On the board. 31Jul14

TR by sunshiner

Wind: gentle NW at first, then strengthening to 10-15 knots N
Swell: less than 1m NE
Water temp: 20°C
Current: at Doggie Beach reef, none
Launch point: Doggie Beach
Participants: sunshiner
Keen Angler Program: Donated 1 fish

Here it was, the last day of July and I hadn't caught a keeper, despite several attempts and plenty of light wind days. The fish seem not to be around in sufficient numbers where we kayakers can reach them. However, one of the few benefits of being an old codger is that there's more spare time, theoretically. And today my time was indeed "spare" and the weather was looking good. The wind stayed light and I decided around 11:00 to set up for a Doggie Beach launch. My quest was to get myself on the board for July and as yet, this month, I hadn't tried Doggie Beach reef so that was my destination.

Car parking is often an issue at Doggie Beach and today I had to resort to parking in the side street just west of, and uphill from, the carpark. Never mind, at least unassisted loading and unloading is easier in this area.

Unbelievably flat, eh? But never, ever, become blasé about launching or returning at Doggie Beach.

Easy launch, probably needless to say, and a few minutes later I was paddling east toward one of my marks at Doggie Beach reef, about 1500m away. A couple of stinkies were visible at first and by the time I reached my mark the breeze had started to pick up from the north.

Here the depth was 27m and there were a few shows on the sonar so I set my drogue, which filled immediately, and started a drift with the breeze toward the south. I had a pillie hanging out the back about 10m down and was using a 1/2 ounce jighead with a SP, casting downdrift, and over-running the jig as it fell toward the bottom. My first drift went 700m, with depth gradually reducing to 21m, before I decided to turn back and do it again as there had been quite a bit of sonar display right near the bottom. The slog back was straight into a strengthening breeze but had to be done, and anyway I need the exercise.

On only the second cast of the second drift, and only 150m from the start point the jig was grabbed, the rod bent and I let out a whoop. This was obviously a keeper.

42cm snapper, very welcome aboard, today.

Next fish:

The smallest grinner I've seen, I think. The only one I hooked today.

Anyway, having got no further action by the end of the third drift I decided to head in. By now the breeze from the north was quite stiff and was pushing some waves onto Doggie Beach. It was also low tide and as a result the swell was occasionally breaking on the outer bank, although there were long time gaps between white water events. As I always do, I packed everything away below deck. Anyway I was congratulating myself on picking the gap on the outer bank and was heading for Doggie Beach's notorious shorebreak when the wave of the day came through. I heard it roaring behind me as it broke on the bank but by then I was in the deeper water and let it slide under me. I probably should have waited in the deeper water but pressed on only to find that the the big wave was part of a set and I was in the shore break zone with a large wave looming and curling behind me. For the first time in ages at Doggie Beach I was rolled when the bow went down and hit the sand and the yak and I parted company.

I had my chest cam running and this a cropped frame from the video. Here the bow is about to hit the sand

No harm was done of course, as everything was stowed, but the yak did roll right over and was pushed in to the beach upside down. I mention this as a warning to all to never treat the Doggie Beach shorebreak casually. Always assume that you'll be rolled.

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

Slow day on Sunshine Reef 26Jul14

TR by Redwood
Trip date: 27 July 2014
Participants: Weeksie, Redwood
Launch Site:  Doggie Beach
Destination:  Sunshine Reef 
Conditions: no wind early, light wind later. 1m swell.
Keen Angler Program: none

I arrived at the doggie beach cark park before 7 and before Weeksie. I checked the launch conditions which were favourable. Weeksie arrived and we both managed to get out easily. I was keen to fish North Sunshine as I'd not done so before and it was only a 2.5km paddle. Weeksie was going to checkout a few marks he had. I headed toward North SSR but found my GPS compass was all over the shop (later fixed this at home by recalibrating the unit), so I changed tac and headed for some boats about 1km east. On the way there were a few surface bust-ups but I couldn't make out the type of fish--looked large, perhaps mullet? I asked one of the stinkies how it was going and they said they could see fish on the sounder but nothing was biting. Not a good sign and looked like the trend of the previous day was continuing, new moon or no new moon. The stinky was pulling anchor as they'd heard the charters and others were fishing wide. They were heading 4km east and I was not about to follow even with the offer of a tow.

