Bustup bus stop. 31Mar15

TR by sunshiner and diesel (separate contribution at the end)

Wind: SE to 15 knots before 8:00am
Swell: 1.5m E
Water temp: 27.2°C
Tides: 5:39 am : 1.64 H
Current: no significant
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: Heaps!
Participants: diesel, sunshiner
Keen Angler Program: missed out again today as we were targetting tuna!

As you may be aware, yesterday afternoon I'd reported large bustups in Laguna Bay sighted during an afternoon walk in the National Park. I decided to try for a shot at them early this morning and diesel, always keen for a paddle, accepted my invitation to come along. But we didn't decide finally until 4:00am today when my weather analysis told me that the sea would be lumpy, but the wind would be generally around 10 knots. We launched at around 05:30.

And lumpy it was, as we discovered once we'd cleared the dubious shelter of the headland. As per our agreed plan, diesel (younger, faster) had headed for Jew Shoal while I pretty much went straight for Hells Gates. By 06:30 diesel had already been to Jew Shoal and was approaching Granite Bay while I was circling just north of Hells Gates. It had been a slow trip for me, working my way eastward, upwind and upsea. Only a couple of individual terns sighted and no fish action at all.

Then the switch was thrown. Diesel drew my attention by radio to birds working close-in at Granite. Although I couldn't see them, I headed that way, and sure enough, there they were, and lots of splashing under them as the pelagics carved up their brekky. And right among them was diesel, visible only whenever we were both at the peak of a swell. In that area the depth is only about six metres and the swells were making the most of it to scarily increase their stature.

I decided initially to just drag my HLP 120 around the edge of the bustups. No hits, but I was passing fish busting out less than 30 metres away. Despite the number of bustups (we could see several at once over an area of about a square kilometre) I found it difficult to get into position for a cast. Deciding that trolling a HLP wasn't working, I rigged up a slug on my light casting outfit and then tossed out the back a white SP, just letting it hang out there while I manoeuvered to get into a casting position. At last diesel announced he'd hooked up on a cast slug and was headed for New Caledonia, not a good destination as he doesn't speak French, I understand. So I knew that the fish were susceptible to a well presented slug.

A short time later, my chance came as I was paddling toward the largest bustup I could see. All of a sudden, I'd made my own bustup as the ocean erupted with fish all around me. Out went the slug and instantly I was on. By now I was aware that diesel's fish was a mac tuna so I wasn't surprised when mine proved to be also. This fish wasn't boated as a terminal tackle failure at the last moment before gaffing let him free.

If anything the action was becoming more hectic as the sun rose, well hidden by the heavy bank of cloud which was keeping us in partial darkness. Then I spotted what was definitely a longtail tuna as it cleared the water nearby. With that I resolved to retrieve the white SP and replace it with the HLP 120, and to troll it eastward, toward the open water, where I could see two or three large flocks of terns whose individual members were becoming fatter by the minute, as no doubt were the tuna below.

This decision was rewarded with a strident hookup on the HLP but the hook pulled loose soon after I picked up the rod. Double bugger! I put it out for what turned out to be its farewell performance as it was soon hit again, in a powerful strike. This time I had the fish on a bit longer but felt the line go slack to find that a knot had failed at the small swivel connection of the wire trace I was using. Down two lures! And still no fish aboard. By now, about 9:00 am, I was happy to agree with diesel that perhaps we should head in. Remember, we'd been battling this lumpy sea for over three hours and our teeth are longer than they used to be, years ago. So I put on my next and second last HLP 120, the Qantas coloured one, with the rusting hooks, rigged with wire, which had accounted for several spotty macs, and then turned through 180° back through the maelstrom of churning fish and terns toward Middle Groyne. At least we were going downwind and downsea this time. Pow! Off it went as I paddled past the edge of another eruption. (Note that I'd trolled past many such eruptions earlier in the morning without any result.) Diesel was now nearby and kindly got out his camera for the coup de gr√Ęce on my third longtail tuna for the month.

Pic by diesel.

Pic by GoPro.

Movie 1:46. The capture (added 02Apr15)

At this we headed for home, literally leaving them biting as we passed two or three more bustups just north of Dolphin Point on the way in.

Once we'd reached the shelter of the bay, diesel posed on the water with his first ever mac tuna.

On the beach conditions were grey with very few beachgoers. But as we pulled out our new brag mats and our fish, all of a sudden we were the centre of attention and spent a good 30 minutes responding to the many questions of the holidaymakers. Diesel is particularly good at this reparteé and was holding the onlookers enthralled with tales of derring do on the high seas.

