Snapper saviour. 30Aug15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: 6-8 knot W at first, dropping off to near calm later
Swell: 1.2m SE
Water temp: 22.2°C
Tides: 8:06 am : 1.64 H; 2:11 pm : -0.02 L
Current: at Jew Shoal, W to E, about 2kph
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: none
Participants: stormin, sunshiner
My trip distance: 15.2km
Keen Angler Program: One snapper frame donated

Movie link, added on 31Aug15

Granted, the weather looked dodgy. But stormin and I had been watching it closely for several days. MetEye was having a bet each way: the dividing line between light winds and crappy winds ran N-S just east of the bay. We knew we could get out and back OK, but didn't know how long we'd get to fish before the wind picked up. In the event, the wind dropped away to nothing where we were. And the sun eventually broke through the overcast. And we didn't get rained on at all.

Full of hope that lazybugger's report yesterday that Bray's Rock was crawling with snapper meant that Jew Shoal might be also, I launched first and decided to head for the shoal. Stormin opted to join me.

In recognition of tunny's beautiful jewie catch on Friday, I was trolling the biggest lure I had, almost submerging my stern with its drag. No dice! Perhaps it intimidated any fish that saw it. On arrival at the shoal with its crystal clear water I stowed the big lure and switched to my SP routine (surprise, surprise).

Stormin opted to target the grassies with bait. One of the great things about kayak fishing is that each can choose his own place to fish and own method. Even better with radios, as we have, as we can tell each other how we're going. Well, stormin was telling me. I wasn't letting on that I was catching nothing. That's not quite true; my drogue, which once caught a jelly blubber, today became the refuge for a two-spot crab which entered its cavernous shelter when I wasn't looking. Eventually it caught my eye and I decided to investigate the presence of a mysterious coloured object nestling up to the Bunnings logo.

Female, so not permitted to be kept at all. Yes, I briefly considered it as a live bait.

By now, stormin had a keeper grassie and had released at least one smaller specimen. My hopes soared when I hooked up only to quickly realise it was tiny. What's more, I couldn't identify it.

Possibly a butterfly-bream of some sort. Never seen one before. If you know what it is please enlighten me.

Stormin's got a second keeper grassie. I get a tiny bar-tailed flathead. Faith in my imitation prawn SP keeps me plugging away and helps Starlo and Bushy fund their retirement.

I've found that an eastward drift of about 500m starting at The Pinnacles takes the drifter over some interesting underwater terrain, often inhabited by clouds of small fish, visible on the sonar. After trying every other drift option in the previous three hours, I was back to this, one of my favourites. Stormin was nearby, cutting up the smaller of his two keepers (a fish I would have been proud of!) as he'd run out of bait. He saw it as a means of upgrading and sure enough, he did just that a while later, but just in time, my prawn look alike got hammered, in 22m, with a large cloud of bait visible on the sonar display. I knew straight away it was my snapper saviour as it had taken the SP on the drop and immediately pulled line off the spool in heading for the bottom.

This month of August has been paltry, fish wise, for me. So there was no way I was going to horse this fish in. I let it have its head and sure enough, within a couple of minutes it was heading for the surface much against its instincts.

My best fish of August 2015.

Close up, showing SP.

Stormin and I tried the same short drift a few more times without success, even though the cloud of baitfish was visible each time. Then we headed home in bright sunlight to crack the small friendly waves at the groyne.

SUP dog didn't seem too happy!

stormin storming home

My turn

Beach pics

On the mat. Snapper 56cm; grassies 37cm and 40cm.

Stormin with our boats

Thanks for reading.

Kev Long
Author Kayak Fishing Manual for iPhone, iPad and Mac (click linked text to view)
Stealth Supalite X, yellow/orange
FREE iBook "Kayak Fishing Laguna Bay & Jew Shoal" for iPhone, iPad and Mac

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