Nice first trip for 2015. 01Jan15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: calm, changing to gentle E later
Swell: 1.2m E
Water temp: 27.8°C!
Current: at Jew Shoal, none detected
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: sunshiner and son, Nick
Keen Angler Program: n/a

Nick, our son, and I, have fished a lot together, but not so much lately, mainly because he lives in Sydney. As with many families, our son is visiting us this Christmas/New Year, so the possibility arose that he and I could once again take a fishing trip together, this time in offshore kayaks. Stormin and the other guys were nailing the spotties on the last day of 2014 so we knew they were present, so we put in a special effort this morning to take a few early morning hours out of our busy family schedules. The weather co-operated, and the wind dropped away to very low levels from about 2:00am. This was fortunate, as we'd already loaded the yaks and gear and obtained the necessary leave passes.

The launch (a little before 0500) did not appear especially tricky, and I was confident that Nick, a competent and skilled surfer, could pick the lull. He did, riding my old, spare Supalite X and dry bummed it, going first, but I did not do so well as I timed my departure from the shelter of the groyne to coincide with the arrival of two very big waves which came, as usual, from nowhere. Never mind, no harm done, but Nick reckoned it was pretty spectacular from his viewpoint out the back as my Supalite X climbed first one, then the other, crashing back into the trough with a loud thump.

And so we headed for Jew Shoal trolling 120mm Halco Laser Pros. Nick had the shallow runner in Qantas colours, while mine ran deeper, and in a mullet pattern. We planned to make it a quick trip, out and back with a couple of laps of the more likely spots at the shoal. As an extra interest, I was trying out my new GoPro for the first time.

GoPro setup. I'd gone for a suction cup mount, to trial various locations. In the pic above I'd temporarily mounted it on the hatch cover to hopefully catch the action off to the flank. It worked fine.

On our arrival at Jew Shoal we were greeted by a graceful leap by a very large ray (possibly a devil ray, or an eagle ray), seen by both of us. This was the only initial action until the rising sun revealed lots of terns wheeling around and dipping off to the NW about one kilometre distant. Naturally we headed straight for them. No large bustups were visible, but the sheer number of terns and the occasional small surface commotion indicated the presence of predators. We both knew we were in with a strong chance.

Almost immediately we entered the bird action territory, Nick's Qantas HLP went off. He very soon boated his first spotty mac, commenting that it hadn't put up much of a fight.

Nick's first spotty mac

Once he'd tidied up this fish and checked his gear we looked around the horizon for the nearest bunch of working birds and headed off toward them. This time Nick got hit almost immediately, so I again pulled in my gear and got ready with the cameras.

Another spotty mac, this fish put up a more typical fast running fight but before long Nick had it in the fishbox.

Spotty mac #2

By the time we'd sorted this fish out the birds had disappeared. Just as well, really as we'd promised to be home early.

The return trip was uneventful, except that I cracked a nice ride on the Middle Groyne express, faithfully recorded by the GoPro (see accompanying video). Nick's wife and child (2 year old Seabass[tian]) were waiting on the beach to greet us on what had turned out to be a memorable family event.

Riding the Middle Groyne express (frame from GoPro 1280x720 video)

Three consecutive generations of the male line in the frame

On the mat, 83cm and 78cm

The fish on Nick's boat.

Video (1:40)

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

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