Some beach pics

Some of the crowd

The ones who wanted Internet fame

Diesel daubed with tuna blood

My fish on my brag mat (note that diesel has the honour of being the first person to put his fish on the new Noosa Yakkers mat)

Both fish on a mat

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

Contribution by diesel

I had just unloaded the yak when Sunshiner arrived at Middle Groyne. It was about 0515 and we were not the only ones in the car park: a group of lady outrigger boat paddlers had also arrived and were prepping for a paddle. They were on the water and doing 15 kts before we launched.

Our launch went off well with me only taking on a little water ballast on the way through the first break. It was my third trip in the Evolution 4.65 and there are a lot of differences to the Prowler 4.5 and non draining foot wells is one of them. I now know all about foot saunas. I headed off for the shoal, lit by a glorious sunrise which promised bad weather.

Sunrise by diesel

On the other hand I'm loving the speed and made it out to Jew Shoal in record time, towing a Halco 120mm minnow pattern hard body lure without a hint of interest by the fishy inhabitants.

I trolled around there for about 30 minutes and then headed out past the headland chasing bust ups which were starting to happen. Sunshiner was already out there and there seemed to be bust ups everywhere I wasn't.

The Halco had no takers and this was getting depressing, a new yak on its third trip and not yet blooded.

Bingo, I'm sitting in the middle of a huge bust-up so I flicked out my $5 Aldi metal slug and I was on in about two winds of the handle. Whatever it was did a massive first run, taking me down to less than half the spool, then I started to win some line back. It took 11 minutes before I saw my first colour and before long I could see it was a Mackerel Tuna about 70cm. Opened the hatch and prepared the gaff. The gaffing was a non event and my first ever mac tuna was in the hatch and the Evo was blooded.

This one is for Carter, the previous owner of the Evo! Note regurgitated baitfish. pic by diesel.

The rest of the fishing was uneventful for me with only one other hook up and spit out. I chased bust ups all around the headland to no avail.

By now sunshiner had his longtail in the hatch and was down a couple of lures. We started back to the Groyne dragging lures with me chasing little bust ups all the way.

The swell wasn't too bad at the beach but is still spat me out once again. My excuse is that I'm still learning this new yak!

It was now time to try out the new Noosa Yakkers brag mats which created a lot of interest and a possible new member.

My fish on my new brag mat.

My first mac tuna! Pic by beach lady.

Just another day in paradise! Hope it makes sense!



Spooled and Spanished at the Boneyards - 28Mar2015

TR by Scatter
Trip date: 28 Mar 2015
Participants: Redwood, Scatter
Launch Site:  [enter data]
Conditions: water 26 degrees, 1-2m swell, 1-2knt to north current, wind SE @10kn early dropping out over the course of the morning, some rain

Surface action: Free jumping tuna and scattered bustups throughout the day
Keen Angler Program: no frames donated

Redwood and I headed up the beach at first light yesterday to try and redeem ourselves after our role as passengers on the Sunny Coast team at Adder. The surf wasn't too bad and we both made it out without incident. Once on the water we saw Tarzan who said he was being pestered by mack tuna which were mangling his spanish rigs. We trolled South and I had a slimy bitten in half without a hookup, despite the fact the bite was about an inch above the stinger and managed to kink the wire. 

Redwood looking south on lumpy water

Lots of action on the sounder

As the day wore on we started to see tuna free jumping and Tim reported he saw both longtails and yellowfin among them. I had a white SP out the back and as I was paddling quickly to try to catch a bustup it was absolutely monstered. The first run of this fish was lightning and when I upped the drag whatever it was replied by going even faster! I've never been spooled before but the 4000 stradic was no match for this train.

I was now down to just the overhead and guessed from the last hookup that the fish might like speed. The next time a bustup occurred it was directly behind me and I immediately put the hammer down and was rewarded with a hookup on the slimie. Another howling run followed but I was much better prepared on this outfit and after about 5 minutes I had a solid Spaniard at the gaff. Not much else to report; Redwood didn't get a touch on his slimey and Tarzan we think only picked up the Mac Tuna. The rain closed in and we hit the beach just before 10. Feels good to be back on the board, after two donuts in the AKS comps I was low on mojo.

