Snapper getting bigger. 31Oct15

TR by sunshiner (pics by me)

Wind: 10 knot E, swinging into Laguna Bay
Swell: 1.m SE
Water temp: 24.4°C
Tides: Low 04:02am (0.25m); High 10:41am (1.86m)
Current: None noticed at Jew Shoal
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: None seen
Participants: isobar, weeksie, sunshiner
My trip distance: 11km
Redmap: No sightings
Keen Angler Program: One snapper frame donated by me.

Having not been out for a fish since 14Oct, when I came back with a donut and redwood with a cobia (grrr!), I was understandably keen to get out ASAP to prove to myself that I do sometimes catch fish. Also I'm keen to test out the theory that the bigger snapper are caught during early summer so, as the main experimenter, I have to get out as often as possible to find out what's happening on the local reefs.

I was back in the Army, in my dreams, and woke up at 3:00 am with a considerable degree of relief to find I was in Sunshine Beach and no longer a soldier, as my upcoming Army posting was to be Canberra (Sorry, swabio, but I've been there and done that!). The wind reports looked a bit dodgy, but I reckoned I could handle the bay and Jew Shoal OK, so went downstairs and loaded the yak onto the zook and headed for Middle Groyne. I knew that isobar and weeksie would be along a little later, and also noted that the forecast easterly breeze was making its presence felt at the launch point; meaning that the seas would likely be a bit lumpy out there.

Launching at 4:30 am allowed me enough light to see pretty well, and as a bonus I could clearly observe to the east the rare view of three planets, Venus, Jupiter and Mars, rising simultaneously. As I expected, with the chop rolling into the beach, I did get a wet bum, but it certainly wasn't cold.

Within a couple of minutes I was paddling north east, punching into the chop, and as soon as I was well clear of the shark net I turned on my GoPro and deployed, on my trolling outfit, my customary wire-rigged Laser Pro, shallow runner, 120mm, pilchard pattern (What a deadly lure that has proven to be, for me.).

Weeksie called me up for a radio check when I was about a click out from the beach, as I was making steady, albeit slower than normal, progress toward Jew Shoal through the chop and against the wind. A few, but not a lot of, terns were passing overhead, going my way, I noticed. Sometime in the next month or two I expect to see those terns wheeling around over bustups, but the baitfish aren't yet in the bay in sufficient concentrations.

Normally I can get to Jew Shoal from the beach in around 40 minutes. Today, I was slower by at least ten minutes, I reckon, and was abeam and east of The Pinnacles around an hour after launch where to my delight, the trolling outfit went off with a beautiful screaming run. Straight away I knew this was probably a snapper, as the run ceased pretty quickly and the fish went deep (the lure I was using runs only about one metre down). The fight was typical of a snapper, too, and the GoPro shows that it was all over in less than three minutes, with the 9kg line and Charter Special making it tough for the snap. Even so a decent snapper is a glorious sight, when first seen, down deep in the skinny daylight, as it gradually increases in perceived size, and its colours become more prominent, as the line is retrieved onto the spool. I never get tired of that.

GoPro does a pretty good job with selfies!

Movie (GoPro). Less than two minutes. See the strike and the fight in the beautiful early morning light.

My day was made, and it was only 5:30am. Weeksie joined me at the shoal soon afterward and understandably opted to troll also. My sonar was showing few if any baitfish down deep but I tried a drift for a while and it was shortly after this that isobar showed up and paddled over to say hello and to find out what was going on.

Isobar and his sleek SIK.

As I said, my day was already made, so I decided around 07:00 to head for home, particularly as the wind didn't seem to be lessening.

Weeksie and isobar followed me in and we were all on the near deserted beach by around 08:00 with mine the only fish among us.

My best snapper this season, so far!

