Sunday morning with Macca. 31Aug14

TR by sunshiner

Wind: gentle SW early, dropping to calm by 0900
Swell: 1m SE
Water temp: 20°C
Current: at Jew Shoal, slight SW-NE
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: macca, sunshiner
Keen Angler Program: N/A

Today was to be the day. Macca was determined to do his first launch into the open ocean on his yak. Several emails had passed between him and me recently, each from him containing a carefully considered question about beach launches and fishing at Jew Shoal and each of my replies contained a carefully considered response. Macca, like many of us, can only fish on weekends and, if you've been following the weather, you'll have noticed that very few weekends lately have coincided with weather suitable for offshore kayak fishing. But several days ago we bookmarked Sunday 31Aug as a strong possibility and the forecast proved accurate.

So that is how I came to be on the beach at Middle Groyne at 04:50 this morning. I'd arrived slightly early for our agreed rendezvous and was checking that conditions were suitable -- they were. It was now that I encountered a long tailed marsupial scampering on the beach, its gleaming eyes reflecting the beam of my head torch. I've seen ringtail possums with their distinctive and long white-tipped tails clinging to the branches of trees in the carpark on several occasions but this was the first I'd seen cavorting on the beach. It sought refuge in the casuarina clump adjacent to the lifesaver station and possibly is still there even now, awaiting darkness before venturing back to the treeline fringing the beach.

Paul, for that is macca's real name, turned up on time. We went through the formalities in semi-darkness, meeting face to face for the first time and then turned to the main task, unloading and prepping our yaks. This didn't take long but I think macca will be quicker next time, and probably will have a little less equipment.

Soon our yaks were both on the beach with just enough light to make it easy for me to describe the launch scenario, gutter, back paddling etc.

As I said, maybe macca will have a little less gear gear next time.

Today's launch was as easy as it gets and I sent macca off first and watched him dry-bum it after back paddling a little in the hole to allow a small breaker to pass through.

Macca in the channel

Soon we were together out the back. I was delighted to hear that Paul had a brand new Icom M-23 VHF radio. Callsign? Nope! Nickname? Nope! Pointing out that we already have four or five yakkers whose first name is Paul, I suggested that we call him macca in recognition of his Scottish ancestry as indicated by his surname. It was settled, for the time being at least; macca it was.

Macca setting up as the horizon gets ready to showcase the sun.

As you can see, beautiful conditions. We pretty much had the whole bay to ourselves, too. Jew Shoal is a good starting point for newbies, being far enough but not too far and so we set out for The Pinnacles, which we reached at about 7:00am. Sad to say, by 9:00am neither of us had received any attention from fish. There were a few big and noisy predator splashes early on, and a few tuna put in an appearance about 8:00 am. A large accumulation of the usual baitfish was visible onscreen in the shallows of the shoal, apparently not bothered by any predators. Oh and a sea snake popped its head up to take a look at me at one stage. Turtles, yes, plenty, but no whales or dolphins. Accordingly I opted to head for home. Macca decided to fish on. I hope he eventually bagged a snapper or two.

Macca fishes on. Good luck, macca.

So, I donutted August (but, in my defence, I only had one opportunity to fish).

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

Pedro solo at Jew Shoal. 27Aug14

TR by Pedro
Wind: 10 knots SW early turning SSE 12 knots
Swell: 1-1.5m SE
Current: gentle N to S
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: Pedro

There was a big difference in wind predictions with Wind guru, willy, seabreeze all saying doable while BOM put out a strong wind warning.

Woke at 4am and checked radar. DIP was gusting at 17 knots but I was keen to go as it had been 16 days.

Launched about 6.30am, late for me as I wasn't packed the night before. There was a decent swell with some sand dredging taking place on the bigger ones. I took my time and made it easy, getting a bit wet punching through the last wave.

