Spots, snaps, schoolies. 29Nov15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: calm until we got back to the beach when the northerly kicked in
Swell: about 1m ESE
Water temp: 25.6°C
Tides: Low 03:40am (0.27m); High 10:21am (1.93m)
Current: gently toward north at Jew Shoal
Launch point: Middle Groyne and Doggie Beach
Surface action: Some bait on surface but no big splashes
Participants: diesel, panno, tunny, scottyD, jaro, irish_luck, sunshiner
My trip distance: 14.5km (had to have a sleep afterward)
Redmap: No sightings provided
Keen Angler Program: At least one snapper frame donated

All except scottyd launched at Middle Groyne. I'd briefly considered launching at Doggie Beach, where scotty launched, but based on the latest info I thought that northern Laguna Bay would have better prospects. Oops!

So there we were, at 4:00am, afloat and setting up in a glassy sea at Middle Groyne. We'd launched at dead low tide but the swell was tiny. A waning moon overlooked us and peeped through and between clouds moving slowly and low from the west. In the end, jaro, diesel and I headed for Jew Shoal, while tunny, panno, and (a bit later) irish_luck, went for Little Halls Reef.

Diesel and I, the forward scouts of our component, were on the shoal just as the sun peeped over the horizon. Probably panno and tunny were simultaneously arriving at Little Halls Reef. Radio comms were excellent between the locations and, as it turned out, very useful.

As diesel said "It doesn't get any better than this". He was, of course, referring to the weather. The sea surface was smooth, but unfortunately, not punctuated with explosions of baitfish and predators, as I hoped it might be.

Jaro was about 20 minutes behind us and was the first to get a strike on his trolled lure somewhere en route to JS, boating (and releasing) an undersize school mackerel. He also reported a good strike right on the edge of the shoal which failed to hookup properly.

After trolling onto the shoal without result I found some sign of baitfish down deep and decided to try an SP around them, mostly without success, unless a couple of grinners and an undersize pearl perch count. Neither diesel nor jaro were getting anything better apparently, as there was no triumphal announcements over the radio from them.

The Little Halls Reef push were doing better, for panno and tunny had happened upon some bait balls. The first we heard of this was when panno announced he'd had a solid strike and bite-off. (I reckoned it was likely a school mackerel as I've had that happen to me in that area before, successfully boating schoolies after beefing up the terminal tackle.) Soon the radio commentary between panno and tunny was making us feel envious. Apparently shoals of baitfish were visible on the surface, unharassed by terns. Using SPs, panno was picking off predators from underneath the shoals, using his sonar to advantage. First a small snapper, then another, then a flathead.

We were unaware that scottyd had launched until he came up on the radio, telling us that he was east of Doggie Beach (about 6km away on the other side of Noosa Head) and had just had a double hookup on spotty macs and boated both fish. He sounded chuffed, as you'd expect. As for us at Jew Shoal, we were torn between the two. Diesel and I decided for the west (3km paddle) while jaro, on his first paddle trip for ages and perhaps feeling frisky, opted to chase the spotties, a daunting 6km paddle there, and another 6-8km paddle home, some of it perhaps into the forecast northerly. By the time we were underway scottyd had confirmed that he was bagged out (as often happens when you find a patch of spotty macs) and heading back west to Doggie Beach. You can see scottyd's post on our Facebook group page; thanks for posting scotty.

Bagout on spotties. Nice going mate. Photo by scottyd.

Diesel and I knocked off the 3km in about 30 minutes, he a little less, I a little more. On arrival we could see panno and tunny paddling gently in circles on the millpond that was Little Halls Reef. The baitfish were moving quite quickly so to maintain contact with them required some effort. Patches of bait which weren't on the surface were also visible on sonar. Presumably, the baitfish which were on the surface were being harassed by snapper and other minor league predators, while the other sub-surface patches were simply resting between attacks, or lying doggo. Whatever, panno by now had picked up a third small but keeper snapper and a quite large slatey bream (to be confirmed when panno provides a photo).

A big, ugly, slatey bream aka painted sweetlip. Record breaker. "all on a white gulp 5 inch".

I pulled up next to the first patch of bait I came to, whacked an SP into the milling throng and let it sink (the whole reef is only 14m or so deep) and quite quickly picked up a small keeper snapper.

