TR by sunshiner
Wind: 5-10 knot easterly
Swell: about 1.3m easterly
Water temp: 25°C
Tides: High 06:01am (1.69m); Low 12:07pm (0.73m)
Current: none detected
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: None
Participants: diesel, tunny, sunshiner
My trip distance: 9.5km
Redmap: No sightings provided
Keen Angler Program: One snapper frame donated
The sickle moon occupied 12:30 to 19:30 on the clock dial. Just above it, Venus gleamed as it marked the imminent rising of the sun. Each of these objects seemed to be trying to outshine the other but together provided us with a glorious astronomical display. Tunny and I were on the beach at Middle Groyne. It was around 3:50am. Diesel's light could be seen just off the groyne. The eastern sky was just taking on a faint hint of dawn.
The launch was uneventful, except my yak floated off while I was securing my wheels (note to self: drop the yak a little higher up the beach). Having dashed into the surf and dragged this overkeen yak back I then got a thoroughly wet bum as several breaking waves in succession charged into our launch point just as I was trying to get out.
Once out the back, of course, all was good. Venus and the moon continued their display. Tunny and I set course for Jew Shoal, which destination diesel was already well on the way toward.
A northerly swell/chop was curling into the bay, making my trip slower than normal. This meant I was last of us to arrive. No stinkies, yet. Sun just peeping over the horizon. Tunny was trolling a big bait. Soon he announced to us that a large denizen of the shoal had taken a liking to it and would have ended up in tunny's hatch but for a line failure. He re-rigs and is quickly hooked up again. As I was close enough to see this hookup I paddled the 200m or so to hopefully get a photo or two, just in time to see a nice-sized school mackerel (in fact, equalling Noosa Yakkers record, also held by tunny) deposited into the hatch.
However, things were quiet for the next hour. We three were widely separated, but in touch by radio, of course. Having seen no surface action I opted once again to drift fish, with the breeze, pretty much from east to west, strength and direction exactly as forecast on MetEye.
At about 06:20, north of The Pinnacles, in 20m, I had one nice hookup on my cast SP (prawn lookalike) but the hook pulled free after about 15 seconds of zing and zang. Being undamaged, back it went, after a close inspection for frayed trace etc. Out the back, as usual, I had my trailing outfit, the SP-loaded half-ounce jighead hanging down 10m. Same rig which tempted the marlin recently.
Another ten minutes went past and then my Lowrance showed sign of fish, scattered vertically and horizontally throughout the water column. This was the first decent sign of fish I'd seen today. But the SPs remained untouched, until I'd drifted far enough to leave the fish sign behind, so back to the earlier sonar view: undulating bottom, normal surface clutter, and nothing between.
The surface was fairly choppy so the yak was rolling as normal, and quite stable. But suddenly, the yak took on a strong roll to starboard, a wave came aboard (normal, no problem) and the drag of the trailing outfit wailed. Yippee! The casting outfit was fully deployed, the jighead sinking slowly and opposite the trailing outfit. I had to get this out of the way so, after picking up the trailing outfit and making sure its attacker was securely hooked, I put the casting outfit into the leg hold position and started to retrieve the line. Bam! The casting outfit was hit vigorously and line was dragged from the spool. Double hookup! After no action for an hour!
The first thing to do in this situation is to make a decision. Which outfit to concentrate on? The trailing outfit was in my right hand so the decision to deal with that first was easy; the casting outfit was secured by my leg-hold, its rod tip lunging and line being taken from the spool. After a short and vigorous tussle the trailing outfit yielded a nice snapper. Gaffed and into the hatch! Stow that rod then pick up the casting outfit. I was relieved to find that this fish was still securely hooked. Of course it had used a fair bit of energy in fighting the rod and reel, with minimal intervention by me. To my surprise, a nice grass sweetlip popped up. Surprise because I fully expected that the fish would have been another snapper. Despite my best efforts, I had not caught a keeper grassy this year and can't figure out why, especially as other Noosa Yakkers seem to nail them fairly regularly (mainly using bait, however).
Short movie of the action:
Shortly after this I decided to head in. Both diesel and tunny decided to also, and all of us were on the beach well before 8:00am.
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