Yeehah Teewah! 25May14

TR by Redwood

Trip date: 25 May 2014
Participants: Scater, Sprocket, Redwood
Launch Site:  Teewah Camp Site
Destination:  Behind the breakers 
Conditions: Big surf at times, low swell, light breeze from the South
Keen Angler Program: 1x frame donated

I awoke with a heightened sense of anticipation and excitement on Sunday morning as I’d arranged to hookup with Scater for a Teewah launch. This was new territory for me.

I’d met Soren the previous day in the MG car park and he’d explained that the increased numbers on the beach that day were due to a Surf Lifesaver rubber duck comp being moved from Coolum to to Noosa because the Coolum surf was too rough! Just what I need to hear. I also bumped into Scater at Davo’s on the Saturday and mentioned the rough conditions. He wasn’t phased, he was launching regardless. Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they, so a Teewah launch was on.

At 5am I jumped in the 4B and headed down to the Tewantin barge where I was meeting Scater to catch the first barge across to the North Shore at 5.30am. We barged it across, let our tires down and zoomed up the beach in some rather soft sand due to the tide being high. Scater was in a super-poo (as my wife calls Subaru’s) and despite the low clearance had little trouble getting to our Teewah launch spot.

Cereal box sunrise on Noosa North Shore
I was surprised to see another yak already on the beach with someone next to it setting up; it was Sprocket the Rocket who was camping at Teewah for the weekend. This was good news as Sprocket is a very experienced Teewah launcher.

Sproket gave us the rundown of surf conditions and fishing opportunities and then, as casual as you like, hauled his yak down to the water and with what seemed like zero consideration for the conditions, jumped in headed out. This was surprising as the surf conditions were far from easy. If you timed it perfectly you could make past the 10 or so sets of breakers unscathed, but get it wrong, and you were definitely going to know about it. The furthest breaker out was about 200m and at the hight of the set it was a stand up 2m monster. Sprocket timed it perfectly though and was out the back without any drama. Scater was out next and also timed it perfectly. My turn. I read the sets as best I could and then made the decision to go, jumped in and paddled like I’ve never paddled before. 250m at full tilt saw me make it out safely, but left me rooted. I limped up to Scater and found him feeling the same way. But, we were out unscathed and siting on some beautifully glassy water with the prospect of hooking up with some serious fish less than 1km offshore. Scater had shown me a pic of an AKFF member who landed a 35kg Spanish a couple of weeks back. Game on.

A perfect morning with glassy water
Scater trolling in the ideal conditions

We both rigged up with safa-rigs and dead slimies and headed South in Sprocket’s wake. Scater hadn’t paddled for more than 5 minutes before he was hooked up to something decent. Scater called it as a Tuna and after a 10 min tussle had a beaut of a Long Tail along side the boat. His second LTT I think. Scater asked me if I wanted it as his freezer was still full from Spotty mac mayhem day and was going to release it if I didn’t. Does Niki Lauder have ears? Scater gaffed it, brought it on board and bled it using the YouTube-Tuna-cut-behind-the-pectoral-fin trick. He also put the fish back in the water whilst it bled! Yikes! Not something I would have been brave enough to do. I loaded the Tuna into my boat and we continued on our way South.

Scater hooked up within minutes of starting to troll 
Scater landing a beautiful 1m / 10kg Long Tail Tuna on a Safa Rig
Scater spotted a school of Tuna and I hurried over but couldn’t get my flick stick out in time. This was the first time I’d seen a school of Tuna at the surface. They disappeared as fast as they arrived. 

We passed Sprocket on his way North and he said he’d been smoked by something; a big Spanish he thought. We continued South a while longer before turning around and heading in the opposite direction. We were doing a very slow troll, stopping and starting every now and then to give the bait a bit of life. It was all very relaxed and we were able to have a chat as we made our way in the diction of DIP.

