Several species at Jew Shoal, 31 July 2015

TR by Tunny
Trip date: 31 July 2015
Participants: Diesel, Stormin, Sunshiner, Doctor Dog, Tunny and Alan O'Leary
Launch Site:  MG
Conditions: Wind variable less than 10 knots, Current towards the East, Swell 1 m, High Tide 7.34 am
Keen Angler Program: Nothing to donate

Most of us arrived at 5.20 am and were ready to launch by 5.45 am with Stormin and Doctor Dog following a bit later.  The launch was easy and after setting up our trolling lures we headed for Jew Shoal

Sunrise over Jew Shoal
There were a few birds heading out to sea, but no surface action or fish caught on the way out there.  On arrival at Jew Shoal we switched to bottom bashing using a mix of soft plastics and bait.  Several patches of bait fish were identified on the sounders and within the first half hour Diesel radioed to announce he had caught the first of his many undersized fish, a Yakka which he decided to keep for bait.  This was followed by a 15 cm Maori Cod, and a small Snapper which he photographed before releasing.

Diesel's Snapper
Several other small fish were then boated, including a Maori Cod of 25 cm by Sunshiner and two Happy Moments, one by Diesel and one by Tunny.  Having learnt the hard way about these fish while on a camping trip at Straddie I was careful to release mine with long nose pliers.

Diesel's Happy Moments
Tunny's Happy Moments caught on a trailing soft plastic
Stormin reported further undersized catches while Alan boated and released a Snapper under 30 cm. Doctor Dog caught a School Mackerel on a trolling pilchard but keeping with the theme of the day this was also under size.  Other fish caught included Sweetlip, Grinners, Black Tip (footballer) Cod, Bream and a 38 cm Red Emperor which was caught and released by Diesel (size limit 55 cm).

38 cm Red Emperor caught by Diesel
Sunshiner packed up before 9am.  This was his last fishing trip in his "60's", so on behalf of the Noosa Yakkers I would like to wish Sunshiner a Happy 70th on Monday!   

Doctor Dog followed shortly after that and the rest headed in by 11 am.  It was a fun day out despite the lack of keepers.

Stormin, Diesel and Alan showing off today's catch

Old gentlemen rule, OK. 25Jul15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: SW through to NW up to about 3 knots, and cool
Swell: 1.3m E
Water temp: 21.7°C
Tides: 1:54 am : 1.29 H; 8:28 am : 0.49 L
Current: none detected
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: none
Participants: jaro, stormin, diesel, tunny, sunshiner
My trip distance: 11km
Keen Angler Program: two snapper frames donated

Much warmer this morning than most days recently. Hopefully winter's over for 2015! In addition to the five participants (see above) we had member Grant Smith in the carpark just after 5:00am. He'd come all the way from Buderim just to find out our park and launch routine and received lots of advice, whether asked for or not, from the experienced guys before we hit the water. Nice to meet you, Grant; hope to have you join us for a fishing trip in your Prowler soon (don't forget to let us know your callsign).

Launch was easy, even though there was very little light and a small surf running. The loud smack of flat, glass bottoms was clearly audible as stormin and the rest of the glass crew cleared the small high frequency rollers coming through.

The first thing I set up after launching is my GoPro. It's mounted on a strong suction cup base which lifts it above the visual clutter of the deck. The whole camera rig is leashed and before I even engage the sucker I clip tether the whole lot to a convenient securing point just in case I drop it, or it somehow gets knocked off during fishing. Today, somehow, for the first time (perhaps getting old and feeble minded?) I didn't correctly secure the suction cup. A minute or so later, while setting up my GPS and sonar, I heard a slight rattle and a gentle splash. Looking up, I saw that the entire suction cup assembly, complete with attached GoPro (over $500 worth!) had come loose and was now hanging on its safety leash, completely submerged, dangling in 6m of water. If the leash hadn't been fastened the GoPro would now be languishing on the floor of Laguna Bay. Leash everything!

Paddling and trolling. I use a strobing head torch in these conditions, with the strobe pointing toward the stinky danger area, the west.

Jew Shoal was the destination of choice for all. We travelled individually, each man trolling a bait or lure for the 4km journey as you just never know… Only tunny came up with a trolling capture, a grinner, which he offered to the grinner champ, jaro.

