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