Summary for October 2016

Facebook provides an excellent and simple facility for conducting group discussions in text form, including unbeatable support for adding still pictures, movies and "shares". As a result, with our Facebook Group Page we have better media-rich communication within Noosa Yakkers than ever before, with lots of info and useful material appearing quickly on our Group Page because it's so easy to post, to view and to make comments. Not on Facebook? I encourage you to dip your paddle in the Facebook sea and give it a try. If the oldest members of Noosa Yakkers can do it probably you can. Not convinced? Don't despair. We have no intention of dropping our tried and true Google Group email or our indispensable blog of Trip Reports and generally useful yak fishing info. But if you're not on Facebook, you're missing out.

To help retain contact with our established world wide blog audience we've decided to publish this monthly summary of our fishing activity. The info has been extracted from our closed Group Facebook Page. Constructive ideas to improve this summary and/or volunteered editorial skills are welcomed.

Don't want your Facebook post reproduced here? Please contact a committee member.

Summary October 2016

This monthly brief summary of fishing trip information is only a fraction of the useful and interesting info and banter appearing on our Facebook Group Page. You can see our Public Page here:
Noosa Yakkers Public Page (includes Sign Up link)
and our Group Page (fully accessible only to members) here:
Noosa Yakkers Facebook Group

Overview, weather and species

Noosa sea temperature 01Oct16 22.2°C and at 31Oct16 24.4°C

Fish species mentioned or featured in Noosa Yakkers' reports this month in Noosa area: snapper (including some over 70cm), grass sweetlip, longtail tuna, jewfish (just undersize), flathead, giant trevally, whiting, barramundi, cobia, slender suckerfish (true!), Australian bonito, school mackerel, great flying fish, spotted mackerel (undersize, or possibly misidentified school mackerel).

# 01Oct16


# 02Oct16


plus embedded video


# 06Oct16

sunshiner, tunny, diesel:

# 07Oct16


# 08Oct16

doctor dog:


kiwi (on his first trip with us):



# 12Oct16


# 13Oct16


# 19Oct16

doctor dog:

# 22Oct16

joelC and captain:

# 23Oct16

doctor dog:

# 25Oct16



# 28Oct16


# 29Oct16


A pretty good month. Let's see what November produces.

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

Doctor Dog's First Noosa River Barra 23.10.2016

TR by doctordog

Wind: negligible
Swell: nil as in river
Current: run out tide
Launch point: Quamby Place
Participants: DoctorDog, Redwood, Tunny
On Sunday October 23 I had my shortest yet arguably most successful yak trip. I was planning to paddle in search of a fabled Noosa River Barramundi or perhaps a Mangrove Jack. Local fishermen had suggested seeking the last light of a warm day and the falling tide . Being scheduled to work on the morrow I did not want to be out too late.
I am often a little disorganised in my preparations but tonight I was ahead of the game and arrived at the appointed car park to an orange sunset lighting up the western sky. I launched at around 6.15 pm before my paddling partners had arrived - having previously suggested I would launch at 7.00 pm I was well and truly ahead of schedule.

