TR by sunshiner, with some GoPro pics from stormin's video files
Wind: calm (as forecast)
Swell: 1.3m E
Water temp: 26.7°C
Tides: 3:04 am : 0.43 L; 9:00 am : 1.61 H
Current: no significant
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: Yes, lots, all tuna
Participants: diesel, stormin, eyetag, cuddles, weeksie, beejay, sunshiner
Keen Angler Program: missed out again today as we were targetting tuna!
Eyetag's tipoff from sightings yesterday that tuna were likely in the western bay today proved accurate. Conditions couldn't have been better, as long as care was taken at the 0530 launch time as the tide was still a long way from high. I understand that cuddles may have taken a bath, but as far as I know everyone else got out and back without problems.
Beejay and stormin were running a bit late, but the rest of us were on the water as planned, and soon after heading for the NW on what was certainly a glorious morning with glassy seas, low swell and clear sky.
I was somewhere in the centre of the pack, with eyetag and cuddles (no radio) up front. Stormin and beejay announced their launch when the rest of us were at least half way to Little Halls Reef. Then the first indicator came by radio from eyetag "Bustups, boys!" as he approached Little Halls Reef. Then a bustup occurred right in front of me. I could see these were small fish, likely mac tuna, and largely ignored them, trolling onward with my usual HLP. About now eyetag announced a hookup, on a trolled hardbody, and it was on for everyone. The sun was just clearing the horizon and everyone was seeing splashes as the tuna started to feed in earnest.
Confirmation that there were longtails mixed up in the melee came from eyetag when he boated the first, early in the action. Bringing up the rear, of course were beejay and stormin and they breathlessly joined in the radio conversation to announce that they were in the midst of lots of bustups, not far from the rivermouth. Soon stormin had hooked up on a trolled hardbody which pulled free. Then he cast a SP into a bustup, while his trolling outfit was deployed. The SP was seized, so he started to retrieve the trolling outfit when it was also taken, so a double header under way. The SP fish busted off but he then turned his attention to the other fish and boated it.
Meanwhile, back up near Little Halls Reef, I was tagging along with eyetag, sure that he would soon hookup. I'd been told not to bring a fish home today so was concentrating on trying to get some good video footage. Sure enough, soon eyetag had hooked up to a decent fish by casting a slug into a bustup and retrieving it flat out. I asked and received permission to move up close with the GoPro and then set up so that I was about 10-15m from, and parallel with, eyetag's yak, just letting the GoPro do its thing.
Meanwhile, stormin was providing a breathless radio commentary of a second longtail hookup, down near the river mouth.
No one else seemed to be having much action, or at least there was no radio talk from them. But surely I would get a hit soon? In between shooting movie and manoeuvering for this purpose I'd been trolling my HLP, fully expecting it to go off at any second. But, just in case, I also had rigged a slug and the opportunity to use this arose eventually. One cast into a bustup and I hooked up. This turned out to be a fairly standard mac tuna which was foul hooked in the belly and therefore took a bit longer to subdue than I'd expect. Anyway, it was easy to release when the time came.
Diesel around this time had a tail of woe to tell over the radio. Having spent quite a time hooked up to a longtail on a trolled hardbody, he had the misfortune to have it self release yak-side, but he did get his lure back. Next thing on the same lure he'd hooked a spot-tail shark, which is considered great tucker in Chez Diesel, so it went home with him.
By around 07:30 the action had tapered off considerably and I started to head for home as I wanted to make sure I was on the beach to get the pics I wanted.
Just off Middle Groyne I was approached by a guy in a very flash outrigger boat. It was our own Hollywood (Harry), recovering slowly from a shoulder injury.
The beach return was pretty easy, the tide being pretty high by now. But there were many visitors in the water near our beach, collision prospects all.
Some beach pics
Great day. Sorry you missed it. Movie now available:
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