Looking North to DIP

We paddled about 1km North of our launch mark before Scater decided to head back the other way again. I decided to do the same but was now behind him. Not long after I’d made the turn I noticed some odd shapes in the water ahead of me. I couldn’t make out what they were at first thinking perhaps just shadow and sand in shallow water, but as I passed over the top of them I could see it was a large school of Rays—about 30 or 40 of them ranging from large to small. I radioed Scater mentioning that Cybertech once said that where you find Rays you’ll find Cobia, Scater confirmed this but said they needed to be Manta Rays and asked if they were diamond shaped. I said they were and not one minute after this my reel went off! I grabbed the rod and started reeling in, and from the initial resistance wasn’t too sure what it was as it wasn’t putting up much of a fight. I thought this was going to be an easy land, but after reeling for a bit the fish must have woken up and decided my direction wasn’t the direction it wanted to go. Viiiiizzzzzz, went the reel time and time again. I’m not sure how long it took and how many runs later, but eventually I got a glimpse at the fish and went; bugger a Shark! But hang on. I’ve made that mistake before with a Cobia and along with the Rays it was more likely a Cobia than a Shark. I now had it boat side and decided it was definitely a Cobia, however it wasn’t done and had a few more runs in it before with some advice from Scater I gaffed it and boated it.

Redwood lands a 118cm Cobia on a Safa Rig just after seeing a school of Manta Rays - where there are Rays there are Cobia.
What a beautiful fish. It saddens me to kill it, but that’s what I’ve come for and I’m thankful for the food it will provide.

Leg wells filled with blood

We were aiming to be off the water by 10am which left us 45min to try and snag something else. We trolled toward our launch point without any further action. The wind had picked up a bit and I was finding it difficult to make ground, plus I also had the dreaded surf return running through my mind. I saw Scater running the gauntlet and making his way back to shore. I couldn’t see how he fared as he quickly disappeared from view in the surf. I decided to head in right where I was due to the difficulty I was having with the wind and I had scoped out the spot earlier as a good return option. It seemed to be calmer than the surrounding water, but that turned out to be wishful thinking. 

My plan was to sit behind the back line and try and get a good sense of the sets from the back so I could pick my run. There were decent lulls and the shore could be reached without incident with perfect timing. I waited and waited and then it seemed I’d waited too long as I had inadvertently drifted into the surf zone. This was made apparent by a massive wave building on the wrong side of me. Oh dear. I was side on so I couldn’t paddle my way out of it, so I could only hope that somehow I’d make it over the top before it broke and for a brief moment I thought I had made it as I floated onto the preferable side of the crest. But it wasn’t to be and the wave started to suck me in backwards. With my nose pointed at the sky, I covered my head with my hands and hoped for the best. After a short time under water I popped out and could see my yak 30m in front of me. I was hoping that the waves would push my boat and myself to shore but I was too far out and I’d have to retrieve the yak and remount. I managed to do this with some difficulty, paddled for a bit before a wave caught up with me and took me on a short ride before I rolled. Not the return I was hoping for, but I was back on shore without any injury, my boat unscathed and fish in the hatch.

Scater and 10kg LTT
Scater's LTT goes 1m
Redwood and Cobia (Black King Fish)
119cm / 9.5kg Cobia. Current Cobia record is 106cm, so potentially a new NR
What a great day out—thanks Scater and Sprocket.

PS - Sprocket didn't land anything on the Sunday, but scored a very nice Spanish the previous day.

PSS - a few more pics from home below

LTT was hooked with the chin hook and weight and not the trailing treble
The cut bleeding the pectoral fin on the LTT. There's a main artery that runs here so easier to do this on a LTT than cutting the gills
Filleting the LTT. It's easy to get to this point with a filleting knife, but after then a boning knife is preferable to cut through the rib cage bones (thanks for the tutorial Richmond!)
Surprisingly thick skin on the Tuna
Cobia with Safa Rig still attached. The fish took the trailing treble
A good guy from QLD Fisheries told me this is Pyloric Caeca in the stomach and is more prominent in certain fish species. The fish is perfectly fine to eat. He also gave me some great Cobia recipes. 


  1. Nice stuff guys.I don't think I could sustain a 500m flat-out paddle to get out the back! 200m is my limit I think. But maybe the adrenalin kick would help. Thanks for the report.

  2. Great report Tim, it was certainly a fun trip and we were well-rewarded for making the effort. The surf was pretty big, especially the back break. I'm betting it will be a lot smaller this weekend. I rolled twice on the way in just like Redwood, but the saving grace was that I was on the dunes with Sprocket to see Tim's epic trip over the falls. Funny in hindsight, less so at the time with your injury not fully healed!

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  4. On the upside the break was so far out that video was not possible. I've adjusted the estimate of the break downward from 500m to 250m. It obviously looked and felt further than it was. So Kev it's within your range... Teewah is waiting for you. Good luck for the weekend Scater. Sorry I can't be there to entertain the troops again.