I know, it looks a bit like a Mars lander scene. But this is how the sunrise appeared in a narrow horizontal slot as we arrived at Jew Shoal.

As you can see from the pic above, a layer of cloud hung above us today, and persisted all morning, obscuring the warming sun. The breeze was cool, but not overly cold. Quite pleasant really.

My SP of choice today was a prawn look-a-like (you can see it in some of the pics). Eyetag had done well out here last week using real prawns so I'd decided to see if plastic prawns worked.

It didn't take long. Within 15 minutes my cast SP was taken by an undersize snapper just a minute or so after diesel reported from nearby that he'd just caught and released a similar model.

My first fish of the day. Released.

Soon a yakka (yellowtail) joined the party but stayed instead of leaving immediately as I needed it for my freezer-based summer deadbait collection.

Then another small snapper, this time I judged it to be a keeper, and it was consigned to the fishbox.

Snapper #2

No one else was reporting fish and after about an hour diesel announced that he was going to try Little Halls Reef. Stormin thought this a good idea and followed him shortly afterward, leaving jaro, tunny and I, and one lone stinky, at Jew Shoal.

Here's something of interest. Stormin later reported that the two man crew of this stinky had arrived at The Pinnacles and immediately hooked up on a solid fish on a SP. The fish turned out to be a decent cobia. so keep that in kind for the coming months as we could see a return of the cobia action we experienced here in the later months of 2014.

Conditions were pleasant, if a little cool, with the westerly breeze pushing us along gently toward the east as we plied our individual techniques, without further success for about an hour. Then jaro announced that he was on the board with a nice fat grassy, caught on a large prawn, trailed in his wake on a pillie rig. This brightened us up and we each resolved to hang around a bit longer. Good decision!

I don't know whether jaro got his second grassy next, or a little later, but I got a solid hookup on my cast SP (hit on the drop) while drifting in 20m just NE of The Pinnacles, with a huge cloud of baitfish displaying on my sonar. This turned out to be a very welcome snapper of a decent size and which made my day.

Snapper #3, and last.

Close up, showing SP and jighead (1/8 ounce, 3/0 hook)

We hung around a bit longer. The stinky went home. Jaro bagged another grassy (pic later) and then, around 11:00am, we three decided to head for the beach. Our companions at Little Halls Reef had reported no action by then either.

A vigorous paddle back to Middle Groyne is really good to warm up the body and I for one needed it, I can tell you.

Diesel and stormin were already on the beach when we arrived back but they kindly hung around until we joined them. The sand monster was definitely lurking and I've been developing a theory of how to dodge him. The waves today gave me a chance to try it out. It involves trying to catch the wave before it breaks (which, if successful, will increase the kayak speed greatly), then keeping ahead of the broken wave by paddling strongly. It seems to work, some of the time.

Cropped frame from GoPro video.

36 second video

Beach pic and summary video (added 24 hours later)

The combined catch (less a small snapper). Three very nice grassies by jaro, all taken on prawns.

Should be another nice day tomorrow. Anyone going out?

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

Ice fishing in Noosa. 15Jul15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: SW up to about 3 knots
Swell: 1m ESE
Water temp: 21.7°C
Tides: 1:43 am : 0.42 L; 7:21 am : 1.38 H
Current: none detected
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: none
Participants: tyler, eyetag, tunny, sunshiner
My trip distance: 11km
Keen Angler Program: Nil

The wind was light but the air was bloody cold. We were rugged up like footy spectators at the MCG. And still not warm enough.

Tunny was unloading when I arrived in the carpark around 05:40. Eyetag had mentioned to me the afternoon before that he was thinking of launching at Doggie Beach, but his ute was parked here at Middle Groyne so it looked like he'd changed his plan. Tunny confirmed that eyetag had launched already.

With the arrival of Tyler, soon after, from Gympie, we had our expected complement. This was to be Tyler's first launch at Middle Groyne and first foray into Laguna Bay. So naturally we looked after him. And it was pleasing to learn that he had a radio with him, an Icom M23, which he'd bought as a result of the recommendations he'd received in response to his recent question on our Facebook Group page.

