Sunday Spanish Special 31May15

TR by Diesel
Trip date: 31/5/15
Participants: Sunshiner, ScottieD, Jaro, Redwood, Diesel
Launch Site:  Middle Groyne
Conditions: Low swell, light winds from North, early fog for a period
Keen Angler Program: None

Sunrise behind the clouds that eventually enveloped us

I arrived at Middle Groyne at around 0530 , thinking I would be first, only to find Redwood and Scotty D already there.

I went and checked out the beach for launch conditions and found perfect for a  dry bum launch.  A fog covered the main beach and we had 30 cm waves to contend with and almost high tide.  Perfect!

Sunshiner had arrived so we set up to launch, Four Stealth kayaks lined up on the beach  in the pre dawn light. As there is no collective noun for stealths , I made one up!  A slyness of Stealths!

Jaro arrived soon after and we set out for Little Halls Reef  (Shark Alley) which should provide smooth conditions and has been productive over the last few weeks.

I was chasing any thing that swims in the sea and there was a big possibility of a shark between MG and LHR. Being an ex Victorian we don't mind a bit of flake.

I was trolling with a 120 Halco minnow pattern HBL and a pilly set up on a mack special rig.

Diesel's Spanish special

The sun had risen behind the fog on the horizon and it  was coming on 0700 when my Shimano Charter Special  started to squawk.  With line coming off at walking pace I was thinking it would be a shark leisurely swimming off with my tackle so I casually  jacked up the drag on the Charter and  started recovering  my 120 HBL on the other rod and generally tidying up the deck to make room for a Shark.

After recovering around 200 metres of line back onto the reel and a not so difficult fight I got colour for the first time and to my surprise it was a Spanish Mackerel, now I wasn't casual any more, this was serious, my first Spaniard.

After a couple of short sharp runs I had him along side the yak and with a single stroke with the gaff it was out of the water and  into the hatch. Well not quite so easy, I had to twist and jiggle it quite a bit to fit it in!

A tight squeeze. Time to celebrate with some ice-cream

I called sunshiner and told him of the catch and started paddling in his direction for some on water pics.

My first Spaniard
There is a bit of radio chatter with Yakkers  being bitten off  by hit and run pelagics. Redwood lost a 160 deep diver to one of Halls Reef denizens of the deep.

I started  bottom bashing for something different  and within five minutes I had a very angry shark sharing the cockpit, the day is getting better. The hatch is filling fast!

Over the next half hour I hooked two more sharks which were released back to the reef none the worse for wear. By now its after eight and the fog rolled in. Visibility at this time was reduced to around 70 metres so using the GPS was the order of the day. Everyone continued to troll or bottom bash without result. We bumbled around in the fog till it lifted then the exodus started, back to Middle Groyne. I had travelled quite a way north and therefore was the last one back at just after eleven.

Sunshiner and Redwood waited for me to land and then the show and tell started.

I enlisted the services of two lovely young ladies on the beach to help with the photo's.

Danielle and Camilla from Saskatchewan, Canada who are holidaying in Noosa  were more than happy to hold the fish for the photo's.

Danielle and Camilla from Saskatchewan, Canada. Spanish Mackerel from Laguna Bay.

These girls could have a big career in fish modelling. Just joking!  Thanks girls, enjoy your stay in Aust.

Thanks to Sunshiner for the pics.

My first Mackerel, it doesn't get any better.

Another day in paradise!

Tantalized by tuna. 29May15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: calm (maybe 2 knot SW) (as forecast by MetEye)
Swell: 1.2m SE
Water temp: 22.8°C (dropping slowly)
Tides: 4:46 am : 1.47 H; 11:12 am : 0.45 L
Current: none detected
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: very little reported
Participants: hobie-wan, diesel, tunny, jimbo, stormin, sunshiner
My trip distance: 18.5km
Keen Angler Program: n/a

With a 6:00am launch planned, in perfect conditions (no wind all night), I found that even my 05:30 arrival at Middle Groyne wasn't enough to get there before diesel and tunny who were unloaded and prepping before I pulled into my favourite carpark (thanks for leaving it for me, guys).

