It's been a real rare few days here weather wise, particularly with low winds making the last 3 days over the long weekend fishable from a kayak all day. This is the first time in months I've seen one day like this, let alone 3 in a row. Hence it was also the first time almost ever I think I have overfished myself!
Friday afternoon I went out off Scarborough beach for a couple of hours after watching the very tempting calm waters and fleet of sail boats in the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race from ashore enviously all day, in the late afternoon. It was a little choppy at about 20kmh winds but fishable. 30 mins in, drifting around the usual dropoffs from the shallow reefs, something took my Zman grub and it was fighting really hard. I thought after 5 mins of pulling line and head shakes it was the big Snapper I've tried so hard to catch here. Alas after 5 mins it started jumping and I thought it was a tailor. After some more jumps and finally getting it in to the yak on 10lb braid I saw it was a tarpon. Previously I've only ever caught these up north in NT and in Noosa Everglades at much smaller sizes. It went almost 65 cm and was quite heavy. Knowing they were bad eating and appreciative of the sport he provided me, I let him go.
This was the first of this species I've caught off Redcliffe and would love to hear if anyone else has too? As I've never caught one I also researched it and found the Australian record was 3kg caught in the SeaWay. I think this would've gone real close to that and made me wonder how you have to claim a record?
Next morning I went out early and caught the usual 3 squire around the 40 cm mark and some smaller ones plus a very vivacious rock cod of about 5cm who was smaller than my 2.5 inch grub. It made me wonder how I managed to hook him, let alone what he was doing taking a lure bigger than himself! I also caught a few grassy sweet lip around 35cm and a Wobbegong, plus unsuccessfully trolled and cast slugs at what was the most prolific abundance of bait bustups ive seen here with what looked like 80cm Mack tuna and bonito piercing the surface to no avail catching them.
With the weather being awesome again, I went out again the next morning. I started slowly with no fish, and my mate who came along again in his yak, he pulled in a decent spotty mackerel and squire about 400m off the beach. Went for a drift just off the reef shortly after and picked up a 58cm flathead on the grub. This was the first flathead I've caught off Scarborough close to the shallow reefs in the yak. A little later I caught my first yellowfin pike in the yak (caught 100s in boats before but never in my yak) and filleted him for bait. Shortly after a 48cm Snapper took him and was a welcome addition for a feed to take home. Caught a few more small squire and then called it a day.
Later that afternoon I ditched the yak and went out in the boat. Just on dark something big picked up my half pilly and we spent 30 mins chasing it around the bay. Turned out to be a big stingray about 6-7 feet wide which took over 300m of line from my new Penn 5000 reel before we chased it. I didn't realise stingrays could be so fast and quickly realised this was probably the same species I had hooked on to last weekend which took 300m of line and dragged me over 700m against the current in the yak which I presumed was a big shark. Having caught reefies to 2m in the yak, I thought I had hooked a much bigger shark, but I hindsight I think it was a big stingray. Those things sure can swim faster than I thought!
Anyways, not a very notable weekend in terms of memorable fish except for the big tarpon, but 3 days of solid Kayak fishing and 4 nice squires and a flathead (which volunteered themselves into a nice Asian curry and fish tacos) was a rare treat for here where the weather usually doesn't allow for fishing 3 days straight.