Wind: SW less than 5 knots
Swell: 1.3m E
Water temp: 26°C
Current: at Jew Shoal none detected, too busy catching fish
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Participants: stormin, soren, emil, redwood, scater, salty, jaro, gemini, clappo, weeksie, aussie-stu, pauley, panno, deecee, turtleboy, whalerider, sunshiner (17). Please let me know if I've omitted anyone. Also we had well known Brissy-based AKFF members paulo and wife Lynette with friend Steve, all in Hobies.
WooHoo! What a morning! Launch wasn't too challenging but the young bucks politely(?) stepped aside and let the two oldest yakkers show them how to do it in the dark while facing occasional biggies which loomed up out of the blackness.
The whole fleet, I think, headed for Jew Shoal, led by Jaro, stormin and I. About 1000m short of Jew Shoal I found John, a local loner from Kin Kin, playing a fish. Turned out to be a spotty mac. Caught on a trolled HB.
Nothing much was happening at Jew Shoal at first, no bustups, a few terns flapping around. A couple of stinkies were there before us and seemed to be just trolling, as were we. Perfect conditions. And then the radio traffic started to tell a tale of fish being sighted and hooked (by Noosa Yakkers or others). Kayaks arriving from Middle Groyne soon outnumbered the few stinkies that were present.
Soren's Spaniard seemed to be the bell ringer.
Shortly after this, the first bustups became visible nearby and the yaks and a couple of stinkies started to jockey for position; the air was full of slugs, whoops and the sound of singing drag clickers. The fish were not at all shy of our yaks.
There were two separate locations where all of this happened, simultaneously, a few hundred metres apart. I was in the group near the Pinnacles, while others were in a group to the SW of mine.
Anyway, for at least the next hour the fish were very cooperative. They had the bait schools balled up on the shoal and all we had to do was hang around, maybe paddle 50m or so to bring the latest bustup within range. Bent rods everywhere, cries of triumph and frustration filled the air. Many slugs lost to bite-offs and at least one gaff lost, but the fish was bagged. Mayhem it was. Spotty mac mayhem.
Everyone hooked fish and everyone brought fish home. Many bagged out, including clappo who bagged out on Spaniards and aussie-stu who was on his very first trip with us and on his first surf launch. There should be some video available soon as a few yakkers were shooting video out there.
A signature Noosa Yakkers day.
Author Kayak Fishing Manual for iPad and Mac (click linked text to view)
Stealth Supalite X, yellow/orange
Video added by scater
Video added by Gemini
Well, I'm I glad I dragged myself out of bed this morning! I think I must have hit that snooze button 3 times. Muuust get uuup, baaaay full of pelaaagics. By 4am I was in the car park and for a second thought it was another Stealth comp; the bays were full of bustling yakkers, chatting and prepping. The excitement was palpable.
Sunshiner led the way and with his Supalite rocker pointed at Jew Shoal, scaled a few medium sized rollers with ease. A few others managed the same. I was hanging back, counting the waves. Stormin decided it was time to go, but his timing was a little off and I passed him waist deep holding onto his new yak on my way out. My timing, for a change, was perfect.
I rigged my HLP on one side and my Pulsator skirt with a mullet strip on the other. Yip, hedging my bets. I decided to do a few laps around the shark nets which, yielded nothing, before making my way to JS following the headland. This as it turned out this was a poor move as it seems this was also the stinky route to Sunshine Reef. By this time there was enough light and I was sure I could be seen reasonably enough and wasn't concerned.
I reached JS without a touch. In front of me a guy in a stinky reeled in a Spanish. He told me he got it, and 13 others the day before, on a qantas HLP. It was his first time in Noosa, the lucky so and so.
Soren then radioed in his Spanish and shortly after Emil his spotty. No mayhem yet, just a tinge of green coming over me and this time it wasn't sea-sickness. I decided to switch the grey speckled HLP for the qantas one. I've heard colour doesn't matter, but rather safe than sorry. I trolled the bait and the HB around for a while trying to avoid getting tangled up in trolling lines, which wasn't easy.
Then, a big bust-up right in front of me! I thought I had seen bust-ups before, but this was something else and here I was right in front of it with a loaded slug ready to go. Fire, fire, fire! I lobbed the slug into the middle of the boil and retrieved a slack line. Slug and leader gone. Fargaindagnabbit!! Plan B; chuck the HLP into the middle. I grabbed the rod and again reeled in another slack line. Grrrrrrr. Plan C; dispatch the mullet bait. It appeared mullet wasn't on the menu. Plan D; re-rig my casting outfit. This took about 10 minutes and when I was done, much to my delight, the mayhem was still on just a little further to the West.
At this point everything becomes a blur. So many yakkers, so many stinkies, so many bent rods, so much whooping and cheering. I felt like Private Ryan on Omaha Beach. Amongst the madness something did grab my attention; it was Sunshiner, he looked like he was in one of those movies where all the action is frozen and someone is wondering in and amongst it all in a time warp. So calm and composed; taking a snap here, giving some advice there.
I snapped out of it, fired off my slug and was on immediately boating my first Spottie (picture above courtesy Sunshiner/Timewarper). I fired off another and could see the fish chasing the retrieve. Come on, come on, yes, it took the slug just at the boat but took it so strongly that the braid broke. Bugger. I was running out of leader and slugs. I re-rigged again with a 40gm halco twisty and got into it again. Soren saw my retrieve method and told me I need to reel in faster. I did so on the next cast and was on and then off. Thanks for the tip Soren because the next hookup was a beauty! A 99cm Spottie (picture above courtesy Sunshiner/Timewarper).
By this time a number of yakkers had bagged out and were just fishing for the fun of it. Panno was using a softie, which was getting results. I had 3 to go to bag out so I followed the action West and landed another two Spotties by which time most of the yakkers had headed in. Only Whalerider, Turtle Boy and myself remained at JS. Turtle Boy was having a terrible time of it; breaking his rod, loosing countless lures and as many fish. I encouraged him to have another go as the fish were still about. He did and hooked up to a nice one, but again it managed to slip from his grasp at the last minute.
We'd decided we'd had enough and it was time to head in. On the way back we saw more yakkers and boats corralled around a bust-up. I radioed Turtle Boy and said I was going to have a look. Hopefully I could snag another and bag out. The bust-up looked even bigger with many more birds. It wasn't long before I boated my 5th spottie and I was officially bagged out. Weeksie had also got two in this bust-up earlier, but when I started for MG only stinkies were left.
At MG the BNE Hobie's, Weeksie, Turtle Boy, Whalerider and myself were lined up to run the gauntlet. Turtle Boy went first and made it, but Whalerider wasn't so lucky and was rolled on a large one. I'd been watching the waves break on the rocks for 10 min while packing away and thought I had the measure of the sets. My trick is to watch for two big breaking waves in a row and then gun it. I had just started out when I saw a big swell behind me, so I hung back, let it pass under me and then went for it. Success. What a blast.
|What a beauty!|
|Redwood bagged out|
|Fillets from the big SM|
|One reason why the fish should be gaffed near the head|