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

A plan that worked 25Oct15

TR by eyetag

Wind: 0-10 Knot Easterly till midnight then nothing
Current: run out tide
Launch Point: Noosa Heads Lions park
Participants: Eyetag

The plan was to fish the current line from Rickies down to the sand bags for a couple of hours then head up stream and try to get a Barra. Bigeye trevally were busy feeding right along the current line where I released at least a dozen fish from 20-30cm, not big fish but a lot of fun casting small Gladiator prawns on the 3lb outfit, drifting down and trolling back. The Gold Bomber wasn't touched on any of my return runs until what was to be my last when it got smashed and I had a serious fight with a Great Barracuda that wasn't landed until I was just inside the river mouth (the Hobie would've been a great advantage being able to peddle up stream and hold some ground) I was very lucky he gave up the fight when he did. I beached the yak got a quick photo then after a long time trying to revive him he eventually swam away.

After that ordeal I thought it was time to leave the scene and put part "B" of the plan into action. On arrival I could hear fish feeding and it wasn't long before I was hooked up on the Gold Bomber to a solid fish that was trying desperately to get back to it's snag, I managed to keep him out in open territory and after a good 15 minutes I landed Barra #1 and had him in the pod on ice. Then another pass and another Barra, this one was released after a quick photo.

Stoked with the result I headed back and on my way through the Woods bays I got a nice Tailor and a Jack.

River session 17Oct15

TR by eyetag

Wind: 0-10 Knots variable
Current: top of tide
Launch Point: Noosa Heads Lions park
Participants: Eyetag

I launched around 9 and trolled through the Woods bays straight to the river mouth with only a Hairtail for my effort. On arrival I trolled a gold bomber there with good results landing around half a dozen Bigeye Trevally from 30-45cm, then the tide started running out and I left the scene hastily as it is no place to be in a run out tide of a night time. I then paddled up and fished the current line near Rickys getting a couple more Bigeye on a small gladiator prawn using the light gear and having some fun, but there was little surface action and things were slow. Deciding to head around the back of the sound I trolled the entrance to Weyba creek and after a good 5 minute battle with a hard fighting fish I had the Giant Trevally onboard, I did another 5 minutes trolling without a hit and I headed in.

Fish were bled on capture to limit suffering and improve eating quality.

Two sweets for the doc. 17Oct15

TR by doctordog

Wind: Light east to south east 8-10 knots
Swell: variable .3 to .6 metre
Current: light current at Jew Shoal from the south approx 1 kph
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: DoctorDog and Stormin

Waking at 4am I checked the live weather feed from Cape Moreton and Double Island Point and found the forecast was holding true and the winds were lighter to the south. This had me thinking a Trip to Jew Shoal was in order and possibly even round the corner to Sunshine if the breeze dropped out.

The carpark at MG was remarkably empty when I arrived shortly after 4.30.

As I unloaded my recently repaired BFS I could hear occasional loud reports of waves breaking on the beach in the still morning air. This was to be expected as the tide was dead low. Stormin arrived shortly after me and was first to have his gear on the beach and ready to go.

He paddled out gamely into the dawn ahead of me but sadly the sand monster awoke and tumbled him back to the beach. I was lucky and spotted a slight lull and managed to get out the back with barely a splash. Norman was not so lucky on his second attempt but eventually made it out after I had set up and started heading for JS.

Paddling out to Jew Shoal was relatively easy as the normal early morning boat traffic was very light with the very low tide making bar crossings hazardous for motor craft. I passed some dolphins on the way out but no whales today. I trolled a Laser Pro 120 with no hits.

Stormin joined me at JS marks on my GPS. Fortunately my new radio was working well but I was struggling with gear getting a tangle of line around my rudder necessitating a break off. I also dropped a packet of my two spare batteries, GPS and breakfast snacks. Everything except the batteries floated but I was mightily annoyed with myself for making such a rookie error.

After regaining my floating debris and rejoining my broken line I set up to drift with breeze and current working together to carry me over a nice selection of old GPS marks.