There was hardly a whisper from the tiny surf on the beach and before long we three were paddling out in the half light, dry bumming it. I had made up my mind that I would head east as I'd spotted longtails some 22 hours earlier frolicking just outside the break at Sunshine Beach. Tunny and diesel also opted for this approach and off we went, headed for Hells Gates initially. One thing very noticeable was the large number of terns heading out passing us on left, right and overhead showing us the way to the fish (yeah, sure!).

Just to set the mood. GoPro movie frame at about 05:50 as I paddled out after setting up.

Once they arrived at Hells Gates tunny and diesel turned NW toward Jew Shoal while I opted to continue around the headland in search of the longtails which HAD to be there. Meanwhile, jimbo and hobie-wan had launched heading for Jew Shoal, the latter on his first trip out with us (nice to have you along, Mick).

It was somewhere here that I discovered that my trolled Halco LP had picked up something skinny and bright green. Turned out to be some disconnected braid whose embarrassed owner was quickly identified when I reported the "catch" by radio.

The weather was great and I felt good so set course for Sunshine Beach, paddling steadily south at around 5kph. The dolphins that joined me were a bonus as the view was superb with the rising sun behind me, slowly tracking the coastline about 500m or so out. No signs of predatory fish, though, except a couple of small patches of undisturbed bait here and there. Still no action by the time I'd got to the baited shark hooks opposite my local pub, the Sunshine Beach Surf Club so I turned to the north and headed a little wider.

By now, I was aware by radio that stormin also had launched and was heading for Jew Shoal, and that the only fish sighted so far were a couple of jumping longtails reported by diesel as he approached Jew Shoal from the SE. Tunny had also opted to head south and was visible to me, ahead, hanging around A-Bay Reef, to no avail, apparently.

Sunrise by tunny

Even though those at Jew Shoal were reporting no action I decided that I'd head for that destination for want of a better plan. This put me on a course which took me close to Hells Gates, again. Still no action, or signs of feeding fish.

My GoPro runs continuously, once I deploy my trolling outfit, and I'd just taken note that it had been running for 2 hours and 4 minutes as I closed on Hells Gates. All that way for no strikes! At 2 hours and 8 minutes all hell broke loose! Something had grabbed the HLP and was heading for the SE, fast.

The moment I reacted to the screaming reel. That's the southern headland of A-Bay in the shot. (GoPro video frame)

This was as good a strike as I'd had this year so far and line was still pouring from the spool for several seconds after I picked up the rod. It seemed typical of a longtail or Spaniard strike and I was savouring battling this fish when the line went slack. Ah, it's turned toward me, I thought, hopefully, but soon it became apparent that the fish was no longer connected. ^^Insert several expletives of your choice here^^

All my gear was intact so I continued with the plan and eventually joined jimbo and hobie-wan at Jew Shoal, where I tried SP fishing for a while, even though I knew that this was probably not going to result in fish. After all, if jimbo, hobie-wan, diesel and stormin hadn't caught anything significant in the couple of primetime hours they'd already spent there, what chance did I have? Stormin and diesel had also abandoned the shoal, the former for the west and the latter for the south. So you can tell, if you have even a basic knowledge of our fishing area geography, that collectively we had a large area covered. And all techniques were being tried, even live bait by diesel, which resulted in a feed for the Mexicans (they eat sharks), as he likes to say.

By 09:45, in glassy conditions and nice warm sunshine, I'd had enough and announced my intention to return to Middle Groyne. This resulted in a general exodus and a simultaneous beach return by all of us except stormin, who, despite having just worked a night shift, was up at Halls Reef and paddling the 5km back from there. Just off the beach, while I was packing up to run the surf zone, I was approached by another kayak fisher, Sam, from Coolum in a bright green Viking, who expressed an interest in joining Noosa Yakkers. You can see him in the pic below, as he met the other guys on the beach.

Overview, from left, hobie-wan, tunny, jimbo, diesel, sam.

The fishless five.

And stormin's email contribution (he arrived back a little later than the rest of us):
"Back on the beach just before mid day. Fishless despite the effort from js to lh and hr. Got couple of hits at hr on trolled slimy but didn't stay connected. Some late surface action at hr -- a bit too big to be mac tuna. If my body has recovered might still go tomorrow with hr in mind as destination. Hooked up a big shark which i cut the line.."

