Mystery snapper, 21Dec10

Subject: fishing today -- 21dec10
From: sunshiner
Date: 21/12/2010 11:42 AM

Weather
Cloud cover:, light cloud in the east and north
Wind direction & speed: calm initially, SE to 10 knots later
Sea state: almost no swell
If applicable (often at NSR): current direction & speed: 1.5kph upper layer current from SW to NE
Moonrise/set: full moon -- setting at sunrise

Participants: jaro, dugout, doctor dog, sunshiner

04:34. That's the lights of a trawler on the horizon

As you can see, launch was as easy as it gets. I paddled out first to encounter dugout waiting off the groyne -- he'd launched in his usual spot in the SE corner of the Bay. We three agreed that Jew Shoal was a suitable destination and set off in perfect conditions, although it was more like winter with an unusually low air temperature.

04:46. Dugout, left, and jaro about to set off for Jew Shoal.

Other than a few dolphin sightings, there was nothing of note visible or action-wise until we got to the Jew Shoal vicinity where there were several large patches of feeding mac tuna, accompanied by terns.

05:27. This was one such mac tuna patch of several which I trolled around, hoping that perhaps a spotty or Spaniard might be present.

Jaro opted to drift fish while dugout and I trolled for a while. Jaro reported a bit of action on bait and also a strong current. Once I tired of trolling I decided to try a bit of drift and SP fishing. The current was noteworthy. The drogue was hanging limply in the water -- no breeze. Nevertheless, my SP jig was being left behind by the movement of the yak. Checking my GPS I noted that we were travelling steadily at around 1.5kph in a NE direction. The water was the colour and opacity of thin pea soup. Usually if a current extends from surface to bottom in the water layer the jighead will act as if there is no current, as it and the kayak are being carried along at the same speed and in the same direction. The simplest explanation for today's phenomenon was that either there was a counter current at depth or that the current which was carrying the yak along was acting only in the upper layer. It's possible and plausible that this was also the reason why the water at the surface was murky -- it was probably less dense brackish water which had been discharged from the somewhat heavily-flushed Noosa River.

Anyway whatever the reason it was difficult to drift fish, with my quarter-ounce jig spending only a brief time in the deepest and possibly clearest water before it was swept back up toward the surface. A big old turtle allowed me to get close enough to take a pic.

05:37. Turtle with Mt Cooroy in background.

Doctor dog called up and asked where we were and indicated he was heading out to join us. By now jaro was happily reporting that he'd bagged a couple of nice sweetlip using bait and had returned two or three small but legal snapper to the deep. As there were still a few terns visible flocking in the distance I decided to return to trolling, especially as a SE breeze started to spring up. Dugout and I headed back toward shore where we soon encountered doctor dog out for his morning exercise. The breeze continued to strengthen so I headed back to Middle Groyne where I had the easiest of beach landings in a freshening and cool, no, cold, offshore breeze.

As far as I'm aware only jaro brought fish home but my 13km paddle and drift was great exercise in a superb setting. Jaro, please let us know your final result and dugout and doc dog please add observations/comments as appropriate. Looks like rain and easterly winds threatening (AGAIN!) for the next few days.

Have a great Christmas Noosa Yakkers and we'll see you on the water soon.

Kev
Red & white Stealth Supalite, black paddle
VHF channel 09 or 22 (if alone), Call Sign: sunshiner
http://www.noosayakkers.blogspot.com/

From jaro
:::::
Hi Yakkers,

Not much to add to Kev's report except a photo of the two sweetlip I caught. One was 47cm and the other 40cm. I arrived back at MG at 10.30 after a very hard slog against the wind for about 1.25 hours. Very good exercise!!!

Cheers
Jaro


:::::::

From Ian
:::::::
I clicked the wrong button, sorry.
Ian
call sign;eye tag

More snapper, JS, 18Dec10

Subject: Yak Fishing Report - Sun 18Dec10
From: "Jim Thompson"
Date: 21/12/2010 2:03 AM

Hi Yakkers,

Apologies for the delayed report, been busy preparing to leave tomorrow to go to Melbourne for Christmas.