A second major annoyance of the morning was a boatload of divers motoring at some pace across my trailing lines only to anchor right at the top of my planned drift. I turned it to my advantage though as my GPS with flattening batteries could be conserved by just paddling back to the anchored boat or near about at the start of each drift. I failed to observe the dive flag stay clear area but neither did I cast lines in the direction of the spear fishermen as they worked around their home base.

I had a pilchard on an unweighted gang of hooks drifting midwater that was repeatedly shredded by pickers. My nuclear chicken SP claimed two mid-30 cm sweetlip and a couple of other solid fish had the hooks pulled. A good sized yellow tail yakker hit the SP as well and soon found it self being used as live bait.

Several turtles turned up around the shoal but there was no evidence of large pelagic fish nor sea birds diving on bait anywhere in sight around the bay. There were plenty of yellow tail yakkers chasing the SP on retrieve but no larger fish chasing them.

Stormin picked up a pan sized snapper on pilchard bait and was annoyed by a few grinners as well. My solo “vermin” fish was a foul hooked “Happy Moment” which I was careful to release untouched by human hand thus avoiding any of its reputed painful spines.

Stormin and I left JS around 9.00 am and had an uneventful trip back through the surf. I threaded my way through the crowds on the western side of MG while Stormin took the less crowded option of the eastern side.

Our wash down area was over run by a bridal party so wash up was more perfunctory than usual. Although it would have made a good pic I did not prevail upon the blushing bride to hold our fish for a photo nor did I give in to my childish whim to spray her with the hose.

 photo 12112458_1082327091791803_8328639088921504780_n_zpser6zj6ll.jpg
My two sweetlip looking a little pale on the Truth Mat at home.

Tight lines

Doc Dog.

Lucky Strike - 14Oct15

TR by Redwood
Trip date: 14/10/2015
Participants: Sunshiner, Redwood
Launch Site: Middle Groyne
Conditions: 1m swell, light winds (multiple directions), rain
Keen Angler Program: None (they don't want Cobia)

A yakless Zook greeted me at the MG carpark at around 5.15am—Sunshiner had already hit the big blue. I readied my yak and traversed the surf zone with ease and was headed out to JS to join Sunshiner by 5.30. I noticed that unusually the sounder was lighting up with bait fish and what appeared to be bigger fish not far off the rock wall and 15min after launching my heavy rig went with a HLP120 on the end went off. I grabbed the rod and gave the line a few short jerks to hopefully set the hook and then started to reel in. The fish must have been going toward me as I was able to get a lot of line in before the tension came on and when it did I knew it was a decent fish; I could tell it wasn’t a shark.

Unlike many impatient and unsuccessful attempts to boat large hook ups before, this time I was in no hurry and I made sure the drag was not too tight, I even lessened the tension and settled in to play the patient game. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would and less than 15min later I had a nice Cobia in the hatch. The hooks were not set very well and I’m very surprised they didn’t pull. Must be that tough Cobia skin. My watch alarm went off which meant it was 6am. 6am and only 2.5km from the beach meant it could be a very short day on the water for me, but I decided to head out to JS to at least keep Sunshiner company and perhaps bag another fish.

Nice Cobe caught only 2.5KM from MG
At around this time I heard a big clap of thunder so I checked the BOM radar and it looked small so I decided to keep going. The rain did come down pretty hard and both of us got pretty soaked. The sun behind the rain produced a very unusual glowing yellow sky—quite beautiful.

I arrived at JS and found Sunshiner who kindly took a few snaps of the Cobia.

I've still gotta learn how to hold that fish like a machine gun - pic by Sunshiner

Sunshiner said he’d found a spot with same baitfish so I decided to do a bit of SP drifting with him. After a while I thought I might try to bag a livey and see if that might attract another Cobia but was having no luck in the spot I was in. I paddled all around JS and finally found a big bait ball and jigged up 4 yakka’s, one of which went out on my livey rig.

By this time Sunshiner was also paddling around looking for baitfish but also just moving his muscles so he could warm up as the earlier soaking and made things a bit chilly. Sunshiner had a few nice hits early but didn't hook up and was not having much luck later in the morning. All was quiet at JS except for a number of dolphins and the occasional deep blow of a whale (I only heard it, didn't see it).