I reckon any old small SP will do. This fish took a battered and superglue-repaired prawn imitation which had caught several fish previously.

The surface patches of bait were moving quite quickly, as demonstrated when tunny and I started following one patch to get within casting distance. The whole patch was moving and we were paddling at about 5-6kph for several minutes, slowly catching them; several terns were having brekky on these fish as they moved. We could tell that we were not overrunning them because they weren't showing on the sonar until we actually caught up. So why were they moving so quickly? Either they were chasing smaller (and unusually fast swimming) prey or were themselves being spooked by the few predators present. My guess is the latter.

Panno had decided to head home, as he had a nice gift for his mother-in-law (touching, isn't it?) then diesel also departed the scene. This left only irish_luck, tunny and me. Tunny's persistence finally paid off when he boated a nice school mackerel about 70cm on a pillie bait and soon after that with the air temperature rising rapidly and the first signs of the forecast northerly we three headed for the groyne, arriving there about 0900. Jaro's sail was visible on the NE horizon as we approached the groyne and he came ashore soon afterward, fishless, knackered but still enthusiastic.

Now we know the spotties are around, it's likely just a matter of time before they enter the bay and start smashing the bait. Dust off your slug casting outfits, guys.

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

NYTR 27112015 DoctorDog nails a Mangrove Jack at last

TR by Doctor Dog
Trip date: 27.11.2015
Participants: DoctorDog, Eyetag
Launch Site:Noosa Heads Lions Park for Noosa River
Conditions:full moon light to moderate south east breeze overcast
Keen Angler Program: none kept

After launching around midnight Eyetag lead the way past the Sheraton to the Woods Bays where I  trolled a Gold Bomber and found no interest but was intrigued by the picture on the sounder of the myriad of holes and banks in an apparently open stretch of the river ; good fishy habitat indeed.
New Rod gets its first victim
This hungry Big Eye Trevally brightened up my evening when I moved towards the rivermouth and drifted a Gladiator Prawn on a light jighead. He hit it so hard the lure was well down his throat and my surgical skills failed to extract the new sharp hook without serious damage  so he went into the hatch.

A couple more drifts with the increasing breeze produced this 42 cm Flathead.  I was pleased with the variety of fish in the hatch but the quick drift had me wanting to follow Eyetag upstream to the more sheltered waters out of the breeze.
I changed to my heavier trolling outfit for the journey and mid way past the sandbags on my intended track to Ricky's and past Munna Point the  trolling outfit was slammed in a run that would have made any offshore pelagic proud. Fortunately there was not much boating traffic for this fish had me doing circle work in the middle of the channel and drifting downstream. Being heavily overgeared I was able to quickly subdue my first legal Mangrove Jack and stow it in the hatch after a short trip to a sandbank and a photograph on the bragmat.

They are truly magnificent fish and close inspection of the teeth and gill covers  show why they have such a reputation for being hard on gear.

Eyetag and I trolled the quieter waters until first light when I made my way back to our launch site  with no further action but very happy with my nights effort. 
Eyetag kept fishing and as always had many more captures than we mere mortals. He emailed me later with his tally and a photo of his Jack.
"from Eyetag"
"My tally was 1 small flatty, 5 small bigeye, 1 GT around 40 and the Jack in the photo. "

 photo Jack 17_zpszlb8snch.jpg

I had a great night-- thanks for the company" Eyetag" .
Good luck to those fishing tomorrow Tight Lines

Doctor Dog Riverfish 21.11.2015

TR by doctordog

Wind: Fresh North 10-15knots to start dropping to light and variable by 1:00am
Swell: nil
Current: run out tide
Launch point: Quamby Place Park
Participants: DoctorDog, Eyetag, Izak
I launched at the Quamby Place Park and paddled round to the sheltered waters of Weyba Creek where I met Izak and Eyetag in the process of photographing and releasing a nice Jack that had monstered Izak's trolled Gold Bomber.
As I am a Mangrove Jack virgin I was keen to get a part of this action and joined the quiet slow troll pattern out of the wind. I had no hits after a couple of fruitless hours  whilst the other fishers had some sporadic hits and hookups and release of several small Jacks.
Eyetag and I moved over to Rickys and with actively feeding fish it wasn't long before I was hooked up hard to a strong fighting fish. Mindful of my last break-off I was gentle with the drag but also scared of fouling the moored boats nearby. My first river GT eventually succumbed to gentle persuasion and I was able to lift it into the hatch.
My first River GT in the hatch still attached to the Gold Bomber

GT on the brag mat at home
With the Rickys bite going quiet I paddled downstream past the sandbags and found Eyetag catching and releasing some small trevally. Pulling up on the sand bank to stretch my legs I found my trolled Bomber had attracted the attention of a 38 cm Dusky Flathead which kindly posed for a pic before swimming away.

