launch site I had performed some reconnaissance on a couple of weeks ago had sustained some fairly hefty washout damage from the rain we've had, so manoeuvring the yak down to the water solo was an interesting exercise. You would definitely NOT launch a fibreglass craft here without assistance.

With the yak prepped, I looked out onto the glassy water and readied for launch upstream...

I had launched with a spinner rigged up, but after seeing the surface action around me I swapped to a popper. The fish didn't seem too interested in this though, so after a while I swapped again, but this time to the old faithful R2S baby vibe. I took my time, carefully casting around the snags, and eventually I was rewarded with a little bass.

I released the bass and continued on, noting that the local wildlife were putting on a nice show for me. Kingfishers buzzed me a few times, large turtles prowled the waters around me, and the water dragons were dropping out of the trees with great splashes as I approached. One local resident surprised me far more than the rest though, and that was a Yabba Creek platypus.

He seemed to be spending a lot of time on the surface, and I could see he was a lot larger than the last one I had spied in the wild (at Lake MacDonald). He swam around oblivious to me for a while, then turned back towards me and suddenly realised I was not a normal feature. There was a SPLOOSH!, and he was gone.

Hopefully some of his antics will be visible in the video I will be piecing together over the next few days.

Just past the hole the platypus had been playing in, I ran into my first obstacle of the day. Rapids. They were fast moving, but shallow, so towing the yak behind me on foot wasn't a problem. Past the rapids the scrub closed in and the creek became narrower.

Here I managed to snag my second fish of the day. Another little bass.

Not long after releasing the bass I came across a small group of kayakers heading in the opposite direction. After a brief chat they paddled off excited as I had shared the location of the platypus with them. I hope I didn't spook him off for the day.

From here I proceeded up through another set of rapids. These were similar to the last, and took me into an even narrower section of the creek. I could see another larger set of rapids not too far along, so I decided to have a quick flick before heading downstream again. I wasn't overly confident here, as it looked shallow and relatively snag free, but sure enough, I had a strike.

I released, and headed back downstream again. This time the downstream rapids looked like too much fun not to try from inside the yak, so why not eh?

I let myself drift with the current and kept casting on the way back. Not too far from the next set of rapids I picked up another bass.

I released, and prepared to ride the next section of "white water" *cough cough*.

This set of rapids had a couple of rocks grinding against my hull, but an inspection later would find no significant damage.

I kept casting back to the launch, but had no further action. The next time I head this way I'll be bringing supplies for a full day out. There is a lot of creek to explore here, and plenty of fish too from the looks of it.

DC at Ewen Maddock Dam, 05Apr14

TR by deecee

Hi All,

Winds - Light
Current - None
Water - Warm & Clear

Arrived around 4.50am at EMD, car park was empty. Rigged up and launched in the dark working my way west using surface poppers, amazed at how quickly the dam water level has risen! I got to the first corner (NW) and had a massive strike on the surface with no hook up. I cruised across to the western side of the Dam flicking the popper with no further interest. By now the sun was getting up so I put on a silver vibe to attack the timber I know is underwater there and promptly lost it to a snag… tried another but no hits over the course of the next 45 mins.

Decided to try somewhere else so put on a Deep Diver Lure for a troll over to my next destination and immediately got a little 25cm Bass.

I arrived at my next destination and first cast hooked up a little tilapia which I quickly dispatched (tilapia are designated noxious species, as are European carp).

Flicked around the point for another 45 mins with no further strikes and with time ticking away I headed for the launch point. Hooked up to two bass on the way back, one at 25cm and one nudging 30cm which put up a great fight…

A glorious morning on the water but now it's time to lay some vinyl…yippee.