Scatter reels in a nice Spanish after a short tussle
Scatter with his Spaniard
Mmm, raw Spanish with coriander, chilli and coconut milk - it's the bomb (thanks for the recipe Ido)

Sharks morning and afternoon 28 March 2015

TR by Tunny
Trip date: 28 March 2014
Participants: Tunny at 5.30 am,  Stormin at 3.00 pm
Launch Site:  MG
Conditions: wind less than 10 knots variable, swell less than 1 metre
Keen Angler Program: None

I arrived to find the MG car park deserted so I guess the rest of you suspected the fishing would not be great.  I launched at 5.30 am through a small shore break and headed out scanning the horizon for any signs of birds. With no birds in sight I decided to head for Jew Shoal trolling a weighted pilchard.  There was no action on the way to JS but on arrival I noticed a few birds flying back towards Little Halls.  I did a few circuits of Jew Shoal, but with no surface action or any signs of bait balls on the sounder I decided the birds knew better and turned towards Little Halls.  I did not follow a direct route but chased the occasional patches of diving birds and small bust-ups of what looked like Mac Tuna.  These were always well out of reach so I never got a chance to cast my 20 g Halco Twisty.

About 200 m from Little Halls my trolling rig was taken by a small shark which I released.  On arrival at Little Halls I switched from trolling to jigging soft plastics, landing two more sharks.  It was now 10 am and I started heading back towards MG trolling a pilchard which was soon taken by another shark.  I arrived at MG at 10.30 am, catching a nice wave from about 30 m offshore all the way in.

Stormin then contacted me to find out what conditions were like and headed out at 3.00 pm.  He spotted birds working in the direction of JS and decided to head there, trolling a dead bait.  He hooked three small sharks and got bitten off twice above the wire by what he suspects were larger sharks.  Stormin then headed back, arriving at MG just before dark.

Getting monstered. 26Mar15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: NW less than 5 knots before 8:00am, then strengthening from the north to 10-15knots
Swell: 1m E
Water temp: 27.2°C
Tides: 7:08 am : 0.68 L
Current: no significant
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: Only a couple of minor bustups at Halls Reef, just after sunrise
Participants: diesel, sunshiner
Keen Angler Program: missed out today!

Launch was a little trickier than I expected but we still got out easily, at our planned launch time.

Jimbo's Tuesday TR had told us that Jew Shoal was likely to be quiet so diesel and I opted to try out Halls Reef, which is 5km NW from our launch point. We were aware that the wind would likely increase from the north later, giving us a tail wind component on the homeward leg. Certainly the forward leg was easy, as the wind was barely sufficient to cause a ripple on the surface.

Diesel's new ride is a Stealth Evolution 465, acquired recently (pic later). He and the boat are a lethal speed combination and this showed as he arrived at our destination around 400m before I did. The 5km paddle took me 50 minutes, trolling a HLP all the way (not a touch!).

And so we settled into our individual fishing routines. The depth at Halls Reef varies from 16m to 19m and there was one other boat, a stinky, out there. I was drifting a white SP while casting around with another, my usual technique. Not long after out arrival I noticed some terns fluttering out to the west a little so diesel and I headed over to see what the fuss was about. No way could the action be described as furious. a few small splashes could be seen briefly under the terns as they wheeled, dipped, then flew a couple of hundred metres to the next similar piece of action. I'm sure you know how frustrating for some kayak fishos this can be. We largely ignored the activity because our sonar devices showed quite a lot of bait patches and so we trusted that concentrating on this stuff might produce the goods.

Diesel was fishing with bait and, as often happens, was wiped out by something which grabbed his trailing pillie and took it home. An hour after arriving I'd not had a touch. Nevertheless, the amount of sonar screen clutter encouraged me and soon afterward my cast SP was picked up in no uncertain terms, at mid water, just after I'd cast it out. This was a screamer, with the spool rapidly emptying of 6kg braid. Thinking that this might be a longtail, I started to decrease the kayak drag on the fish by retrieving my drogue only to experience the disappointment of a slack line. Either I'd been bitten off or the strain had been too much for one of the knots. In any case my SP and jighead had been stolen. Bugger!

By around 8:30am the breeze was starting to increase, from the north as forecast and I decided to start trolling gently with the breeze toward Little Halls Reef and Middle Groyne. Diesel followed a few minutes later and passed me eventually, near the river mouth. Here my HLP went off, but the hooked fish put up no fight, swimming toward me cooperatively. I never did get to find out what it was as it spat the hook right under the yak, about 3m down. Bugger again!

