Snapper, sweetie, bonitos. 31Oct14

TR by sunshiner

Wind: calm, with the expected gentle northerly arriving around 0900
Swell: 1m SE
Water temp: 23.9°C
Current: at Jew Shoal, from west to east
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: tunny, diesel, josh, sunshiner
Keen Angler Program: Frame donated by me

Perfect conditions, dead easy launch. Diesel scored another undersize schoolie mack as soon as he dropped a lure out after launch. It turned out that I did too, as I discovered when I got to Jew Shoal. The relocated fish swam off strongly, to my surprise.

Tunny was trying out his new sounder fit out, which I must say looks unlike other yak sounder arrangements I've seen. Maybe he'll tell us about it once he's happy with the setup.

I tried the hot spot on the SE corner of the shoal only to find no bait there. This was generally the situation all over, except at the shallows near The Pinnacles, where the butter bream were swimming around with their backs exposed to the rising sun. This was quite a spectacle and they were easily approached by kayak without mass panic.

As I found out later, diesel again hooked up a bonito as soon as he arrived (more about this later). We were all fishing by just before 5:30am and the first fish I saw taken was an undersize yellowtail king, by tunny, probably around 06:30, on a cast quarter ounce SP.

Tunny's pic of his small kingy

Then tunny announced another undersized kingie, echoed by diesel, around 7:00am, followed by tunny again reporting a snapper of around 40cm. This capture, just NE of The Pinnacles in 20m (tunny can now tell the depth of his catches), gave me hope that I might get a snapper as so far I hadn't had a touch. The fairly strong current was carrying us east in calm conditions so I set up my drift to pass through the same area as tunny had been in the hope that I too would pick up a fish. This strategy worked for at 07:15, also in about 20m, my SP was picked up about 10m down in 20m depth.

Third snapper in three trips. 47cm. On a roll!

Sometime after this josh must have caught his nice grassie (on organic chicken; yes chicken) because he had one at brag time on the beach (pic later).

Things went quiet, and even calmer, soporific even. About 08:30 a barely perceptible northerly turned our drifting yaks through 180° and we continued to fish without further success until about 9:00am when I suggested we head for the beach. Josh had left earlier and my two remaining companions agreed to head for home.

As usual, I hung out my HLP for the return paddle and was just getting into the swing of things when the trolling reel screamed. I was still over the shoal so I thought "maybe a snapper", but the vibrations I felt once I picked up the rod had me thinking mac tuna. But no, it was a big Australian bonito, and, I thought, probably a new Noosa Yakkers record. It just so happens that my daughter-in-law, Lee, who loves oily fish, is visiting this weekend and bonito are very palatable and not red fleshed so a double reason to keep the fish.

Australian bonito. A small pelagic which punches way above its weight.

Mouth, edged with small pointy teeth, an aid to identification.

The beach return was as easy as it gets. Some beach pics:

The combined take home catch. Here was I thinking my bonito was a possible Noosa Yakkers record, but diesel trumped it with his which was even bigger. As it turned out, both were bigger than the current record, held by lazybugger at 51cm. Josh delayed his return to the beach by hanging around the shark nets and finding some yakkas, hence the small yellowtail on the mat.

My companions for today: from left, josh, tunny holding both my snapper and his, and diesel holding both my and his bonitos

Another beautiful Laguna Bay morning. Had a dip afterward. Perfect! Thanks for coming along, guys.

Prospects look slim for the next week but I'll be out there at the next possible opportunity.

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

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Kev, yes I will put a photo of the sounder mounting and further commentary in my next trip report. The only real difference is that I have placed the sounder in a small box with the intention of keeping water off the electrical connections and the screen, to reduce glare issues by keeping it in the shade and to be able to tilt the angle of the screen. I will make further comments in future reports once I have tested it properly, cheers tunny