Jew Shoal certainly wasn't firing, although I did manage to bag two snapper each between 40/50cm and a grassie about 38. All were caught on lightly weighted pilchard while drift fishing. Other baits, including a live bait, went untouched.

Landing was no problem -- timed it well between sets, which was lucky as I had Sunshiner with the camera on the rocks.

Pedals stowed, bending the paddle shaft. Pic and caption by sunshiner

Just checking… Pic and caption by sunshiner

Pic by sunshiner


Sweeties at Jew Shoal 11Aug2014

TR by Tunny
Trip date: 11 Aug 2014
Participants: Pedro, Diesel, Mahatma, Stormin, Tunny
Launch Site:  MG
Destination:  Jew Shoal
Conditions: 5-8 knots, 1 metre swell, slight NE current
Keen Angler Program: none

Having fished the Noosa River the previous night I opted for a launch at the leisurely hour of 6am.  As I arrived at 5.30 to unload, Diesel was heading down to the beach.  He informed me that Pedro had already headed out.  Mahatma then arrived, followed by Stormin with his brand new Stealth Profisha 475 which he had tested in the river but yet to take in the sea.  The launch was not difficult, and we headed for Jew Shoal.  I trolled a large pilchard while Mahatma and Stormin opted for hard bodied lures.  There was no surface action and no interest in any of the baits or lures.  The only marine life visible was a huge number of jellyfish which at times we could feel hitting the bottom of the kayaks.  I stopped briefly to take an underwater photo of the Jellyfish before continuing to Jew Shoal.

Only signs of life for most participants - Jellyfish at Jew Shoal
As we approached Jew Shoal Pedro radioed to say that he had caught a sweetlip while Diesel had a bream.  I did a few circuits with the pilchard in tow, then switched to jigging soft plastics without success.  Mahatma caught some undersize reef fish which he released while Pedro’s persistence was rewarded with a second Sweetlip estimated at 40cm.

Overall a fun day out – now we just need the wind to die down for the next trip!

Moon river 10Aug2014

TR by Tunny
Trip date: 10 Aug 2014
Participants: Redwood, Tunny
Launch Site:  Munna Point Caravan Park
Destination:  Lower river / river mouth
Conditions: full moon, high incoming tide, 5-8 knot winds
Keen Angler Program: none

Tunny with full moon rising
With full Moon came the urge to do some river fishing!  As high tide at Munna Point was due at 8.30 pm, and low tide at 3.50 am we were faced with the choice of a really late night trip for optimum fishing conditions on the falling tide or go early evening and fish the incoming to high tide.  We took the more comfortable choice and launched at 5 pm.  As I had previously caught Tailor in Woods Bay on the rising tide I thought this would be a reasonable option.  From the caravan park we headed towards the nearby sand bar where a tinny fisherman had just landed a bream.  I tried drifting with a gladiator prawn, followed by paddling back with my gold bomber which is looking well chewed from previous encounters with Hairtail.  There was no surface action and no interest in either lure. 

Redwood decided to head off towards Munna Bridge towing a gold bomber.  Unfortunately this tempted a large pelican which either became hooked on the gold bomber or had the line tangled around its wing.  Despite the full moon it was impossible to see how the bird was attached to the line or where it was hooked.  Redwood radioed me for help and while I was on my way he contacted  Wildlife Rescue.  But before they could send someone to assist the line snapped and the pelican was gone.  I guess the lesson we learnt from this is reel in your lures before passing close to pelicans.

We continued fishing for about an hour.  We both had tiny fish nibbling on gladiator prawns and other soft plastics but hooked nothing.  At about 8pm I hooked a small Trevally.  With no further bites we packed up around 8.30 pm

Tunny's single small Trevelly caught on a bomber
Redwood - View from Munna sandbank looking west - stinky next to us picked up a few bream but nothing wanted our gladiator placcies.
Redwood - View looking east toward the mouth. Specs in the sky are birds but not sure of species. I'm mostly only interested in one species of bird.