King (for) pedro. 22Sep15

TR by sunshiner (pics by me)

Wind: 2 knot S at first, dropping off to near calm later
Swell: 1.5m SE
Water temp: 22.8°C
Tides: 1:51 am : 1.09 H; 7:54 am : 0.48 L
Current: possible toward north at Jew Shoal
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: Both I and MrTall saw tuna up to one metre long free jumping around Jew Shoal
Participants: MrTall (guest, and probable new Noosa Yakker from Vic), pedro, diesel, jaro, sunshiner
My trip distance: 13.5km
Keen Angler Program: nothing today (wrong species)

Note: I have some GoPro footage from today which I intend to use to create a couple of short vids which I'll post on our FB group page today, and a longer version which I'll post on YouTube later. Edited 23Sep15: The longer movie is now accessible from this TR at the end of the post.

With the equinox rapidly approaching, the increased daylight is very apparent to anyone who's been launching at Jew Shoal very early for the last several months. Today we were all on the water by around 05:15 and there was sufficient light at that time to set up without a head torch.

Perfect conditions (thanks BOM, for your accurate weather forecasting). Jaro was alone in his decision to go for Halls Reef, with the rest of us opting for Jew Shoal although pedro did say he might go further north, depending on what we found at Jew Shoal. The fact that we were back on the beach by about 09:45 might tell you that pedro had no need to go further.

One thing I noticed was that there were hundreds of terns leaving their roosts near the river mouth just as I was setting up. They were headed NE. Also, if you check the water temp (mentioned in the preamble), you'll see that it has increased by 1.1°C in the week since last Tuesday.

By 6:00am I was just starting to drift fish at the shoal. Nearby also were MrTall and diesel, both drift fishing with baits or SPs, and pedro, who was slow trolling. It didn't take long. Pedro radioed that he was hooked up to something solid. I could see he was only 300-400m from me so I offered to come over with the cameras as a pic on the water is worth two on the beach (depending on who the fish holder is, of course).

Nice, cobe, pedro. Note the lure. You can see a short vid of this capture on our Facebook group page now.

Perhaps this is a front runner of a cobia season which we had around this time last year?

Shortly after this I spotted some longtails free jumping east of The Pinnacles. MrTall also saw some, apparently the first he'd ever seen.

I was fishing for snapper with an SP, targetting the areas around the large schools of bait I could see on the sonar. Nothing I did attracted any attention, however, except I did get a strike (hooks pulled) on my trolled HLP when relocating to the start of my drift pattern.

Just to the SE of me, I could see that pedro was hanging around concentrating in one area. When I radioed him to ask what was going on he said that he'd found some bait schools and plucked several livies from them and had put out a live slimy mac, which he was towing very slowly. A few minutes later he grunted over the radio "Hooked up. Something pretty big!". Not being able to resist, I paddled over to see if I could help and to get some pics.

After a surprisingly short time, pedro had the fish under the yak. At first he called it for a cobia, then a Spaniard, then a cobia again as he got a closer look at it. I was not far away and the fish was certainly impressive in the clear water. After a while we both agreed that it was the biggest yellowtail kingfish we'd seen in Noosa. Certainly a new record for Noosa Yakkers, breaking pedro's existing record, which was admittedly just over legal size. We rarely see kingies here, although I know they are present as I saw a school of them the first time I scuba-dived at Jew Shoal quite a few years ago. Anyway, it was huge but very subdued by the time pedro had played him out and dragged him onto the yak.

A short vid of this capture available now on our FB group page.

By now, diesel had left Jew Shoal for Halls Reef, where jaro was catching giant and normal-sized grinners and also sharks, all on bait. MrTall told us that he'd had a massive high speed strike while trolling a small white SP. This episode ended with a broken leader knot so I told him that in my opinion he'd had his first close encounter with a longtail. I'm sure we'll see MrTall back just as soon as he can make it.

Time was getting on and pedro had enough fish so we now all headed back to the beach, those of us who were fishless hoping to bask in the pedro's reflected beach glory. Which we did as there was plenty of glory to go around, what with the beautiful sunny weather and the school holidays underway.

