TR by sunshiner
Wind: light SW-S (as forecast, see comment in report)
Swell: 1.5m SE
Water temp: 27.2°C
Tides: 3:05 am : 1.54 H; 9:57 am : 0.65 L
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: Yes, all tuna
Participants: diesel, tunny, sunshiner
Keen Angler Program: missed out again today as we were targetting tuna!
Looking at the weather forecast we could tell that from Tuesday to Friday conditions were unlikely to be suitable for an offshore trip. This was frustrating given that we knew there were likely to be tuna in Laguna Bay at least today, as we'd seen their activity from shore and knew from the TR that there were heaps of them present on Saturday.
Sunday was windy enough to blow a yak to Port Douglas (as forecast) but Seabreeze indicated a small window of opportunity today. So I turned to Meteye for confirmation and clarification. Meteye is a relatively new facility for our area, but has been available in other parts of the nation for at least a year. The most useful information it provides for offshore kayakers is a rolling wind forecast in map form for seven days for any point on our coastline.
Meteye told us that the wind in Laguna Bay today would be 5-10 knots S and SW between 0700 and 1000. Outside of these times the wind was likely to be stronger. Here was our only likely offshore fishing opportunity this week and we grabbed it. This explains our planned relatively late start, of around 06:30.
Tunny indicated he might be a little later than diesel and I, but in the event, he got there before us.
As we usually do, on arrival diesel and I took a quick stroll down to the beach to check conditions. Perfect! And aren't they tuna busting up out there? Yep. In record time we were back with our yaks ready to launch, at which time we noticed tunny's message.
Once we got out there we could see a bunch of terns (and some seagulls) wheeling around about 800m out. Soon we were paddling toward them. Meantime, tunny, approaching Granite Bay, had been telling us by radio of bustups out that way and really got us fired up with the unmistakeable sound of his threadline drag as it yielded line. This fish, predictably, turned out to be a mackerel tuna which tunny released.
Diesel and I got only a couple of fruitless casts away before the fish disappeared, so we set course to join tunny, out north of Hells Gates. All the way along on this trip we could see splashes, large and small, but couldn't attract any customers. As happened last Saturday, the action died out around 0730 so we all headed toward Jew Shoal in the hope that activity would erupt there.
Nope, no action out there, so after about an hour we decided to paddle the 3.5km to Little Halls Reef to see if that area was any better.
Conditions were superb, with the wind at no time exceeding 5 knots. Clear sky, no stinkies to be seen. Light southerly pushing us to the north as we drifted. Diesel was using SPs as he'd brought no bait for bottom fishing. So was I, by preference, although my faith in SPs for bottom fish had been weakened lately (bloody good for longtails and cobia, though!). Grinner! Diesel! Then my SP was picked up, to my astonishment. Immediately I knew it was a small fish, but still, it was my only hit of the day, so very welcome.
At Little Halls Reef we encountered a couple of more minor bustups, but again, they were so fleeting that we couldn't get a decent shot at them. By now we'd been on the water for over four hours so, with no further action, decided to head for home. Tunny positively identified some longtail tuna while we paddled this leg but the only action we could get was a shark each, for diesel and me, hooked at the same time, about a kilometre apart, on trolled HB lures. Mine was hooked just off the river mouth, and accompanied by a similar sized specimen when it arrived at the yak.
We hit the beach at low tide and I noticed one beachgoer walk around, waist deep, on the sandbank from the western side of the groyne to the eastern side, as I was lining up to come back in. Thankfully the swell was low which gave a good chance of getting in without embarrassment.
Author Kayak Fishing Manual for iPad and Mac (click linked text to view)
Stealth Supalite X, yellow/orange