Just off Middle Groyne I took the opportunity to take a pic of diesel and his new ride before he stashed his rods and gear (wisely, as it turned out).

Stealth Evolution 465 formerly owned by Sydney-based Noosa Yakker Carter Mullins, and sold through Noosa Yakkers.

The sand monster was on patrol, assisted by low tide and some occasional big waves. Being ready to go first, I confidently headed for the white water and was doing OK until I was run down by a semi-broken wave. As the GoPro video shows, the unbroken section, nearer the wall, broke on top of me just as the wave reached me. This sudden surge forced the stern around to the west and I countered by bracing on the port side. See the movie embedded below for the consequences.

No harm was done, but diesel was still out there, manoeuvering in what he didn't realize was the break zone. For a second I thought he might get away with it, but he was slammed side on by another breaking wave and the score was sand monster 2, yakkers nil. Again, all his gear was stowed and no damage occurred.

On the beach I took the opportunity to take a pic of our new brag mat.

Pity there were no fish on it, but hopefully the situation will be rectified very soon.

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

Worth the trip 23Mar15

TR by DeeCee
Trip date: 23Mar15
Launch Site: Baroon Pocket Dam - Mapelton side
Conditions: Light to Moderate

Had some spare time in the arvo so decided having two weeks away fishing wasn't enough so hit BPD for my Bass fix.

Started off around the dam wall exclusion zone for one hit and lost fish before heading up the creek about 30 minutes later.  The wind and surface conditions were not the best so it was hard going with no hits on the way.

First trip up the creek was uninspiring with no hits, the wind was being a right pain every time I'd stop for a flick, just couldn't seem to find somewhere protected.

Headed up as far as practical before turning around and slowly flowing back with the wind.  Stopped to have a flick at a couple of good looking snags I hadn't targeted on the way up and was rewarded with a great fish.

He was returned and  a little further down the creek another fish was on.

It was time to make a move with the sun going down so I started the paddle back across the dam going with the wind and swell this time and was rewarded with another screaming reel resulting in another nice sized fish

One last fish caught on the troll before heading across the basin came in at 35cm...

Session started off slow but picked up as the arvo went on...glorious time on the water by myself again



Hands Free Fishing 14Mar15

TR by eyetag

Wind: 0-10 knot S/SE then S/SW
Current: last of run out and start of run in tides
Launch Point: Noosa Heads Lions Park
Participants: Eyetag

I'd just installed a new sounder on the Hobie and couldn't wait to give it a trial. Launching around 8.30pm I headed up to Rickys then down to the river mouth. I decided to fish back upstream with the mouth running out too hard for comfort, even on the Hobie. Half way back to Rickys I had a good strike on a trolled Gold Bomber and managed to land a nice Jack. There was fish busting up all over the place, mostly small Bigeye Trevally.

I decided to cast a small Gladiator prawn and slowly retrieve it on the light gear. This was very productive and on the Hobie as I was able to maintain my position while fighting fish, landing several small Trevally a Barred Grunter or Javelin fish and another Jack. Then once the tide had stopped so did all the action and I decided to peddle back, nothing much happened except one missed strike on the way home in the Inner Woods bay.

Barred Grunter or Javelin fish

Tale of Two longtails. 09Mar15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: SE to 5 knots
Swell: 1.5m SE
Water temp: 27.2°C
Tides: 3:55 am : 0.45 L; 10:01 am : 1.63 H
Current: at Jew Shoal, no significant
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: heaps (tuna) near Granite Bay, sporadic in near Middle Groyne, later
Participants: tunny, diesel, Alan O'Leary (newest new member, no nickname yet), sunshiner
Keen Angler Program: they don't take tuna!

The tension had been building. Wardy and eyetag's reports over the last two days had told us that big predators were present in Laguna Bay and the trip on Saturday was full of tanatalising snippets of info which indicated the fish were at least there. I donutted on Saturday, took Sunday off and today it was do or curl up and die, for me! As I wrote this I'm not too curled up and very much alive.

Thinking I'd be among the first to arrive at the car park, I found that in fact I was last. Tunny had in tow Alan, our newest member, who seemed particularly keen, an impression later proven to be accurate.

Easy launch, although diesel picked the set of the day and got a bit damp, but made a path through for me. Valuable addition to Noosa Yakkers, is diesel. I wondered how Alan would go, but he seemed to get his Espri through without getting wet. Maybe he's an experienced surf zone transiter.

