'Screaming Reel and Heaving Seas'

An article by Frank Wilkie...

First Published Saturday, April 24, 2004

Sunshine Coast Daily

If you hanker to put yourself to the test with a real adventure, give ocean kayak fishing a go.

The reel screamed and the rod bent double under the weight of a Spotted Mackerel. "Take your time, don't rush," Bill 'Billybob' Watson urged from the rear of the two man kayak. His normally measured, fatherly voice quickened with adrenaline. It was 7.30am in Noosa's Laguna Bay and a 15 knot South Easterly was pushing us seaward as we rolled up
Frank Wilkie with two 2.7kg Spotted Mackerel
Frank Wilkie with the two Spotted Mackerel he boated on the day.
and down in the 1.5m swell. The sun had just hit the water after climbing over a cloudbank and huge numbers of Spotted Mackerel were in a feeding frenzy, chopping up a school of baitfish about 1.5km offshore. A flotilla of watercraft - including dinghies, paddle skis, half cabin cruisers, a jet-ski, a canoe and us - bobbed around in the boiling waters. Men of all ages were casting lures and pulling aboard long, thrashing, silver fish. We'd been trolling a 20gm Halco 'Twisty' lure behind the kayak as we paddled a triangular course from Noosa Main Beach, where we launched just after 6am, North West past the shark nets to the river mouth and East to Granite Bay. On the way back we saw hundreds of birds and a dozen boats swarming around the thrashing water directly off Main Beach. We joined them. Bill grabbed the Wilson Live Fibre rod and Shimano Baitrunner 3500 reel loaded with 14lb Fireline and 30lb Platinum mono trace from its rear mount, cast into the boil, hooked up and handed me the rod. That's when the mounting seasickness erupted. "Just don't lose the fish," he said. I wanted to reassure him but all I could manage was a chorus of "uurrrrraaarrghs." I drew the fish closer by lifting the rod and reeling in the slack while lowering the rod as instructed - different action to surf fishing. The drag on the reel and the strong but flexible short rod did its job beautifully. The rig never felt overloaded. Five action packed minutes later a large silver shape appeared 10 feet below the kayak and was gently brought closer to the surface. "OK, bring him round to me," Bill said, armed with the short gaff he's attached, along with all sorts of other angling paraphernalia, to the kayak. I turned and pointed the rod tip towards him; he grabbed the line and a quick stab later he held a 78cm, 2.7kg Spotted Mackerel. "Congratulations," he grinned, "Your first Spottie." Bill is the President of the 'Perception Yak Anglers' club, a group of anglers who crave more of a challenge, and hunt from kayaks. He's the author of angling book 'Fishing Noosa' and runs a website by that name offering weekly fishing reports, tips and details of charters plus kayak angling. Starting up in the Noosa River, he gradually built up the stamina, confidence and, throuigh trial and error, an arsenal of fishing and safety gear that enables him to catch big pelagics offshore from his sturdy craft. His catches include a 12kg Spanish Mackerel and a 13kg Northern Bluefin Tuna. While trolling on the way back to the beach we hooked up and landed another 2.7kg Mackerel. A short paddle and excitng rush through the shorebreak later, we were back on Main Beach by 8.30am.
"How are you feeling now?" Bill asked after we'd loaded the 35kg Synchro Tandem kayak onto his car's roof racks in the surf club car park. "Priveleged," I said.

Fishing Noosa Front Cover Well, the 2nd Edition of 'Fishing Noosa' the book is now in the stores and the feedback to date has been great.

Davo's Bait and Tackle, newsagents and bookstores from Caloundra to Gympie and select tackle stores now have them in stock. Many have already been re-supplied after selling out.

If you're not sure what on earth we're talking about, just CLICK HERE for more details.

If you'd like to see a list of the stores which currently have the book in stock, simply... CLICK HERE.
Fishing Noosa Back Cover





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