NOT a longtail day. 07Apr16

TR by sunshiner

Wind: Light SW-southerly
Swell: 1.5m easterly
Water temp: 26.7°C
Tides: Low 01:34am (0.28m); High 07:45am (2.00m)
Current: n/a
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: Nil at Little Halls Reef, heaps at Jew Shoal
Participants: jaro, diesel, gemini, jimbo, tunny, dugout, bonnyboy (scratched), sunshiner
My trip distance: 11km
Redmap: No sightings provided
Keen Angler Program: Unknown, but two snapper possibles.

Longtail fever hit the Noosa Yakkers community recently, coincident with the arrival of superb kayak fishing weather for about ten days. And those of us who could got out more often than the Australian cricket team batsmen; and some of us even got ducks. Then came four days of strong SE winds, which ended yesterday.

The news of the longtails even reached Victoria with the result that one keen yakfisher loaded up his big white van and joined Noosa Yakkers while en route to Noosa, texting and emailing us from his phone while he hammered up Highway One. Justin (aka bonnyboy) became the quickest join we've ever had, and he was posting on our Facebook page within five minutes, asking about longtails.

And yes, bonnyboy was in the Middle Groyne carpark when I arrived in the dark this morning. He was chatting with tunny and diesel and copying down the recipe for boiled longtail (a little prematurely, as it turned out). Ominously, on the roof of his van was a Hobie pedal craft (Outback or Revo). Even more ominous was the crump of the shorey. We three offered him launch advice, additional to the detailed written advice he'd already received via our new-member joining system.

The tide was over half way in, so the shorey wasn't too bad. Out we went, apparently without problem, other than the expected wet bums. But then no one knew where bonnyboy (no radio, no GPS) was. He'd been seen heading for the beach, Hobie in tow but apparently didn't make the set up area, out the back. In the end, we could do nothing, as no one had actually seen him attempt to launch. The rest of us, of course, were in contact with each other by radio; tunny opted to head to Little Halls Reef while the rest of us headed for Jew Shoal, led by diesel.

Half way to Jew Shoal a surprise. Dugout (long time Noosa Yakkers member and occasional Noosa resident) called up for a radio check, telling us he had launched from Coward's Corner, and was also heading for Jew Shoal.

I was intent on catching a snapper so headed for my favourite SP drift area for a SW breeze. Diesel was recycling some mac tuna, jaro used prawns, dugout was trolling for mackerel, while jimbo and gemini opted to chase the tuna schools with slugs (not the garden variety). Gemini hooked up really quickly.

Gemini's mac tuna as seen by his GoPro.

Then jaro announced he had a shark on. Dugout, who is not a Victorian, but lives there a fair bit, offered to take it off his hands. So that was dinner sorted in the dugout household.

Meanwhile, all around us, terns were fluttering and diving and eruptions of white water showed where the baitfish were being smashed.

Two shots from gemini's GoPro as he approached the bustups.

I fished on and eventually got a good solid run on my cast SP but the hook dislodged after a few seconds (bugger!). Shortly afterward jaro confirmed that snapper were present by telling us he'd boated a 50cm specimen. Then I got another run, spool buzzing as it released line and again the hook failed to find a firm hold (double bugger).

Diesel, meanwhile, was continuing his informal survey of species present at Jew Shoal.

Spangled emperor (undersize, min 45cm)

Maori cod (undersize, min 45cm)

Yellowlip Threadfin Bream, Nemipterus aurifilum (Ogilby 1910) (aka butterfly bream)

And finally, a keeper

Tunny reported no action at Little Halls Reef and that he was heading in as he had to be home early today. Shortly afterward, with tunny's arrival at Middle Groyne, the mystery of bonnyboy's whereabouts was cleared up. Tunny found him still in the car park, eating canned tuna (alright, I made that up) and doing makeshift repairs on his fishing gear. Yes, he'd been smashed in the small surf, with terminal damage to some vital fishing equipment. Ask him, maybe he'll tell you the story or maybe the pic he supplied this arvo will do the job (see below).

At least two smashed rods as far as I can tell, and all the reels will need servicing. Don't transit the surf zone with rods held vertically.

Bonnyboy, we appreciate your candor in sending us this pic. Perhaps you should consider buying a kayak Rod Bag (Google "pedro's rod bags"), invented and sold by Noosa Yakkers' member pedro, who uses a Hobie Revolution and launches from Middle Groyne.

Shortly afterward we were all heading back. The tide by now was high but dropping and the Middle Groyne sand monster was on the prowl. Several baby surfers were blocking our usual entrance (surely school holidays must end soon) so some of us opted for the eastern side of the groyne. The shorey was spectacularly nasty.

Experimental embed from instagram (15 sec movie)

Thanks for reading and thanks to my companions today for coming along.

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

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