I moped all through the trip on Saturday because I'd left my radio behind (a VHF radio is SO useful, if only to keep you in the loop as to fish presence or otherwise) but today it was where it usually can be found at set-up time, in my dry bag.

And so I followed diesel out to Jew Shoal. The waning moon was still pretty big and, as you'd expect, not yet set. Conditions were superb, and having launched around 5:00 am, we still had around 45 minutes before sunrise, and there was a cloud bank ready to mask it when it occurred.

Today I didn't bother putting my Halco LP out until about one kilometre from The Pinnacles. and as I deployed it, its blue back almost glowing in the half light, I could see that diesel was already there. The easterly breeze was setting up a tiny chop and the water seemed clearer than on Saturday. Here's hoping. No fish so far in 2015! Fingers crossed!

Intent on setting up a drift for snapper, sweetlip or cobia (as ordered by Mary) I paddled up wind from The Pinnacles, watching the sonar for signs of bottom fish and keeping an eye out for pelagic predators. Crucially, the HLP was still thrumming away 40 paddle strokes behind and about one metre down.

On the port side about 50m away my eye caught a small splash and, unmistakeably, a single longtail tuna briefly leaving the water. This was a promising sign so I immediately paused to let my fellow Noosa Yakkers know what I'd seen. Diesel, bait fishing, asked me to tell the fish that he had some juicy baits available but I told him I thought this fish was looking for a moving bait, like my lure. I paddled on, for about 30 seconds…

The moment of the strike, as seen by the GoPro

Holy crap, the line was pouring off the reel. The ratchet was screaming wonderfully so I held the radio transmit button down briefly to let my fishing mates know that someone was hooked up.

I really wanted this fish, which I mentally called for a longtail part way through the initial screaming run. Soon, I had it more or less under control, with the rod pointing over the bow straight at the rampaging fish and the satisfying sound of water gurgling past under the keel as we embarked on a Noosa Sleigh Ride.

In the low light levels it took about 10 minutes before I'd retrieved enough line to be able to spot the fish, about five metres down. Sure enough, a longtail. As they do, it started to swim in a steady circle and gradually planed up to the surface under the pressure of the line. This is the final stage of the fight but is no time to increase the drag. Patience is better. Within a few minutes the gaff went in and I slid the magnificent, conquered beast over my lap and into the hatch. Whoopee!

Pity about the spot of water on the lens, but difficult to avoid sometimes. GoPro.

Video: 2 min added 11Mar15

My day was now made, and it was just past 6:00am.

Diesel by now had spotted terns wheeling around near Granite Bay, and set out to find out whether he could get some action there, as he so far had seen none. He disappeared over the SE horizon, followed shortly afterward by tunny. Alan stayed at Jew Shoal as he was interested in trying his hand at throwing SPs around, and this is what I had reverted to. I felt my chances were better if I deployed a SP on my trailing rig, which doubles as a slug chucker and until now had a 20gm Halco slug on it, which had not got a guernsey today. So the slug was exchanged for a small white SP on a 1/8 ounce 4/0 hook jighead and out it went, trailing behind me and up to 10m down, depending on drift rate. Alan reported that he'd got a massive hookup on his SP but had been busted. I noticed that he had only one outfit with him, but at least he'd had a strike. The others reported no action.

I wasn't getting any more action either so slowly came to the conclusion that Little Halls Reef, near which eyetag found fish yesterday afternoon, might be worth a try. Besides, both stormin and weeksie had pulled decent sized sweeties from there in the last few days, so why not. Only a 3km paddle and it's a lovely morning. Diesel appeared from the north east, still fishless and he decided to head for Halls Reef. So we left together, on diverging paths, heading west.

Nope, no surface action at Little Halls Reef. Never mind, I was here to catch a snapper or sweetlip. I set up a drift toward the north, past a couple of anchored stinkies catching nothing, with my trailing outfit trailing the white SP mid water and my casting outfit prospecting the waters at various depths with a different SP. It's only 13-15m deep at Little Halls Reef but it has produced some nice fish and it's only a gentle 3.5km paddle back to Middle Groyne. Nice! I resolved to give it 30 minutes then head home with my prize.

Tunny and Alan were having another go at the tuna around Granite Bay, with more success this time, as Alan was hooked up to a decent tuna taken on a SP. This was relayed to me by radio and I half jokingly suggested by radio that tunny should perhaps try a white SP drifted in the area. The GoPro shows that I still had the radio in my left hand when my trailing outfit, in the rod holder went off.