Hey, I'm up for it again on Sunday! Maybe Halls Reef this time!

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

Sharks, Mac Tuna: 27 May 2015

TR by Tunny
Trip date: 27 May 2015
Participants: Pedro, Tunny
Launch Site:  MG
Conditions: Wind S average less than 10 knots with stronger gusts, Low Tide 9h45, Swell 1 m
Keen Angler Program: They don't take sharks.

I arrived at the MG car park at 5h35 to find Pedro's car and a kayak track down to the launch area.  It was an outgoing tide but the launch was easy.  I radioed Pedro to find he was at Little Halls and decided to head in that direction trolling a Halco 120 lure.  There were no signs of birds or fish breaking the surface.

Sunrise near Little Halls
About 400 metres from Little Halls the reel started screaming and a short while later I had a Mac tuna alongside the boat which I released.

Mac Tuna on the Halco 120
I called Pedro to let him know what I had caught and he replied that his live Yakka had been taken but the fish had failed to hook up.  He put out two more live Yakkas but both were bitten off without the hook being taken.  On the fourth attempt he hooked a shark.

By now there was some patchy bird activity with occasional small bust ups of what appeared to be Mac Tuna.  I chased the bird action but this was always beyond casting distance.  I then trolled along the coast line between Little Halls and the river mouth a few times with no success.

Pedro continued fishing at Little Halls and caught another three sharks.  By 9 am I decided I had had enough, and headed back to MG.  The beach landing at MG was easy and on arrival I met Mick Binney (call sign Hobie-wan) who did not fish today as his Hobie Revo is in for repairs.  But the kayak should be ready for action soon and he is hoping to get out later this week.  Sunshiner also came down to the beach to see what he had missed and let me know he is planning to get out possibly Friday and Sunday.

I am not sure if I will get out again this week, but the weather looks likely to improve so good luck to those who manage a fishing trip.

Pedro's Pelagics: 20 May 2015

TR by Tunny
Trip date: 20 May 2015
Participants: Pedro, Eyetag, Sunshiner, Paddlepara, Diesel, Schiffer, Tunny
Launch Site:  MG
Conditions: Low tide 3h40, high tide 9h20.  Wind less than 5 knots variable, swell 1.4 m
Keen Angler Program: NA

Sunshiner, Diesel, Paddlepara, Schiffer and I arrived at the car park at around 5.20 am and were ready to launch by 5.45 am.  The beach lauch was a little tricky give the combination of a 1.4 metre swell and the tide being fairly low.  But despite getting a bit wet we all made it out through the surf break.  Once set up we heard that Pedro and Eyetag were out at Little Halls.  But with a few birds heading out towards Jew Shoal we opted to head there first.

There was almost no bird activity and we all arrived at Jew Shoal fishless.  Pedro then came on the radio to announce he had caught a good size Spaniard on a trolled live Yakka.  At Jew Shoal we trolled hard bodied lures and tried bottom bashing with little success.  Diesel hooked two Grinners and a baby Flathead while the rest of us listened on in envy as Pedro announced he had caught a Longtail, also on a live Yakka.

Diesel's Grinner
With no other action at Jew Shoal Sunshiner headed home early while the rest of us headed over to Granite Bay and the Headland where a few birds were working.  Sunshiner came in close to high tide with a successful beach landing (see below):

We spent about an hour trolling around Granite Bay and the Headland with no success.  The bird action was sporadic and the bust ups did not last long, but Schiffer did spot Longtails amongst the bust-ups.  By 9.30 am the birds had disappeared and we decided to head over to Little Halls as that was the only area delivering the pelagics.  We trolled there with nothing caught, spent about half an hour bottom bashing then decided to head home.  Paddlepara and I were the last to leave Little Halls and on arrival at the river mouth we caught up with Pedro who was heading slowly back trolling a live Yakka. As I got within 30 metres of him his reel started screaming and he was into a decent fish.  I captured some of the action:

Pedro fighting his third fish of the day
Gaffing the fish
Pedro with his Longtail
Pedro decided he had caught enough so was heading back to MG.  I had also planned to call it a day when Pedro offered me the last of his live Yakkas.  So I cut off the Halco 120 and replaced it with one of Pedro's circle hooks and his live Yakka.  I slowly trolled for the next hour without success.

