TR by sunshiner
Wind: 5-10 knot southerly
Swell: about 1m ESE
Water temp: 26.1°C
Tides: High 03:57am (1.43m); Low 09:46amm(0.94m)
Current: none detected
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: Heaps, mainly spotty macs
Participants: (12) bluedog, cuddles, jag-one, gemini, beejay + jeff, stormin, pedro, diesel, jaro, weeksie, sunshiner
My trip distance: 19km
Redmap: No sightings provided
Keen Angler Program: Stormin donated another Spanish mackerel frame
The benefits of being a Noosa Yakkers member were readily apparent over the last few days, with more and more useful fishing intelligence appearing first on our members-only Facebook page and on our members-only email system. This resulted in twelve starters this morning, with one no-show. Clearly they'd been watching the spotty mac build up as earlier reported by their fellow Noosa Yakkers.
Anyway, today's starters weren't disappointed, but I dare say the single no-show might be pissed off.
As often happens, pedro got away first, seriously early. The main body launched around 4:00am, in darkness and gentle drizzle, tiny surf, with moon obscured by cloud. Stormin and weeksie followed a little later, to no disadvantage, as you'll find as you read on. New Noosa Yakker bluedog tagged along with me, on this, his first launch with us.
The whole push went to Little Halls Reef/Halls Reef. I remember diesel, just after leaving Middle Groyne, radioing that he'd just been nudged by something. Progress to Halls Reef was rapid, helped by the southerly which was forecast to swing to the east then NE (weather forecasting is not always accurate, though).
With no action at Little Halls Reef and encouraged by pedro's reports of action starting at Halls Reef, the whole fleet headed up there, making great time because the southerly strengthened the further we got from the shelter of the Main Beach area. Pedro's description was correct and he had the fish to prove it, two spotties aboard already by the time the front runners arrived. By now there was sufficient light to see that terns and shearwaters were treating Halls Reef like a McDonald's serving breakfast. Paying the breakfast bill were the legions of small baitfish whose terrified presence was revealed by bustups, stark white against the uniform grey of the sea and sky. Soon the pelagic predators were also paying the bill, as Noosa Yakkers, and a few stinkboat fishers, started to entice them to take their lures, which were being lobbed by all, into the melee.
After about an hour of spotties smashing all around, radio reports from yakkers of bag-outs started to come in. It was noticeable that there were a few undersize fish around and the average was smaller than I've seen in the past. Nevertheless, the drags were screaming and fishers were whooping, amid the stench, noise and wake from the several nearby stinkboats and the building waves as the sea gradually increased its sloppiness with the relentless southerly breeze (this last an ominous warning for the wary kayaker, six kilometres north of base).
I've been caught in a stiff southerly out there before, and do not relish the hard slog into the steep chop which develops in a 10 knot wind. My greatest fear is that the wind might increase to say 15-20knots. Today, the wind was already misbehaving, not sticking to the BOM meteorologists' plan. I checked my GPS. Distance to Middle Groyne: 6.6 kilometres, at least 1 hour 30 minutes for me, at the enforced reduced speed. Time I was gone. So I started to paddle southward, announcing my intention to all by radio.
Obviously, I made it back OK, but it was a tough journey, until the last kilometre or so when I entered sheltered waters. Several other yakkers had beaten me home and were waiting on the beach, some having pulled the pin because they'd enough fish and others because they were justifiably concerned at the wind strength and direction (good safety, guys).
Before I got to the beach I heard stormin triumphantly announce that he'd hatched his first Spaniard for the season so stormin's beach return was something to look forward to.
As for beejay and his bro-in-law Jeff, I understand by radio that beejay had two spotty macs aboard and they were working their way back to Middle Groyne when I left there.
So, 32 spotty macs brought back, and one Spaniard. Nice going, Noosa Yakkers, especially as the weather was far from ideal.
Thanks for reading.
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