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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nice day, eh?
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