The moment I realized that the trailing outfit was making a loud buzzing noise. GoPro.

My hopes for a snapper or sweetlip dived when this fish took a screaming run to the south. Typical tuna run, accompanied by twitching feelings, as the tail hits the leader.

This fish came a little easier than the earlier one. In fact it seemed to give up completely after about ten minutes and then I saw that the leader was slightly wrapped around the pectoral fin and tail. It came to the side of the yak tail first and I took the opportunity of the easiest tail grab ever and lifted it aboard.

Easy tail grab. GoPro.

Nice fish, taken for my fellow fishos.

Video, added 11Mar15

While all this was going on, Alan had been spooled completely. Yep, Ping! Bare spool. Tunny had hooked, boated and returned a decent sized mac tuna, then loaned Alan one of his outfits. Alan hooked up again but apparently the fish spat the hook, although he did see it, I understand. Diesel was, well, heading home. As was I, now that I had a pretty full hatch. So I turned off the GoPro and paddled back to Middle Groyne without a lure out, but I did hava a slug casting option if the opportunity had arisen.

Diesel and I hit the beach together while tunny and Alan came in a little later. Some beach pics:

Longtail #1

Longtail #2

On the front deck

Tunny picking up a tiny shorey while manboobs guy looks on jealously.

With my two longtails which broke my duck for 2015.

A couple of videos to come, when time allows.

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

Back on the Horse 09Mar15

TR by DeeCee
Trip date:9 March 2015
Launch Site:  Baroon Pocket Dam - Maleny side
Conditions: Glassy - Light winds

Well after my donut yesterday I decided to head back to familiar territory...

Hit BPD around 8.30am after a much needed sleep in.  Looked like there was not another soul on the water when I launched 10 minutes later.  Within 10 paddle strokes of tossing the lure out the back I was on, a nice 30 something to start the day, looked promising...

No more touches as I worked my way up towards the creek and was starting to think this may be 'one of those days' when BANG I was on and this thing was pulling line like a freight train, before I'd reached the rod he was gone and so was my brand new lure....I think the township of Maleny heard me curse!

Rigged the rod up again and continued my way up the creek, wasn't much further along when the rod bent over double, line peeling off as I grabbed the rod and started winding...very tentatively I wound the line in, the fish played me well and for a time I didn't think I would win this one but before long he was yak side...a bloody nice fish

A quick pic and he was released.  A few more lost fish, a couple landed before I had another stonker on board...another pic and back he went

I'd made my way up the creek as about as far as I could go so turned around and headed back.  A few more 30 somethings on the way back, a couple more lost as well before coming around the same bend I'd got the 45cm Bass earlier I was on again, line peeled off as the fish did the bolt, a short but good fight later I had another good fish landed, a quick pic and he was released.

It was now 11.30am and time to head in, all up 17 fish were caught, 11 ended up in my lap for a picture...some of the escapees wouldn't have appreciated the language directed towards them

Was a great morning on the water, great to see the Dam returning to it's pre cyclone glory even if though it has a sh1tload more water in it...



Sunday Arvo Session 08Mar15

TR by eyetag

Wind: 6-12 knot E/SE
Current: Run out tide
Launch Point: Middle Groyne Noosa
Participants: Eyetag

Hi guys,

I launched Sunday afternoon at 3 and went toward LH there was fish everywhere. The first hour was all paddling. I kept it up, conditions were pretty average but good for the Tuna. I ended up with a small Mack Tuna and a Longtail around 6kg they were on a 40g slug retrieved as fast as possible, I dropped a few on slugs. On hard bodies I got busted off once by very violent head shakes, I think big shark and bitten off by a Spaniard I saw after a 10 minute battle, he was around 15kg.

Tuna aplenty, but none to be found at end of the rainbow

TR by Redwood
Trip date: 7 March 2015
Participants: Tunny, Sunshiner, Diesel, Weeksy, Scater, Redwood
Launch Site:  MG
Conditions: Glorious
Keen Angler Program: None

Scater and I arrived at the MG car park around 5.30 and were behind the surf zone by 6am with an easy launch. The others were already out there, most at Jew Shoal.