Beautifully Marked Dusky Flathead

With the fish going quiet it was time to call it a night. 

With cav and bigkev at DIP. 21-22Nov15

TR by crofty

I haven't been on the yak much this year. I picked up Cav from his place mid Saturday arvo and we scooted north, laughing at some clown with his yaks strapped to his yak in the most ridiculous fashion. We met Bigkev and his entourage at the ferry and he kindly lent me his stauns (?) but didn't bother to deflate his. Running up the beach flat stick at bang on high tide on road pressure.

I don't think I've been up there on the weekend before and it was busy. Took us a little while to find a camp but we soon had the fire stoked and beers cracked. I'd brought a full standup harness and my TLD with 900m of 30lb braid on it. I jumped into cav's yak and paddled a deadbait out through the knee high swell before dumping it well past the breakers. Back in to the beach and took a swim in the shorey. The water was beautiful. Life was looking good.

A couple more beers and I spun up a couple of tailor in the gutter in front of camp. They were right at my feet and I could see the school cruising in the breakers. The original bait I'd paddled out hadn't been sniffed so we switched it out for a fresh tailor. Kev did the deed this time paddling out and sufing back in. There was a bit of weed on the beach making life tough though. It would have been nice to hook Ethan into a noah, but dinner was calling so we pulled it all in and retired to the fire. Some kebabs, boerie, steak and a few more beers before tucking up for the night.

The new day dawned slightly overcast but with barely a zephyr ruffling the tent flaps. The surf was non-existent. A quick scarf of some cereal, drag the fully laden yaks down the dune and away. Cav caught a breaker in the chest but stayed upright, Kev ploughed out without any drama and the waters parted for me and I made it from the beach to the rigging point without going through broken water. I wish it was always so easy.

I stuffed about for ages getting ready and Cav was hooting and hollering in the distance. I paddled over to discover he'd found bait and was having a ball catching myriads of fish. I dropped my bait jig down, picked up a few yakkas and into the tube. Then started getting pearlies, moses perch, wire netting cod, grinners and the list goes on. All of them were of reasonable size but unfortunately the pearlies were too small. With bait in the hatch I headed north.

Several laps over the reef produced no strikes and I hadn't marked any large fish to warrant continuing with trolling for pelagics so swapped over to chasing demersals. And holy moley, every drop produced a fish. Mostly undersize red emperor, squire, more moses perch and grinners. Then I got my livey tangled with my slow fall jig. I was busy stuffing around trying to untangle it when my deadsticked rod gave a little bump. Then another. I dismissed it as another small fish, until I started to get towed along and the little 2500 started singing.

I too-ed and fro-ed for a bit then got colour several metres below the yak. I called out to Cav...
"What's legal for a Red Emperor?"
"I reckon I'm in!!"
"No way, 55's a big fish"
"I'm pretty sure I'm good"

Then the fish broke the surface and Cav ate his words.
"Bloody hell! That is a good fish!"
"Hell yeah!!!"
I measured it three times to be sure as I couldn't get it properly flat on the bottom of the yak - 58cm. My day had been made with the first fish in the hatch. You bloody beauty.

Yak-caught legal sized red emperor. Rare!

Back up to the mark and I picked up my second for the day with a 36cm moses perch.

Moses perch, although the fingermarks are faded. What was Moses doing in SEQ anyway?

Cav was still hooting and hollering as he was filling his hatch with a great bag of fish. Kev had paddled off into the never never in search of a cobia. I think he was secretly trying to just get some breeze on his face as it was dead calm and bloody hot.

