Noosa Yakkers News, November 2014

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Base pic: Diesel returning to base at Middle Groyne, 13Nov14 (pic by sunshiner)


sunshinerHi there yakkers

In case you've somehow missed it, we're getting our very own brag mat.

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160cm long (much longer than most), lies flat, rolls up easily, colourful, and practical.

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Three snapper (actually one snapper pic, copied and resized twice) matted.

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My biggest ever (so far) Spaniard from a yak (my old and venerable Viking Espri) went 149cm and went w-a-a-a-y longer than my old AKFF 110cm mat. Notice how the new mat would accommodate the fish easily and how the 1cm gradations are wide enough to accommodate the Spaniard's tail.

Jimbo's taking the orders right now, but only until 10Dec, when orders will close off. They'll be delivered in early March. Go on, you know you want one! For more details about the mat, see here.

Send automatic email to jimbo.

Well, it came to pass. The Spaniards arrived, and the spotties, oh, and the cobia. In November. Not many macks so far, but they are here. Redwood's report below will have you checking your yak, your gear and watching the weather forecast. If not, perhaps you should take up golf.

See you on the water

And a merry Christmas to you and yours.

Kev (sunshiner)

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G'Day Yakkers,

Oct13 (8)
Nov13 (16)
Dec13 (15)
Jan14 (11)
Feb14 (6)
Mar14 (7)
Apr14 (12)
May14 (4)
Jun14 (9)
Jul14 (6)
Aug14 (4)
Sep14 (7)
Oct14 (6)
Nov14 (17)

Seventeen trip reports for November. That's almost a NY record, just two short of the 19 TRs in November 2012. From the records it looks like November is always one of the busiest months activity wise. So, a lot of activity but how'd everyone fair?

DeeCee kicked the month off with a couple of fresh water trips to his favourite haunts including 'spot X' (I think 'spot x' days might be numbered - tracking devices are getting cheaper and smaller all the time). A few nice Bass captured and also a surprise Trevally, something we'd usually associate with parts of the river closer to the mouth.

DeeCee's Trevally caught in the North Maroochy River
Next up a four-float (like a four-ball but for yakkers) headed to Jew Shoal in fairly windy conditions. Pedro headed wide to an apparent wreck mark, but came up empty handed when he returned to the beach at 1pm (that's approximately 10 hours on the water!). Jimbo and jaro came up trumps, each bagging an 80cm Cobia and triggering the great Cobia Rush of 2014.

Couple of 80cm Cobia that started the great Cobia Rush in following days

DeeCee hit the fresh again in his Old Town Loon and the Bass came out to play.

Bassman strikes again
Diesel, who can't get enough yakking at the moment, headed out by himself to Jew Shoal. He boated an Australian Bonito (excellent sashimi eating BTW) and also spotted his first large shark just off Middle Groyne. He thinks a 3m+ Bronze Whaler perhaps. Diesel also wrote up his first TR; well done Diesel.

A seven-float headed out to Jew Shoal on the 11th with Cobia in their eyes and pilchards on their hooks. Tunny and I both picked up nice 50cm Bonito on the way out, but that was only the beginning of what proved to be a pretty good day (except for me losing 2 HLPs). Snapper, Spinefoot and Amberjack were caught and then Sunshiner hit the big time with a 111cm Cobia taking his soft plastic on light gear. Sunshiner did very well to bring it on 6kg braid and leader.

One happy-chappie. Sunshiner and his 111cm Cobia.

The nasty Spinefoot. Handle with care as dorsal and anal spines are venomous.

Mmm, fish doesn't fit on the mat and the edges need to be weighted down. I wonder how that could be solved? Have you ordered your NY Brag Mat yet? Who knows, it may be the first and last print run. Get your collectors item now!

Isobar decided that he was not going to be left out of the great Cobia Rush and headed out solo for JS the next day in his SIK (sit in kayak - the only NY member we know of that can pull in a Cobia on one of these). Not long after dropping a pillie bait as a hedge-better, Isobar was onto something decent and into a fight. He had a few painful mishaps along the way but still managed to boat a 111cm Cobe. Check out the video of the tussle below.