Beach pics

Kid with cobia

His mum with kingie

Cobia on the mat

Yellowtail kingfish. 115cm. New Noosa Yakkers record.

Pedro, well pleased.

Some of the assembled beachgoers.

TR in two minutes: Movie starring pedro mainly

Well, done, pedro. Now let's hope that a new cobia season is about to start.

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

Maori Cod and Flounder at Little Halls, 17 September 2015

TR by Tunny
Trip date: 17 September 2015
Participants: Redwood, Tunny (with Panno out there on a boat)
Launch Site:  MG
Conditions: Wind 10 knots NW at 8 am falling to 5 knots by 10 am; High Tide 10.12 am; Overcast with a few scattered showers.
Keen Angler Program: Nothing donated

With my addiction to kayak fishing I checked the weather forecast early this morning to find the outlook better than I had expected.  But there was a storm warning for mid day/ early afternoon so I figured I had a few hours to head out.  I was joined by Redwood at MG at around 8 am and we launched at 8.15 am.  The launch was easy and we headed for Little Halls with the idea of possibly going on to Halls unless there were signs of the storm building.

We both trolled Halco lures without a touch.  The bait fish that had been breaking the surface on my previous trip were also absent this morning and there were no signs of any birds. On arrival at Little Halls Panno came on the radio to let us know he was out in his boat and had trolled around Halls with no success. We trolled to about 500 m north of Little Halls but the horizon was dark with thick cloud and we opted not to push on to Halls in case the storm came through.

We both switched to soft plastics, with Redwood catching a Flounder of 25 cm at around 9.30 am.  I caught a Maori Cod shortly after that which I released as it was under the 45 cm size limit.

Maori Cod
Redwood headed back to MG at around 10 am and I followed about half an hour later. Despite the lack of fish it was a fun few hours on the water.

Hatchful! 15Sep15

TR by sunshiner, with pics from various sources

Wind: 5 knot SSW at first, dropping off to near calm later
Swell: 1.0m E
Water temp: 21.7°C
Tides: 2:25 am : 0.24 L; 8:31 am : 1.52 H
Current: non detected
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: none reported
Participants: MrTall (guest from Vic), tunny, tyler, jimbo, diesel, jaro, sunshiner
My trip distance: 11.1km
Keen Angler Program: One snapper frame donated by me and one other (large) frame donated by tunny

It had been over a week since we could get out, due to unfavourable winds. But large fish have been turning up in our catch recently and the water remains clear so why wouldn't we have a shot when we can?

MrTall, a Victorian Hobie pedaller, had contacted me recently asking me if there was any chance that he could join us for a trip, as he was about to arrive on the Sunny Coast for a holiday with family and yak. Of course, I said yes and he was able to come along today. Hope you enjoyed it, Dave.

A pre-sunrise launch it was for most of us, with jimbo and tyler coming along a little later and joining the groups by radio. Diesel and I headed for Jew Shoal with MrTall accompanying us as he had no GPS. Later we were joined by tyler. Tunny, jaro and jimbo opted for Little Halls Reef/Halls Reef, a good choice as it turned out.

Just before launch I recall that tunny let me know that he had to be back in early so that he could be sitting in a dentist's chair down in Maroochydore, all cleaned up, at 11:30am. So much for good intentions!

Radio communication between the groups, despite the distance and intervening swell, proved workable and so verbal reports of the action at both localities was available to all.

As usual, I was after a snapper as the Keen Angler Program is in dire need of their frames (that's my excuse, anyway). Others had different priorities but as it turned out I was the first to hook up.

The cast that produced the hookup, just before 6:30am.

The SP was picked up as it gently descended to the ocean floor. Immediately I knew it was a snapper, and a reasonable fish. The struggle lasted only a couple of minutes with the fish trying desperately to get to the bottom, amd my reel drag forcing it to work hard for every centimetre it gained.

Gaff time.

MrTall kindly donated this pic he took this morning. Thanks, Dave.