The remnants of the brilliant orange sunset illuminated this family of Pacific Black ducklings as they scuttled across Quamby Lagoon to hide in the mangroves.
Paddling out of the lagoon I set up my trolling outfit of a Gold Bomber 15A lure on my father’s day gift of a Loomis GL2 rod married with a Calcutta 200B- the Bomber was lightly coated with S-Factor scent.
I made my way to one of my preferred trolling tracks where I had had previous success with Trevally and Mangrove Jack. Light was fading fast as I put on my head lamp and changed directions to avoid the set lines of shore based fishermen. My head lamp was not comfortable so I had it and my hat in my lap as I paddled with a plan to fit the lamp and turn it on if any boats approached.
I noted large swirling disturbances in the open water where obviously large fish slid quietly away from the stealthy approach of my craft. Could that be Barra or just large Mullet I wondered to myself.
Mid way through my first circuit the calm of the river astern of me was disrupted by a large leaping fish determined to take my trolled Gold Bomber for a couple of hard runs initially in open water then after a few minutes my first Noosa River Barra hookup skull dragged me and my kayak up to a near by jetty.
The Loomis Calcutta combo performed flawlessly in those first blinding runs and leaps allowing me to stow my paddle and maintain tension on the lure while the fish did its best to dislodge the hooks. I could feel the 40 lb mono leader scraping around the oyster encrusted pylons. If only I had a better view of what was going on. My head lamp was still in my lap, my hatch closed my /beach tennis paddle under my tackle bag in the hatch so in a scene reminiscent of “the three stooges” I quickly and awkwardly jammed my now illuminated lamp on my head at a none to perfect position.
I scrabbled in the hatch to find my ping pong bat paddle as I desperately kept tension on and tried to steer the fish back to open water. I briefly back paddled one handed with the bat/paddle hoping to get the fish out into the clear.
I could see my barra and her red eyes in the torch light coming back out into open water but my 20 lb braid was wrapped behind two or more pylons. I was panicking that I was about to lose this fish to the oysters. Mercifully the barra came to the surface and I grabbed the leader and hand-lined it yak-side. Continuing the comedic theme I then had to extract gaff or lip grippers from my now tangled jumble of a gear hatch whilst my fish struggled occasionally violently in my line wrapped but mercifully gloved left hand. After what seemed an age I pinned the barra with my gaff and lifted her into the hatch.
This is where things got really silly as for a short time I was hooked through the little finger of my right hand by one of the 3 sets of trebles and the other 2 sets were firmly attached to the recently landed fish. The hook was deeply imbedded in my pinky beyond the barb but fortunately the fish stayed quiet allowing me to formulate a plan to separate us.
I was able to whip the hook out of my finger with my pliers in my left hand. Adrenaline and heart rate were “redlining” and I broke the treble in the removal process. The hook came out cleanly and my finger barely bled. I now had to cut the line to free myself and the yak from the line wrap around the pylons.

I had my fish safely stowed in the hatch and started to paddle back to the launch point. Just as I neared the beach The fish gave an almighty thrash in the fish box giving me visions of the lid flying open and an escaping fish as per some You tube video I had seen. Perhaps I should have done a brain spike immediately after capture but I did not want to risk getting hooked again.

I was back on the beach with a photo taken by 7.00pm. A PB Barra for me and my first ever Noosa River catch of this species all in 45 minutes.
Eyetags record of 96 cm is safe from my 88 cm 9 kg fish.

Tunny took some photos and he and Redwood were last seem paddling into the gloom.
It was nearly midnight before I finished cleaning the fish and my gear and the adrenaline rush was still there.

Sunrise snapper at Sunshine. 02Oct16

TR by sunshiner

Wind: Light north westerly
Swell: way less than 1m
Water temp: 22.2°C
Tides: 2:26 am : 0.20 L; 8:41 am : 1.60 H
Current: none detected
Launch point: Doggie Beach
Surface action: None sighted, except whales
Participants: diesel, gemini, weeksie, freeyakker, jimbo, sunshiner
My trip distance: 6.3km
Redmap: No sightings provided
Keen Angler Program: at least one snapper frame donated

Our Facebook Group is a great asset, making it simple for even the most time- and tech-poor among us to contribute to the conversation. But, being so immediate and in-your-face it doesn't provide, yet, a facility for creating an easily accessible record of our adventures. So our blog lives on and here's my latest contribution. Possibly, an as-yet-unborn Noosa Yakker will be able to view this, learn from it and know that his predecessors enjoyed and relished their kayak fishing experiences.

So to yesterday. Diesel beat me to the car park, which was all but empty. [For the benefit of our future reader, autonomous cars, although widely accepted as the future of personal transport, have not yet been embraced by the motoring fraternity so we still need dedicated spaces called car parks where we can leave our kayak carriers.] The moonless, clear sky showed no hint yet of the approaching dawn, the gentle wave noise arriving from the east hinted of expected ideal conditions and the ambient air temperature was unexpectedly low (maybe 8°C). Within a minute or two gemini rolled up with his ute and Supalite X and we three set off on foot to inspect the launch situation. Being low tide and with a very wide beach presently anyway, we got our morning warm up exercise before dipping our toes in the warm Pacific, whose surface was ruffled by the cool and gentle westerly breeze. Back at the car park jimbo had unexpectedly rolled up and also, as we started to trundle our yaks down the path and across the wide soft sand beach to the launch point, freeyakker, having driven all the way from Brisbane, drove in with his yak on the roof.