Here's something interesting. It seems possible from my experience today that extremely low air temperatures might result in a significant apparent loss of pressure in inflated yak trolley tyres. I assumed early this morning that one of my tyres might have a puncture it was so deflated, but found that the tyre pressure had returned to normal after the trip, when ambient temperatures had increased somewhat.

The launch was a doddle, even though light levels were low. We three launched together and immediately found ourselves in the midst of a pod of dolphins, frolicking around us as we set up our gear -- a pleasant start to the day.

Another pleasant start to the day. That's tunny up front.

As we were paddling toward Jew Shoal, eyetag, who was already fishing there, gave us a running commentary on what was happening. Snapper, cod, snapper, etc. We paddled harder and soon I could see eyetag's distinctive headgear and shortly afterward his distinctive bent rod which he pulls out as soon as another paddler approaches.

Nice headgear, eyetag. That's a many-spotted sweetlips, called that to differentiate it from the spotted sweetlips. Not an esteemed table fish and so released.

Eyetag already had a 45cm snapper in the fishbox, and a grassy, I think. Also he'd said a very close hello to a whale. Tyler heard the warning about the whale, but probably thought nothing much of it. Just silly old farts trying to impress.

A few minutes later we were drifting just near the Pinnacles when I heard the unmistakeable air exchange process of a whale. Tyler was a little west of me and I looked to the south just in time to see a whale surface about 100m south of me. By radio, I warned my companions, as it was clear the whale was heading in their direction. On his maiden voyage in Laguna Bay, Tyler found that what we'd been saying about whales was true. I turned and saw him paddling at top speed as the whale headed straight for him before veering off a little.

The GoPro is a close-up camera, so middle distance objects tend to appear far away. The whale was pretty close to me, but even closer to Tyler.

Have I mentioned it was cold? Well, it was. The light wind was cool and there was very little sunlight getting through the high level cloud. Despite my three layers on upper body I was becoming chilled to the bone. Action for me was dead slow (only one take on the SP, and it was spat out) so I pulled the pin after two plus hours and headed home first, alone. By now, eyetag had nailed a 60+ snapper on prawn, and another grassy. Tunny felt like apologising to jaro for catching one of his specialty species (big mouth, name starts with a G). I heard nothing from Tyler but understand he may have caught and released a couple of undersize snapper. Apparently the action stopped as soon as I left, the opposite to what usually happens.

There were a few nicely shaped and friendly looking waves building at the groyne so I opted to hang back and wait for one to show up. It did and I had the pleasure of a nice ride all the way in to the beach.

This is fun, and a small compensation for a donut in the hatch.

Eyetag sent me a comment, and a pic.

Comment from eyetag:

Hi guys,
I caught all the fish on large fresh prawns, using a pea-sized running sinker down to a 5/0 hook.

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

PB for PeeBee at Jew Shoal, 11 July 2015

TR by Tunny
Trip date: 11 July 2015
Participants: Jaro, Diesel, Stormin, PeeBee, Tunny
Launch Site:  MG
Conditions: Wind W to SW less than 10 knots, swinging to Northerly later. Low tide 10 am

Keen Angler Program: Nothing donated

Jaro, Diesel, PeeBee and I launched before 6 am.  It was a very easy launch and pleasant paddle over to Jew Shoal with just enough offshore wind for Jaro to use his sail.  We trolled a mix of lures and baits with Diesel trolling both a hard body lure and weighted pilchard, while I trolled a Halco 120.  There was no surface action, very few birds and no fish caught on the way out there.

Sunrise over Jew Shoal with Diesel in the distance
On arrival at Jew Shoal we all switched to bottom bashing, Diesel and Jaro with bait and PeeBee and I with soft plastics.  Several small reef fish were caught including two Pearl Perch, one by Diesel while I got the other, both just missing the size limit.  Jaro reported some small catches but no keepers.

An undersized Pearl Perch before being released
Stormin arrived at MG after a night shift in the plastics factory and radioed to announce that he was heading over to join us at Jew Shoal. A few minutes later we received an excited call from him that he had seen a whale just near the shark nets.  As the rest of us had seen nothing, Diesel and I concluded Stormin had probably inhaled plastic fumes while and work, and was hallucinating.  Stormin made it out to Jew Shoal and reported a second sighting.  Again Diesel and I saw nothing which reinforced our conclusion regarding the plastic.  But after Stormin's fourth sighting we also spotted the whale - the first for us this season.