Isobar's 111cm Cobia caught at JS on dangling pillie

Keen as nuts, Diesel headed out to JS the next day with Doc Dog and Redgreg joining him. Aussie Stu wimped out and decided not to hand paddle the 4km to JS when his paddle broke soon after launching. Diesel hooked and almost boated a nice Cobia, but the school fees were still being paid and an unsatisfactory wire rig saw the beastie swim off to fight another day.

By this time I can take it no longer and have to join in the Cobia Rush. ScottieD, Jono and myself head to Cobia Central (JS if you've been sleeping). Scottie and I saw some early action just off the rock wall with my 40lb leader and HLP190 snapped right off. Scottie scored a small shark which he released. I lost a few more HLPs and landed up with a doughnut. Scottie meanwhile boated a nice Bonito and… tada… a Spanish Mackerel, the first of the season. Congrats Scottie! Spaniard was taken on a slow trolled floating pillie.

ScottieD up from Brissy boats the first Spaniard of the season

Despite all the offshore action, DeeCee, it seems, only has eyes for Bass. He scored a few more at spot X on the 17th.

It's bass or bust for DeeCee
On the 18th we had more Cobia taken in the great Cobia bonanza. Sunshiner still had two square centimetres of space in his freezer, so it was game on and the space was filled with another beaut 105cm Cobe. The location, rig, water depth were identical to the previous week: 1/8 ounce jighead with 4 inch Powerbait in 21m of water. Diesel took home another Bonito and lost another Cobe.

Sunshiner's Cobia taken on a 1/8 ounce jighead with 4 inch Powerbait in 21m of water

Sunshiner's 103cm Cobia and Diesel's Bonito

Not to be outdone, Jimbo, Weeksie and Tunny headed out to JS the next day intent on getting in on the action. Tunny pulled in a couple of very nice Spotties, both taken on a Tunny Special--split sinker pinched onto a hook, pink frilly bits and a pilchard. This rig is much easier to make than the SAFA rig and since the Adder Rock comp earlier this year has been very successful. Jimbo boated two pan sized Snapper, one taking a stationary HLP. After trolling his abs off, Tunny decided to take a break and do a bit of drift casting. He usually uses SPs but as he had pillies decided to use one of those. It was smashed half way down by a metre shy Cobia.

A good morning's work. Jimbo and Tunny show off their wares

Image says it all. Bastards.

To keep things rolling Sunshiner and Diesel headed out to JS the following day and Diesel joined the Cobia club after losing two previously. Just goes to show; persistence pays off. Congrats Diesel.

Third time lucky. Diesel finally joins the Cobia Club

The consecutive trips run comes to an end with nothing happening on the 21st, but Scatter lands a small Spanish on the 22nd just as he was leaving JS on his way back from Cobe hunting.

Scatter with his first Spanish for the season
Doc Dog headed out solo on the 24th in a half metre swell and light winds. The Doc has had a rather ordinary last few outings, but not this one. Flicking and trailing nuclear chicken softies at JS produced three nice snapper including a 58cm specimen. But the Pièce de résistance was still to come; a very nice 115cm Spaniard taken on a HBL120 just as the Doc was heading back to shore (looks like that might be the go-to tactic for the summer -- head in to get your Spanish).

Doc Dog and his 115cm Spaniard and three x Snapper, the biggest going 58cm

The next day, Sunshiner is back out, this time solo, and bags a very nice spottie at JS (luckily a few cm off the record held by yours truly, safe, for now). The Spottie was taken on a HLP and within the 500m 'golden zone' just south of the Shoal.

Sunshiner's 86cm Spottie

The final trip of the month (thank God) was a large nine-float that headed out in less than ideal early conditions. Snapper, Amberjack, Bonito and you guessed it, Cobia were all on the menu. Tunny picked up his third Cobia for the season, again taken on a Tunny Special about 200m South of the Pinnacles where there had been a lot of bait fish on the sounders all morning. Sunshiner's advice is obvious but sometimes forgotten; fish where the fish are.

Tunny with his third Cobia of the season.

Just for the record, on the same last trip I'm 90% sure that I spotted a Whale Shark. A very wide, brown, spotted, ridged and finned creature surfaced about 3 meters off my bow. I though it was a massive shark so I moved off quickly. However when researching it at home I couldn't match what I saw with a shark (would have had to have been bigger than Jaws and brown and spotty) or a ray as this had a dorsal fin and ridges. At the time I thought the ridges reminded me of something but it's only when I saw a pic of the Whale Shark that I could match it up. Not common visitors in these parts, but not impossible as a 2009 AKFF post from Sunshiner indicated that divers at Jew Shoal had witnessed a Whale Shark. What can you say? Laguna Bay; it just keeps on giving. We're a clucking lucky bunch.

