Monday, May 30, 2011

Top End Barra Series Round 2

Hi there,

Last weekend was the Top End Barra Series round 2, and it was going to be a Barramundi bonanza.
Well, yes it was a great weekend, with some great fishing and some great people!
Thanks again to the guys who put their energy in organising this thing for all of us to enjoy!

So basically it started at around 3 am on Saturday morning for me (I later on learned that this was the time at which some went to bed at the Banyan farm, after doing what they calls Party Tricks, I don't know what they're talking about...) , when I was enjoying a very fresh morning breeze, waiting on the footpath for a taxi to take me to Bullet's place.
Bullet is a member of the FFF forum and had offered me a spot as deckie on his boat. 
Then a drive trough the night, and voilas! We were at the Woolianna public boat ramp. 
This is not long after that that I had the freshest boat ride I ever had since moving to Darwin!

A beautiful and cold morning.

I then made a mental note to have some socks on the next morning, and lucky you their is no pics of that. And as they say in the fishing world, if their is no pics, it didn't happen!
Fishing with socks on in the tropics?

Then we started to fish in earnest and found some lures floating around or stuck in some snag, and Bullet must have caught the first 5 fish when I started to tell myself: "This is ok, he is the skipper, it is normal that he get more fish than I, he knows what he is doing... But still I really would like to get one too! Even if it's a rat!"

Bullet working a fish.

And I finally got one! 
He pulled good and brought a good level of satisfaction to me, I was on the board!
But at 67cm only I am not sure that it would be enough to keep me on the board of the Top End Barra Series, as I was already sure that some were going to get some better fish. So I had to get back into it.

My first of the weekend.

But this first one was going to be my best of the weekend.
All my other fish were slightly (Or way) smaller than that.

Yet this first fish had given me one more first in my fishing journey: It was hooked inside of the gill. 
Neither Bullet or I had seen one hooked like this before, so I made a photo of it.
Has any of you seen that before?

Hooked inside of the gill.

I found a little Polty lure in gold and green colours, and decided to try it...
Got a fish with it!
Don't you like it, when you find a lure, try it on the same day and get a fish with it?

We continued to explore, and it was cool to be on the river, and see other people wearing the same shirt pass us by, and wave to us and all ready to talk about the day's fishing. And to tell us how it was going and where they got some fish or not. It was nice to see so many people in the search of the same goal exchanging tips and information so freely and in a friendly manner. This showed that none of the people that we met during the day were taking themselves too seriously and were more there to have a good time in the company of like minded people.

The river was full of both salt water and fresh water crocodiles.

A salt water crocodile.

A fresh water crocodile.

We saw Dingo's boat, and yes every time that we saw them they seemed to have a good laugh.
We also saw Bandit's boat, and they were on a very hot patch, were they were pulling a fish at every pass, and told us to get into it too in the same troll than them, thanks guys!
Dingo and Bandit are the two organisers of this very friendly comp.

At the camp in the evening, well it was all what a camp full of fishermen and fisherwomen can be...
And like in Vegas, what happened there should stay there, I am sure that certain people would appreciate that.
Some drank a lot, and others drank a lot more.
I don't drink, so I ate and I ate too much...
And with a belly so full that I couldn't eat any more, I went to bed in my tent. Were I slept till around 4am after what I started to wonder when were we going to fish again? Impatient like a kid...

Then we went, and sailed to much closer grounds that the previous day, but caught roughly the same amount of fish than on the first day. I even upgraded a 55 and a 61, with a 62 and a 64cm.
Now I can hear some of you starting to grumble: "What a weekend at the Daly and his three biggest fish were only a 62, 64 and 67cm?"
Well, let me tell you that on a level of consistency, this is not that bad you know...

My last fish of the weekend.

