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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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