I headed out toward North Sunshine and found Weeksie and we fished a mark of his for some time without so much as a touch. Weeksie decided to go and try A-Bay reef and I joined him. The bites did eventually come on around 10am but I was not able to hook-up and lost the only decent encounter of the morning. I landed a grinner and Weeksie a small unknown reefie. The only action was on pillies and bonito, with squid and placcies being ignored.

The green monster had been throttling me for some time as the swell was bigger than forecast and it was very close together. My home made burly of water, banana and acid didn't seem to be drawing the fish so I decided to pack it in and Weeksie did the same.

Sunshiner had been in contact on and off most of the morning and he kindly came down to the beach to help us find a good spot to come in. We both landed without too much drama, only flipping our unmanned yaks on the last shore break.

Weeksie dodging the shore break at Doggie Beach
Redwood going hard trying to stay ahead of the waves

Fishless Four. 25Jul14

TR by sunshiner

Wind: gentle SW early, swinging to a 5knot SE about 0800.
Swell: less than 1m SE
Water temp: 20°C
Current: at Jew Shoal, none
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: jimbo, diesel, josh, sunshiner
Keen Angler Program: N/A

The forecast was spot on, as we discovered, with launch conditions dry-bum easy. Diesel, very keen, was early and so first away, heading strongly for Jew Shoal. In the event, we all had our first baits/lures out at the shoal by just before 0700, having been treated to a brilliant sunrise on the way out.

On my first pass over the shallows to the SW of The Pinnacles I could see on the sonar a huge cloud of bait, stacking up from the bottom to within five metres of the surface. Alas, nothing seemed to be feeding on this smorgasboard, but, as often occurs, there were several longtoms flipping out of the surface nearby.

As mentioned by email earlier, none of us brought any keepers home. Helping to relieve the boredom was a whale which turned up to the east, breaching several times while we watched, but bypassing Jew Shoal on its path northward. And then diesel paddled over to me with a small green turtle occupying the cockpit with him. You guessed it, the turtle had become accidentally hooked in the flipper. Diesel managed to lift it aboard to make sure that it was safely released but I was surprised to see how relaxed the turtle appeared to be, comfortably resting and seemingly enjoying his short journey out of the water. It swam away strongly once diesel nudged it over the side.

We paddled back to Middle Groyne individually and once there encountered scater gazing at us from the wall, sporting a pair of crutches and a very complex splint-thingy on his left leg. Apparently he was injured in a basketball match and will be somewhat disabled for about three months. Our commiserations, Sam.

So, the pesky snapper are still not around. Looks like July has been a very poor month, fish wise. Still, it was nice to get out today and have a go. One of these days the effort will pay off.

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

Round 1 to pedro. 16Jul14

TR by sunshiner, most pics by pedro

Wind: calm early, with a northerly springing up later
Swell: about 1m SE
Water temp: 20°C
Current: at Jew Shoal, none
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: pedro, sunshiner
Keen Angler Program: N/A

Well, you know it's been cold lately. Hence my arrival at Middle Groyne at 08:10. Yep, pedro was already launched, despite the chilly and overcast morning. His big German yak carrier was parked in my and his favourite spot, so it was to my second choice parking spot today, although there were plenty of other spots to choose from, given that a few drops of rain were hitting the beach.

Before I'd even unloaded I dashed off to the beach with my radio and established immediate contact with pedro at Jew Shoal. His report was not encouraging. Been there since before dawn, hadn't had a touch on his succulent baits; bloody cool too; and showery. Sunshine Reef was beckoning him.