Scater and I decided to head out past the point to Sunshine Reef. When we arrived at Granite Bay the birds where going mad and the long tail bust-ups were everywhere. We chased them down and threw slugs in but they were having none if it. Tunny reported that a guy in a stinky had been doing some aggressive spinning into the bust-ups with no luck. Maybe they were not in the mood for slugs. At one point I was right in the middle of a boil with tuna jumping beside the boat--perhaps I should have stuck a net out, may have been the best play of the day. Besides the slugs, most of were also trolling dead bait; Scater with a slimey on a safa rig, Tunny with a pillie on a Tunny special and myself with a saury on an easy troll with a stinger much like jimbos successful one a few days earlier. I also tried a HBL for a while, but nada.

Sunshiner had left his radio behind so we'd not heard form him. Everyone else seemed to be chasing birds. Scater headed of in the direction of Sunshine Reef, Tunny to Abay Reef, Weeksy was out Little Halls way and I was making my way north of JS following a school.

I've certainly never seen so many bust-ups, never mind long tail bust-ups. The fussy fudgers where everywhere. I continued heading north following the elusive pot of tuna gold at the end of the rainbow, but just like the fable, as soon as you got there the birds and fish disappeared.

By now I was 2.5km north of JS, so I decided to keep going to Halls Reef, which I did. I had a quick bottom fish with a softie but there was nothing on the sounder. Just then Weeksie came over the radio announcing he'd caught a nice snapper (anecdotally I heard it was around 50cm, Weeksie will need to confirm). I thought that was my cue to head to Little Halls, so off I went on the last leg of my trek.

I arrived at Little Halls and just caught the back of Weeksie heading back to the beach. I decided to try my luck with a softie and got a couple of little nibbles, but I was not in the mood for little nibbles, I was in the mood for tuna and the day was not over yet. I decide to keep trolling back to MG.

About 800m-1km south of LH I saw a small boil surface about 50m in front of me. While I was deciding how to attack it, my saury rig went off. Yes please! I had pretty heavy gear so managed to get it in very quickly and obviously it wasn't a monster, but it was a fish and after what must be a 25Km paddle I was glad for it. I got it within 3m of the boat at which point went airborne, then I'm not sure how it happened but the line went slack and I was bitten off. I can only assume as the long tail came down it somehow managed to cut the leader. Bugger. There went my sashimi and my easy troll rig.

I had a spare Tunny special, so I put another saury on that and trolled back to MG without any further action.

So Weeksie landed up being the only yakker who caught landed anything today--we'll done Weeksie. Let us know if it was a snapper or sweetie and what size.

Tomorrow looks good; weather favourable, bay packed with bait fish and tuna about, so better luck to those going.


Supplementary report by weeksie

04:30. In the car park there were several weirdos (even weirder than we are), sitting or standing on the road, obviously bombed out of their brains while they sang, played guitar and drum, or just sat there stupefied. Sunshiner almost ran over them as he headed for his favourite car park and they barely flinched.

pic by sunshiner

Launching from MG about 0510 with sunshiner and Tunny, I made my way to Jew Shoal and fished there for a short while without much activity showing.

The boys closer to Granite Bay could be heard over the radio, surrounded by birds and the surface activity of marauding longtails they reported.
This was enough for me to head back into the bay and south west from Jew Shoal.

The bird activity they reported could be seen close in around Granite Bay but I was a fair distance from there so meandered my way west towards the tin shed and Halls with a trailing, lightly weighted SP rig and a casting SP rig with a heavier jig head.

Plenty of casts proved fruitless so I decided to make the 1.5 km paddle NNW to Little Halls reef. I proceeded to bottom fish as the wind dropped out to dead calm with a slight drift to NW.

A 1/8oz. 1/0 jig head rigged with a 2.5" grubz in motor oil was productive and a lovely 50cm sweetie came to the boat after a good tussle. This was good news as it has been a bit of a drought and Linda can see that I really have been going fishing.

The Nor' Easter kicked in a little and it was time to go, although Redwood reported he was at Halls heading my way. Redwood was keen for a fish at LH so I kept going on.

200m from MG, Redwood radioed through from LH that after 20km he did what none of us could do this morning and hooked up to a longtail only to lose it yak side… I could feel his pain through my radio and yes pain is a four letter word… or two.

A couple of pics of the two sweeties.


A Foul Long Tail - 02Mar15

TR by Jimbo

Wind: Less than 5k initially, then increasing 8-12k by 0830
Swell: 1.0m ESE
Tides: High 1.8m 0610; Low 0.6m 1235
Current: None detected (paddling or being towed continuously)
Launch Point: Middle Groyne.
Conditions: Clear initially, then partly clowdy.
Keen Angler Program: no contribution.
Participants: Jimbo.

