Trip Reports • Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

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Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby paulo » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:24 pm

Well the 2012 longtail season on the Sunshine Coast has come and gone. Last year I got the chance to spend a week there in perfect weather with the fish on almost every day. This year, as luck would have it, my contract finished on April 13, smack bang in the middle of season. Upon hearing this, Lynette booked six weeks holidays and we set about not caring about life for a while.

Booked into our usual spot on Moffat Beach for two weeks, we ended up staying five and almost became part of the local scenery, permanently.
As anyone on the Sunny Coast can attest, the weather up Caloundra way this year has been pretty ordinary to say the least. The mackerel were all but non-existent and it was early April and the longtails hadn't arrived in numbers, as they had done for the past few years. Expecting fine warm days with low winds and small swells, our first two weeks were quite the opposite. They were surfing the shore dump at Moffats. It's usually a millpond. We managed 2-3 trips out a week those first two when the wind and swell let up enough to launch.
moffatLaunch.jpg

I was hopelessly out-fished by my better half. She couldn't miss everytime she put the lure in the water. Here's a few of the beauties I got to clean and cook for the first two weeks, as I couldn't manage to catch one myself.
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It wasn't until the end of the second week that I managed to land a longtail, when I got four in the one afternoon session. I had to pedal in past them busting up as I didn't have it in me to spend 30-40mins on another one. An injury to the leading angler and a change in tactics saw the flood gates open for me over the rest of the holidays.
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Lots caught their first longtail this season. I've captured but a few on the video. The season golden day was a Saturday and Grant had flown in from Melbourne the night before. That was a trip worth making.
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They were thick that day. Locals had asked us to bring them back fish so I had to pedal in at 8:30am to drop off three fish and these three young ladies asked if I could take their picture. How could I refuse
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Last season a dead sticked laserpro 120 drifting out the back was the goto lure. This year there were some days they wouldn't go near a hardbody and other days they climbed all over them. By far the most successful technique this year was drifted 3" plastics. Having chased them for five weeks straight I had plenty opportunity to study their feeding patterns and came to a few conclusions.
Though the fish are in the process of migrating north they almost always enter the bay in the north and feed in a southerly direction regardless of the wind.
On days when the whitebait is thick and there are fewer fish, plastics close to the whitebait size and profile will prosper. Other offerings will be passed over with indifference. Why eat anything other than your favourite food when there is acres of it and not much competition.
On days when there is little bait and few fish they will take a wider range of plastics but still shied away from hardbodies.
On days when there is little bait and lots of fish they hit anything that moves.
Laser Pro 120s need their hooks upgraded.
The fish came a month late but stayed a month as they usually do.
The fish grow 1-2kgs every week. Our first fish was 10kg in week 1. The largest was just over 16kg and was caught in week 5.

I could go on but you may as well just watch the porn.
Last edited by paulo on Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Paul
Qld Member - Hobie State Fishing Team
Yak PBs - 60cm Tailor | 72cm Spangled Emporer | 85cm Flathead | 90cm Yellowfin | 75cm Snapper | 85cm Mac Tuna | 2.5m (78kg) Black Marlin | 1.2m Longtail | 1.32m (19.5kg) Kingfish
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Re: Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby carnster » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:13 pm

Awesome report mate good to see you found them. I wish my wife could join in the action like yours. I can't believe how stable your yak is. I would never be able to lift a tuna like that onto the yak without counterbalancing.
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Re: Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby Decay » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:14 am

Absolutely brilliant!
Thanks for the tips and the help while I was up there and again in your report.
As always, you're the best!

Cheers,
Derek
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Re: Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby Brez » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:26 am

top report , top fish and great pics 8)
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Re: Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby HardPlastic » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:29 am

Awesome report Paul. I didn't manage to get one this year, not from lack of trying. I even had Paul up on the hill one morning calling me and telling me where to go. Could only manage a snapper each cast into the bust-up. Not a bad consolation prize. The only one I had on towed me east for half an hour only to take my hook. Anyways thanks again Paul for supplying me with fresh tuna fillets at least twice again on your stay. Very generous. Hopefully I'll be able to pay you back.But I said that last year didn't I....?

Cheers

Greg
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Re: Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby Bogey » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:52 am

Great report Paul.
I was one of the "first-timers" and I won't forget it in a hurry.
Thanks for your helpful advice throughout the busy few weeks of the tuna season.
Cheers,
Mark
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Re: Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby keza » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:53 am

Great read Paul. Looks like you got some damn fine fishing in despite the dry patches.
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Re: Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby KingDan » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:25 pm

Some nice photos and I enjoyed watching the vid last night. Some interesting comments about the longtail and tackle choice which makes sense.

