TR by sunshiner (pics by me)
Wind: 2 knot S at first, dropping off to near calm later
Swell: 1.5m SE
Water temp: 22.8°C
Tides: 1:51 am : 1.09 H; 7:54 am : 0.48 L
Current: possible toward north at Jew Shoal
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: Both I and MrTall saw tuna up to one metre long free jumping around Jew Shoal
Participants: MrTall (guest, and probable new Noosa Yakker from Vic), pedro, diesel, jaro, sunshiner
My trip distance: 13.5km
Keen Angler Program: nothing today (wrong species)
Note: I have some GoPro footage from today which I intend to use to create a couple of short vids which I'll post on our FB group page today, and a longer version which I'll post on YouTube later. Edited 23Sep15: The longer movie is now accessible from this TR at the end of the post.
With the equinox rapidly approaching, the increased daylight is very apparent to anyone who's been launching at Jew Shoal very early for the last several months. Today we were all on the water by around 05:15 and there was sufficient light at that time to set up without a head torch.
Perfect conditions (thanks BOM, for your accurate weather forecasting). Jaro was alone in his decision to go for Halls Reef, with the rest of us opting for Jew Shoal although pedro did say he might go further north, depending on what we found at Jew Shoal. The fact that we were back on the beach by about 09:45 might tell you that pedro had no need to go further.
One thing I noticed was that there were hundreds of terns leaving their roosts near the river mouth just as I was setting up. They were headed NE. Also, if you check the water temp (mentioned in the preamble), you'll see that it has increased by 1.1°C in the week since last Tuesday.
By 6:00am I was just starting to drift fish at the shoal. Nearby also were MrTall and diesel, both drift fishing with baits or SPs, and pedro, who was slow trolling. It didn't take long. Pedro radioed that he was hooked up to something solid. I could see he was only 300-400m from me so I offered to come over with the cameras as a pic on the water is worth two on the beach (depending on who the fish holder is, of course).
Perhaps this is a front runner of a cobia season which we had around this time last year?
Shortly after this I spotted some longtails free jumping east of The Pinnacles. MrTall also saw some, apparently the first he'd ever seen.
I was fishing for snapper with an SP, targetting the areas around the large schools of bait I could see on the sonar. Nothing I did attracted any attention, however, except I did get a strike (hooks pulled) on my trolled HLP when relocating to the start of my drift pattern.
Just to the SE of me, I could see that pedro was hanging around concentrating in one area. When I radioed him to ask what was going on he said that he'd found some bait schools and plucked several livies from them and had put out a live slimy mac, which he was towing very slowly. A few minutes later he grunted over the radio "Hooked up. Something pretty big!". Not being able to resist, I paddled over to see if I could help and to get some pics.
After a surprisingly short time, pedro had the fish under the yak. At first he called it for a cobia, then a Spaniard, then a cobia again as he got a closer look at it. I was not far away and the fish was certainly impressive in the clear water. After a while we both agreed that it was the biggest yellowtail kingfish we'd seen in Noosa. Certainly a new record for Noosa Yakkers, breaking pedro's existing record, which was admittedly just over legal size. We rarely see kingies here, although I know they are present as I saw a school of them the first time I scuba-dived at Jew Shoal quite a few years ago. Anyway, it was huge but very subdued by the time pedro had played him out and dragged him onto the yak.
By now, diesel had left Jew Shoal for Halls Reef, where jaro was catching giant and normal-sized grinners and also sharks, all on bait. MrTall told us that he'd had a massive high speed strike while trolling a small white SP. This episode ended with a broken leader knot so I told him that in my opinion he'd had his first close encounter with a longtail. I'm sure we'll see MrTall back just as soon as he can make it.
Time was getting on and pedro had enough fish so we now all headed back to the beach, those of us who were fishless hoping to bask in the pedro's reflected beach glory. Which we did as there was plenty of glory to go around, what with the beautiful sunny weather and the school holidays underway.
TR in two minutes: Movie starring pedro mainly
Well, done, pedro. Now let's hope that a new cobia season is about to start.
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