The beach landing was very tricky as by now the tide was going out and the swell was still 1.4 metres. Diesel caught a perfect wave which he rode in all the way to the beach but Schiffer, Pedro and Paddleparra all got rolled.  Pedro was paddling in with the last fish he caught stowed on deck and on being rolled held onto the tuna which according to Diesel acted as a sea anchor to slow the Hobie.  Paddlepara had the worst fall, unfortunately dislocating his elbow.  A lifesaver bandaged his arm while the other Noosa Yakkers helped load his kayak and gear before he headed off to the A&E at Noosa Hospital.  I came in about an hour later, sat behind the back line waiting for a lull between sets.  But a big wave unexpectedly built up behind me.  I tried turning the kayak to go back out but was not quick enough so got rolled.  But I was lucky - no damage done.

Paddlepara - We hope the injury is not too serious, wish you a speedy recovery and hope to see you back on the kayak soon!

Pedro's Spaniard

Pedro's Longtail Tuna
One happy Yakker

Chasing Tuna for up to 32 km! - 13 May 2015

TR by Tunny
Trip date: 13 May 2015
Participants: Eyetag, Pedro, Jimbo, Freeyakker, Redwood, PeeBee, Tunny
Launch Site:  MG
Conditions: Wind SW less than 10 knots, Swell 0.8 metres
Keen Angler Program: Nothing donated

While most of us were lying in bed, dreaming of screaming reels and bending rods the really keen guys, Eyetag and Pedro were unpacking and ready to launch by 4 am.  When the rest of us arrived at around 5.30 am Pedro's van, which was parked in the usual place gave us an indication he was already out.  I looked for Eyetag's car expecting him to be there too, but it was not there. I found out later it had been recently squashed by a tree which must be Mother Nature's revenge for him catching so many tuna.

The launch was easy as the swell had dropped to less than a metre.  Once out we turned on our radios to hear Eyetage talking to Pedro. They were up at Little Halls.  Given that the recent catches had been at Little Halls, Halls Reef and beyond we decided to head there.

Perfect conditions for an easy launch (photo by Redwood)
On the way to Little Halls there were no bust-ups or signs of birds but the activity increased once we arrived there.  The bust-ups were sporadic and generally did not last long, but clearly contained Longtail so the paddling was continuous chasing bust-up after bust-up.  Eyetag was the first to hook up.  While paddling towards a bust-up and preparing to cast his 40 g Halco Twisty his trolled hardbody lure (he calls it a Pedro Special)  was taken and after a good fight he had the first Longtail on board.

Eyetag with one of his two Longtails (Photo by Redwood)
PeeBee then announced he had hooked up on what turned out to be a 60 cm shark.  This was his first fish off a kayak (and I am sure the first of many!).  Jimbo, who was the only yakker to opt for some bottom bashing was trailing a gang hooked bait behind his yak at Little Halls when this took off at speed and a while later he had his first Longtail on board.  Freeyakker then got close to a bust-up and hooked a Mac Tuna while Redwood hooked up on a tuna that gave a good run, headed under the kayak and bust off.. The action continued as Pedro came on the radio to say Eyetag had hooked a second Longtail.  This was close to the beach near Halls Reef.

The action died down a bit for an hour of so before Redwood hooked up again but lost the fish after a short fight.  Freeyakker changed his lure to a deep diving Halco 160, and within 5 minutes had hooked a Longtail. Shortly after that I got close to a bust-up, cast my Halco Twisty 30g and on the first cast hooked a Mac Tuna.  It has swallowed the Halco, would not have survived, so I decided to keep it for bait.