Dawn rainbow from Jew Shoal, by pedro.

Hmmm, go or not? Ah, wind was light, why not. I dashed back to the Zook, promising to call pedro as soon as I was launched.

Launch time

A couple of minutes later, pedro had better news. While I'd been launching he'd boated a keeper sweetie. He'd be staying at Jew Shoal for a while longer. I dialled up The Pinnacles and headed out in glassy conditions, releasing the HLP for its periodic, usually unmolested, 40 minute ocean swim.

A radio interruption from pedro… he'd nailed another sweetie, and dropped a decent flathead. His was the only dot on the horizon and I paddled up to within hailing distance, arriving as scheduled, at 09:20, retrieving the untouched ocean swimmer as we exchanged morning pleasantries. By now, he'd been at Jew Shoal for about three hours, with no action except for the last hour. Rarely the best dressed kayak fisher in Noosa, today pedro sported a pale blue scarf, or perhaps it was a towel, draped around his head and tied under his chin with his trademark large straw hat plonked on top, strapped down despite the lack of wind. Clearly the fish don't care about his attire as he'd boated yet another sweetie before I arrived.

His latest sweetie

Against my better judgement we soon set up a fishing comp between us: SP (me!) versus bait (him!), as we drifted in close proximity, gently toward the east. Start time: 09:25.

In five minutes, it was pedro 3, sunshiner nil. Admittedly his three were all released (one just legal snapper, and two way-undersize red emperor) and he offered to not count them. All of his fish had been taken on the same rig, which he held in his hand while two other outfits went untouched.

Red emperor, juvenile, pic included for benefit of members who may not be aware of it. This highly prized fish has a minimum legal size of 55cm and is sometimes taken at Jew Shoal, but we've never seen a legal specimen there or at Sunshine Reef. Pic by whalebait.

Pedro's rig.

Almost an hour later, the score was the same. By now we'd become separated somewhat as I'd set up a different drift pattern. And now I could sense pedro coming up behind me to check on how I was doing or possibly to make sure I was still alive (he's caring like that). Just as he got to me and in his full view, I hooked up to what seemed like a decent sweetie. The rod bent and the reel drag clicker made all the right sounds and I just knew that sweetlip was on the menu at my place. Ten seconds' fun was all I had. The hook pulled. A tiny chin scale, neatly and teasingly impaled on the jighead point, was the only bit of the sweetlip I recovered.

We fished on for another hour or so for no more result (other than a spinefoot hooked in its anal area by me) before pedro decided to head for New Zealand, checking out north Sunshine on the way. I reckon pedro will one day perform the first ever Noosa Yakkers 24 hour straight fishing session and is probably working on his next invention: a way to sleep comfortably without falling overboard on a Hobie Revo.

The sun came out and the breeze increased. I fished on until 12:30-ish and then headed for Middle Groyne, letting pedro, at Sunshine Reef, know as I left the shoal. You know what's coming, don't you? Yep, pedro radioed just as I got to the groyne telling me he'd won our comp fair and square as he'd just boated another keeper, a schoolie which had grabbed his new rig when it was being retrieved.

So pedro won, easily. Next bout, maybe next Wednesday.

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

Jaro TR to JS, 12Jul14

Trip Report Saturday 12/07/2014 by Jaro
Conditions: Clear, sunny and cold early but warming up quickly once the sun was up. Laguna Bay was glassy but we could see that it was windy further out to JS. At JS wind was westerly at 8 to 10 knots but as the morning wore on it dropped out altogether.
Current negligible.

Participants: Mahatma, Diesel, Weeksy, SpikeyMikey and Jaro

I arrived at MG car park to find Diesel and Mahatma already there. I found out later that many had taken the easy option not to go thinking that it was too windy.

I believe SpikeyMikey had already gone out much earlier and then came back in early due to the wind.