Cheers
Dan
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Re: Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby ArWeTherYet » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:02 pm

No wonder you get all the chicks Paul.

Nice fishing Lynette, good to see you let Hobies pin up boy catch a few to. ;-)
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Re: Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby paulsod » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:29 pm

Jealous of the Tuna and when you got the sail up on the A.I's, Paul & Lynette.
Glad you got some good weather on your holidays.
Thanks for the info on their feeding habits, Paul.
I have to bookmark this report so my lousy memory can be refreshed next year.
Cheers
Paul
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Re: Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby paulo » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:52 pm

Brad, the light stick is 20lb on a 3500 saltiga on a 6-8kg stick. Most of the LTs were on 20lb Aldi braid on a VS VM150 on a Godzilla. I fish with more confidence since switching from a double uni to the FG knot. Not sure even if its a stronger knot but in my head it is and I go harder. Havent had an FG break yet.
Im only showing you the hookup and the last few seconds\mins before landing them. The in between bits dont make for such good viewing and you cant hear the drag screaming over the soundtrack anyway. Most fish took 30-55mins on 20lb. The one I had three goes at tail grabbing was only 13kg but that damn thing was on steroids and took almost an hour to land. Had the sun not been in direct line you would have seen my look of disgust after I dropped it for the second time. I was knackered.
I found there was no correlation between size and how hard they went throughout the five weeks. The sixteen kilo one came to the boat like a lamb but I did have to issue a couple of dont argues once I got him aboard. The few I got on the heavier jigstick with 50lb on a 4500 came in pretty quickly. Between the heavier line and using the pedals to box their ears, most fish came in after 15-20mins on 50lb.
Chris, nothing gives me greater pleasure than fishing with Lynette. (Perhaps the once a year I get my son out on the yak) It means I never have to ring around for a fishing buddy and I reckon my sense of achievement is greater when she catches one over when I do. The whole teacher\pupil thing I guess. Perhaps one piece of advice I didnt offer earlier is of some value to others:
If you are going to teach the better half to fish, make sure you teach her to fillet at the same time.

Greg, Derek and Mark, its a pleasure to fish with you all. There is a good crew heading out off Caloundra. Nothing like sharing the hunt with mates as driven as you are. They will be back next year Greg.

Paddy, well spotted (as if you couldnt miss it). Probably should have cut that bit out for the kiddies but that was my 9th mac tuna in a row over three trips. Lynette landed three longtails in the same timeframe. I doubt there is a more disappointing fish to see surface, mostly due to the fact you thought dinner was coming to the boat for the past 20 mins and by the time you C&R, the longtails have buggered off. I generally stop slug casting if they are mixed in with the longies. Guaranteed the macs will hit a slug before a LT 9 times out of 10.
Perhaps the most satisfying fish was the one on the popper, even though I didnt land it. It smacked the popper right beside me. Though the camera didnt really show it that fish hit the popper like a freight train rising from the depths.

Paul, Always happy to offer advice as long as you supply the grains of salt. :) At the end of the day as we all know, its a bit of a lottery getting a hookup. The number of fish landed is directly proportional to the effort you put in onshore, before heading out.

AWTY, I fiddled with her knots, left the bungs out of her ama and passed her lures Ive had for years and never had a touch. Nothing stopped her, she was on fire for three weeks. It was only after she injured her back again during a surf landing that kept her on shore and allowed me to surpass her score and not have to suffer the ignominy of defeat at the hands of the fairer sex for the ensuing twelve months. :)
Last edited by paulo on Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Paul
Qld Member - Hobie State Fishing Team
Yak PBs - 60cm Tailor | 72cm Spangled Emporer | 85cm Flathead | 90cm Yellowfin | 75cm Snapper | 85cm Mac Tuna | 2.5m (78kg) Black Marlin | 1.2m Longtail | 1.32m (19.5kg) Kingfish
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Re: Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby dru » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:53 pm

Just Awesome.
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Re: Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby noddy » Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:28 pm

Another great longtail season mate, must have been hard to head home at the end of the trip. Its an awesome spot to get onto such powerful fish. I enjoyed your pre-dawn rev-ups, although I have to admit nearly everytime I saw you I didn't land anything :lol: (Might have more to do with sticky drags and bad angling though).
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Re: Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby liamhh » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:39 pm

Brilliant report and a fantastic video, keep up the great work.
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Re: Caloundra Longtail Season 2012 Wrapup

Postby gibsoni » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:09 am

Paulo,

Nice video and summary. I had the privilege of being out of Noosa with plenty of long tails around and struggled to turn one with a 4000 series shimano sienna.

I appears you are running similar sized reels?

I only ran 15lb mono.

Appreciate any advice on gear size.

Cheers, Iain.
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