I found a bream and a nice 40cm grassy to round out my bag before i started to get concerned about my fish in the heat and we began to head for home. We headed for the beach, Cav turned turtle, Kev paddled all the way to dry land and I rode my trusty steed like a bronco that had a chilli smeared thumb stuck up its ass. At least until I went turtle as well.

All up a fantastic stress release from the rigours of work and study.

Marlin on SP. 22Nov15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: calm early, but SE over 10 knots from about 7:30am
Swell: about 1m ENE
Water temp: 24.4°C
Tides: High 04:51am (1.66m); Low 10:54am (0.50m)
Current: None detected at Jew Shoal
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: None seen
Participants: diesel, tunny, redwood, beejay, scottyD, sunshiner
My trip distance: 11.5km
Redmap: No sightings provided
Keen Angler Program: No donations today, as far as I know.

While last night we had a yak fisher's ideal forecast for today, the reality at 3:00am was somewhat different, with an unforecast 25 knot SE appearing on the Live Weather down at Cape Moreton, and spreading to Maroochy airport by 4:00am. Meanwhile, at the proposed launch point the air was still. After some discussion on the beach we all agreed that we should launch but keep a weather eye open for the first signs of the strong SE should it reach as far as Noosa.

Jew Shoal was the preferred fishing location because it would allow us to easily find shelter behind Noosa Head from the strong SE wind should it eventuate.

Sea conditions were near perfect, but baitfish were scarce and this probably was the reason why none of us was getting fishy action. I tried trolling my HLP for a while and then reverted to using SPs, working through my favourite haunts in anti-clockwise sequence around the shoal. Zip, zilch, nothing! Same for everyone else, it seemed.

By 06:15 I had arrived at an easterly mark which showed no more promise (on the sonar) than anywhere else I'd tried today. Here my cast SP attracted a small squid (a first for me at Noosa) which hung on just long enough to give me a water squirt in the face just as he headed back to the depths.

Having no more ideas, I stayed put, drifting very slowly toward the west in response to a light easterly which had arrived. I was fishing in my usual way, in 20m depth, with my trailing outfit hanging down around 10m, while casting ahead with a lighter SP.

An identical copy of the 5 inch SP which was hanging out the back, 10m down on my trailing outfit. This lure had caught a couple of snapper in the past, including one nice specimen very recently and I fancy it might be big enough and visible enough to attract a longtail one day. 'Nuff said.

My GoPro was running continuously, in its usual position, secured to the end of a (leashed) suction cup post just on the starboard side, forward of the footwell. This is a position which allows me to stretch-reach the camera from my seat (presuming I have a spare hand of course). I'd just cleaned the lens, as is my habit, removing droplets of water and miscellaneous salty streaks which inevitably accumulate on the case.

All was quiet, but I didn't notice that the trailing outfit was attracting some interest. The GoPro did, though, as you'll see if you watch the movie. Eventually my peripheral vision told me that something was not quite right. We're in 20m depth but the trailing outfit rod has a bend in it. I picked up the rod and noticed that there was in fact something moving, albeit sluggishly, at the end of the line. Turtle? Large squid? Whatever; I clear the decks for action, retrieving and getting ready to stow the casting outfit, just in case. Whatever it was stayed down when I applied gentle pressure, but angled slowly up toward the surface. If I recall correctly no extra line had been taken from the spool, I still had around a max of say 12m of line out. Now the critter was coming up slowly toward the surface. Now there was a bit of surface splashing around 12m away, just to my right front. Now all hell broke loose as a baby black marlin leapt high into the air at that spot and crashed back with a loud slap. It jumped and jumped again and again, and one jump was fully caught on the GoPro.

This jump features in the movie (embedded below) so go on, take a look, and please subscribe if you like it.

There was no fierce run on the lightly set drag, but clearly some line went out. The fish was still within 10-15m of the yak, mainly out the front right, where the camera couldn't see it. The bill of a marlin is bloody fiercesome up front, especially when it's rocketing out of the water only a couple of metres away. And then it popped up right next to my starboard bow and jumped and jumped again, coming closer to me and actually brushing the glass as it went. The GoPro shows my reaction as the marlin crashed down on the deck of my Supalite, just where the fish hatch hinge is, temporarily disabling the camera by swivelling the base so that the lens pointed down into the front of the footwell. I really thought that I might be speared and took defensive action to fend the fish off (as you'll see on the movie). At this stage we parted company as the line had wrapped around the rod tip and the knot to the lure gave out as the marlin dropped back into the sea and swam off. Phew! So glad I had my GoPro running and also glad that I'd let my fellow fishos know early in the tussle, that I had a marlin on. Several of them saw the fish leaping around near my yak.

