Wind: NE 5-7knots
Swell: low E
Current: at Jew Shoal, none
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: richmond, eyetag, jaro, pedro, sunshiner
Three small white lights were bobbing around just off Middle Groyne at 4:00am and as I watched from my beach vantage point they started to move off toward the east. Eyetag, richmond and pedro were heading off for Sunshine Reef. Jaro and I launched shortly afterward when there was just enough light and both of us got a bit wet as the NE breeze, which had been blowing most of the night, had generated a very short period chop. Avoiding a small breaking wave at launch was almost impossible this morning but at least the water temp of around 25 degrees C minimized the discomfort.
We had a slow paddle out to Jew Shoal. I deliberately kept my speed down to better handle the chop and I noticed Jaro also was travelling slower than usual, but still faster than I was.
About 50 minutes after departure I reached the shoal, opting to head for the NE corner in order to drift fish NE to SW. Both of us had trolled HB lures all the way out without a touch. The water looked very fishy and there were quite a few flying fish, even inside the bay. Although initially there were quite a lot of terns flying around and dipping down every now and again, within 30 minutes or so they’d mainly shot through. I saw no sign of fishy predators today, but some baitfish were evident on the sonar.
Jaro was on a different drift line from mine, using bait as he usually does. I was using a single rod armed with a soft plastic. The bait started getting results, a small snapper, tiny sweetlip, and then sharks, several of them. My SP went untouched through two drifts so I knew that Jew Shoal had not improved much over our last few trips, which have been abysmal.
At 06:15 richmond, out at Sunshine Reef, came up on the radio announcing he was hooked up to something big. Then pedro, who was near him, started to relay occasional updates to the rest of us. I’ll let richmond tell his story and add it to this post.
By 8:00am I was convinced that Jew Shoal was dead today, except for the small fish and sharks that jaro had been attracting. So I headed for home, the first of us to do so, having a very fast ride back with comparatively little effort due to the NE breeze and chop right up my tail.
That’s all from me. Hopefully the others might have some more interesting stuff to pass on.
Contribution by richmond
I met Ian and Peter in the carpark early this morn, we basically launched around the same time and headed off to Sunshine Reef with me straggling 5 minutes behind.
I'd decided to troll a Halco laser Pro and a ganged pilchard with a skirt. The Spaniards that had been caught of late I'd noticed were on floating or trolled pillies high up in the water column.
After an hour or so of trolling I headed off in a northerly direction when I had a massive strike on the ganged pillie. This fish was very fast and strong. My reel was singing and I'd lost enough 30lb braid to only show the mono backing on my reel. I was calling it for a big Spaniard as it really burnt some line and actually headed for the surface after that scorching first run. I also thought a possible Cobia when it headed for the surface but it was too quick for a Cobe.
After 20 minutes or so, Peter trundled over to keep me company, thanks Pete I appreciated it. Peter arrived to see me in a bit of a mess with my other line tangled around the line connected to the fish. What a mess! I cut the line either side of the tangle and kept fighting the brute.
By now I'd worked it out to be a tuna of some sort and quite big or so we thought. Ian had arrived also to witness the pain and anguish I was going through.
I slowly started to win a lot more line back onto the reel, when the tangled mess around my main line hit the tip guide it forced the tangle down toward my leader which was ok and what I'd hope would happen. I was running a long leader, about 2.5 metres in length, and when the tangle hit the leader knot it stopped the line going through the tip guide!
We could now see the fish, a very, very stubborn and tough Longtail of about 10/12 kg.
As I couldn't wind any further than my leader knot and with the fish doing tight circles below the yak, I decided to grab the leader and coax the fish to me. As I had no give with the leader wrapped around my hand, the Longy decided on another short burst and ping, it wins its freedom after fighting me for at least 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour!
Inspection of the leader found a very frayed area where the line had parted.
I learnt a bit today fighting that fish, it was my own fault that I lost it, bad management from not winding the other line in early on in the fight and a couple of other bad decisions I also made.
You live and learn. Thanks to Pedro and Eyetag for sticking around and thanks to the now emancipated Longtail that fought well above his weight.
They are an awesome fish.
From: "Jaro Cerny"
Date: 14 January 2012 15:03:23 AEST
Subject: Fishing today 14/01/2012
Nothing much to add to Kev's report. Hooked 3 sharks... 2 busted my line as I got them to the yak, the 3rd I boated and let go, much to the chagrin of Carolyn as she loves flake so I promised her that the next one I catch will be taken home.
I had many bites and hook ups but most were just size or undersize snapper which I released. I kept one snapper (37 cm) to keep Carolyn happy (and she was). I was eager to use the sail with the brisk wind at my back but would you know it the wind died down considerably just as I was leaving JS. Still it was a help, coming homing at a nice and easy 7 k/h.