Launch Point: Middle Groyne.
Conditions: Idyllic & sunny
Wind: 0-5 knot SW, reducing to zero, then 0-5 knot SE after 0730
Swell: ~1.0 m from E
Participants: ScottyD, Sunshiner, Fatyak, Jimbo, Diesel
When I arrived at MG at 0330 hrs I found ScottyD already setting up his yak for the day, an early start for him having driven from Brisbane. I only got to say hello briefly when Sunshiner arrived, so it was down to business ... Fishing business!
ScottyD had checked out the beach for launchability before I got there so we three dragged our yaks down to water and did our final preps. ScottyD was christening a new Stealth Pro Fisha 475 so it was a good omen that it was an easy launch. I was first to launch and made my way out the back. I deployed a HBL in Qantas colours, hoping I would have better luck with this colour this week.
Sunshiner and ScottyD launched soon behind me, and after gear set up and radio checks it was off to Jew Shoals. It was now just after 0400 hrs and we had 85% of the full moon to light our way and a light swell of about 1 metre. Jimbo launched and at around 0430, and after further radio checks, headed out after us.
On arrival at the shoal I recovered the HBL and replaced it with a pillie on a gang hook set up. It no sooner hit the water when the drag started to scream and away went my pillie at a great rate of knots toward the north. I managed to get some line back when it did another fast run and bit me off ... so much for 58 lb single strand wire! I set up another pillie and in it went, but remained untouched for hours (see below). In the meantime ScottyD was trolling around the Shoal and not catching anything.
Jimbo arrived around 0515, and then two other yaks turn up, apparently also from Brisbane (one being a non-NY) and commence fishing. It was looking like a fishing kayak trade show with six yaks spread over the shoal.
Jimbo reports a strike and boats a large fat grass sweetlip for his troubles ... you feed them big banana prawns, you get big fish! Sunshiner was still fishing his SPs but was getting no return.
One of the yakkers from Brisbane (a NY member) touches base with Sunshiner and gets the run down on Jew Shoal and the radio channel we use. His callsign is Fatyak and we get to know it quickly. The guy is either a fishing machine or it's beginners luck at Jew Shoal. He boats a couple of big snapper around the 70cm mark and an amberjack in quick succession. Fatyak (jokingly?) reports mild disappointment in catching the snapper, in that he had come up to Noosa to get away from catching snapper around Brissy, and in the hope of catching a mackerel. Jimbo then reports boating nice cobia after a bit of a tussle (he initially called it for a shark), while I'm still hoping for a change in luck.
Then it's my turn, as the drag screams and off goes the line on my casting outfit. A short violent struggle ensues with the fish running hard and a bit of thrashing about on the surface. After all this I boated an under-sized yellowtail kingfish. Back it goes and I wait some more. Ten minutes goes by and then I have another hook up. This time it's an under-sized snapper. It's getting worse!
Sunshiner calls up to tell us he is heading off for an appointment he has to keep, and while I am on the radio to him my gang hooked trailing pillie eventually takes off. I recovered the lost line very quickly and had a small cobia swimming beside the yak in a couple of minutes. While I was tossing up whether I would use the gaff or the landing net, as I wasn't sure if it was legal, it did a slow pass down the side of the yak so I just grabbed it's tail and into the yak it went. It measured up at 82 cm, so it was a keeper.
By now it was 0830 and Jimbo has finished all his prawn baits and was ready to leave, as was I, so it was out with the HBL and off towards Middle Groyne. ScottyD arrived back at around the same time and told us his tale of two caught and released sharks. Since neither Jimbo nor I had a brag mat, we held up our fish while ScottyD did the photo shoot with my camera. Thanks Scotty.
Jimbo's cobia was 85 cm and the sweetlip 48 cm, my cobia was 82 cm. Maybe someone in the NY could design a brag mat for occasions like these!
Just another day in paradise. Fatyak, maybe you could add a comment below, to tell us how you finished up.
Later contribution by fatyak
Basically after Diesel and Jimbo left, I stayed on for another hour (about 9.30am) but things were quiet so no fish landed. The fish in the below pic are amberjack 50cm and snapper 38,56 and 69cm -- had another snapper at 50cm that I juggled around on the deck (double hook up) and it leapt overboard.
All fish were caught on a 3 inch translucent, grub tail Zman. Hope to make it up there again shortly, when the weather improves.
Scott aka (Fat Yak)