It's a singular feeling, standing in the semi darkness on the ocean's edge, preparing to embark in your personal boat. Most of you know what it's like.

This was gemini, launcher #2. As you can see, easy conditions. That's paddle spray on his port side. The time stamp (seven minutes fast) shows that we launched at 4:53am.

As often, Diesel had gone first. I followed gemini and noticed a whale pop up nearby almost immediately. With setup accomplished and radio checks done we set out for Doggie Beach reef, a mere 1.5km distant while jimbo and freeyakker dawdled a little. On our way out we were serenaded by music blasting out from what we presume to be the remains of a party in a beachside home. Probably accidentally "Here Comes the Sun" was the song of choice.

Fantastic dawn conditions [movie (15sec) paddling out]

A video posted by Kevin Long (@noosayakker) on

By the time we'd paddled out to Doggie Beach Reef the wind had dropped away completely, as you can see if you watch the 15sec movie below. And weeksie had become our second unexpected participant, radioing us when we were half way out.

A video posted by Kevin Long (@noosayakker) on

So these were the conditions in which I laid out, at around 5:30am, my first cast with my usual imitation prawn SP rigged on a 1/4 ounce 3/0 jighead (6kg braid). With so little breeze, even at 28m deep it was easy to keep the SP close to the bottom. I noticed that the distance from the mark was slowly increasing and that I was travelling south.

While drifting I was struck by the reflection of the rising sun in the windows of some houses at Sunshine Beach. This effect is only visible at sea level out at sea when there are no clouds on the horizon, a rare day.

As is my habit, I gave the SP a little twitch every now and again and I'd travelled around 100m in a few minutes when I felt a faint bump on the line and I struck instinctively. (This was seven minutes after I'd started drift fishing, as revealed by the GoPro.)

Whatever it was didn't put up much of a fight initially and certainly didn't follow the usual big snapper pattern of a fast if brief horizontal run. But it did demonstrate that it had some weight by heading for the bottom with line peeling off the conservatively set drag and the rod bending appropriately, much to weeksie's enjoyment, not to mention mine. After three minutes or so of these strong lunges for the bottom I started to gain the upper hand. I was getting line back and the runs against the drag were less menacing. Even now, after many, many years of fishing I still feel the temptation to increase the drag when I have a fish like this on. If this happens to you, resist it. If you're hooked up and have been for a minute or two there's a good chance that you're winning the battle. Upping the drag even a teensy bit might cause the hook to rip free or a weak point in the terminal gear to become obvious. With a threadline reel in a slugging match such as this you can gain line by laying a finger on the edge of the spool (and thus temporarily increasing the effective drag) as you gently lean back on the rod; then you lift the finger and wind the reel quickly as you drop the rod tip back toward the fish. Repeat. If at any time the fish shows a tendency to run you can quickly lift the finger and rely on the drag system.

Anyway, at last I had the fish about half way up but was still puzzled as to the species. You can see and hear my reaction in the video below, which ends with the capture of my best snapper so far for a couple of seasons.

So, not counting the ten minute troll out I'd been fishing less than 15 minutes and now felt I could go home. Note that Queensland law limits anglers to possession of no more than one snapper of 70cm or longer, and this fish was clearly in that category.

GoPro selfie.

While I'd been dealing with my fish, gemini, nearby, had hooked up and boated what he thinks may have been a Venus tusk fish which he released as he thought it undersized.

I decided to fish on, reasoning that it would be unlikely that I'd hook another snapper exceeding 70cm, especially since I hadn't hooked one that size for at least two years, despite boating many snapper in that time.

Diesel caught and released a leatherjacket or triggerfish (not sure which) and provided this picture.

Around the same time I hooked and boated another snapper on the SP but released it as it was just legal. Shortly afterward I decided to head home to make sure my fish was refrigerated.

Track movie (30sec). Note that the start and end points indicate where I turned my GPS on and off.

A video posted by Kevin Long (@noosayakker) on

Always be careful of the shorey at Doggie Beach. Note that the swell had not changed from launch time but the tide had come in and the water edge now coincided with a steep section of the beach. Also I'm not as young and agile as I used to be. This was the easiest return to this beach I've experienced.

Beach return movie (39sec)

A video posted by Kevin Long (@noosayakker) on

Beach pics

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