PeeBee and Jimbo headed back to the beach first, but with the bust-ups still occurring sporadically the rest of us stayed out until about 11 am before heading in  The beach landing was easy with very little wave action.
Eyetag with one of his Longtail (Photo by Sunshiner)

Freeyakker with his Longtail and Mac Tuna (Photo by Sunshiner)
Jimbo with his Longtail 
Future Noosa Yakkers learning how to hold a fish

On returning to the beach we were welcomed by Sunshiner who had come down to find out what he had missed.  I found about eight small baitfish in my yak.  These must have been spat out by the Mac Tuna when I loaded it into the hatch.  So although I did not get the biggest fish, I caught the most!! Back in the car park Pedro and Eyetag checked their GPS tracks to find they had each covered 32 Kilometres!!! That was in about 7 hours from 4 am to 11 am.  It was a day with a lot of paddling and even those of us that started later must have done at least 20-25 km .  It was good fun and hopefully the weather settles so we can do this again.
My fish were not the biggest, but I caught the most !! (photo by Sunshiner)
Eyetag's Longtails (Photo by Eyetag)
Jimbo's fish 
Freeyakker's Longtail

Four days, four longtails. 12May15

TR by sunshiner with contribution by schiffer (embedded)

Wind: calm, then light W, then 5 knot S (as forecast by MetEye)
Swell: 1.0m E
Water temp: 24.4°C
Tides: 2:28 am : 1.70 H; 9:16 am : 0.48 L
Current: n/a
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: Lots, all tuna, many longtails
Participants: schiffer, wouldnot, max (friend of wouldnot), sunshiner
My trip distance: 17.5km
Keen Angler Program: n/a

With no fixed timings for departure this morning it was coincidental that fairly new Noosa Yakker schiffer and I arrived simultaneously at one of the only two sets of traffic lights in Noosa. I got the green and showed him a be-stickered zook bum as I scarpered toward Middle Groyne at which we arrived close together a few minutes later.

Down to the beach to take a look. Perfect! Sun was recently risen and the sea was like molten gold showing scarcely a ripple or swell. Soon I was ready to launch and schiffer let me know he'd catch me up (and he did -- very fast that Profisha) so off down to the launch I went.

Once I'm out the back it takes me less than five minutes to be ready to fish and paddle so I was on my way toward the NNW (where the longtails roam) very soon.

Today I was on a quest for the current line which has been instrumental in longtail hookups on the previous two days. This meant setting a course for Little Halls Reef then peeling off to the west when about a click from the target to hopefully cross the current. No sign of it today. Of course, the tide is an hour or so later each day and the amount of Noosa River dirty water (which is the cause of the current line) is reducing daily, so perhaps it has dissipated completely.

The scene as I paddled toward Little Halls Reef.

Nevertheless, I paddled toward the north shore, trolling my HLP even though I could see no sign of piscatorial activity (dolphins, yes). Schiffer was catching up to me but, as I discovered by radio, had sighted some bird activity to the north and was justifiably heading straight for that. So I turned around and headed NE, straight into the blinding sun, for that's where the bird activity was.

As I expected, this action fizzled out very quickly and by now schiffer and I were about a click south of Halls Reef, so that's where I headed next, shadowed by schiffer. Here we found more bird action and splashes and at last I got a chance to chuck a slug at a brief boil up just off my starboard bow as I was loitering with intent. Crank, crank, lure carving an excitement trail on the surface, then the unmistakeable signs of a big fish following it closely. But not closely enough, unfortunately. My offer rejected. Fish gone. Back to paddling slowly.

By now wouldnot and max were afloat and roughly in our vicinity, but without a GPS it was difficult for them to home in on us. But they'd found their own action, a pod of dolphins.

Half an hour goes past. I've lost sight of schiffer but then he tells me he's had a big strike on a Halco 160, brief tussle, then hooks pulled. By now we've both seen evidence that longtails are around (bigger isolated splashes) among the tidier, tern-attended churning which indicates a school of smaller tuna. This strike confirms they're here and at least one was keen on taking a lure.

Schiffer on the radio again. He's sitting close to the shore, NW of Halls Reef and surrounded by longtails and terns. He gives me excellent directions (opposite first cutting north of the caravan park) which I identify easilyp and paddle toward him. The distance is over a kilometre and pretty soon I begin to see that yes, the longtails are more evident here, but still flighty as a couple of my slug casts are ignored.

This is where schiffer found the longtails and where I joined him. This location is 6.7 kilometres from Middle Groyne. Not a nice place to be in a southerly wind if you have to paddle back to Middle Groyne!