Showing the SP, a prawn imitation (cheaper than the real thing!)

Anyway, the attention now shifts to Halls Reef, where jaro and company were trolling tempting offerings made by the Halco company. Just as I was putting my fish on ice the radio blared. Jaro was hooked up to a screamer. This turned out to be a lovely longtail, his first for a while if my memory serves me correctly. Taken on a mid-depth running 120mm HLP.

Tunny took this pic a little later. That's jimbo in the left distance.

For a while I thought that this might be a trip where the over 70s prevailed, but then came the news that tunny, a relative youngster, was now hooked up to what we all assumed was another longtail.

Nope, the next news we got was that it was the first Spaniard of the season, and a stonker at that. It was safely in tunny's hatch, which has accommodated a variety of large specimens lately.

By tunny, obviously. This is a great view of a stand-out fish in captured mode. More views later. Is there space in the hatch for another? Taken on a shallow running 120mm HLP.

Being aware that tunny had to be back on the beach fairly early, and knowing that he had a 5km paddle ahead, I, with a 4km paddle to the beach, started to make arrangements with tunny about 08:30 to head for the beach. My aim was to meet him there to get some pics of this fine fish he'd boated. He set off, and I set off. The remainder of the crew opted to head in also.

Despite the rising tide, there was a bit of a surf break at Middle Groyne, and a dozen or so learner surfers trying themselves out on it.

Riding the shorey at Middle Groyne about 09:20am.

Rain was starting and I wandered up to get my wheels where I found Noosa Yakker panno hanging around, taking shelter under the lifeguard shed. Once he heard that tunny was inbound with a big Spaniard and that jaro had a decent longtail aboard he opted to hang around.

My snapper, on the beach.

Gradually panno and I were joined by diesel, jaro, jimbo and tyler, but of tunny there was no sign. We were in touch by radio, however, and learned that his trolled HLP had been taken only about 1km out from Middle Groyne, and that he was fighting a fish which was towing him eastward. Slowly the info came in, he had the fish under the yak but couldn't see it; then he could confirm it as a fat tuna; then he had it safely aboard and was paddling in. By now he had no hope of making his dentist appointment.

Beach pics

Jaro's longtail

Tunny's longtail, first out of the hatch.

And on the mat

His Spaniard, second out of the hatch

And on the mat, 134cm, in the Yeehah Zone. This is tunny's second Yeehah Zone Spaniard in a few months.

One very happy yakker

The lures that tunny used.

Diesel and panno help tunny drag his laden yak up the beach.

Nice day, eh?

Movie, added 17Sep15

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

Stormin's Longtail, 7 September 2015

TR by Stormin
Trip date: 7 September 2015
Participants: Jimbo, Stormin, Tunny
Launch Site:  MG
Conditions: Wind NW less than 10 knots, falling to zero mid morning; then picking up after 10 am. Low Tide 9.25 am; very little drift at Little Halls and Halls Reef.
Keen Angler Program: Nothing donated

I had no plans to go fishing this morning as I had spent the weekend on the Gold Coast with my girlfriend. We arrived home at around 7 pm last night and half an hour later I was in bed snoring.  I woke up at around 3 am and could not get back to sleep. Hmmmm what should I do?  I checked the freezer for bait and found a kg of small slimeys and a few pillies.  A couple of hours later I was at MG talking to Tunny and Jimbo. Jimbo opted to head for Jew Shoal while Tunny and I planned to go first to Little Halls then on to Halls Reef. I was keen to try my new paddle, a full carbon Wermer Shuna.