Anyway, the intrepid trio saw that Laguna Bay was glassy but that it was windy at JS and so it proved but it wasn't too bad with only the odd white cap ( have certainly been in much worse conditions). As the wind was behind me I was able to put up my sail and enjoy a very leisurely trip out at between 7 to 9 km/hour. We all settled in for some bottom fishing with bugger-all action for all of us. Weeksy had headed for A Bay also without any success as far as I know.

We pulled the pin at around 9.30am and headed back to shore in near flat calm seas. There was no swell to speak of so exit and entry was dead easy.

No fish but a good paddle in lovely surroundings.


School Daze, 05Jul14

TR by Gemini

Wind: Light to moderate cool W/WSW
Swell: less than 1m SE
Water temp: 20°C
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: Sunshiner, Tarzan, Mahatma, Aussie-Stu, Redwood, Gemini
Photos provided by Sunshiner and Gemini

Dawn was creeping through the clouds of the dissipating rain as we readied for launch. Sunshiner remarked that we should have made an earlier start, but I was glad to have the extra little bit of sleep as this was my first offshore outing since spotty madness on the 25th January. Tarzan had started a little earlier than the rest of us, so he disappeared into the distance as we readied for launch.

Today I launched using Pedro's custom rod bag for the first time, and I have to say I was impressed with how easy it is to manage on the water. I had stuffed mine with three rods, which included two large overhead reels and a spinning reel, with no problem. For anyone with a lack of internal storage big enough for rigged rods, I whole heartedly recommend!

The trip to Jew Shoal was uneventful. The breeze was cool, and coughed back enough spray from paddling to make it mildly irritating. A lone stinky greeted our arrival at JS, and we all promptly set about hunting the bottom for fishy treats.

I started by drifting a weighted half pilchard on one rod, while monitoring a half pilchard on my casting rod. After a few chews and some lost bait, I had my first taker of the day.

A little wire netting cod, which I then released.

I fed the tiddlers some more bait for a while while the breeze pushed us around. At some stage during my drift I refreshed the bait on my drifting rod and cast it out as normal, but I had only just placed it into the rod holder when the reel started to buzz away madly. I radioed my situation and started to bring whatever it was in, as it darted around a bit and took some line. I had it picked as a mackerel, although I hadn't really expected to see any today. Sure enough it was a mack, and I had Sunshiner confirm it as a school variety. (no decent on water shots, pics to come towards end of report)

At the end of this drift I had a brief chat with one of our newest members Mahatma, who told me of the little joy he was having. Mid conversation I pulled up another little cod of the black tipped variety (who promptly went back in).

Mahatma on his Eco Ambush.

Barely a mouthful there.

I restarted my drift and fed plenty more tiddlers. Hopefully with all the small fry I've fed today it will mean some fatties will be around soon.

Towards the end of this drift my unmanned line took off again. I had assumed it had been baited, as it had been out for some time with no noticeable action, but apparently not. Like the schoolie I had before, this guy ran around a bit, coming up right under the yak. I boated him and added him to my collection. Both fish taken on a lightly weighted half pilly with no wire.

I had one final drift without much action. I did hook this little guy which I wasn't familiar with though. Anyone care to ID?

We all pulled the pin at pretty much the same time, with Tarzan making contact midway through our trip back. He told us he had fished A-Bay reef for a keeper sweetlip, and was also making his way back in.

Landing was uneventful, except for one striking event. Mahatma rode his yak back through the breakers...backwards. I was still stripping rods out the back on the other side of the wall at the time, but from all reports it was flawlessly executed. I think that's one we need to have on video for the archives!

Once on the beach we took the obligatory series of fishy photos and exchanged stories.

Tarzan's sweetie.


The lack of readily available fish holders means your stunning model for today is...moi.

I'm sure there is something I've missed which Sunshiner mentioned I should include in my report, but my caffeine levels are running low and sleep is fast approaching. I'm sure I'll remember tomorrow. :)