Cloud cover: 5/10 initially then a heavy 10/10 after ~0730 with rain after 1115
Wind direction & speed: <5k W until ~1030 then SW increasing to 10k
Sea State: Swell < 0.75m, very minor wind chop

I launched at MG ~0440 in perfect conditions. After setting up I headed for Jew Shoal West. There were random birds heading back in-shore towards river mouth. Water was quite murky.

I had trolled a Halco Laser Pro HB lure out to JS with nil return. However, on arrival at Jew West I had only just started to prepare my light line with a jig head and SP for casting when the trolling line went off (I hadn't yet retrieved this line). This turned out to be a 58cm snapper. This suggested the snapper were hunting in the upper 5-10m of the water column, which is a little surprising as our experience is that snapper usually spend most of their time near the bottom. However, Sunshiner had a similar experience only about a week earlier. The surface feeding might have something to do with the recent murky coloured due to rain run off.

By the time I had landed the snapper and completed rigging the casting line I was about 220m east of my intended Jew West mark and was getting close to the Pinnacles where a very large catamaran was anchored. Although there was practically nil wind it was obvious there was a strong current running W to E at about 1.0-1.5 kph. I decided to relocate back to the western side of the Jew West mark knowing the current would take me back along the same drift line. I had also decided to leave the Laser Pro on and troll back over the same mark. And guess what, 40m short of the Jew West mark the Laser Pro was hit again, and a second 58cm snapper came aboard. This was pretty good! Two snapper landed within 30m of arriving and I hadn't yet cast a line.

The next two passages along the same drift line yielded a couple of reefies and a small snapper, the latter probably just a keeper but I decided to release it as I already had two good sized snapper on board (amazing how your attitude becomes much more benevolent when your fish box is already half full). As the Laser Pro had seemed to stop working its magic, I loaded the heavy line with a trailed squid and had only just sent it to the bottom when it was hit. This was a reasonable 43cm snapper.

I persisted on the same drift line for about another two hours, and although the trailed squid and pilchards did not produce any more fish, I had 3-4 good hits on the cast SPs, a couple of these taking the bait soon after hitting the water, and one in particular taking ~20m of line before self releasing. All this produced three more snapper, but only one was a good keeper at 42cm. It was also noticeable that the water had become considerably clearer about mid way through the morning.

By 1045 I had already stayed about 1.5 hours longer than I had intended, so started heading back to MG just as the wind, which had by now swung to the SW, suddenly increased in strength to ~10k which meant I had a fairly stiff head wind and surface chop for the duration of the return paddle. Two things were noticeable on approaching MG, apart from the fact that it was now raining. The first was that the water, even just 100m from MG, was now quite clear. The second was that there were a number of birds circling around out from the river mouth and the lower North Shore area, together with 2-3 boats. I suspect that the spotty macks might be starting to congregate in this known spotty hot spot. This suspicion was supported by a radio transmission I heard between a boat and Noosa Coast Guard. I reckon the pelagic season is here!! Sorry there are no photos with this report as I don't carry a camera with me and I scaled, gutted and beheaded the snapper amongst the rocks at MG to save time when I got home.

Merry Christmas to all and good fishing in the new year .... leave some pelagics for me for when I get back from Melbourne.

Cheers,
Jimbo

Fish aplenty, 16Dec10

Subject: fishing today -- 16dec10
From: sunshiner
Date: 16/12/2010 3:05 PM

Weather
Cloud cover: max 1/10 cloud
Wind direction & speed: NNW up to 10 knots
Sea state: low swell

Participants: Jaro, Doug, Ian, Pete, Geoff and I

At last the wind we'd endured for the last several weeks slackened today thus allowing us reasonably comfortable conditions to get out into the Bay. The 0430 launch time called by Jaro was beaten by Pete, Ian and Doug, all of whom were well on the water by the time I arrived in the carpark at about 04:20. There I found Jaro and Geoff finalising their setups and before long we were down at the water's edge to face the swell.