By 9am I was feeling a bit green from all the close work I was doing with the baitfish jigging and trying to undo the serious twist up of my livey and HLP rigs almost sent me over the edge. Sunshiner had organised for some of his family, who were up in Noosa on holiday, to be on the beach by 9.30am, so I was more than happy to head back.

We arrived back on the beach exacly at 9.30am and did the customary brag mat and fish holder pics with one brave Sunshinerite volunteering to hold the very slimy and fishy smelling Cobia. Thanks Annie!

Annie Sunshiner from Melbourne
On the beach I read the length as 1m and knew that was well under the record so didn't bother measuring too accurately, but looks like over 110 in the pic. 10cm worth of parallax? It's possible.
Looks like this guy may have been hooked before as the notch out of the bottom lip was not my hook. You can see where mine hooked in the corner of the mouth.

It was really good to get out on the bay again after what seems like a very long hiatus and to bag such a splendid eating fish was a big bonus. Thanks for the company and pics Sunshiner.

Rachycentron for rylin. 05Oct15

TR by sunshiner (pics by me)

Wind: 7-8knot W until about 8:30am then calm, then NE.
Swell: 1.2m E
Water temp: 23.3°C
Tides: High 01:26am (1.16m); Low 07:21am (0.56m)
Current: None noticed at Jew Shoal
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: None seen
Participants: rylin, scottyD, jamieD, stormin, doc dog, irish_luck, diesel, pedro, eyetag, sunshiner
My trip distance: 15km
Redmap: No sightings
Keen Angler Program: Two snapper frames donated by me. Others may also have donated.

Commenting on this TR: Use the blogger Comment facility appearing below or, for Noosa Yakkers members only, Facebook, Noosa Yakkers Group page, where you'll find a post which includes a link to this published TR.

Pretty boisterous launch this morning, with the tide fairly low and a decent shorebreak forming from the easterly swell. All ten starters got out OK, but I witnessed scottyD catch a bit of air, three times, on the way out.

Pedro and eyetag fancied their chances at Sunshine Reef and were first away really early. The rest of us were all bound for Jew Shoal by the time the sun peeped over the horizon. Here doc dog, diesel, irish and I were drift fishing for snapper while stormin, jamieD, scottyD and rylin were criss-crossing and circumnavigating the shoal towing baits and hardbodies.

Today I was trying out a new (for me) style of SP and will report back after a couple of trips if I think it's more successful than others. So far, it's looking good, even though it may be a little more expensive. So, second cast for me today, within five minutes of starting, I felt the unmistakeable bump of a snapper enquiry "on the drop". No hook up, however. Later, I got three snapper hookups, all in the same area which I chose because I could see baitfish down deep on the sonar, a rare event at Jew Shoal today. My take-home snapper score for the season has advanced to 13 today, most of them sized in the forties, with only one, I think, over 60. The biggies are yet to hit town (maybe late Nov, for a month or so).

The catch of the day, as far as I'm aware, was rylin's first cobia, taken on a trolled slimy mackerel, on his first trip out with Noosa Yakkers.

He was very pleased, justifiably so. Another member of the cobia club.

Pedro and eyetag were having some success bottom bashing out at Sunshine Reef, but I had only scant info by radio by the time I got back to the beach (they were still out there). Please fill us in on the details, guys.

This was my best snapper for the day. Not big, but satisfactory, and it did completely destroy my new SP.

The sand monster was certainly present today as we returned. To make the beach returns just a little more exciting and difficult, there were throngs of holidaymakers frolicking in the waves on both the east and west sides of the groyne. Please keep in mind, especially for the upcoming holiday season, that our launch point is entirely within a designated Bathing Reserve and so is affected by some special rules. One of these is that sharp objects (think unshrouded fish hooks) are generally not permitted in the surf. One obvious danger is that a hook or gaff on a yak might lodge in a swimmer if a yak turns feral in the surf. Please stow and make safe all sharp objects before running the surf zone and also try to choose a clear path which will not endanger bathers, most of whom have no idea how out-of-control and unstoppable a kayak can become in the surf zone.

