Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanks Ashley for my new hat!

Hi there,

Yes I have to thanks Ashley from the great blog: She Loves To Fish for my new fishing cap.
Not long ago, she had a little caption competition on her blog, and the three top captions would win a fishing hat.
Of course I entered, thinking that me being in Australia, and her blog in Canada, my chances were rather slim...
But hey I won a cap!
Thanks Ashley!
And the good people from Hobbie Fishing, sent it to me directly here in tropical Australia.

Do you want to see how it fits me?
Here it is:
Hey hey hey!!!

Rather nice no?
In fact I am very happy with it.
And the Hobbie people didn't stop at just sending me a fishing cap, no, they also sent me some little goodies. 
Two stickers and two tube of lips balm.
Thanks guys!
And here is the proof in image:

The full package.

And no, I will not tell you what my caption was, if you really want to know, just go and check out Ashley's blog.
But now you may ask how on earth, a guy fishing for Barramundi and pelagic in the salt waters in the north of Australia came across a blog about Steelhead, pike and mostly fresh water fishing based in Canada? Yes this is about as far as two side of fishing can be.
(But remind me a lot about the fishing I was doing as a kid in Europe, which is why I now follow her blog).
Well it is pretty simple, I found it on the blog roll of another very good fishing blog.
The blog called Xstreem Fishing...
This is a blog about fishing in Fiji, and is a lot closer of the type of fishing that I practice, or at least dream of doing.

I have not been able to fish with this hat yet, as I have had to stay home with a bad cold for a few days now... So I can't show you any photos of the new cap in action...

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My First Ever Blinky Lure.

Hi there,

Today I am going to introduce you to my first ever Blinky Lure.
This timber fishing lure is over 30 year old, hand made, of Western Redcedar.
To say that I am happy to have come across this lure, would be an extremely modest statement.
I had been looking for a Blinky for a long time now, alway keeping and eye out for them, at the op shop or at the garage sales.
Blinky, the maker of this lure has now stopped to make them as a business, and only do a couple of them once in a while, for himself.
This one was made a long time ago, as never seen the water, and will never see it!

So how did this lure came to be mine?
Well it did not fall from the sky directly in my open hands, but nearly...
I had started a thread on the FFF forum about some other lures of mine, when Blinky himself made a reply in which he put two photographs of this very lure and asked if I wanted it?
Golly! If I wanted it? Of course yes!
So I take a bit of time to send him a reply, so I would not look like an impatient spoilt brat, and asked him if he wanted money or another lure for it?
And believe it or not, he said that he didn't want anything for it, that this was just a present...
I had some trouble to understand where this was coming from, but was so happy that I felt like jumping on the spot.
Thanks you Blinky.

Here comes seven images of it:

The Blinky.

And from above.

This is an interesting colour, which has since then be seen on the Spearhead from Nils Master.

The belly, nice and slim.

Eye and tow point.

Wire going through. 

Yes, it is hand signed.

Painted from head to tail.

As you can see this is a robust lure, with a tow point made from a double wire going back in the lure's belly. And a great attention to finish, painted from one extremity to the other.
I particularly like this detail, as I often feel cheated with modern lure. When the tail is not painted and I can clearly see the colour of the plastic it is made of,  as the extremity of the lure is left blank. This is a little thing that I enjoy on wooden lures.
The bib is made of Lexan.

Yes, I am happy...
Thanks again Blinky, this is only the second time that I have a lure given to me directly by its maker, the first time it was a Classic Barra given to me by Rob Gaden.
I have never met Rob Gaden, but it was great to meet Blinky, even if that was a very short encounter during a lunch break, and to have the lure handed to me by the man himself.

Here is a very recent little anecdote about these lures...
I showed the lure to a  work colleague who is a keen fisherman, and he said: "Ho! I had two of these ones, but with some red on them. They were deadly on Barra, but I lost the two of them to some big fish. And I haven't been able to find any of them again"
Well I can tell you that is not getting this one...

This is a lure that I will take great care of, it will definitively stay at the office. As I believe that this is an authentic piece of Fishing Australiana.

So yes, this is another little lure that will never learn how to swim...

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

Sunday, November 20, 2011

No Billfish but a small Tuna.

Hi there,

So during the week I had a message from my good mate Double Haul from the FFF forum, asking if I wanted to go and try to get something very big over the weekend.
The plan was to hit Fenton patch and North Gutter to hopefully raise some Black Marlin and some Sailfish.
Him and Brooksy set up for the Marlins and I for the Sailfishes...
Guess what I would answer to that?
I am sure that you know by now that I replied: YES!

You see I am yet to boat any billfish. Three times already I had one on the line but every time I lost them before we could tag them.
Billfish is on my fishing bucket list, since a very long time, and even more since I first tried for them onboard Double Haul's boat; about a year ago.