Movie, two minutes. Please subscribe to my channel if you enjoy it.

I'm not sorry the marlin escaped and feel privileged to have experienced this close and spectacular encounter. It's a hell of a buzz, I can tell you. And if you come to visit me at some future time when I'm old and feeble and unable to paddle offshore make sure you ask me to tell you the story of the first marlin I hooked from my yak. It'll make my day!

Soon afterward the wind picked up and we all headed home, fishless. But we now know what's possible out there at Jew Shoal, right now. So what's stopping you? See you next time.

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

Fish holders aplenty. 19Nov15

TR by sunshiner

Wind: up to 5 knot W
Swell: less than 1m SE
Water temp: 24.4°C
Tides: High 01:14am (1.28m); Low 06:59am (0.63m)
Current: None detected at Jew Shoal
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: None seen
Participants: diesel, fatyak, jimbo, sunshiner
My trip distance: 14km
Redmap: No sightings
Keen Angler Program: No donations today, as far as I know.

As many of you know, I've been away from Noosa for around ten days. That's bad enough, but I had to leave my yak behind too, so I was itching to get out for a paddle today even though I only arrived home late yesterday afternoon.

As doc dog has pointed out in his FB post today, it was a beautiful night, with nary a cloud, and moonless at 4:00am, when diesel and I were the only users of the Middle Groyne carpark. We scuttled down to the beach with our yaks where we found a tiny splashing shorey and glassy seas close in to the beach.

On going back to his car to retrieve a forgotten frozen pike, diesel found that fatyak had arrived so we then knew that there would be three of us at least.

Despite sunrise being 40 minutes off, there was adequate ambient light for launching and soon we were out the back setting up our gear and pointing our nav devices at Jew Shoal, four clicks away over the northern horizon. We paddled off into a gentle swell curving into the bay and, as we got further out, a building breeze from the west.

In due course fatyak called up for his radio check and confirmed that he also would be heading for Jew Shoal.

At Jew Shoal the breeze was around five knots and steady from the west, giving a brisk drift toward the east. I chose to start looking for baitfish at the SW corner of the shoal, paddling and trolling along with one eye on the sonar, then eventually turning to run with the breeze toward one of my eastern marks. Bugger all fish on the sonar, so eventually I chose to heave-to north of The Pinnacles where I popped out my drogue and deployed my two drift fishing weapons. Hooked up on the second cast with my prawn look-alike SP.

In case there's anyone out there who hasn't caught one, this is a grinner, toothy critter quite capable of biting through light monofilament. They love everything. Unfortunately their only redeeming feature from a fisho's point of view is that they can be converted to bait.

About now jimbo called up for a radio check. So now there were four of us in the bay. He opted to head for Little Halls Reef/Halls Reef when he was told by diesel we had yet to get anything worthwhile.

Fatyak turned up, to my surprise aboard a ProFisha. Last time I'd seen him he was in a Prowler laden with sweeties and snapper.

Fatyak in his new ride. Pic taken a week or so ago by diesel in Laguna Bay.

We fished on, all of us at Jew Shoal using mainly SPs and catching mainly nothing much except reef ooglies and the odd tantalizing bump or run hinting of the occasional presence of good fish. Diesel is honing his SP skills and was having some success with them today, including one good run which was almost certainly a decent snapper (hook pulled out before sighting) and this near-keeper.

Close, but no cigar. We rarely get keeper pearl perch at Jew Shoal and in fact we have yet to establish a record for this species, whose min legal size is 35cm. Pic by diesel.

I got one hookup which resulted in disappointment and the addition of a snapper tooth to my growing collection. As diesel quipped, I only have 63 teeth to go to have enough for a necklace.

Jimbo, at Halls Reef, reported a run on his drifting pillie, but no hookup. Then later let us know that he had a 40cm snapper next to the yak but lost it when the hook dislodged before he could get it aboard.