As the action had slowed, I took the opportunity to take a pic of schiffer in his new boat. That's the cutting arrowed.

As we sat there chatting, occasional splashes indicated that the longtails were still hunting nearby. It occurred to me also that this place could be accessed by crossing the ferry and launching off the beach, right there. Probably you wouldn't even need a 4WD and a Beach Driving Permit. Possibly you could camp overnight in the caravan park.

Anyway, I was aware that the wind was likely to start blowing from the south. I love my Supalite X, but it's not the ideal craft for punching into a steep chop. Especially for 6.7km! So at about 09:15 I opted to start heading for home while the breeze was still light and from the west. Of course I'd be trolling all the way and was also curious to know how far south the inshore longtail action extended. Schiffer opted to hang around a little longer then follow me back.

As I headed south there were still longtail splashes for the next two kilometres. I almost got a hookup on a cast slug just south of the caravan park. One or two fish blasted out nearby and I chucked the slug and cranked like crazy; a huge boil directly behind the fleeing slug showed that there was at least some interest.

At around three kilometres from home the southerly breeze arrived. My cruising speed dropped from around 6kph to 5.2kph but with only three clicks to go I knew I had it licked. Meanwhile, schiffer had caught up with me, and was abeam to the east about 600m away. Then he stopped. Then he called me to say he was hooked up to something decent so I wished him well and plodded onward.

Schiffer's contribution

Departed MG 15 minutes behind Sunshiner trolling a Laser Pro Pilchard 160 and an XRap deep diver along northshore towards Little Halls Reef. I took a wider line than Sunshiner and eventually saw some action north around Little Halls Reef. We both gave chase and, arriving at multiple bust ups, we couldn't get a strike.

I paddled towards third cutting getting a good strike and powerful run on the Laser but lost the fish. I continued towards the cutting as there was a large bust up of small Mac tuna surrounded by Longtails. Sunshiner soon arrived and we agreed to head for MG. Taking a wider line than Sunshiner, my Laser Pro was smashed and the drag screamed. Bit of a tow and some circle work meant one thing… tuna time, the right species too. One very nice Longtail in the hatch and time to push on into the fresh southerly back to MG.

Back to sunshiner's report

The beach return offered no challenges and as I dragged my yak up from the water's edge I noticed that schiffer was just behind me. Assuming he'd spent maybe 15 minutes on that fish he must have been travelling pretty fast.

In he came, no problem, and in response to my question he confirmed that he'd boated a "nice longy", his first. Shortly afterward wouldnot and Max arrived off the beach, having also wisely decided to pull the pin on the arrival of the southerly.

Some beach pics

Mary, visitor from Victoria was very keen to pose with schiffer's fish.

On the mat, with schiffer's foot.

One very proud Noosa Yakker. Well done schiff!

That's four longtails in four days. Hopefully they'll still be around tomorrow and after the blow that's coming.

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

Longtail on the current line at Little Halls: 11 May 2015

TR by Tunny
Trip date: 11 May 2015
Participants: Tunny
Launch Site:  MG
Conditions: Wind SW to WSW less than 10 knots with occasional stronger gusts.  Tide low at 8.10 am.  Current towards the SE
Keen Angler Program: Nothing donated

I loaded my yak on the car the night before, but was unsure if I would be going as the wind forecasts were for 10-15 knots only falling below 10 knots by mid morning.  But in the morning the actual wind at both Double Island Point and Cape Moreton were well below 10 knots so I headed out at 6.45 am.  The launch was easy as the swell had dropped to around 1 metre.

From the beach there were no signs of any bird activity so following Eyetag's success at Little Halls the previous day I opted to head there trolling my Halco 120. There were no bust-ups or signs of birds all the way to Little Halls so on approaching the reef I found the current line that was clearly marked by a strip of foam, and followed this towards the beach.
Foam on the current line from Little Halls towards the beach
After trolling along the current line for about 15 minutes the reel started screaming.  This has got to be one of the best sounds on earth, so next time I will record it and if it tops the charts I will use the proceeds to pay for my fishing habit!  After a good fight the fish started circling below the kayak, a sign that it was a tuna rather than a mackerel and a short while later it was gaffed and safely in the hatch.