Sunrise at Little Halls (view from Tunny's kayak)
Tunny and I bottom-fished Little Halls without success.  I used bait while Tunny used soft plastics.  There was plenty of bait fish on the surface but we had very few bites.  Tunny caught one undersized Flathead which was released.  We then continued on to Halls Reef where I caught some small Cod, four Grinners, an undersized Snapper and a 40 cm Grassie using slimeys and pillies as bait.  We radioed Jimbo who said he had not caught anything at Jew Shoal.  The wind died down completely at about 8.30 am and the sea went flat and glassy:
Glassy sea.  View from Tunny's kayak with Stormin in the distance
Tunny decided to head back to fish the area around Little Halls where we had seen the bait fish.  I stayed a few minutes longer at Halls Reef then also headed off towards Little Halls.  I was concentrating on my paddling when my trolled slimey got hit.  This is the first time I have heard my Torium HG scream that long! I announced my hook up to Jimbo and Tunny and put the radio next to the reel so they could hear it scream.  I was a bit worried that it could be a big shark but after 10 minutes I retrieved my line so that I could see the Longtail Tuna.  But then it took off again.  I can't remember how many times I retrieved my leader and thought the fight was over.  But the fish kept just would not give up and it took another 35 minutes to land it.

The wind was now picking up so I paddled back to MG without trolling.  The new paddle is awesome - very light and stiff.  Back at MG I was congratulated by Jimbo and Tunny as well as Sunshiner who kindly came down to take photos and provide some cake for morning tea.

The biggest Longtail I have caught

Photo by Sunshiner
Longtail went 109 cm
A good day out.  See you next time.

Another day, another snapper. 06Sep15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: 2 knot SW at first, dropping off to near calm later
Swell: 1.5m SE
Water temp: 21.1°C
Tides: 1:56 am : 1.16 H; 8:08 am : 0.42 L
Current: non detected
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: none reported
Participants: allan o'leary, eyetag, diesel, jaro, sunshiner
My trip distance: 10.1km
Keen Angler Program: One snapper frame donated today

As usual, eyetag had launched earlier than the rest of us, and we late starters launched at least 30 minutes before sunrise. For the info of those who may be interested there is still ample light at that time to dodge waves, even if we had to, which we didn't today.

By the time we checked in with eyetag by radio, he confirmed that he was past the river mouth, heading north, intent on nailing the longtails his spies had told him were hugging the north shore. Diesel had originally decided to head for A-Bay Reef, but part way there had changed his mind and paddled for Jew Shoal, which is where the rest of us went.

Jaro was the first to hit paydirt. Part way to the shoal he had his HLP nailed by a pretty big mac tuna which he released because it was about 1cm shorter than my new Noosa Yakkers record mac tuna from last Wednesday. My first SP cast of the day went out at 06:17, just near The Pinnacles, with a slow wind drift taking me toward the NE.

Of those at Jew Shoal, diesel eventually became the first to get on the board with a just size snapper. As I found out later, Alan would have been on the board too, but he needs to memorize the legal length for grass sweetlip (30cm) as he released a 36cm specimen. Probably that mistake won't occur again.

Around 8:00am I had a good hit from what was obviously a snapper and boated a 48cm keeper which I initially called for around 50-52cm. I used to have a pretty good eye for judging fish lengths but seem to be losing that particular skill, possibly along with others of which I'm yet unaware. Anyway, 48cm is pretty good, especially when no one else was catching anything much.

My only worthwhile fish of the day.

Diesel left around 9:00am, I think, then Jaro about 09:30. At about this time I received a radio report from eyetag back at Middle Groyne telling us that he'd paddled 19.6km and boated only two grinners and a minuscule, but noteworthy spotty mac. Well, he did say earlier he needed the exercise.

By 10:00am I'd had enough and headed for home, closely followed by Alan.

Lovely conditions, but the fishing's still slow.

Anyone going tomorrow?

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

Another record? 02Sep15

TR by sunshiner, with contribution by tunny at the end.

Wind: 2-3 knot W at first, dropping off to near calm later
Swell: 1m SE
Water temp: 21.7°C
Tides: 4:23 am : 0.08 L; 10:34 am : 1.70 H
Current: non detected
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: none
Participants: peebee, jaro, tunny, sunshiner
My trip distance: 15.2km
Keen Angler Program: Nothing donated today

There are few if any greater pleasures than the simple act of paddling (or pedalling) your kayak out into Laguna Bay on a perfect morning. The sun is yet to show but is not far from the glowing horizon, the sky is completely clear and punctuated by the brighter objects in view, the waning moon is providing supplementary illumination. There's no wind, the sea is glassy with a tiny swell, and Noosa, directly behind, is yet to awake to its usual low-key holiday bustle. That's what we had today. Fan-bloody-tastic.