At around 9 am I noticed BeeBee's rod doubled over so paddled in his direction.  He had hooked something big and was being towed in a southerly direction.  Diesel also paddled over to watch the action, with both of us staying far enough away to allow him to fight the fish.  After about 20 minutes a large ray jumped out the water. I only got a brief glimpse but it was black on top with a white belly.  Diesel reckons it was a Manta Ray but I am really not sure as I did not get a good view.  It was probably at least 1.5 metres across. PeeBee's battle continued with the ray having a few powerful runs that stripped most of his line from the reel. Eventually he had the ray beneath the kayak  At this stage I suggested to PeeBee that he cut the line rather than try and get the ray into the kayak as we did not want to name a road after him.  So he set the ray free. This is the biggest fish PeeBee has ever hooked and it certainly put up a good fight.

PeeBee fighting the ray
We continued bottom bashing and Stormin caught two Grassies, one of which was around 40cm.  I hooked a few more reef fish then caught a very small bonito on a trolled lure.

Small bonito 
Jaro and PeeBee headed back home at around 10 am with the rest of us following an hour later.  The beach landing was easy.  Overall a fund day out!  And condolences to Sunshiner who missed the trip due to a flat car battery.

Stormin's Grassy

Two for the price of One. 05Jul15

Two TR in one, plus an interesting piece of footage at the end.

TR by diesel
Wind: 0 to 5kts SE
Swell: Approximately 1 mtr
Water temp: 19.4
Tides: low 0430hrs High 1017hrs
Current: Non detected
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: Very little
Participants: Sunshiner, Redwood, Tunny, Gibsoni, Doc Dog, jaro, Stormin, eyetag, diesel
My trip distance: 13 km
Keen Angler Program: One frame donated.

As is normal for winter, we planned to be at Middle Groyne at 0530 hrs for a 0600 hrs launch. As trip coordinator I figured I would arrive early at 0510 and meet the yakkers as they arrived. How wrong you can be!

Gibsoni was waiting with his yak off the roof of the car and near ready to go. He was spending a couple of days at Coolum and hoped to fish with us while there, so we checked out the conditions on the beach then went back to the car park to set up.

We had zero wind and and monster waves of point 3 of a metre, and very little swell. There were occasional sets of waves in the half metre plus range. Piece of cake!

The rest of the yakkers arrived so we unloaded and set up then moved down to the beach to launch.

I launched and made my way out the back and was followed closely by sunshiner, tunny, gibsoni, all making a reasonably dry entry.

The target was Jew Shoal, as the local fishing reports were telling us that snapper were on the bite all over the reef.

As we made our way out to our favorite secret spots we had radio checks from redwood, stormin and jaro who had just arrived and were about to launch. Tunny and I made good time and arrived just on sunrise. The sunrise was the high point of the day as the clouds then covered most most of the sky and a wind with a real chill in it blew in from the south west.

Tunny sets up for the day.

I was bottom bashing with squid and pilchard chunks, sunshiner with soft plastics, tunny, stormin and redwood had a mix of plastics, live and dead baits. I pulled five fish in the first hour but the trouble was they were all under size. Where are the big ones! Doc dog called in the first keeper for the day at around 0730, a 50cm Snapper, so things were really looking up. My first keeper arrived in the form of a Grass Sweetlip, coming in at 39 cm at just after 0800hrs.

My first and only fish for the day.

Redwood called in informing us he had boated a Sweetlip and then stormin as well, so the spread of fish was pretty much all over the shoal.

At this stage sunshiner, tunny and jaro were still fishless.

About now I had a huge hit and run on my bottom bashing rig and the line flew off the spool at an alarming rate. The reel had about 120 metres on the spool and when the Jew Shoal nasty broke me off there was very little of it left. Lucky the water depth is such that I could still bottom bash for the rest of the trip with what I had left on the reel even though I could see through the line to the spool when I hit bottom.

