Passage 1 – Mark 0

It has been two weeks since I have been out on the yak. I’ve been absolutely dying to get out there, and each day I have driven over the bridge the water has been like a mirror. That’s generally not a good sign, because when the water is flat during the week, you can guarantee it’s going to be a horrible weekend, and all that can go wrong will.

I was unable to hit the water the week before due to injuring my back. It took just over a week for my back to get back to normal, but now that I was feeling okay, it was time to take Happy Hooker out for a cruise.

The weather reports were suggesting 15/20 knot SW winds, which is not good at all. The winds blow straight up the passage and make it pretty choppy, and it’s not overly easy to find cover in the creeks with the westerlies. Too bad.. I was going out, and nothing was going to stop me.

I had planned to hit the dropoff from White Patch, as there had been good reports of Snapper and Parrot being caught. The time was 0630 and I was all setup and ready to launch. Air temperature was around 9 degrees (celcius), and my sounder was showing the water temperature to be around 16-17 degrees. Not too bad. Worst case scenario I could tip my feet in the water to get some feeling back in my toes :)

I set off from just north of the mariner at Sandstone Point, and started making my way towards to the Avalon wreck. So far all was going okay. My new sounder install was working perfectly, I had one Killalure Flatz Rat 10+ lure on the troll, and a 4″ PowerBait Power Minnow trolling on the Scotty. Now all I needed was a fish.

The trip from my launch to White Patch is about 4klms, so I was taking it pretty easy. The wind wasn’t helping at all, but it was manageable at this stage. A little bit sloppy when lunatics in stinkboats decide to go past you within the 20m boundary, and over the speed limit. One day I hope they get what’s coming for them with a big ferry :) Then they will know what it’s like to be swamped by something much larger than them.

I had arrived at White Patch. Very choppy, and very open to the winds. Not much around, and I had found the dropoff I was after. I drifted around for about 15 minutes, and then the winds decided to pick it up a notch. The swell was up, and I was in the middle of the passage with nowhere to shelter. I decided today wouldn’t be the time to chase the Snapper, which is a real pity… but commonsense said that I should move to the western land mass and seek some shelter.

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For the next 3 hours or so I skirted the western shoreline, and hugged relatively close to the protected side of Ningi Creek. While there were no fish to be found anywhere, I did manage to find quite a few decent holes which will need to be looked at a bit closer on future trips. I found a spot where quite a few black swans were just paddling around. Bit odd.. I thought swans only liked freshwater?

Oh well.. no fish to be found. I must have peeved someone off during the week, and now karma was paying me back. With my head down, shoulders forward, and hunter instinct in tatters, it was time to head home.

After making it back to shore, I packed up my gear and headed home. The GPS trip showed that I had paddled around 15 klms, with about 2klms of that being drifting… which is a great way to spend a Saturday morning.

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No fish.. and the passage has won this round.. but it was bloody good to be out on the water and in the fresh air.

Hopefully next weekend will produce some goods. If the weather gods are kind, I might hit the surfside and chase some of the Longtail Tuna that have been teasing me from the shoreline.