I was keen to try some bottom fishing for sweetlip at Jew Sh following the recent big influx of fresh water into the bay, but delayed this until the next available opportunity after last Friday when Diesel reported a lot of weed in the water. Late Sunday afternoon, the BOM site (that I think is the most accurate) indicated there would be a small window of opportunity on Monday morning, but more importantly, the light winds predicted by Seabreeze for Wednesday and Thursday would not eventuate. So Sunday evening I made the late decision to launch on Monday morning.

The launch conditions at Middle Groyne at 0540 were ideal and I was soon on my way towards JS trolling a sauri on a 4-gang lure ...

on the odd chance it might attract the attention of a pelagic along the way ... Be careful what you wish for ...

When still about 800m SW of JS the trolled sauri got hit bigtime. This would have to have been the most continuous, hardest and fastest runs I have ever experienced. With about 50m of mono 30LB line out when the run started, this fish took at least another 100m out against a ~10LB drag setting in about 20-25 seconds before I had to tighten the drag even further to prevent the rapidly looming possibility of being spooled. This initial run eventually stopped and I was able to recover ~75m fairly quickly as the fish turned partially towards me. But from this point on I had a ding-dong battle for every metre gained for about 90 minutes with the rod bent at 90 deg or more for nearly all this time.

This fish clearly wasn't a shark given the erratic nature of its runs and at first I was thinking it could be a sizeable cobia or spaniard, or maybe a longtail tuna, but whatever it was it towed me around like an uncontrolled sled dog Team. It initially made at least four full 360 deg circles, sometimes turning the yak in little more than its length, always in a clockwise direction, over an area of about 250m diameter. It also became apparent this fish was probably foul hooked because of the tell-tale "buzzing" and "singing" sound coming from the nylon mono line under tension, and the fact that I was not gaining much line back, even after 20-30 minutes.

After the initial circling manoeuvres the fish headed first east, then north, then east and north again, to be fairly close to the Pinnacles, before heading generally in a NE direction. After about one and a quarter hours, apart from starting to feel pretty tired in the arms, I was starting to become a little concerned as Main Beach had now started to dip beyond the horizon, and the forecast southerly was starting to increase. A quick check on the GPS indicated I was now more than 2km NE of JS and on a steady course for New Caledonia at a steady speed of about 2.5 kph. Time to put some serious pressure on this fish, which I still had not sighted since I was generally being towed into the morning sun, and hoping my terminal knot would hold.

After another 15 mins of slow pumping and applying near maximum tension to the line and rod, my quarry eventually came into view in the slightly cloudy water ... a very thick longtail about a metre long, and sure enough, foul hooked with the leading hook buried into its boney underside behind the gills and the fourth hook in behind its eye. This fish effectively WAS harnessed up just like a sled dog ... no wonder I couldn't turn the bugger around!

It took yet a further 10 mins as the tuna did its customary circling alongside the yak until I eventually got it close enough to sink the gaff into its side and heave it on board. We were both pretty stuffed, luckily the tuna a bit more than me!

After securing the longtail with a tail rope and stuffing it into the rear compartment in the yak, a check of the GPS revealed I was 2.25 km NE of the Pinnacles. The fish had towed me about 3.0 km in a straight line from where I had first hooked up, but in reality a total distance of at least 3.5 km given the very circuitous route it had taken to get there.

All I had to do now was paddle the 6.0 km back to Middle Groyne. Although I had to paddle back over Jew Sh to get there, I quickly dismissed the idea of stopping off to do some bottom bashing along the way, given the tiredness of my arms, the increasing southerly cross-headwind I had to paddle against to get back, and the reality that I would already have to spend most of the afternoon cleaning and filleting the longtail I already had. I didn't even bother trolling my one remaining sauri bait on the way back.

The southerly cross-headwind abated slightly as I moved into the lee of the National Park, and I was back on the beach at 0915 having avoided the intermittent swell now rising over the swollen sand bank now in place out from the rock groyne, as evidenced by a swimmer wading in only waist deep water adjacent to the end of the rocks.

Once at home I took the following pics, the first using the brag mat borrowed from Sunshiner. A side note for those of you who have ordered one of our own NY brag mats, these should be available within the next couple of weeks.

The longtail measured 106 cm and weighed a solid 12 kg.

A happy, somewhat tired yakker.

That's it. A good day after a three week hiatus.