And so our enthusiasm proved incapable of overcoming the problem, no decent fish, or no decent fish biting. Fatyak opted to head for Halls Reef, paddling off into the easing westerly and shortly afterward diesel and I pulled the pin, hoping as usual that the troll home might shift our doughnuts to a later trip. No such luck. But at least the sand monster was absent. Annoyingly there were plenty of fish holders available and diesel actually considered lining them up to practice the skills which will surely be needed by them very soon when the pelagics visit our waters on their annual holiday.

By the time we hit the beach jimbo was already half way home from Halls, fishless and down a kilo of prawns. Fatyak was still out there, intent on doing his utmost to put a big snapper in his ProFisha. And it wouldn't shock me if he did. Let us know how you went, fatyak.

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 Sunday night on the river 15Nov15

TR by eyetag

Wind: Windy
Current: run out tide
Launch Point: Noosa Heads Lions Park
Participants: Eyetag

I launched around and trolled a gold bomber through the Woods bays and upstream to some of my favourite snags. Half way there my reel screamed to life and after a hard 5 minute battle I had a solid GT on board. The rest of that trip was fishless.

On arrival I could hear the odd fish feeding on the surface. Excitedly I started casting into the snags but nothing seemed interested in my offerings on my first drift so I paddled back and tried again, second cast I was hooked up solid to a fish that was trying hard to get back to his snag, I managed to keep him out in the open and some minutes later landed a nice Jack. I continued this method for a while and after two solid strikes that straightened hooks (due to bite force)and two lure changes I eventually stayed connected to another hard fighting fish and after a very tough battle landed a 2nd Jack.

A couple of very healthy Mangrove Jack

First light was appearing by now so I trolled around the Woods bays for a while but things were quiet then as I was about to exit the bay for home I had another big strike and after a brief but fierce fight the straightened hooks pulled again from a fish with a seriously powerful bite that also straightened a split ring.

Tougher terminal tackle required

Kingy at Jew Shoal, 13 November 2015

TR by Tunny
Trip date: 13 November 2015
Participants: Diesel, Jimbo, Tunny
Launch Site:  MG
Conditions: Low Tide 2.15 am, High Tide 8.52 am; Wind 10 knots ENE falling to 5 knots later; sea lumpy enough to cause mild nausea for my first time ever.
Keen Angler Program: Nothing

After being out of the country for 5 weeks I thought it prudent to do a tackle check before loading up last night. To my surprise one of my favorite Halco lures had two badly twisted hooks.  I have a few of similar colour and was not sure when I last used this one so went back to the September trip report by Sunshiner titled "Hatchful!", had a look at the photo he took (below) and found the culprit.  The Longtail of that day was guilty!

Note the bent hook on the top lure (Photo by Sunshiner in TR Hatchful!, 15 Sept

A closer look at the bent hook
Diesel and I arrived at MG at 3.30 am and launched at 4.00 am.  With the extreme low tide, the walk was a little longer than normal and the paddle to Jew Shoal therefore a little shorter.  The launch was easy, but the sea was quite lumpy and wind was around 10 knots.  Clouds covered the horizon with a brief burst of rain resulting in a stunning rainbow.

Both Diesel and I trolled Halco lures and weighted pilchards out to the reef but there was no action, very little bait visible on the sounder and no birds.  Jimbo followed about 30 minutes later, also without success.

View of the rainbow as seen from Jew Shoal
On arrival at Jew Shoal I found a reasonable bait ball and trolled my pilchard through this several times, eventually hooking an undersized Yellowtail Kingfish which I released.  Diesel had one decent bite which resulted in a broken steel trace, but apart from that it was extremely quiet.

Small Kingy

At around 7.30 am Diesel decided to head to Little Halls while Jimbo and I persisted at Jew Shoal.  But with no further action we headed in at 8.30

Better luck next time!

Freshwater Yakkin 7th - 8th Nov 2015

TR by DeeCee
Trip dates:7th - 8th Nov 2015
Participants: DeeCee & Yakkin Partner Brett
Launch Site:  Spot A - Mary River + Stirling's Crossing, Imbil
Conditions: One extreme to the other over the course of the weekend

We had been wanting to do a yak camping run for a couple of months now with this past weekend locked in, it involved an overnight camping trip where everything we required was loaded into the yaks and off we went...well it didn't quite go to plan due to the storm activity forecast but still an enjoyable couple of days and an interesting night....

