Four species, Jew Shoal. 04Jun15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: S to SE less than 5 knots (as forecast by MetEye)
Swell: 1.6m SE
Water temp: 23.3°C
Tides: 3:15 am : 0.42 L; 8:53 am : 1.45 H
Current: none detected
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: some mac tuna and longtail activity
Participants: diesel, tunny, jimbo, sunshiner
My trip distance: 10.5km
Keen Angler Program: I donated a snapper frame

Let's get this clear right from the start: before today I'd had seven (yes seven) offshore yak fishing trips in a row without bringing a fish back to the beach. To say that I was getting anxious is an understatement. What was I doing wrong? As it turned out, nothing. It's just that the fish weren't present or active, I presume, because I used exactly the same techniques today and in the same location as previously and today I caught fish. I hope this points to the possibility that our usual fishing spots are coming back to their former condition.

Yesterday pedro told us all that he'd had a great day in Laguna Bay. His catch of two snapper interested me most (even though I was awed by the massive longtail he'd boated), because the snapper is one of my favourite fish, and one I hadn't caught this whole calendar year. Seldom if ever in my kayak fishing career have I not caught a snapper for five months.

So snapper were on my mind when I accepted diesel's invitation yesterday to join him at daybreak for another expedition into the bay. Jimbo and tunny also accepted, so that meant four of us to brave the cold.

And it WAS cold, until we hit the water, as the air at sea level was warmed by the much warmer ocean.

6:00am, just after diesel and I started paddling north for Jew Shoal. Note that the moon is full. Many locals say that fish can't be caught when the moon is full. Myth busted, again!

Jimbo launched a little later and also opted to head for Jew Shoal. Tunny was later still and opted for Little Halls Reef.

A light southerly breeze helped us all the way to Jew Shoal, and I'd put my first cast out (SP) at 6:29am, starting a drift from the southern edge of the shoal to take advantage of the breeze. Soon, diesel, fishing with mac tuna chunks, started to tell me by radio that he was catching various reef ooglies. Then jimbo arrived, armed with big prawns, and very quickly let us know that he'd nailed a nice fat grassie. Then diesel was also in on the act with a 48cm flathead, a fairly rare offshore catch in Noosa in my experience. Me? Nothing. Not even a touch. I had my trailing outfit rigged with a 4 inch white SP and hanging about 10-12m down; my casting outfit was rigged with my usual one-eighth ounce jighead and a 3 inch Z-man SP. Still, this system had worked in the past, so…

The GoPro caught it all. Whack! I was instantly shaken out of my torpor. The drag of my casting outfit (6kg braid) was set properly and line was pouring off the spool. I knew that this fish was almost certainly a snapper. It ran straight, deep and strongly. This was a fish I really needed. After a time the run stopped and I started to retrieve line, slowly but deliberately. A minute or so elapsed and then I could see the pale shimmer below. The shimmer became clearer and the beautiful detailed pattern of colours of a snapper were revealed. Bewdy!

The second gaff shot found a firm grip (cropped frame from GoPro video).

My first snapper for 2015!

That felt better. I now knew that my system worked and that snapper were present. I was very glad I'd got out of bed at 5:00am on this cold morning.

Jimbo by now had boated a second grassie, on prawn. The next bit of action I had was about an hour later, when my cast SP was taken by something which was obviously not a snapper.

Coach-whip trevally (regarded as "unusual" by Ern Grant). This is only the second specimen I've caught at Jew Shoal. A possible Noosa Yakkers record claim as it is not previously recorded in our list of species.

About now jimbo reported another grassie, again on prawn. And tunny had reported in, also.

The action slowed after about 08:30 and we at Jew Shoal opted to head for home, in near glassy conditions, just before 10:00am. Tunny had reported by radio that he'd caught a 40cm snapper at Little Halls Reef and was probably going to head for Halls Reef before coming back in a couple of hours after us.

Some beach pics:

Combined catch.

Three amigos (tunny still out there)

Trekker from Toulouse, visiting Noosa. "I nairver saw men fishing from ze kayaks before!"

Movie of the morning's activities

A great morning. You should have been there, Jaro!

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

1 comment:

  1. After a late start ( 7.45 am) , my plan was to go to via Little Halls to Jew Shoal to join up with the other Noosa Yakkers. But some bird action at Little Halls and a 43 cm Snapper caught on a soft plastic on the high tide made me stay at Little Halls and surrounding area until about 11.30 am. I trolled a weighted pillie and jigged soft plastics but the snapper was my only fish. Cheers, tunny