Beacon bashing off Bribie

With the previous weekend’s effort still firmly etched into my mind, it was time to hit the water again and chase the snapper that have moved into the bay. The plan was sketched out to emulate the previous weekend as closely as possible. I could see no advantage in changing tactics. If it works, why change it.

Before I even bother to go any further, I’ll get this out of the way first so that I don’t have to keep repeating myself during the report. How bloody good is this! There.. done… I won’t repeat it again. :)

Deja vu.. 0500hrs… beep.. beep.. beep. Roll over, turn off the alarm as quickly as possible, and have a quick peek out the window. Quick cuppa, potter around, pack up the gear, and get rolling. Nothing different at this stage, and funny flashbacks to the movie Groundhog Day buzzing through my head.

0600hrs… arrive at 8th Avenue, and see the familiar sight of yakkers unloading their gear and getting ready for what looked pretty promising. A quick “mornin” to the same lads as last week, and a brief introduction to two new faces.. John and Jordan.

The day before I decided I had better build a trolley for Happy Hooker, just to make getting down to the beach just that little bit easier. Here’s a very brief explanation: one Bunnings trolley with large wheels, one grinder to cut the trolley to pieces, a drill to make some holes, some pool noodle, and a handful of cable ties. Voila… yak trolley for a grand sum of $30. Too easy.

Placed Happy Hooker onto her new yak trolley, wheeled her down to the beach, and placed her next to the other 4 yaks. A quick sticky beak at John’s trolley and a brief chat about how great his idea was. Rather than resting the yak on the trolley and occy strapping it on, John has made some mounts coming off of the main axle which means the yak slots beautifully onto the trolley, with the mounts going directly into the scupper holes. Brilliant.. and something I may have to do to my trolley on a rainy day.



First observation. The launch was going to be a bit tougher than last week. The yakkers number one foe, the “Sand Monster”, must have been a little bit angrier this week. Unlike the previous week’s 2 inch surf, this week it was about 4 inches. :) Quick paddle from shore, and before long I was tracking along nicely straight towards the beacon. A brief stop to check out some fish that were showing up in the mid column on the sounder, however they weren’t interested at all in what I had on offer. Oh well, back towards the beacon as there’s no use being where the fish aren’t.


<Picture Courtesy of Ash>

Just like clockwork, my first drift past the beacon saw me hook onto the first squire of the day. The spot was identical. About 15 meters on the eastern side of the beacon, and the sounder was painted beautifully with some structure which fish were closely guarding. Pulled the fish into the boat after an uneventful fight, and gave it a quick measure. 32cm. Hmm… what’s the legal limit again on these squire? “Lee.. what’s the legal limit?”. “35cm.” he replied. Oh well, back into the water the fish goes to grow a bit bigger.

All in all the day was very similar to the previous weekend. Drift past the beacon, paddle back to the starting point, and drift back again. I managed a couple of nice keepers for the day, however not as large as the weekend previous. The important thing is that there is now a 45cm model in the freezer ready to hand over to Dad.


<Picture Courtesy of Jordan>

There were plenty of boats out hovering around the beacon this time around, and the poor buggers couldn’t buy a bite. At one point I decided I would paddle right up to the bow of one of the anchored boats and drift in their vicinity. I let one of the 4″ plastics drift straight down near them, and within 20 seconds, bang! I was on, right under there noses. :) The poor chaps looked very dismayed, and humorously yelled out “I didn’t ####ing come out here to ####ing watch you catching fish!” A good chuckle was had, but I’m sure there was some frustration in their comments. From what I can tell at this stage, the fish really take well to a drifting bait, which may explain why for two weekends in a row the anchored boats have not had any luck at all, but we have managed to almost bag out.

By mid morning there were some strange bubbles and surface activity occurring about halfway between the beacon and the DPI research station. We all gazed curiously to see what it could possibly be, and it didn’t take long before we decided that we may as well throw some plastics over the area just in case. We moved closer and closer, still very wary of what could possibly be down there. The bubbles were very similar to the bubbles you get when scuba divers drift past you, however there definitely weren’t any dive boats or flags around. Curiosity got the better of me, so I paddled the yak over the position and noticed that the sounder was now completely covered in activity. No arches, just lots of noise. Then the bubbles were gone. How bloody odd. Maybe it was some strange type of dolphin activity, as we had already seen quite a few dolphins around us on this trip?

Dad has always told me stories about when he went to Cowell with uncle Kym, you could hear the bubbles on the bottom of the boat, and that’s when the snapper would be caught. Hmm…. I guess this could be snapper? Bloody big snapper by the size of those bubbles! :) When I spoke with Dad later that afternoon, he said that the bubbles for the snapper are very small and more like effervescent bubbles. Oh well. Continued to chase the squire, and then noticed the bubbles again. Same story.. threw some plastics, hovered over the top, and then ‘it’ was gone. Ash used his smarts and had marked the spot on his GPS. The bubbles were occurring in the exact same spot each time. There were no markings on the shoreline to indicate any sort of pipe or cable crossing, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it must be some type of air/water release from the the large fish holding tanks at the DPI.


Whilst this trip was very similar to the previous outing, there was one noticeable difference. The lack of bird activity. In fact.. there was no bird activity or accompanying tuna activity at all. How strange? The day before I had taken Kent for a quick land based fish from the beach for some tailor, and there was no bird activity or fish that morning either. I wonder what was different? The water clarity was about the same as last week, and the conditions were pretty identical? Very odd.

I have no theory at all as to why it was so quiet on the pelagic scene, but hopefully next weekend there might be some tuna around, as I NEED to hook a tuna or two. :) If there are no tuna around, then I guess I’ll just have to bare the burden of grabbing a few more squire. :) A Bribie local has told me that just slightly north of the beacon there is a good patch of reef, roughly adjacent the twin towers at the DPI. Might just have to give it a go, and hopefully there might be a few knobbies hovering around.