Of the fives keepers that I boated, I kept only two, so there is some Barramundi there who are growing for the next time.
the number of smaller ones that we got was pretty impressive, and made me think that in this river the Barramundi population must have been really healthy.
We must have boated in excess of 20 Barramundi over the one day and an half that we fished there.
Yes we always hear about these 100 fish session... 
But honestly over 20 fish is already a pretty pleasant score.

Just as we were leaving we saw a Varanus mertensi more commonly called a Merten’s Water Monitor. Apparently it is becoming rarer to see them in this area now, where they are becoming endangered. This is due to the cane toad invasion.

The endangered Varanus mertensi.

It was then time to go back and at the boat ramp we saw a big cherabin basking in the shallow.
And we hit the road to Darwin.
What a great weekend it was!

Thanks again Bullet for taking me aboard your fine vessel, I had a really good time.

Between the scenery, the fishing and putting new faces on some of the forum names, it was well worth getting out of bed early!

View from the water level.

So yes I did not enter the Metery Club yet (people who catch a Barramundi over a meter [3.2808399 feet], in length),

But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Carlton MID fishing lure

Hi there,

So a few days ago, I arrived at work in the morning, and asked for my keys at the security door, and the guy who gave me my keys, said: "Hey, there is a fishing lure for you with your keys".

It took me a few days to learn who gave me this lure, as all the security guys all said with a smile:
"No clues as to where it comes from..."
But any way when arriving at work in the morning, it was a very good surprise.
It really made my day.
Thanks again mate. 

So the lure in question is a Classic Barra, 120+15, and the colour is...
Carlton MID, and it is still in the box in perfect condition!

Still in the box!

And view from above.

I know that a lot of people around Darwin have already seen or even fished with this lure.
But for me who don't drink, the chance to get one still in the box was rather slim.

(Carlton MID is an Australian beer).

So yes it took me a few days to thank my benefactor for the unexpected present.

But hey, it could be worse.

Have a good day,

Saturday, May 7, 2011

No bait, no food...

Hi there,

Some time ago, I told Double Haul that I would try to get him some small Queenfish that he would be able to use as bait for his Billfishes addiction... 
And yes I own him a few bait for all the garfishes that I dutifully lost while he was trying to teach me how to catch a Sailfish...

Well guess what?
Since then I was totally unable to land a single Queenfish...
Not a small or big one, no, nada, zilch, zero, niete, just a big fat doughnut on the Queenfish front!
Shame job really...

So this morning I told myself, I will go on the rocks, and get him some bait, and a feed for me and my family too!
And I was on my way to the Cullen Bay rock walls.

Yeah right!
Lucky no one was holding his breath or he would be dead by now...

I tried all sort of metal slices, even some funky ones that I had never used before.
Some blade and soft plastic, but to no avail...

So I told myself, the last thing that you haven't tried today is a popper, so my boy it is time to take the popper out of the bag.
And as the target was queenfish, I took a big orange, yellowish one, a Storm Saltwaer Chug Bug, that I got in Singapor.

Something just jumped on it very close to the rocks, made a big splash and pulled on the line.
It even started to jump around, like a queenfish!

Splashing around.

Yes, I got a bit excited.
But it was definitively not a queenfish...
Sad, because it would have been of the good size as a bait, I think.

No, it was just a small Barramundi, not even a legal one, but once again a small fish going for a big lure...

Baby Barramundi on popper.

So quick photo and released alive and kicking. 
Because I was told that we are not allowed to use these ones as bait...

So I decided to get back to the chrome slices and used a new one.
I was just reeling it as fast as I could, when I felt a bump on the line.
But no pull...

And when the lure came back to me, look at what was on one of the hooks:

Some fish scales on my hook.

I must have bumped into a fish and gave him a bit of a fright.
Oops, sorry...

And that was it for the morning, still a very good time on the water edge.

Lucky me my beloved ones at home had prepared something to eat.
Maybe they start to know that my talents as a fisherman are a bit unpredictable, and had decided not to rely on it.
To this, I would say, good on them!
And yes I came back home one more time with not bait or food.

But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,