04:31. Geoff gazes out wondering if he'll make it out safely...

We three opted to head for Jew Shoal. I for one was happy with that mainly based on the possibility of an increasing NW wind which could be a pain for anyone south of Hells Gates and wanting to return to Main Beach. Shortly after launch we were in contact by radio with Doug (dougout) who had launched in the SE corner of Main Beach and was part way to Jew Shoal already.

The sea at Main Beach was quite murky today (freshwater runoff due to heavy rain), usually a sign that the fish action will be subdued or non-existent. But as we paddled northward several flocks of terns passed us on the way out so they weren't put off by the water colour, at least.

Heading for the western edge of the shoal, we soon came across isolated patches of surface action. Fluttering terns acted as top cover for the main assassins, mackerel tuna, which charged through the packed baitfish sending spray and baitfish up to one metre into the air. We all dragged lures through or close to such action a couple of times for no result and so plodded on, into the northerly wind and chop, intent on trying out Jew Shoal's underwater delights.

Jaro and Geoff headed for the northern side of the shoal, Doug trolled all over it and I focussed on the area which had been kind to me last Saturday -- close to The Pinnacles. The wind was much lighter than the last time I was here with the result that both drifting and trolling could be pursued in relative comfort. The sea, however was still quite murky but bait was present, as evidenced by occasional tuna bustups and also the frequent clusters identifiable on our fish finders.

By now we were in touch by radio with Ian (eyetag) who was trolling baits in the hope of a Spaniard, at Sunshine Reef, several km away. He'd had one bait taken but no hookup as yet. Pete (pedro) was also there and apparently had bagged a snapper already.

At Jew Shoal, Jaro started to report action from reef fish on pilchards and he was first on the board with a keeper sweetlip, and then another and another. Doug decided to head back in after a couple of fruitless laps of the shoal, Geoff was hanging with Jaro; I had opted to troll my Halco Laser Pro all over the previously identified hot spots which were now proving to be not so hot. This continued until around 07:45 by which time Geoff and I were still fishless and becoming a little frustrated. There were plenty of patches of baitfish on the sonar, still plenty of tuna feeding and at one stage an enormous single splash erupted near me so clearly predators were hanging about.

Time for a change of tactics -- give the soft plastics a go -- drift, cast, retrieve gently. Noting that the drift was from west to east I headed for a spot west of The Pinnacles and started my drift. The bait was an aged and pre-loved Squidgy Shad which was impaled on a 1/4oz (7gm) 3/0 jig hook. This is one of my favourite soft plastics mainly because they're cheap but also because they work. As I drifted I was watching the sonar (it's a bit like TV but much more interesting). A ribbon of clustered baitfish started to unroll on the screen as I drifted over it. Bump! Was that a take? Probably.. and then a powerful run as a fish absconded with the Squidgy. At last! At last! Then slack line. The bugger had somehow managed to self-release. But I had marked the spot on my GPS and so could return to it easily.

Having relayed by radio to my colleagues the fact that I'd dropped my only strike of the day I returned to the fray, paddling back past the new mark and setting up a new drift aiming to cross the newly-found hot spot. Again as I approached the mark, casting, letting the jig sink, watching the line, the slack suddenly disappeared and I was attached to another screamer. This time I did everything right by the Sunshiner SP Manual but still the hook pulled free. Bugger!

I checked the rig again -- everything was OK -- hook sharp etc. Back to the mark and 50m updrift beyond. Cast again, this time at least 40m updrift of the mark. Off went the SP again, the fish grabbing it in the first few seconds after the jig hit the water in around 19m. A long and strong run on the 6kg line gave me hope that this time the hook would hold. I was still connected after a minute or so -- a good sign of a firm hookup. The connection stayed sound and soon I could see a sizable snapper being led reluctantly to the kayak. A quick gaff shot and he was mine. Nice fish...