All the line that was left on the spool. Note that the black shape behind the reel is my bootie, not the Great White from Sunshine Beach coming through.

After bagging out on Grinners, jaro called it quits. Doc dog figured he had a enough fish for a meal and also headed in. So by 0930 three of the crew had called it a day and headed for the Middle Groyne, both with and without fish.

Slowly the exodus continued and most of the remaining were heading back to the groyne by 1000hrs.

Sunshiner and I were about 1.5 km from shore when I spotted a Gannet ahead of us. I called sunshiner and asked if it was the gannet from last Wednesday back for a return match.

I laughed, he didn't.

The gannet then took flight, only to fold its wings and do a diving attack on my red and white (Qantas) HBL. Fortunately it missed and only tangled its wing in the line.

The release was simple and pain free.

Sunshiner was now laughing!

Everyone made it safely back to the groyne and through the surf break (.3 mtr) then the fish were pulled out of yaks for the post trip happy snaps.

Eyetag who had launched at 0430 arrived back on the beach just after us, and showed the results of a good day on north Sunshine Reef. He picked up Sweetlips, Squire, Venus Tusk Fish and a Maori Cod.

The catch of the day, note the Venus Tusk Fish and the Maori Cod.

Redwood had a great day with two Sweetlips which he caught on soft plastics, a first for him. The party then broke up vowing to do it all again this week if the weather holds.

Redwood's pair of Grass Sweetlips.

Just another day in paradise!



TR by Redwood

Trip date: 5 July 2015

Participants: Sunshiner, Diesel, Jaro, Tunny, Stormin, Doc Dog, Eyetag, Gibsoni, Redwood

Launch Site: MG

Conditions: Light wind from S/SE, low swell, bit of cloud about

Keen Angler Program: None

The MG car park was alive with yakkers by the time I rolled in at 5.45 and we all quickly readied and hit the water. The launch was as easy as it gets and once out of the surf zone everyone decided to head to Jew Shoal as that's where the action had been over the past week.

As I was heading past the nets I heard Gibsoni's drag going off and turned around to see a heavily bent rod. As Gibsoni didn't have a radio I couldn't find out if he was onto a fish or the nets. Let us know in the comments below Gibsoni.

Half way out to the shoal I saw clouds of bait fish on the sounder so I decided to drop my bait fish jig to see what I could get and up came a whole bunch of small mullet. Tunny and I had decided to do what we usually do and copy the best fishos around and we thought it was time to get in on the live bait action seeing as how Pedro was smashing things recently including records. Our devilish plan was to fill our leg-wells with sea water (not difficult to do in an evo; the launch normally takes care of that with the nose punching through the waves) and store the lives in there. I dropped 4 baby mullet in the leg-well and continued to JS. By the time I got there the mullet were not in good shape and I realised that the leg-well live bait idea was dead. Never mind; plenty more where those came from as the shoal was teeming with bait fish and they couldn't seem to get enough of the live bait jig.

Live bait jigging - I'm not sure what this is but suspect it might be a small Pike.

It was around 6.30am and yakkers and a number of stinkies were dotted all over the shoal. Along with trying out the live bait thing, I was also determined to catch something on a soft plastic. I have been trying for years and never succeeded, besides one small pinkie during the Adder Rock comp. Today was the day! I'd been into BCF the previous day and with guidance from Tunny and Sunshiner's recent catches went about selecting my ammo; 4" Zman StreakZ Curly TailZ in a dark, light and two-tone combined with 1/4oz 4/0 jig head. As taught to me by Sunshiner, I lobbed the brown SP as far as I could cast it into the direction I was drifting so that the jig would come back toward me in an arc. Sunshiner had said that he often found the strike was very soon after the jig hit the water, or when the jig was perpendicular and directly below. I saw the line floating toward me and then just as it was directly below me, bang, I was on to something good and managed to wrestle up a nice Sweetlip which went 48cm on the mat. Seems that old saying that persistence pays off is true.

For anyone interested, this is what the Sweetie coughed up.

Doc Dog who had been fishing nearby suddenly picked up sticks and started paddling SE and a short time later he announced that he'd boated a good size snapper. In his excitement he called it 60 but as he mentioned over the radio, it was possible fish might shrink by the time he got back to the beach and indeed this proved true as it came in officially at 50cm. The snapper was taken on a trailing pillie.