Longtail going into the hatch
With still no signs of birds or surface action I decided to continue trolling along the current line.  So I turned around and followed the foam back past Little Halls and for another 2  kilometres towards the National Park, then back again towards Little Halls.  Without any further success and in need to a break from paddling I then switched to jigging a soft plastic as I drifted back from Little Halls towards the National Park. The current was fairly strong so I used my sea anchor while drifting and managed to stay on the foam line with using only foot peddles and not paddling.  After drifting about 2 kilometres from Little Halls I decided to turn around and paddle back trolling the Halco.

Following the current line towards the National Park
On approaching Little Halls there was some bird action and a few bust-ups.  I paddled from one bust-up to the next but they were out of reach and did not last long.  Eventually I got close enough, saw the Longtails busting at the surface and cast my 30g Halco Twisty.  I hooked up on the first cast.  The fight lasted longer than the first one as I was using my lightweight snapper rod but the fish spat the hook just below the kayak. The hooks on the Halco Twisty are quite small so I am considering switching to one size larger (has anyone done this and if so what hooks do you recommend?)

I could not get close to another bust up but did have several attempts.  Then by 11 am things went quiet and I headed back to MG.  The beach landing was easy.

Second Longtail for the season
The family enjoys sushi, so my son Trevor produced this Tuna Nigiri.  Delicious!!

Tuna nigiri

Current line longtail. 10May15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: light SW-W (as forecast by MetEye)
Swell: 1.2m E
Water temp: 24.4°C
Tides: 7:01 am : 0.57 L; 12:37 pm : 1.28 H
Current: n/a
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: Not much, all tiny tuna
Participants: eyetag, stormin, aussie-stu, sunshiner
Keen Angler Program: n/a

The designated launch time, 05:45, was very close to low tide. But the swell was much reduced from previous days and sets were a long way apart, making for an easy launch.

We weren't expecting eyetag but he was first away, just five minutes or so before me. Of stormin and aussie-stu there was no sign, but they showed up a little late and caught up with us.

The SW breeze which was forecast and evident at launch time, from the lumpy horizon was a factor in eyetag's and my selection of the western part of the bay (up past Little Halls Reef and Halls Reef) rather than Jew Shoal or the Hells Gates area. Paddling conditions at first were near perfect, and got better as the morning progressed.

The current line, marked by frothy water, running shorewards from the vicinity of Little Halls Reef, was discovered by eyetag, who was out front. And here he found the only bit of serious action of the morning. Trolling a deep running hard body along the edge of the dirty water he hooked up big time and let us know by radio, making sure we could hear the screaming drag in the background of the radio call.

By the time I reached his position the fight was near to the end, so I positioned myself to shoot some pics. As we'd both called it, at the end we could see he had a nice longtail.

As he often does, eyetag grabbed the fish by the tail and deftly lifted it into the yak. Perfect conditions, eh?

My camera duties finished I paddled off toward the north shore beach, following the same current line that eyetag had found, trolling my usual HLP. Stormin and Stu were by now on the water and headed for Little Halls Reef.

Getting no further action in the vicinity of Little Halls Reef we all finished up at Halls Reef, some two kilometres north of where the longtail had been caught. Here we variously trolled, or drift fished (lures and bait) for very little action until around 09:30 when we separately made our own way back toward Middle Groyne, a paddle which takes around an hour, depending on conditions.

As usual, when a decent fish is pulled out of a kayak, eyetag caused a bit of excitement among the Sunday morning beachgoers.

On the mat. 104cm.

For the record, my paddle distance was 17km. I'll sleep well tonight.

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

Jew Shoal and Little Halls: 5 May 2015

TR by Tunny
Trip date: 5 May 2015
Participants: Jaro, Jimbo, Tunny
Launch Site:  MG
Conditions: Wind variable less than 5 knots; Swell 1.3 m, Current to the NE
Keen Angler Program: None

We left the beach at 5.40 am, with Jaro launching west of the rock wall while Jimbo and I opted to go from the eastern side.  There was a decent shore break with quite large waves at close intervals, but we all got out fine (although wet). We rigged up, then headed for Jew Shoal trolling hard bodied lures.  There were no signs of any birds or bust-ups on the way to Jew Shoal and no action at all until almost 7 am.