08:20. This snapper went 63cm on the mat later.

I could relax now. Pete by now had joined us at Jew Shoal and Ian had turned up also, just as I was dealing with my snapper.

08:48hrs. Ian and his boat today, as he paddled past me trolling for whatever. Mt Cooroy in the background.

While I continued drift fishing I took the opportunity to pack up quickly and take the camera over to any of my colleagues' hookups. Ian decided to chuck some slugs into a pack of feeding tuna and came up trumps -- twice -- too far away from me to respond. Pete was next with a snapper.

09:20. This snapper, same drift line, took a pilchard presented on Pete's deadly pilly rig. Note Pete's very pretty radio leash.

Then Geoff.

09:30. OK, it's not a huge snapper, but it was a keeper.

About now I opted to head for home -- I'd been on the water 5 hours and was feeling the pull of the beach. Besides the wind would surely increase, albeit from the north. Ian decided to accompany me and we set a trolling course to investigate fluttering terns to the west before turning south with the strengthening breeze. This left Jaro, Geoff and Pete to continue the harassment at JS. One thing of note as Ian and I paddled along was the presence of several larger tuna (I thought longtails) which individually and separately leapt clear of the water a couple of hundred metres in front of us.

Ian and I hit the beach only a minute or so apart at around 10:40am. Looking around, we espied a couple of possible fish holders so Ian bravely volunteered to charm them into this coveted role.

Two friendly frauleins having a lovely time in Australia. The one on the left was hungry.
Above: my snapper; Below Ian's tuna (70cm)


Jaro arrived off the beach and when the frauleins were invited to wait for Jaro's fish and give him a birthday hug they decided that they had to be going. If only they'd known what they'd missed out on.

Jaro's bag of sweetlip. The largest was 48cm.

So, we don't know how Pete and Geoff finished up, or Doug for that matter. Please let us know guys.
[Emails after main post signature]

Thanks for organizing, Jaro. Another fun day. Sorry you couldn't make it Hollywood.

Kev
Red & white Stealth Supalite, black paddle
VHF channel 09 or 22 (if alone), Call Sign: sunshiner
http://www.noosayakkers.blogspot.com/

From Jag One
:::::::
Hi guys

I got back to the beach at midday, ending up with a sweetlip the size of Jaro's biggest one, plus two pan sized ones and the snapper in the pic.

I caught and released half a dozen well undersized sweeties and squire. I also C&R three cod which I think were juvenile black tipped rock cod, going by the distinctive red and pink vertical banding.The other oddball that didn't come aboard was probably a triggerfish, I thought I had a John Dory.

Anyway, a thoroughly enjoyable day with so many of us out there.

The drift speed of my yak is still a problem, so I might try Pete's suggestion and throw out another sea anchor.

See you on the water
Geoff Stolberg
call sign JaG One

From pedro (Pete)
:::::::
Hi All
I stayed out till the northerly kicked in, meeting up with geoff at his car.
End result was three snapper 56cm 54cm 47cm.
The pink bailing twine was a quick decision at 2.15am and I have plenty if anyone else wants some.

Spaniard, LeRoux, 12Dec10

Subject: The Boys are back in Town!
From: "LeRoux Uys"
Date: 12/12/2010 10:29 PM

G'day everyone,

Well, the weatherman got it wrong again and it was the combination of this, cabin fever and the fact that my wife, Linda has been nagging me for snapper for the past couple of months that made me venture out today...

I had returned fishless from my past 3 yaxpeditions despite spending the time out there and trying just about every bait and lure known to man. After recently reading about Kev and Jimbo's snapper successes and staring out of my window all morning without seeing a leaf move (whilst it was supposed to be blowing it's hole out from the NE!!) I decided 'that's it, I'm going out there'. I tried to coerce Stu into joining me, but he was too busy playing with his joystick on someone else's X-box... enough said!!

