Wind: Slight NNW at 4 to 6 kts
Swell: Started at about .3m and was 1.0m later in morning.
Current: Slight from the South East
Water temp: 24.8
Launch point: Middle groyne, west side.
Participants: Aussie Stu, Doc Dog, Red Greg, Diesel
Keen angler program: nil
I arrived at MG at 0415 and set about getting ready to launch. As the light improved I found I was faced with a beach break of .3m and a very slight swell coming from ENE. Outstanding!
Aussie stu was due at 0430 so I held off launching till 0440 when I figured he couldn't make it. An uneventful paddle to Jew Shoal in the early morning sun with the swell increasing slightly as I neared the shoal. The sunrise showed promise of a great day.
At 0515 I had set up my drift, starting SW of the pinnacles and moving to the NE at about .9 of a knot (I had the big parachute out) when I got a radio check from Aussie Stu, informing me he had broken his paddle on launch and would wait for Doc Dog to see if he had a spare. Bugger!
A bit later I had a radio check from Doc Dog telling me he was on his way and no, he didn't have a spare paddle. Aussie Stu is scratched from todays meeting! He tells me later that paddling a kayak without a rudder, through the surf, canoe style, is not for the faint hearted!
A short while later Red Greg paddles onto the shoal from the west and sets up to fish.
As it turns out he had a heart starter just past the shark nets.
He deployed new 180mm HBL (read expensive) as he started out for the shoal and it was hit hard; proceeded to accelerate north at a great rate of knots. His line was spooling off at an equal speed so a little drag was applied to slow the beast. Snap, it's gone. Later inspection showed heavy abrasion on the leader, something toothy!
Doc Dog arrives and we exchange greetings, and he sets up a drift. Frustration sets in, nothing is biting on SPs, pillies or on the bottom bashing rig till 0815, when I pick up a bream on the paternoster rig. Only thing missing was sandwiches 'cos I'm tipping it was on its way to pre-school. Back in it went, maybe later when grows up!
Doc Dog by this time has boated and returned small Cod (Red and white stripes, black tipped spines - Footballer? [Editor: black-tipped cod]).
Just after 0830 I have a good strike on the ganged pilly and away goes the line. I quickly get a handle on it and recover lost line, getting all but the 10 mtr leader with no trouble. After I halted the run it just went to being a dead weight like a fouled hook on the reef then it was back offering a fair bit of resistance; I thought large snapper. I worked it toward the surface and lo and behold, I see a cobia on the line, somewhere between size and a metre. Getting its head to the surface, I let it tow the yak a while to wear it out a bit more before trying to boat it. Wrong!
After a huge outpouring of grief (some profanity included) I recovered the leader and found a half circle of trace wire in the knot. The cobe had broken the 26 kg wire at the haywire twist. I remember not being happy with the size of the eye in the twist and tightening it with pliers. Another lesson learnt.
At about this time I had a chat with Doc Dog and then set off for Halls Reef, towing a 120 HBL. I got to Halls and then headed back toward MG. Sunshiner, who was at MG having a swim, called Doc Dog for a sitrep and was told of our great big nothings. Doc Dog and Red Greg left the shoal soon after and we all had a chat on the beach after Sunshiner took some great shots of us making dignified landings.
If only Sunshiner had brought the coffee, cos we had the DONUTS.
Another day in paradise!