Spaniard on SP. 13May16

TR by sunshiner

Wind: Light SW-southerly
Swell: 1m easterly
Water temp: 25.6°C
Tides: High 01:07am (1.73m); Low 07:59am (0.63m)
Current: n/a
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: None sighted
Participants: cuddles, tickey, mrlucky, muzza, diesel, jimbo, sunshiner
My trip distance: 11.3km
Redmap: No sightings provided
Keen Angler Program: N/A

The walking ladies of the early morning greeted diesel and me again, at Middle Groyne. The air was still, the sky black but peppered with pin pricks of light. No surf. In fact we both dry bummed it. We simply waded out a little until the yak was floating, eased our aging frames into our (dry) seats, made ourselves comfortable and paddled out, with no opposition. Easiest launch for months!

This was 5:20am, an hour before sunrise. Soon we were on our way to Jew Shoal. Behind us came the others, although cuddles was quicker than most off the mark, catching up to me just north of the shark nets.

There were seven of us out at the shoal by about 6:45am. Each using his own preferred fishing method. Being an old dog, and so according to the old proverb unable to learn new tricks, I was trying for a snapper using SPs. One was rigged with a 1/2 ounce jighead on my trailing outfit and hanging, yes, just hanging, 10m down. The other was rigged with a 1/8 ounce 3/0 jighead with prawn lookalike SP and this I was casting out and letting fall as we drifted along gently with the breeze. After an hour of little success despite trying several localities (no bait visible on the sonar), I decided I'd try a mark we call Old Faithful, in the far SW corner of the shoal.

I arrived here at around 07:45. Conditions still perfect, but glad I'd worn my wetsuit for the first time this year.

Last time I was here, just days ago, my trailing outfit had been savaged by what I took to be a shark, with a biteoff the result.

"Oh no", I thought, "not again", as the trailing outfit went off. I laid the casting outfit on the front deck and grabbed the trailing outfit, which by now was sporting a considerable bend. The fish's behaviour led me to believe that it was a shark so I put the trailing rod back in the holder in order to retrieve the other lure, which was drifting around about 15m down at this time. A fast retrieval was necessary to minimize the chance of entanglement with the fish on the other rod, but this also made this lure more attractive to a passing denizen as the soft plastic prawn was clobbered during the retrieve.

Double hookup! This fish went hard and initially I thought it was another shark but I've been mistaken before so decided to wait and see although a couple of times I was tempted to just bust it off. This was a good call because late in the fight the fish came to the surface and the unmistakeable vertical bars of a Spaniard were visible. The fight had been vigorous, with me armed with only 6kg braid, 6kg mono leader and no wire trace, but the key decider: carbontech drag washers in my Stradic 3000 FJ. At the end the fish was completely knackered and it didn't even twitch when the gaff struck home (second try).

Check out the vid for the screaming runs and radio commentary (synchronised audio from the chest cam). The fight lasted eight minutes but the video runs for only 3:30.

And there was a small shark still on the trailing outfit when I retrieved it.

Here's the jig lodged securely in the front of the upper jaw.

Direct embed from YouTube

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Shortly afterward diesel and I headed for Middle Groyne where we took a few pics.

Great shot by diesel. What a beautiful day!

1.05m, not huge but a nice fish.

Bluedog was hanging about the beach with his family. This young lady is his daughter, Lily. Photo by bluedog.

Thanks for reading.

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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