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

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