Whale Shark pic courtesy of WWF
And that my fine yakking friends brings us to the end of a very successful month. Keep 'em coming.


Preserving fish fillets for future eating

doctor dogby doctor dog

For a few years now I have wanted to look after my catch better all the way from the kayak to the freezer then the plate. There are many steps along the way to the plate and some are easy to manage as a kayak fisher and some more difficult.

Leaving aside the steps from water to cleaning table, I will focus on the next phase of "cleaning table to freezer".

We don't always as kayak fishers catch enough to warrant troubling the freezer but recently I was fortunate enough to bag three snapper and a 115 cm Spanish Mackerel in a morning trip and felt the need to better preserve some of the catch for later meals.

My family provided me with a much hinted after cryovac unit on Fathers' Day.

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This Reber unit is excellent and available at around $300 while some of the low end Sunbeam units are available for as little as $150 and I understand that Aldi stocks low cost units from time to time.

Cryovac (also called vacuum sealing) machines use special clear plastic bags and I got a small supply of them with the device. Replacement bags vary in price and quality so it helps to shop around. Reels of bags are the cheaper way to go I believe but I have no personal experience to go on here. We have restocked our bags from the original supplier (Foodquip Pty Ltd in Melbourne) so I anticipate their quality will be excellent.

The cryovac process relies on removing air from around the food items and thus preventing oxidation, putrefaction and freezer burn.

Once fillets are prepared and trimmed to remove any blood, viscera or bones (personal preference) then they should be patted dry with clean cloth or preferably paper towel.

You just place a single layer of fillets into a cryovac bag and then insert the edge of the bag into the machine. Closing the lid and turning on the machine sucks the air out of the bag and once the desired reduced pressure is achieved the thermal sealer is automatically activated and the bag sealed ready for freezing or refrigeration.

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The bags can be labelled on the reverse side by a marker pen with their contents and the date of sealing/capture.

This is, in my opinion, the best way to preserve your catch for later consumption whether it is chilled fresh to enjoy within five days or frozen to consume within 3-6 months.

Tight Lines
Happy Cryovac-Freezing

membership banner, Gemini

It has been another dry month for our memberships unfortunately guys. Compared to the six new members we had in the same month last year, it's a little depressing. I think my predictions for this year are well and truly busted, but miracles can happen I guess…

Our Facebook page subscriptions have risen though, and we are now sitting on a total member count of 52. I should point out that the site is for members only, as there have been a few non-members attempt to sign up. Moderation of the page becomes an issue when we have every man and his dog join, hence the restriction.

For those who are debating the merits of the Facebook site, the main reason it is available is to allow general discussion between members, without spamming the mailing list. Post up videos, photos, tackle tips, and other information which may not be welcomed in all members' mailboxes. I might have to start a photo album for our best sand monster incidents this year for a few giggles, so keep those cameras rolling!


Matt (Gemini)

Record Fish banner, Doc Dog

I have had no record fish claims submitted this month but whilst I was busy with the Noosa Tri and other commitments at the end of last month one claim was made that slipped through the cracks.

On 31Oct2014 Diesel (Greg Williams) reported his capture earlier in the day of an Australian bonito at 57 cm. This fish surpassed by six centimetres the previous mark of Lazybugger's bonito caught off Sunshine Beach in August 2013.

Diesel’s fish was caught at Jew Shoal on a floating pillie on a gang hook set up with a treble stinger. The rig was hanging at ten metres below his yak on a drift.

The capture was witnessed by Sunshiner, who also caught a slightly smaller bonito which would have broken the record if diesel hadn't caught this one.

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Congratulations Diesel, on your first Noosa Yakkers Record. I fancy there'll be more coming, but the records are harder to get these days.

Happy fishing,

Tight Lines
Doctor Dog

The Committee (in callsign order)

doctor dogeyetagGeminijaro jimbo


From top left, doctor dog, eyetag, gemini, jaro, jimbo, pedro, redwood, sunshiner, turtleboy.

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