So early we left and we took Brooksy's boat, which is nearly the same as Double Haul's one, but with a centre console instead of a side one.
Also, it is a bright red boat, made me feel a bit like if I was getting in the fire truck...
Another kid's dream.

On my way to work on the Friday morning, I had stopped near the boat ramp from the Ski Club, and the ocean looked beautiful, flat and invinting.
I spend half of the night of Friday not sleeping and hoping for the same condition, and on Saturday morning the weather was just perfect.

We launched from the Night Cliff boat ramp, with not much water, and no wind.
Very quickly we zoomed to the first mark, with the three of us commenting on how the condition seemed perfect. We even saw a booby which is usually a good sign.
Even if we were surprised by the very small amount of Tuna school that we saw on the way.
I was most impressed by the auto-pilot which enabled Brooksy to just type in where we wanted to go, and then we were able to have a chat while the boat took us to our destination, nice and easy.

And soon enough we started to deploy the lines, teaser and outrigger.
They both had these large overhead reel with a swimming queenfish at the end of their lines, while I had and eggbeater with a skipping garfish on the line.
They explained to me that the plan was that my skipping garfish was to distract these pesky Sailfish from the Marlin baits, that they both had at the end of their lines.
Now when they told me that, I started to be pretty confident that we would see some serious billfish action during this trip.
Well as any seasoned angler would know, over confidence is the mother of all deception...
We didn't raise a single billfish for the day, not even a Mac.
Yet I still had a great day, yes as far as fishing goes, I am an easy date...
And unlike a lot of people, I actually enjoy keeping an eye on the baits during the long trolls.

Double Haul and Brooksy.

The long troll started, under a build up sky, hot weather and big clouds in the distance.
We would at time pass a school of Tuna feeding on the surface and would circle around them a few times to see if by any chance a billfish would be with them.
Every time I looked at them Tuna splashing around, and I would think that it would be very cool to throw a chrome slice in the mist of them all... But every time I would as bravely as I could try to remind me that we were not here for the Tunas, but for these fishes with a stick in front of them, the billfish.

I was impressed by the coral spawn that we saw on the surface, it seemed to be immense and in the middle of nowhere. and some little jelly fish like creature swimming in there.

Then out of nowhere, like a bunch of torpedoes some big things came around us, overtook the the boat, and started swimming just in front of it...

They were Dolphins.

Playing in front of the boat.

They did not stay with us for very long, but this was really enjoyable. It is interesting how something as simple as a pod of Dolphin swimming around the boat can bring a smile to everybody on board.

Not long after that we spotted a sea snake on the surface, he was big but dived back before I could take a photo.
A bit further away we spotted a sea turtle that was so big that for a second we were wondering if that was a billfish. 
And no, no one had drank any alcohol on the boat...

When it started to be hot on our head, we put the canopy on, and used the shower/hose to refresh ourself, and we felt renewed and ready for some action. 
Alas, not much was going to happen on the billies front.
Yet the trolling condition were perfect, we could see the storm brewing faraway but the sea was glass.

Some dreams are made of this.

And this glassy sea was about 40 km (24.854848 miles) from the boat ramp.
But with the storm starting to head our way, and the afternoon winds picking up, we decided to turn back and go home.

As we were zipping back we saw some birds diving and sure enough under them was a school of Tuna in feeding mode. 
Brooksy turned to me and said: "Do you want to have a go at them?"
I tried to stay composed and detached, and to give a very calm, posed and intelligent reply: Ho Yes!, in less than half a second.
Didn't even need to think about it.

I was with my spin stick in hands on the front deck before we were even close enough to cast.
First cast: I was thinking that this was a blind cast as nothing seemed to happen but when the lure was close enough to be seen, I could see a few Tunas swimming behind it.
But none were hooked.
Second cast: A few Tunas swiped at the lure on the surface and that was very exciting to see, till one actually got hooked! But I lost it at the boat...
Third cast: a little Tuna hit the lure and got hooked far from the boat, and a few times I believed that I had lost it, because he would regularly swim straight at the boat, and then blot away from it.
In the end it was close enough for Double Haul to grab the leader, and drag the fish in the boat. Where he was quickly put in the esky, and of we went back on our way to shore.
In fact all of this happened so fast, that I realised only once I was cooking this Tuna that I had totally forgotten to make a photo of it....
So here is what it looked like in our plate in the evening, after going through the magic wok.

Yummy fresh Tuna.

And we were in fact right in doing all this fast, as the wind was picking up and we didn't want the storm to catch up with us.

Once back on Terra firma I was once again surprised that the time had flew by us so fast, it felt like we had just left the ramp heading for the horizon a few minutes earlier. In fact we had just spend most of the day on the water.
And even without billfish, this in my book, was still a great day, and I am very grateful For Double Haul and Brooksy to have invited me.

