Two Jacks and a Tunny - all on a Gold Bomber (09/01/15)

TR by tunny
Trip date: 9 January 2015
Participants: redwood and tunny
Launch Site:  Noosa River
Conditions Outgoing tide, Intermittent rain, wind SW less than 5 knots
Keen Angler Program: none

I left Twin Waters at 3 am with a clear sky, bright moon, stars shining and no sign of any clouds, and hence no rain jacket..  Redwood and I arrived at the Lions Park at 3.30 am and as we were about to unload there was a strong downpour.  This only lasted a few minutes and by 3.45 am we were trolling Gold bombers towards Woods Bay.  There were plenty of small bait fish but no signs of them being chased.  We headed out past Ricky's then turned towards the river mouth.

I had always had more success near Ricky's than in the river mouth so after 20 minutes I headed back leaving Redwood to fish the river mouth area. By now it was getting light and with intermittent rain came the beautiful rainbow
Sunrise as seen over redwoods Stealth
Rainbow over Woods Bay (photo by redwood)
From Ricky's I headed in the direction of the Sheraton paddling in a line about 15 m from the jetties along the river edge.  I repeated the route several times and was finally rewarded with the sound of a screaming reel.  I stowed the paddle, picked up the rod and found that the fish was heading straight towards a boat moored on the jetty.  I tightened the drag slightly to prevent the fish going under the jetty.  As I did so I was getting pulled towards the rocks on the bank.  I tried fighting the fish with one hand paddling with the other (as only eyetag can do!) and the next moment collided with the rocks which left a scratch on the bottom of the kayak.  Eventually I worked the fish out from under the jetty and it turned towards the middle of the bay. As it moved in that direction I place the rod back in the holder and paddled away from the rocks.  Now with more space to move I could focus on fighting the fish and a few minutes later I had a 57 cm Mangrove Jack on board.

Jack No.1 (photo by redwood)
While I was fighting the Jack, redwood was over in the mouth.  He landed and released a Tailor, and had also seen a big splash as a decent size fish took something near the surface.

redwoods tailor
Redwood checked the Noosa Yakkers records and found that my Jack was 2cm shy of eyetag's record. So redwood and I decided we needed to find this ones mother.  We headed back along the same line between Ricky's and the Sheraton and covered this route several times.  About 30 minutes later Jack no:2 struck. This time I acted quicker to prevent it heading under a jetty.  It too put up a good fight and a few minutes later joined its mate in the hatch.  At 55.5 cm it was almost as long, but quite a bit thinner - this may be due to what redwood found while gutting the fish, but I will come back to this later.

Two Jacks - photo by redwood (rigor mortis makes the big one look 60 cm but it was 57 cm)
Great fishing trip so far.  But now the fun ended.  As I was removing the treble from jack no 2 I managed to get one well embedded in my finger.  As I wanted to get back for Jack no 3 I pulled the hook as hard as the pain would allow but could not get it free.  So I cut off the bomber, and with the lure dangling from my finger did a one handed paddle back to the car park (just relieved this did not happen at JS or Halls!).  Redwood who was now back at Ricky's paddled back to give me moral support in the way of a photo:

Treble trouble for tunny
Redwood kindly loaded my kayak while I used my finger as an excuse to watch.  I then drove (fortunately automatic) to Noosa Hospital emergency where they gave me a nerve block injection, removed the hook, presented me with a tetanus injection and antibiotics and sent me on my way -  with the Bomber gift wrapped in a bag with the warning "BIOLOGICAL HAZARD"

At least they gave me my Bomber back
Now back to a possible reason why Jack no 2 was much thinner than Jack no 1 yet only 2 cm shorter.  With my hand out of action I decided I would not be able (or at least not in the mood) to fillet the fish so I donated them to redwood.  While he was cleaning Jack no 2 he found 3 hooks and a bunch of line inside the gills/throat area.  I guess this may have dampened the fish's appetite and explain its lower weight, although it seemed very healthy when caught and certainly put up a good fight.

Note:  I always type with 2 fingers but today I used just one.  See you next time.


  1. Two great jacks there, and some lovely pics. Hope your finger recovers OK. A little advice here: use pliers, not fingers, when extracting trebles from fish jaws.

  2. There's a good a Afrikaans word for that: eina (aay-naaahhh!!!!)

    Interestingly I removed the head trebles on my bombers last night as the last time out I'd found the 3 trebles per bomber one treble too many--you'd get one out (with pliers) and find another stuck somewhere else. Eventually I didn't bother getting them out and just cut them off and tied on another one.

    WRT hooks inside the Jack; I was lucky I didn't get a hook in my fingers as I was digging the guts out. That would have been a real surprise.

    The tailor was caught in the Woods Bay on a popper, my first attempt at such a lure.

    Sorry about the finger Tunny, but thanks for the fish. Mangrove Jack; my #1 best eating fish.

  3. I'm jealous of the jacks not the hook in finger. Ive yet to catch either. I'll settle for a jack

  4. I'm jealous of the jacks not the hook in finger. Ive yet to catch either. I'll settle for a jack