At Jew Shoal Jimbo started bottom bashing while Jaro and I kept trolling.  From 7 am onwards there were a number of sporadic bust-ups of what appeared to be Mac Tuna which were accompanied by a few diving birds.  We chased these bust-ups but rarely got close enough to cast a slug or soft plastic.

Jaro was the first to get within casting distance and briefly hooked up but after a short fight the fish broke the line. Jimbo persited with bottom bashing but failed to get any bites. In addition to the ongoing small bust-ups there were patches of silver bait fish about 2 cm long jumping out the water without any signs of larger fish at the surface. Thinking that the larger fish may be deeper I dropped a soft plastic through the bait fish, let it settle to the bottom then lifted it through the bait without success.  We also cast slugs, let them sink through the bait then retrieved rapidly without a bite.

After 8 am the bust-ups died down and Jaro decided to head back via Granite Bay while Jimbo continued bottom bashing.  I headed for Little Halls trolling a Halco 120 and passed a few small bust-ups but could not entice the fish to take either my lure or Halco Twisty slug.

While at Little Halls we got a message from Jaro that he had landed successfully at MG despite quite big sets of waves coming through.  Jimbo followed him in about 30 minutes later and I was the last to arrive. Sunshiner had come down to the beach to view the catch, but given that there was nothing to look at he opted to film my beach landing.

No fish, but a fun day on the water.

Fat lady hazards. 04May15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: light SW-S (as forecast by MetEye)
Swell: 1.5m E
Water temp: 25°C
Tides: 2:11 am : 0.46 L; 7:58 am : 1.56 H
Current: n/a
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: Yes, all tuna
Participants: diesel, sunshiner
Keen Angler Program: missed out again today as we couldn't catch anything

Even though winter is approaching (diesel and I both wore wetsuits today), the launch at dawn onto placid waters in Laguna Bay remains breathtaking. We were afloat, relatively dry, by around 05:40 and sat on a glassy sea, with just the merest hint of the light SW we were expecting.

We'd previously agreed that today would be mainly a recce, to see how our fishing spots had responded to the recent violent weather. We old codgers have the time, although it's rapidly running down, and need the exercise, so why not. We headed for Jew Shoal, noticing terns heading our way also. Nothing to report on the journey north as our trolled lures remained untouched and no sign of feeding fish.

Except, that is, after we started bottom fishing at Jew Shoal where the water seemed greener than normal and a little cloudy. Out to the east as the light slowly increased, we could spot terns flitting around. We both paddled out and got close enough to several of the very brief bustups to identify both mac tuna and decent sized longtails, clearing the water exuberantly. This action was brief and by around 07:30 it started to shut down almost totally, just as it had in the last few trips.

Being fishless, I suggested A-Bay Reef, which was closer now than Jew Shoal. In perfect conditions, we were there in about 30 minutes. Diesel didn't have this mark on his nav system so he took the opportunity to grab it. He tried both SPs and bait, the latter eventually attracting a 1m shark (inadvertently released). I was using SPs only and didn't even get a bite. After 90 minutes, at 09:30, we called it quits and headed for Middle Groyne, about an hour away.

Again, nothing to report except occasional individual splashes, but not inside the bay. Oh, and a pod of dolphins off Hells Gates.

It was one of those days when even eyetag would have stored all his gear before running the gauntlet at Main Beach. We begged off our usual route and chose the eastern side because the waves were breaking simultaneously across about a 200m width of beach. Yes they were shories, but tall, steep-faced and plentiful.

Here we are, waiting our chance. I've just cleared this oncoming wave. Diesel's hoping he does so (he did, but for a moment I thought he was a goner). See brief movie below.

Just as I committed myself, a fairly large lady decided to enter the water from the beach. She was right in my path and I, with a decent wave building behind me, couldn't change my mind. So I tried to warn her by shouting out and by hand signals, all the time trying to keep my speed up to match the wave. I missed her but the wave got me, and I ended up with a wet arse.

Very refreshing on this sunny autumn morning.

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