Trip Reports • Qld: Yeah, pretty good today. Laguna Bay, Noosa

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Qld: Yeah, pretty good today. Laguna Bay, Noosa

Postby sunshiner » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:21 pm

One of those memorable days, today. It started early with a meeting for the first time with new Noosa Yakker Kahuna (AKFF: kahunanui) who was offloading his red and white Barracuda thermo moulded plastic yak in eyetag’s spot in the MG carpark. Meanwhile, I’d managed to snare my long time favourite parking spot which usually richmond (couldn’t go today) manages to grab before I get there.

Pedro had brought the Benz today and was already launched by the time jaro, kahuna and I hit the beach.

That's jaro just visible in the channel, and, in the foreground, kahuna, ready for his first Middle Groyne launch.

I managed to keep the top of my head dry, but that was all, by carefully timing my exit with the arrival of a small but exuberant wave which broke just as I got to it. But getting a wet arse in Noosa in midwinter is nothing much really and it did serve to completely rouse me from my semi-torpid state.

Jew Shoal was the planned destination and all known participants were present or already nearly there. But wait, there’s one more. Just before we paddled off we spotted Eli in his trademark big straw hat paddling out too, on his surf ski. We bade him good morning and set off, with Eli looking as if he were heading for LH Reef.

Jaro popped his sail, picking up a small push from the southerly while kahuna and I exercised our upper limbs in paddling, and our tongues in getting acquainted, settling in to the four km paddle to the shoal.

The first thing I noticed after launching and as we headed north was that the water seemed remarkably clear. I’d seen it from land two days ago, while the SE wind was in the final stages of seven days straight 20-35 knots and it was very murky then. I really thought that the bay would be still the same, but the water clarity gave me hope that Jew Shoal might be shrouded in clean water for the first time in several months.

And so it turned out to be. As the light gradually improved I was amazed at the transition. Beautifully clean and blue water everywhere. Pedro and I speculated later that perhaps a clean ocean eddy had suddenly arrived, sweeping all the murk away. The water had a distinct “good fishing” look about it. Yahoo! Just like it used to be a couple of years back.

Pedro briefed us by radio that he’d caught a hairtail while trolling on the way out (pic later) and shortly after we arrived (about 30 minutes after he had) he boated a nice snapper. Excellent!

Kahuna had no radio so I passed on to him some of this info and we three new arrivals settled in to fishing. It wasn’t long before the action started. My usual snapper catching procedure (single rod, 1/8 ounce SP, 6kg braid) worked pretty quickly. I got a solid strike and right from the first few seconds I knew I had a decent snapper on. I played it carefully for a couple of minutes before the rod straightened suddenly, all pressure being removed. Something had gone wrong for me and right for the snapper. On examining the business end of my equipment I found the leader intact but with a curly bit of line on the end where the jighead used to be. Probably snapper teeth had worn through the knot.

Cursing myself for allowing such a thing to happen, I rerigged knowing for sure that my best chance for a decent fish today had been squandered. To make matters worse, I was cold because I’d been soaked on the way out and the southerly breeze was cutting into me. No sunshine out there today!

Tying another 1/8 ounce jighead on, I returned to my drift, by now pretty glum. Not only had I lost a decent fish, but also I was down a jighead and SP! Ten minutes later my spirits soared when I got hit again, this time in much shallower water around 12m. I was 90% sure this was another snapper as the familiar thumping was there and the occasional fast straight runs. Gradually I got line back and then, another great surprise: I could see my fish way down below me and yes, it was a snapper, its pink sides faded to blue by the intervening depth and the lack of sunlight. What a brilliant sight! A minute or so later she was secured. The fishing gods had given me a second chance today!


Self portrait, blind shooting with camera at arm’s length.

Although I continued fishing, I would have been happy to quit then. This was victory snatched from defeat. A great feeling. On to other matters of interest.

All morning so far we’d seen small tuna ripping through the waves nearby, usually sighting only their dorsal fins as they pursued prey. Now, off to the north not far away, could be seen an aggregation of terns and gannets, wheeling about and diving into a maelstrom of churned up water. We knew that the fish causing the ruckus were probably mackerel tuna, which we encounter all year round. At one stage I’d briefly seen Eli in that area but then had lost sight of him. Later he sent me this pic (below) of the front of his boat and the comment “Landed two of these (pic below) today at JS and lost two, in the space of about 20min.”

