Subject: Fishing today, 23Dec08 -- snapper for Christmas
Date: Tuesday, 23 December 2008 12:20 PM
I got to the carpark shortly after 0430 today to find Andy already unloaded and on the beach. I wonder if Andy sleeps in the carpark? Jim's son Simon had opted to come along later, so just Andy and I faced the elements.
A beautiful morning greeted us again, with just a gentle SW breeze, fairly typical on days which are forecast to be calm.
I wasn't far behind Andy and we both set off for JS before 0515. In order to try to avoid the cobia hanging around in the area just north of the shark net I switched trolling lures to the one that yellowfin tuna seem to like. It worked, as I didn't get any interest from cobia, nor anything else, on the way out. As we paddled along there was a constant stream of power boats heading out from the Noosa Bar -- typical of this time of the year.
I headed directly for the western side of JS and by 0555, having set my sights on a snapper or sweetlip for sashimi tonight, I had the first of my soft plastic baits out in 20m depth. Andy, on only his third trip with us, opted to tackle the Spaniards again as he had unfinished business with one from last week. Accordingly he set up a trolling pattern and paddled away. Just after we arrived several power boats turned up, mainly trolling and creating quite a bit of disturbance locally.
With a breeze from the south, I soon confirmed by GPS a slow drift to the north -- pretty much ideal from a soft plastics point of view. Even so, by around 0630, having fished continually in relatively deep water (around 20m), I decided to paddle across to the southern side of the reef and set up a drift toward and over the shallow grounds (~10m) which lie to the south of the pinnacles. This accomplished, I was watching the sonar for the first sign of the shallow banks as I drifted and cast. Before long a sharp reduction in depth from 17m to around 10m was indicated so I decided to fish slightly differently in that instead of allowing the jig to fall to the bottom I worked the jig back to the yak, imagining it just clearing the bommies and reef below me. This technique shortly proved successful as I got a firm take followed by a typical snapper fight, with strong runs down and along the bottom. Before long a nice fat snapper lay beaten by the side of the yak and very shortly afterward he found himself in the footwell and tethered, ready for a photo, and shortly after that in the fishbox.
I tried the same drift several times, with Andy in close company, without further result until about 0745 at which time I decided to head for home but only after saying hello to a couple of other yakkers mounted on South African fishing skis who were nearby. They turned out to be Couta1 and Duran from the Gold Coast, both familiar to me through AKFF. They told me that they'd launched from Main Beach about 0300, aiming for Spaniards, but by this time had caught only one, and an unremarkable one to boot.
On arrival at the beach on the western side of the groyne at 0900 after an uneventful trip home via Tea Tree Bay I was surprised to hear Jimbo come up on the radio. It turned out that he and Simon were on the other side of the groyne, with Simon preparing to launch to go out and join us. Neither of us was aware of the other's presence until the radio call. Simon decided to go out anyway so may have results to report later.
Some of us are planning on going out tomorrow, same time same place, depending on the forecast at 1500. Please let me know if you are interested. The weather for the rest of the week looks great.
Have a great Christmas, yakkers and all.
Red & Yellow Espri, black paddle
VHF channel 09 or 22 (if alone), Call Sign: sunshiner