Tunny wondering if he'll dry-bum it. He did.

See what I mean? Glorious!

Jaro reckoned he was a bit blasé today, telling me he nearly got a saltwater bath on the way out. A couple of minutes to set up, and we're away. Today we'd decided to try Little Halls Reef and, if necessary, Halls Reef. This because of the recent action in that area. Besides, tunny had "jewie" written all over his preparations but I reminded him that such amazing fish as he got last Friday tend to come along rarely.

I'd fallen back on my usual HLP as a trolling lure today, the shallow diver, 120mm, pilchard pattern with the blue back which practically glows in low light conditions. Tunny was out in front, jaro still setting up, peebee yet to even arrive (You need to be there earlier, Pete.).

There's little point in having a GoPro unless it's running when the action begins. And you never know when the action is likely to start, so, best solution, have it running continuously. Mine was running, having been turned on immediately before I put the HLP out. The recorded footage shows that I paddled for less than one minute after deploying the lure before it was taken.

The strike

Now, diesel had hooked up a longtail in almost the same place/same time on Monday. There's a pattern emerging here. Maybe the predators are hunting in the bay at night. Anyway, a fair bit of string got pulled off before I'd assumed the fighting attitude. By the way the fish was pulling me around I knew it had some weight and power and then I felt the high-frequency vibration typical of a tuna. Within a few minutes I saw in the half light that I had on a larger than usual mac tuna. What's more the lure was jammed across its jaw, with both hooks embedded. The only reasonable solution was to gaff the fish, which I did.

Jaro came over to find out the cause of the commotion.

Movie of the mac tuna capture

I was present over three years ago when pedro established the NY record of 82cm for mackerel tuna. This fish now in my hatch seemed that it might be big enough to knock off that record. Certainly it seemed the biggest mac tuna I'd ever seen.

By the time I'd tidied up, tunny was getting close to Little Halls Reef. Jaro and I travelled to that reef in close company and there the three of us started fishing, all clustering around the standard Noosa Yakkers mark for Little Halls Reef, where those of us who had sonar could see a large cloud of baitfish almost on the mark. This looked promising, but all our efforts to bag a fish there came to nothing. It seemed there were no predators harassing the bait.

Peebee radioed in and let us know he was on his way to join us. Jaro soon tired of the lack of action and headed off to Halls Reef, some 2km further north, to soak his baits there. This was a good move for jaro, as he reported within 30 minutes of his departure that he'd bagged a beautiful fat grassy. This and jaro's subsequent report that he was getting "heaps of bites" finally convinced tunny and me that we should also try Halls Reef. You guessed it -- as soon as we got there, the action slowed to a stop.

So around 09:30 jaro, peebee and I left for Middle Groyne and home. We paddled in perfect conditions, although I suspect that jaro would have liked a brisk northerly to inflate his sail and make the five km trip a little easier.

Beach pics

My mac tuna. A potential new record for Noosa Yakkers.

Jaro's very nice grassy, taken on prawn bait.

Contribution by tunny

I jigged soft plastics for about 20 minutes after you left without any success. I then headed from Halls Reef towards the beach and trolled a Halco 120 back to MG keeping quite close inshore. I had no bites but went past a large patch of what seemed like surface fish action (no visible fish but swirling water). About 800 metres north of the river mouth and 50 metres from this fish action I saw what at first appeared to be dolphin fins. But I soon realised it was two large sharks either feeding on something on the surface or fighting (or as Jaro suggested possibly mating). The action only lasted about 30 seconds then they disappeared. Although the sighting was very brief I could clearly see two tail fins and two dorsal fins and guess the sharks were about 2.5-3 metres long. Even though they disappeared quickly I changed route to avoid going through the area they were last seen.


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