Well done rylin. Thanks, guys, for coming along today.

Short Waterwolf video, contributed by JamieD on 06Oct15. Shows the resident kingies near The Pinnacles.

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

Cobia again. 01Oct15

TR by sunshiner (pics by me)

Wind: 2 knot WSW at first, dropping off to near calm later
Swell: Almost none
Water temp: 22.8°C
Tides: Low 03:44am (0.13m); High 10:08am (1.85m)
Current: possible toward north at Jew Shoal
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: None
Participants: panno, diesel, jaro, sunshiner
My trip distance: 11.5km
Keen Angler Program: nothing today (wrong species)

Note: I have some GoPro footage from today which I may use to create one or two short vids for posting on our FB group page, and possibly a longer version which I'll post on YouTube later. This longer one, if created, I intend to be added to this TR as an embedded object added to the post later. Movie added to this post on 02Oct15 (down at the bottom).

Very low tide today (moon at minimum distance from earth for this year was on 28Sep, so the gravitational pull it's exerting right now is greater than usual), consequently our paddling distance to Jew Shoal was reduced but we had to walk further. Diesel suggested we stow our wheels on the end of the groyne as the long walk back to the lifeguard tower could thereby be avoided. Regular launchers at Middle Groyne will no doubt spot a couple of flaws in this tongue-in-cheek proposal.

All except panno, the youngster, launched in a tiny surf at around 5:00am, with the waning moon still bright in near cloudless conditions. Panno came along a little later and joined us at Jew Shoal.

Also joining us at the shoal was a momma whale and her feeding calf, right next to where diesel and I intended to fish. So we two substituted whale watching for fishing for some 15 minutes, making sure to not get so close that we disturbed them.

Momma! Big!

Once the whales had moved off, by silently slipping under the surface, leaving large swirls behind, diesel and I resumed fishing, just as panno arrived, announcing that he'd picked up a bonito on his trolled lure. This is the first bonito I've heard of from our gang for many months, so perhaps the warm water is bringing them in. Pic later.

Barely had we got settled into our drift fishing routine when I spotted that jaro, just to the north of me, had a rod bent like Robin Hood's bow. I queried him by radio and jaro confirmed that he was hooked up; "probably a bloody big shark". Diesel offered to take it off his hands and started paddling toward him so, having decided that the transfer of a large (but less than 1.5m, the max legal size for sharks) live shark between the two might provide some interesting movie footage, I paddled over to jaro also. Cobia are easily mistaken for sharks, especially when viewed from directly above and I was not surprised when jaro, just as I neared him exclaimed "No, it's a bloody big cobia!". So I was on the spot to video the final part of his capture of a very good cobia. You may recall that pedro got a cobia last week, same general location. Last year, starting in early November, we got a good run of cobia for about six weeks at Jew Shoal so perhaps these fish are the forerunners of more to come.

Jaro's very pleased. Taken on drifted pillie.

Panno was hitting the grassies, now, on SPs, a small keeper earlier then a really nice specimen. But I, also fishing with SPs could catch only a grinner and one undersized pearl perch. Diesel announced today that he'd caught his first fish ever on a SP, one of the little black-tipped cod which are common at Jew Shoal.

By about 08:30, in almost totally calm conditions, there was a general agreement to head back to Middle Groyne. The perfect beach conditions had attracted a huge holiday crowd who mobbed jaro when he pulled his cobia from his fish box. Possibly the beaches will be a little less crowded next week with most of the kids back at school.

The cobia went close enough to 110cm, just 5cm longer than pedro's, last week.

The combined catches of jaro and panno.

Looks like some nice fishing days coming up next week.

Two minute movie added on 02Oct15

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