When the storm systems were identified earlier in the week Plan B was put into place where worst case scenario we'd make a late run for home having had a day out exploring some of our local waterways.

Saturday morning started at a reasonable time and after picking up Brett we were on the road north.  The first spot we were going to try was a great part of the Mary River I'd stumbled upon on an earlier just under an hour and a small river crossing later we were parked up and ready to unload.

 This area of water had some great drop offs and a number of fallen trees that looked like they'd make a great ambush spot.  In no time at all we were unloaded and on our way, still wary of what was supposed to be coming later in the day the camping gear stayed in the car.

A couple of trolling runs up each side and one down the middle before I stopped to start peppering the sunken timber with a mixture of soft plastics and small hard bodies with no real success.  The Lung Fish & turtles were popping up on a regular basis looking very inquisitive.

It wasn't long after I got caught in the trees for the umpteenth time that I heard an almighty splash behind me and turning around to see Brett was hooked up to a solid Saratoga, fight was short and dirty before the hook pulled, bent backwards by the large fish he estimated to around a metre and FAT...damn!

We riddled the spot over the next hour or so with no success before slowly drifting down the length of the waterway flicking SP's with a couple of very short hookups to show for it.

By this time it was stinking hot and we were hungry so we headed back to the car for a feed and attempt to get out of the shade.

The plan was to try a few spots through the day and hopefully store a couple of great yak camping locations for future sojourns....Spot A showed promise but we were moving on

Next stop was one of the creek crossings on the way to Borumba Dam, we ended up at Stirling's Crosiing, another great looking piece of water with enough snags to have BCF rubbing their hands together

 Within 10 metres of launching and first cast and I was on....and then off again.  On further investigation it looked like the fish had dived straight into a log and busted me off.  Was looking good for a great arvo of fishing!

There was also an awful lot of leaf litter floating on the surface making casting and retrieving shallow diving lures quite painful, the heavier/deeper diving lures ended up snagging continuously.

The afternoon was riddled with a number of short hookups and bust offs the order of the day.  The first storm rumbled through just to the south of us mid afternoon and with no range of the phones we couldn't check BOM to see what was coming, thankfully we ended up with a few drops of rain and that was it.

When the light faded we hooked up the surface lures to see if we could entice a strike but only ended up cleaning off half the water surface of all the fallen leaves and as the light diminished the next storm passed through, it was time to look for somewhere to camp for the night....we were leaning towards somewhere with some protection if a big storm did hit so decided upon one of the local campgrounds

On the way back to the launch spot Brett had a nice hookup and ended up landing a nice yellow belly @ 43cm ..his first!

 After checking BOM and seeing we were in for some storm activity later we dropped in to the Deer Park to find they were very full, we heard something about a Ukelele Convention or something equally as strange so moved on.  Island Reach was also overflowing so we made the dash for Cobb & Co on the other side of the highway.  In the scheme of things a great choice as all the storms overnight seemed to be concentrating in and around Imbil.

We setup camp, got the fire going and had some dinner chatting about missed opportunities and what tomorrow would bring before retiring for the night.  Not much sleep was had as a procession of storms rolled through, lightning, thunder and rain were hitting at regular intervals but thankfully they weren't too severe!

The early mark was delayed due to a violent storm hitting around 4.00am and lasting a good hour or so.  Up for some breakfast and a much needed coffee before contemplating where to attack.

We decided Spot A required further investigation and in 15 odd minutes and a creek crossing a little hairier than the day before we were ready to hit the water again.

We trolled through the area we had riddled with lures the day before and crossed on foot a fast flowing set of rapids that we could not paddle against to be greeted by a very fishy looking spot.  Sharp drop offs , ample fallen timber and a sprinkling of rocky outcrops had us salivating with anticipation and it wasn't long before I had my first strike with a couple of hits on a surface popper getting me started.