Needless to say it was pissing down all day and I made peace with the fact that I was going to get wet, very wet! At least parking at MG wasn't a problem and the paddle (in and out) was a doddle. I headed straight for the pinnacles as this is where most of the action had been over the past week and I could already taste pan fried snapper on my way out...

My paddle was diverted by bird activity, heaps of it (have I told you I like birds...) and I spent the first hour or so out there chasing down schools of bonito and mac tuna that were being ferociously pursued by all kinds of sea birds - unfortunately they were uninterested in my trawled Halco as well as my little silver that I repeatedly kept casting at them. That's it! I eventually decided and settled into trawling a floated pilchard and doing a bit of bottom bashing whilst at it, coming up with only small squire...

All of a sudden the reel holding my trolled pilchard went off, followed by some aerial activity and a couple of big splashes; I couldn't identify what was at the end of my line as a result of the weather and the distance it was away from me and for a moment I thought I had hooked a small black marlin, however this turned out to be the mother of all long toms - probably around 150cm!! After releasing this beast (had to cut it off - some impressive dentures at work there!) I set up again and thought I'd place myself near the pinnacles once more. There was still heaps of surface activity all around, but I thought more of the same - bonito and Maccy's. It was then that my reel screamed again, this time with more urgency and when I picked up the rod I realised that I had connected with something solid, and I immediately thought it was a big mac tuna. But this fellow stripped off some line and immediately went deep, so my thoughts wandered to longtail... perhaps?? The fight went on for quite a while, most of the time me just hanging on and keeping tension on the line - I knew that if it were a biggish tuna I was in for a bit of a battle. Then all of a sudden the line went reasonably slack as the critter headed upward and for a moment I thought I had lost it, but another couple of circular runs saw this fellow appear next to the yak; the gaff went in without any issues and a couple of swings from my tree wood saw him safely on board - went 114cm, but only a runt at 10kg, almost felt guilty for keeping him - NOT!!

It's probably cause it's early in the season and they still have a lot of eating to do before they start packing on the weight. Any case, got a bucket load of fillets from it and a couple of those went straight into the pan with some black pepper and lemon juice tonight - beautiful!


Sorry I tried to compress the picture so that I could include it in the text, but no can do...

Here's to a great season, see you out on the water soon!

Tight lines
LeRoux

Snaps on HBs, 11Dec10

Subject: Fishing today -- 11Dec10
From: sunshiner
Date: 11/12/2010 12:38 PM

Weather
Cloud cover: 10/10 early on, burning off to 7/10
Wind direction & speed: N, <10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">10knots (but not more than 15)
Sea state: northerly chop mixed with 1.5m E swell
Participants: Just me

Background: For several weeks we've had crappy easterly winds usually around 15-20 knots. These conditions are not conducive to recreational fishing offshore which has meant a dearth of fishing opportunities lately.

Before heading off to bed last night about 9:30pm I checked the wind status as there'd been no appreciable wind at home for a couple of hours. Sure enough, the live weather station on Double Island Point was indicating around 5 knots from the north. Although I had done no preparation except put the VHF radio on charge I resolved to recheck the weather early in the morning but only when I woke up, whatever that time might be. I slept soundly and awoke before first light -- around 3:30am in fact. There was no wind evident and so I booted up my PC and checked Seabreeze again. The forecast wind and actual wind were both northerly but the actual, around 5 knots, was still much lower than the forecast so I made the immediate decision to launch my yak at north-facing Main Beach, but first composed and sent an email to NY Hookers telling them I was going.
<10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">

Above: The graphed anemometer record from Double Island Point, 50km north of Noosa, at 3.30am today.
<10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">
By 4.40am I'd scoffed a banana for brekky and was standing by my fully loaded yak on Main Beach, gazing at an uninviting murky green-brown sea which was being gently urged onto the beach by the swell and the five knot northerly.
<10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">

04:40. Launch time
<10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">
No problems on the launch but I got a lot damper than I should have by being a bit too casual about paddling out past the break zone.