So yes, there is still some serious blank on my fishing bucket list, and Billfish is one of them...

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Barack Obama fishing lure.

Hi there,

Today and tomorrow the President of the United States of America, is visiting Australia.
Today in Canberra and tomorrow in Darwin.
So what a better reason to introduce you to the Barack Obama fishing lure.
Yes another one which is part of my small collection of fishing lures.

Here it is:

Barack Obama on a fishing lure.

The lure is a Dardevile from Eppinger, an American company that has been making fishing lures for over 100 years.
They have a pretty good reputation in fishing circles, and produce some amusing novelty lures. The Barack Obama Dardevile, is just one of them.

So will I have the chance to meet the President and to ask him to sign my lure tomorrow?
Definitively not.

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

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A few more lures.

Hi there,

Just a few more lures that I recently received.
First is a lure from unknown maker, maybe Killalure, but not sure yet.
(Yes, if ever you were to know who made it, you are more than welcome to let me know).

From one side.

The other side.

From above.

And the belly.

So, do you know who made it?
All I know, is that it is made of timber and was given to me by Double Haul, who told me that it was an Australian one. And that he has caught  many Barramundi with it, to the 90cm size.
So this must be a good lure for sure.

The second one is a Reidy's, from Australia too:

From the side.

From above.

I am very happy with this one, as I already had one in this colour, but not in the same depth. I love to get all the variation on one colour, specially when the colour like for this one, is not in production anymore.
Thank you Double Haul.
Reidy's is one of my favourite lures, for the good reason that they are a local manufacturer from Darwin.

And then, here comes the 303...
The 303 is a lure that was made by the Australian Soldiers who were stationed in the Top End of Australia, during WWII. They didn't have any fishing lures, but they had some ammunition. So the shell casing of the 303 were used as lure for Barramundi fishing. I have seen some old black and white photographs of soldiers using these home made lures, and they had a great success rate, as fish catcher. 
I had been looking for a while for one of these lures since I had heard of them, but was not able to find one.
Till not long ago...
Well in fact, lets be honest, it is a replica, or should I say, they are replicas, because yes I got two of them!
But very well made with a focus on detail and authenticity.
The man who made them for me is Mr. Rex from the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Thank you very much Rex.

And here they comes!

One for the collection.

And one to use.

Yes two of them in one go...
How good is that?
Yes this and the two other lures in this post are some more pieces of Fishing Australiana for the little collection

In fact when Rex gave me the first one, he asked me when I was going to use it.
I of course replied that I was definitively not going to take the risk to lose this lure and that it was going to stay as far and away of any piece of water as possible.
So he quietly left and not long after, brought me a second one to fish with.
Now to say that I felt spoilt, would be a very slight understatement...
I was wrapped with joy!

So did I had the time to test it yet?
No not yet... And I am getting seriously impatient about trying it at one of my favourite land based spot.

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

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Two Stuckeys Lures

Hi there,

Not long ago I received my first two Stuckeys lures.
These are Australian hand made timber fishing lures.
From what I was told the man who produce them, made only 15 of them per week, so it is fair to say that they are a rare commodity.
They come from the state of N.S.W, (Australia).
I was naturally very surprised and tempted when Angry from the FFF forum contacted me to ask me if I wanted to swap some of my little Rapala lures for some Stukeys.
I told him that I didn't want to swap them all, as they were a present from a good friend of mine, but one or two would be ok, and also reminded him that these Rapala were only 3 cm long.
He very generously replied that he didn't want them any more, because he thought that the Rapala were the 5 cm models. But that he was still going to send me some Stuckeys lures, as I have what he calls the Luresicosis, which is a form of Fishing Lure Collecting illness...

I got afraid that my new found illness was bad, but was glad to see that even some people that I had never met, would be trying to help me with my problem.

So I sent him a 5 cm Rapala that I had since 1985 and very rarely used, so it was in tip top condition. An a little spinner.

After that I waited with impatience...
But not for long at all.

Rossco, another member of the FFF forum was fishing with Angry and brought me back the lures, which were then hand delivered to me.
And Rossco being aware of my liking for fishing lures with advertising on them even gave me a cool little lure as a surprise present.

So what does the stuckeys look like?
Just like that:

With single hooks.

I like the single hooks set-up, I alway found that a better look than the treble ones.
I even sometimes change the treble of some of my chrome slices for a single hook.

With Treble hooks.

And a darker one, so it is nice to have two very different looking lures in the same range from the same maker.
They are about 5 cm long, and I presume from the size of the bib, deep diver.
But I think that I am just going to keep them at the office...

And what kind of advertising lure did Rossco gave me?
Have a look:

The Valvoline rattler.