With a renewed energy I attacked every snag I came across with a repeat of yesterday afternoons short fight, smashed in the sticks

It was time for a stretch and as I headed down towards an area that wasn't 'cliff like', shallow diving HB out the back it was SMASHED, initially I thought snag, then it peeled off line like it was nothing pulling me backwards in the process.  Heart was beating like mad when I realised whatever it was was buried deep in the snag.  I backtracked and tried a few different angles and finally (and thankfully) my first fish of the weekend was in the boat...a 36cm Bass punching way above its weight!

 After a short break and some land based popper flicking it was back in the yaks for the trip back.  We passed under this bridge and were amazed at what we saw....the top of this bridge had to be 10 - 15 odd metres above us and it was riddled with tree pieces, evidence of how high the river gets..incredible!

 A slow trip back towards the car flicking into the snags at every opportunity supplied moments of exhilaration & frustration as fish were hooked and then dropped.

While trolling from one fallen tree to another I hooked up to something mid river and after a short fight was rewarded with a Mary River Cod (I think)...a first for me if it was indeed what I thought.  A quick pic and it was returned to the water

Is it?
After that it was time to hit the road, a pit stop for a pie and off we headed home.

A number of yak camping spots identified for next time and some great memories was time to go and dry out!



The ones that got away 07Nov15

TR by eyetag

Wind: 0-15 Knot N/NE dropping out to nothing
Current: run out tide
Launch Point: Noosa Heads Lions park
Participants: Eyetag

With the stormy conditions I thought the Jacks might be on the chew. I launched around and headed straight to a few of my favourite snags to cast hard bodies.

The Jacks were certainly on the chew, with a fair few dropped due to hooks pulling and 2 that made it back to their lair and 1 BIG BARRA thrown in the mix, which managed after a 15 minute battle to throw the hooks during one of her aerial displays. I ended up with 3 fish in about 3 hours slow but the results would've been a lot better if I landed everything I hooked, that's why we call it fishing.

Neptune was kind to me today. 06Nov15

TR by doctordog

Wind: Light North to North West 8-10 knots
Swell: variable less than a metre metre surface chop half metre
Current: little detectable current at Jew Shoal
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: DoctorDog

I had posted an email saying I was going for a paddle this morning but as there were no replies I was sadly going to have "Nigel no friends" expedition. Waking at 3.30 am I checked the live weather feed from Cape Moreton and Double Island Point and found the forecast was holding true and the Northerly winds were slightly stronger to the south. As this was going to be my sole opportunity to fish for the next few days I was determined to at least go and have a look.

The carpark at MG was empty at 4.30 and the trees were still so I made my way to the beach.

The glorious sunrise showed its colours over the headland as I paddled north east towards JS.

Paddling out to Jew Shoal was a little more difficult than normal with the northerly breeze and no early morning boat traffic seen until almost 7.00 am . I passed some dolphins on the way out to the shark nets. I trolled a Laser Pro 120 with no hits on the journey to JS.

My nuclear chicken SP claimed two mid-30 cm sweetlip very soon after starting my drift pattern to the north east of the Pinnacles. This was a word perfect reprise of my last trip out to start.

I then caught my first snapper with a slamming strike on the trailing SP.

Soon after I caught a few other small snapper which were released and then on a following drift my cast SP went off with another strong head shaking run and significant resistance to coming to the kayak - head shaking and further strong runs that I had called to myself as a better snapper.

Sadly it was a very large spirited Slatey morwong that I thought I had photographed before releasing but operator error prevailed and I have no photographic evidence to share.

On my next drift I found more clusters of bait and fish on the sonar but subtle wind shifts held me away from my intended drift but it did not seem to matter this morning as there were hungry fish everywhere.

Nuclear Chicken SP did all the damage this morning and I lost several of them being pulled to pieces when they weren't being slammed by more respectable fish.

I had a pilchard on an unweighted gang of hooks drifting midwater that was repeatedly shredded by pickers but no large fish hit the pilchard.

Here is my catch on the Truth Mat at home.

I trolled my Laser Pro 120 on the way home from 8.30 after the bite stopped at 8.00 am. I had one hit in the middle of the bay and hooked, landed and released a solid bonito.

I had hoped for the northerly to give me a push home but the breeze dropped out and gave me no assistance on the journey back to MG. I had a few dolphins for company but none stayed for photographs.

A great morning out- hope the fish are still on the chew for the Sunday crew.

Tight lines

Doc Dog.