Soon I was rigged up and, having selected one of my Jew Shoal waypoints on my Etrex, was paddling to the north into the small chop following the Etrex arrow. With the improving ambient light, I spotted terns fluttering just off my track so turned toward them, trolling only one outfit loaded with a trusty, and a bit rusty, Halco Laser Pro 120mm (pic later). I could see small mac tuna blasting into the bait but I was hoping for larger predators of the mackerel variety, which was why my Halco was rigged with a wire trace. Patch after patch of feeding tuna were passed without action for I was intent on heading toward a much larger aggregation of terns visible on the northern horizon, just west of Jew Shoal.

This larger aggregation also proved to be hovering over feeding mac tuna, although there were sufficient isolated large splashes to pique my interest -- possibly spotty macs, which just love the lure I was trolling (just take a look at the spotty mac teeth marks adorning its slender body). However, no strikes. The only other sign of human activity visible was a single tinny anchored near The Pinnacles at Jew Shoal so I headed toward it, reckoning that I'd start SP fishing for snapper by the time I got there if I'd received no other action.

The water was green-tinged as a result of heavy freshwater runoff and, despite the obvious surface carnage going on, didn't seem very fishy to me. To make matters less attractive the interaction of the swell with the chop meant that a drift would be quite joggly. As I approached the anchored tinny I could see it was the Tackleworld Maroochydore boat, with two guys in it. They appeared to be burleying and fishing SPs or bait in the burley trail. I'd chosen to pass to the south of them about 50m away and was about 100m from them when my trolling outfit went off with a loud buzz. Given the number of mac tuna around I figured that I'd probably hooked one of these little speedsters but when I picked up the rod I started to change my mind as there were recognizable bumps, reminiscent of snapper. At any rate the hooks pulled after a few seconds so we don't know what it was, but I reckon I now have a fair idea. Out went the Laser Pro again and I continued my planned track, straight toward The Pinnacles, and passing the anchored tinny. I'd only paddled about half a dozen strokes when the reel buzzed again. This time, the occupants of the tinny, who were amusing themselves catching small reefies and the odd tiny tuna, had a great view. My rod was severely bent and the fish had gone deep, although the lure runs only about 1m below the surface. After a minute or two, during which I was drifting steadily away from the tinny, I came to the conclusion that this was possibly a snapper, having caught quite a few out there but rarely by trolling. Sure enough, the murky water gave up its secrets when the tiring fish allowed itself to get near the surface. Out came the gaff and the fish was very soon "in the bag". A nice start on a less than perfect morning...
<10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">

05:46. Note the sonar is reading 7.5m -- about as shallow as you'll find at Jew Shoal. The fish was first hooked at about 15m depth and we'd drifted onto The Pinnacles during the fight.
<10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">
Having photographed and stowed the fish I turned back toward where I'd got the strike and redeployed the Laser Pro, after checking for line etc damage. This meant I was paddling back toward the Tackleworld tinny. No more strikes as I approached their boat and the skipper couldn't resist asking about the catch when I got close enough. A snapper, eh? Which lure or bait? Where do you stow the fish? I was quite free with my info knowing that they probably couldn't match my presentation anyway -- stealth and low speed! There was no action on this pass and indeed none for the next half hour or so when I briefly reverted to drift fishing with SPs. The tinny guys departed for somewhere else to the west -- just as well as they'd have been really pissed off if they'd stayed a bit longer.

I wasn't comfortable drift fishing in the very joggly conditions so rigged up the trolling outfit again. All it took was a paddle into the "hot" area this time toward the west when ZZZZZ went the reel again. This time I was pretty sure from the start that this was a snapper. Sure enough, a decent tussle ensued before a bigger one lay beaten next to the yak.
<10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">

06:41. Snapper #2 in the Supalite's cavernous fish box. The Laser Pro is still in its mouth.
<10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">
OK, now I was on a roll. I knew how and I knew where. Out went the Laser Pro again. This time the hookup came only a few minutes later. I just happened to be glancing over my right shoulder to check that the rod tip was jiggling at the optimum vibration frequency when said rod tip leaned right over backwards accompanied by a scream from the spool clicker. This time I had a little difficulty getting the rod out of the holder as the run continued but the battle soon was under way. This fish too went for depth but the smooth but powerful drag gave me a killer advantage. After a few minutes, up popped snapper #3.
<10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">