And this was a great surprise too, as I had heard of this lure but never seen it before.

So this was a very good trade, and I am very happy with these lures.
Even if I know now, that I have Luresicosis...

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

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fishing at the Museum

Hi there,

Yes you read it right, fishing is going to enter the realm of the museum institution...
In Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory of Australia, at least.
This past week saw the following media release being circulated to the press, and on some fishing forums.
All I can say is that I am very excited by this project.

So here is the media release:

Send in your fishing picture to be part of Gone Fishin’ exhibition

Territorians are being invited to submit their favourite fishing related photo to be part of an exhibition for fishing enthusiasts at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT).

The best 100 photos will be featured as part of the exhibition to be held at in March next year.

Minister for Arts and Museums Gerry McCarthy and Member for Fannie Bay Michael Gunner said Gone Fishin’…the reel Top End story will showcase the origin of fishing in the Territory and explore the biology, diversity, and impact fishing has had on the lives of Territorians.

“Territorians have a strong history with fishing from the cultural history through to our present day love of recreational fishing which is pivotal to our great Territory lifestyle,” Minister McCarthy said.

“We want to get more Territorians through the door to the Territory’s museums and this is an excellent exhibition that I’m sure Territorians will flock to.”

The Member for Fannie Bay Michael Gunner said the exhibition will include objects that inform the   historic, cultural and scientific fabric of fishing in the Top End.

“A range of public programs for visitors are being planned and will include specialist floor talks and school holiday activities,” Mr Gunner said.

“Territorians can send their photo in for the chance to be part of the exhibition and the chance to win one of 100 copies of the North Australian Fishing & Outdoor Magazine.

“The exhibition will feature representations of fish and fishing from the earliest rock paintings through to the contemporary visual arts.

“The exhibition will chart the course of the development of fishing technology as well as the types of crafts used by different cultures,” Mr Gunner said.

“This exhibition is part of our Territory 2030 target to continue to see Territorians attending our cultural institutions at a very high rate,” Minister McCarthy said.

The exhibition will be open at MAGNT from 17 March – 16 September 2012.

Call for entries for photos are now open and will close on the 31st January 2012. Images can include fishing lures/equipment, favourite catch, favourite fishing spot and fishing trip.

Entries can be submitted to MAGNT via email: postal: GPO Box 4646, Darwin NT 0801 at the front counter of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

For more information go to

How exciting is that?
The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is going to present an exhibition about fishing!
I can't wait to see this show.
The only thing... Is that we will need to wait till March 2012 to see it...

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Four lures for the catch of the day.

Hi there,

I got four new fishing lures as a prize from the local newspaper, the NT News, Catch of the Day competition.
How come you may ask?
Well it is pretty simple, every week anyone can send in a photo, either a print or by Email, then they pick up the one that they believe is the best of the week.
So I send a photo of the first fish that I got with my new rod, an 81cm Barra.
(you can read all about it on this blog just there).

And here is a photo of the newspaper page:

You might recognise the photo.

And what kind of fishing lures do you think it is?
Yes some lures that will be perfect for Barramundi fishing.
I received: one Killalure 2Deadly, one Killalure Flatz Rat 2, One Classic Manta Ray and a Classic Dr Evil.

Do you want to see them?
Lucky you here they are:

Killalure 2Deadly.

The 2Deadly in the Tiger Lily colour produce some wicked light reflection, and I can't wait to test this lure. It is a mix between a popper and a shallow diver, to 6 foot maximum (1.8288 metres). You can pop it or if you have a slow wind, it will dive. That will be interesting to see how it performs.

Killalure Flatz Rat 2.

This one is a small lure, but dive to 15 feet (4.572 metres), and has a very good reputation as a Queenfish lure. This colour is called Bobby Dazzler Silver Purple.

Classic Manta Ray.

The Classic F18 Manta Ray, here in the Mullet Gold Dazzler colour, is he deepest diver from the Classic F18 range, and dive to 18 feet (5.4864 metres). Gold red and black is a colour which has already been successful for me, so I am very happy with that.

Classic Dr Evil.

I already had one of these, albeit in another colour, and I really like it, so it is good now to have two of them. I will be less stressed to loose it as soon as I will be using it. The one presented here is in the Purple Mullet Dazzler, and it dive to +20 ft (6.096 metres).
The Classic F18 Manta Ray and the Dr Evil have both been designed by the Australian lure designer Rob Gaden.

So I was very happy to get all of these, as they are all lures that I will really enjoy fishing with.
The only problem is that it is not even midweek yet, and that I will have to wait for the weekend before I can start to test some of them. In fact some of them are swimming so deep, that I might not be able to use them straight from the shore, and I might have to wait to be invited on a boat again to really test them.

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