Diesel and Stormin were also getting some action - see Diesel's report for more info.

And as for Jaro, well he just couldn't get the grin off his face, ah no, sorry, he just couldn't get the grinners off his hook. He said that if there was a record for grinners he would have certainly smashed it. It was so big he thought he had a shark on; three foot he mentioned to me.

At some point my trailing Pike livie was smashed. The drag went hard twice and then nothing; the braid had been cut through well above the leader, so maybe something with teeth or something sharp managed to swim in such a way that it cut through the line.

I jigged for some more and managed to pull up pinkies and this cod which I released.

Cod caught and released on live bait jog

It was now getting late in the morning and I was feeling rather poorly from all the live bait jigging, just a bit too much close work for me, but still I didn't get sick, so I feel I've really managed to overcome the terrible sea sickness I used to have a few years ago; this all without any drugs. Another case of persistence paying off perhaps. Sunshiner and Diesel announced they were heading back which just left Tunny and me. I was going to have one last drift and call it quits. Half way through the drift I bumped into Tunny and while we were having a chat my dropping SP jig was taken again by something decent and again taken as it was directly below me. Another Sweetlip, this one a few cm smaller than the last one.

46cm sweetlip - pic by Tunny

Tunny and I trolled our livies back to the beach without any action and I managed to release my Pike, which seemed to swim away ok.

Soft plastics rock.

As it turns out Eyetag was also out on the water, but further out on North Sunshine. He picked up a couple of nice Sweeties and also a Maori Cod, which as I understand, have rarely been caught at legal size before by NY as legal specimens are usually found at reefs that we're unable to get to (at least those of us who think 8km offshore is a bit too far). Well done Eyetag.

Another good day out on Laguna Bay.


Interesting footage captured at Sunshine Reef, same day, by local fisho Brian Martell

Glassy return to the fresh - 01July15

TR by Gemini

Wind: 5-8 knots over the course of the morning
Launch point: Lake MacDonald, Strawberry Patch
Participants: Gemini

It's been a while since my last trip report, so even after a night of terrible sleep I leapt out of bed ready for action early this morning with a smile. I had erred on the side of caution and opted for the fresh today, even though it looked reasonable for offshore action. I'll get to that next week...

I arrived and unloaded at Lake MacDonald before dawn in the mild chill. It was still fairly muddy at the launch site, so I was doing well not to slip over in my thongs before I even made it to the water. Once launched though, I was presented with this view for my troubles.

The going was slow for a while, and there was little surface activity. I was using my R2S baby vibe today, so if they were hungry I knew old faithful wouldn't let me down. After a couple of bumps I was finally hooked up, and the fish gave me a fun fight. After boating him I found he had swallowed the lure deep, which is probably why he was so upset. Removing the trebles proved interesting, and he shed some claret in the process. He swam off though, so I can only hope he survived. No decent pic of this fella (just the capture), as I was pressed for time getting him back into the water.

The next 3 were pretty quick to take the lure after the sun rose, but only one was of a decent size.

I cast my way around to the Palm Farm with no further success. It was a beauty of a day, and I could have easily anchored up and snoozed for a while on the water. Without any further strikes though, I made my way back.

I had just made my way past Toga Bay, cruising through the lilies in close to shore, when I had another taker. He was a good fish, and decided to take a brief run on my drag before cooperating.

He was no record breaker, but I had hoped he would be a personal best. After a quick sit on the Noosa Yakkers brag mat, he was proven to still be shy by a couple of centimetres. Bugger.

That was it for the fish, but I did spy a murder of crows being set upon by a sea eagle who seemed to be rather upset with them being so close to her nest. I suspect they are feeling a little worse for wear at the moment. Do NOT mess with eagles.

Fish, birds, monster. 01Jul15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: S up to about 5 knots (as forecast by SeaBreeze)
Swell: 1.5m ENE
Water temp: 22.2°C
Tides: 1:35 am : 0.45 L; 7:06 am : 1.42 H
Current: none detected
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: none
Participants: pedro, diesel, sunshiner
My trip distance: 11km
Keen Angler Program: I donated 2 snapper frames

Today was the only day since last Thursday that the wind had dropped below 15 knots during daylight. The retirees' motto is "Get 'em while you can" so diesel and I fronted again today, accompanied by pedro, who, while not retired, will fish every chance he gets.