06:58. The fight's over. Snapper #3 sports appropriate bling. I must get some shiny new hooks for this battle-scarred veteran lure.
<10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">
As I was aware that the wind was likely to increase I decided to start paddling back to shore at this stage. I'm pretty sure I could have bagged out, but three snapper was enough for me today. But I still trolled the ~one km across the shoal and then the remaining three km back to the beach, without further action. The wind did increase at Noosa so I'm glad I turned for home when I did.
<10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">

Wind starting to pick up by mid morning
<10knots increasing="" initially="" to=""> <10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">
On the beach just after 8:00am a young mum (a local) and her son posed with two of the fish... The shy young daughter behind her Mum couldn't be coerced into holding the third.
<10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">
And here are the three, 62cm, 58cm and 54cm.
<10knots increasing="" initially="" to="">
And the fish arrayed on the front deck of the Supalite with the rod, reel (Van Staal) and lure used to catch them.

Sometimes the impromptu trips produce memorable results.

The mighty Halco Laser Pro strikes again, Jaro!! Looks like some opportunities next week, guys. And the snapper are on at JS! Yahoo!!

Kev
Red & white Stealth Supalite, black paddle
VHF channel 09 or 22 (if alone), Call Sign: sunshiner
http://www.noosayakkers.blogspot.com/

jimbo PB snapper, 09Dec10

Subject: Yak Fishing Report - Thur 9 Dec
From: "Jim Thompson"
Cloud cover: initially 7/10 becoming 2/10
Wind direction & speed: ESE to 15-12 knots
Sea state: Short period 1.5m easterly swell with messy wind wave/chop
Current direction & speed: Slight SE

With Seabreeze indicating that next Monday might be a possible yak day, but this being normally my work day (ie, the same as happened for the past month!) I was prepared to have a go even if the conditions weren't going to be ideal. At 0400 this morning Seabreeze was showing DIP blowing a consistent 15k from the ESE, but Willy Weather was forecasting less than 12 knots for the Noosa North Shore for most of the morning, so decided I would give it a go anyway. Needless to say, Seabreeze was correct.

After launching at MG (small wave breaking at fairly low tide off end of rock groyne) and then setting up, I set out for Jew Sh at 0510 pushing straight into a messy wind-chopped sea with a few white caps. There were a number of birds flying close to the surface heading out to sea, but only once did I see a few gathering briefly before moving on.

I went straight to up-wind side of one of my JS marks on the ESE side of The Pinnacles, figuring the stiff wind and swell would soon take me on a drift back over my mark and back onto the Pinnacles. By the time I had rigged my heavy line with a trailing pilchard, and my light casting line with jig head and SP, I had already drifted ~150m in a WSW direction (there apparently being some influence from a slight SE current) and so relocated up wind to restart the drift.

Half way through the first drift I was already starting to feel a bit nauseous in the bumpy conditions, when the ratchet on the trailing reel gave a couple of buzzes. This turned out to be a reasonable Maori cod, that I thought was legal, but later measured at 41cm and so was really undersized (legal length 45cm ... Oops!).

By now I was out to the WSW of the Pinnacles and had already had a little chunder, but felt a little better for it, so decided to position myself for a drift over our favoured "Jew West" mark before heading back home. This turned out to be a winning move. About 100m into this drift the trailing line started screaming and I knew as soon as I picked up the rod this was a good fish.

After a short tussle I boated my best ever snapper (later measured at 72cm and 4.4kg), see pic below. With the nauseousness still present but two good fish on board I decided to head for home at ~0830 with a following swell and wind now slightly abated. The return surf conditions were quite gentle with the near high tide. I was home by 1000, quite satisfied with my efforts.



Cheers, Jimbo