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

No comments:

Post a Comment