Pedro must be getting old as he hung back waiting on the beach with we two older farts, all of us trying to get a handle on the confusing set pattern smashing into the groyne. The fact that we could hardly see the waves (moon had set, and cloudy, and little sign of the rising sun) made us doubly cautious. Normally pedro just shuts his eyes and paddles his pedal boat out, hoping for the best and expecting the worst. Perhaps he's had a bad experience recently.

Eventually the oldest of us showed the way, and I dry bummed it to boot. My companions joined me soon afterward, damp but not disheartened.

According to pedro, the news from Davo's was that the snapper were on at Jew Shoal. This diesel and I already knew from last week. So that made three of us for Jew Shoal. Gonna be crowded out there!

We had it all to ourselves. A couple of stinkies braved the bar during our outward passage but didn't come anywhere near us, disappearing into the distance at best possible speed in the not-inconsiderable swell.

Diesel's sunrise and general conditions pic. Wind was around five knots max from the south.

Soon we were deployed on the shoal, pedro jigging for livies (successfully) at the southern edge, diesel bashing the bottom with baits around The Pinnacles and I starting my drift in the SE corner with my cast SP and trailing outfit.

After some 15 minutes of no-talk on the radio, diesel came up and asked me what was going on. At that time none of us had anything to report but within a couple of minutes after that I was on.

It's always nice to get on the board. A 40cm snap which took a liking to my SP.

As soon as I announced this fish by radio, pedro responded to confirm that he'd also just boated a sweetie.

The wind gradually eased and conditions were perfect, if not better. I hooked up again on the SP but the hook pulled (no tooth this time!). Then I was on again, the cast SP continuing to do the damage.

Just a keeper, but very welcome.

On the sonar there were many large accumulations of bait, probably yakkas, as that's what pedro had caught as live bait. In the air, numerous gannets wheeled around blamming into the clear blue water whenever they saw, or fancied they saw, a potential meal.

Just as diesel and I were leaving the shoal for home pedro radioed that he'd boated another sweetie which, once hooked, had been eaten and then disgorged by a probable large cod (evidence: sudden huge weight on the line then the appearance of the scale-less sweetie; ask pedro and see his contribution at the end of this TR).

As usual, we trolled home. Half way back my shallow-running trolled HLP went off with a decidedly lazy growl. I quickly radioed to diesel who was about three hundred metres to the east and then swung around to look after the "fish". Uh, oh! An angry gannet was flopping on the water behind me. This has happened to me before, quite a long time ago, so perhaps I should change to a deeper running lure until summer (when the gannets disappear).

Gannet hooked? Bring to port side of yak (this for right handers). Grab gannet gently but firmly, using left hand, around neck just below head and never allow its head to get within pecking distance of your face/eyes. Drag gannet onto the yak. With right hand access pliers and knife as required and then free the hook/s from the bird (this one was hooked in the soft flesh under the lower jaw and also in the right wing). Once hook is freed, make sure there's no line entangling the bird and then release it gently by just dropping it onto the water surface.

Picking up the gannet (pic by diesel)

Using the pliers (you're in trouble if you don't have any). GoPro video frame.

Checking there's no line entangling the bird before release. GoPro video frame.

This excitement over, we continued our journey. Cue the sand monster.

The surf wasn't big, but there was lots of it. I decided to try for a ride and screwed up. Wet bum. Video available.

But hey what a great morning. Clearly the snapper are there. So hone your SP skills and go get 'em!

Just heard from pedro:

Hi Kev,
I stayed out till 12.30 landing the snapper on (second trip old) whole pilchard about 11.30, one other snapper 35cm not in pic.
No other news except a giant toad followed my livey in and bit me off very cleanly.
Notice the scales missing on the bottom grassy, had the cod on for a couple of minutes and managed to get it off the bottom before it spat the bait (hook fully engulfed by the grassy) so was playing the cod on the sweetlip's spines.



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