But among we four only pedro, who’d not seen much action in the last hour, succumbed to the temptation to find out, if in fact, we were right. He pedalled off toward them just as the birds disappeared. But we were right, and pedro proved that.


By now I was bloody cold. I never take cold weather gear out as it’s not usually necessary here, but was wearing a long pants wetsuit. But today the sun hadn’t broken through at all, the breeze was coming from down near Melbourne, and I’d got a thorough soaking to start with at launch time. I started to think about pulling the pin.

But kahuna, remember, on his first trip with us, caught my attention. He was about 100m away, his heavy trolling rod was severely bent and in response to my shouted query managed to indicate that no, this was no fish, but the bottom. I left him to it and then looked back a couple of minutes later and now his casting outfit, which he’d been using to fish with SPs, was severely bent. I watched the rod tip closely and soon spotted the tell-tale signs that this time he had a fish on, not the bottom. Soon he was punching the air in exuberance and then paddling over to me to show me this, his first ever fish caught from a kayak and his first ever fish caught by him in Australia (he’s from NZ).

Kahuna, with quite a decent first kayak-caught fish.

Immediately after this jaro’s relieved voice came up on the radio. He was the only one of us that was fishless at this stage, but now he announced that he was on the board with a decent sweetlip. Shortly afterward he let us know that he’d caught, in quick succession, a small snapper and a bream, both of which he’d released.

About 10:15 I raised the question of heading in and found agreement among all that maybe that time had come. The sun still wasn’t out, and all of us had fish to take home. By 10:30 we were paddling back together. Just as I left the shoal my trolling outfit took a strike, enough to pull line off against the drag, but whatever had taken a liking to the Halco LP had managed to shake the hooks. Probably a mac tuna.

The beach return was dead easy but the cold overcast conditions resulted in few holidaymakers on the beach. Nevertheless we attracted attention among them as the fish were brought out.

Beach pics

Pedro’s snapper

Pedro’s hairtail, 1140mm long, caught on a trolled HB lure

Kahuna’s snapper

My snapper

Jaro’s sweetlip

Yaks on beach

Frauleins with fish

A few minutes earlier she couldn’t bear to touch the fish!

Thanks for reading AKFFers. Tight lines.
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Re: Qld: Yeah, pretty good today. Laguna Bay, Noosa

Postby paulo » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:31 pm

Nice one Kev, you boys smashed the snaps today. No-one thought to take a leaf out of the Gold Coast boy's book and send one of those little MT jellybeans back down on some wire?
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Re: Qld: Yeah, pretty good today. Laguna Bay, Noosa

Postby MrX » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:15 pm

You had me thinking there Kev – one solid low 60’s snapper caught, pass it around, and every man and his dog claims the credit for that fish on the brag-mat.

But those shots with the lovely fraeuleins give you cred.

Yak PB's: Manly Jetcat (true!); 93cm Spotted Mackerel; 92cm Spanish Mackerel; 85cm Kingfish; 77.5cm Snapper; 73cm Aussy Salmon; 70cm Amberjack; 64cm Bonito; 60cm Groper (released); 59cm Taylor; 51cm Silver Trevally; 1m + Bronze Whaler; 127cm Hairtail; 1.5m+ Hammerhead
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Re: Qld: Yeah, pretty good today. Laguna Bay, Noosa

Postby RackRaider » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:20 pm

You eat well, Fresh snapper regularly.
I'll be up at Rainbow beach during December; Maybe i could join a session if there was one that week?
Great Fish.

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Tailor: 30cm Black Tip Reef Shark: 75cm Bream: 41cm Spangled Perch: 32cm Swallow-Tail Dart: 38cm Whiting: 34cm

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Re: Qld: Yeah, pretty good today. Laguna Bay, Noosa

Postby Couta101 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:30 pm

Great that a few got out today, and a nice hall for everyones efforts.

paulo wrote: No-one thought to take a leaf out of the Gold Coast boy's book and send one of those little MT jellybeans back down on some wire?

Not just the MT Paul....that hair tail is super gun bait for the croc size Spainards.....Oh well lesson learned, maybe, or was the alure of table fare more to their liking......

I know what I would have done! :twisted:
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Re: Qld: Yeah, pretty good today. Laguna Bay, Noosa

Postby carnster » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:21 pm

Awesome guys braining the snaps.
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Re: Qld: Yeah, pretty good today. Laguna Bay, Noosa

Postby doubletrouble » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:34 pm

It's a great trip when EVERYONE comes home with fish .... especially a newbie.
You've made us all jealous. Well done.
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