Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Two Good News.

Hi there,

I wanted to share with you two good news.

First we, in Darwin, avoided the wrath of tropical cyclone Grant.
Grant was the first cyclone to hit the Northern Territory of Australia for this season.
It did beat around at sea for a few days and was supposed  to hit land on Christmas day, as a grim reminder of cyclone Tracy. Even if Grant was going to be much smaller than Tracy, Darwin's people still don't like the idea of a cyclone on Christmas day.
(The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, in Darwin, has a very good and informative display about cyclone Tracy).
But when it did hit the shore, it hit east of Darwin, and Darwin was spared.
Communities on the East of us did suffer, and hopefully will be back on their feet shortly.
So this is the first good news, from a Darwin resident point of view.

The second one, is even more extraordinaire...
It happened on the morning after Christmas, and I was not going to make a post about it, but Ms Frugal Down Under said that I should, so here it is ...

While going to fetch some milk from the corner shop, the morning after Christmas, I saw next to the footpath, what our little Dolly calls "Fairies picnic table"...
So I made a few quick photos with my mobil phone of the place where the fairies had a picnic on Christmas night, to show her once I would be back home.
And look! While we were peering through the photos Dolly and I, we noticed that on one of them I may have actually photographed the twirling made by a flying fairy!

The proof in image...

How exciting is that!
Little Dolly is really excited that daddy finally managed to photograph a fairy.
And she want the world to know...

So this is not yet a photo of an actual fairy, just the twirling made by one that was flying very very fast...
And this post as nothing to do with the piscatorial world...

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

Friday, December 23, 2011

Have A Very Happy Festive Season.

Hi There,

Wishing you all a very happy festive season!
Enjoy the break if you have one.
Enjoy your hobbies what ever it is if you can do it at this time of the year.

And here is a little image to stay in the spirit of things:

Ho Ho Ho !!!

Yes, every good angler should have a lure for each occasion...
This is another lure that may never see the water, I know...

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Blog In The Art Magazine.

Hi there,

Yes The Rambling Expat as been cited in an art magazine.
And not any art magazine, but the very good Art Monthly Australia, which as its name's point out, is an Australian magazine.
Could we deduce from this, that fishing is starting to be recognised as an integral part of the Australian culture?

Now why did they feel the need to write about the blog in the magazine?
Was it for my writing talent?
Was it for my photographic talent?
I think that it was because of a post I did last month about a fishing exhibition being prepared by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, often referred to as MAGNT.

So do you want a proof?
Here is a little photograph of the short piece in which the blog was cited:

Cool, no?

This was a simple, funny and very kind way for the editor to announce the upcoming exhibition. 
This is published in the "Sultry Summer Issue", for December 2011 to February 2012.
Here is a copy of one of the magazine cover for this issue:

One of two...

Yes I did write one of the magazine cover for this issue, and then captioned the image with "One of two"... Why? Simply because for this very issue, the editor choose to have two different cover for the magazine. Depending of your luck you could have this one or the other one when you buy the magazine.
What does the other cover look like?
Just go to the newsagent to find out, or check them out online, they have an electronic version of the magazine available.
And no, I do not get any royalties on the sales or subscriptions to the magazine.
Even if I have to say that yes, this is among the few magazines that I enjoy reading, so this is great.

It is true that after being cited in this magazine, I better have to lift my game in regards to fishing photography. And this worry me a bit, as when I am happily fishing, I do find it hard to focus on the image making thing too... 

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

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

6 New Lures For The Collection.

Hi there,

Yes I got the very nice surprise to receive six new lures for my small collection, as a present from Angry.
Like me, Angry is a member of both the FFF forum and the Lures And More forum.
But he lives down south and me up north, so we target different kinds of fishes with different kinds of lures.
The lures that he sent me, are all Australian lures, but are impossible to find in Darwin.

Look at the little treasures I saw when I opened the surprise parcel:

Even better than a box of chocolate.

From this nice little lot, only one was from a brand that I already had, the one on the left, it is a Stuckeys. But if you look at this post on this very blog, you will be able to see that it is different, not only in size or colour, but also in the shape of the bib.

A very nice trout colour.

This lure is very beautiful, with a perfect and deep finish. There is something special in holding in your hand a wooden lure, that has been hand made. To me they are like little art works.

The lure next to it, is a Deception, and I am very happy about it, as I had looked at them on the internet for a while but was yet to own one.

My first Deception.

And when you think about it, what a better name for a fishing lure, than Deception...
And this one seems to be before Tacspo took over the company, so it would be an original Deception. How cool is that.

All the other lure I had never see before, some rudimentary research made me think that they are Custom Crafted Lures, a maker from NSW, same geographic origin than the two previous lures in this post.
The first one is called the Baby Scud, and has an unusual bib:

The Baby Scud.

Next to it was the Baby Extractor, in green too:

The Baby Extractor.

Then comes the only plastic lure of the lot. It might not be made of timber like all the other, but still have a very nice finish and shape.

The Fish stick.

Yes in green too, this must be a very good colour down south, as it is up north. To give you an idea of how popular green lures are, I have already been fishing with some friends, whose lure tray only contains green lure.

And the last one, I have been told from very good authority that this is a lure from a maker called Australian Crafted:

The Minnow 80.

A very nice colour too, I have myself been lucky on this type of colour, here in tropical north Australia. But are these ones ever going to swim? Not a chance! They are already at the office and wont get out of there before a very long time. 

So does it look like the Christmas spirit is in the air?
Yes to me it does, thanks Angry.

Honestly, I am not absolutely sure about the names or makers of most of these lures, and I could even be totally wrong.
This would not be the first time too...

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

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Morning Between The Vernon Islands.

Hi there,

We were very lucky my work colleagues, Gavin, Michael, and I, to be invited to go fishing for a Sunday morning between the Vernon Island, aboard the Barraddiction.
This fine boat belong to a very good fisherman and great photographer called Peter.
This was the third time that I had been invited to fish with Peter, and what a treat this was going to be.

We left just after 5:00am from the Nightcliff boat ramp, and after zooming in the dark for about 45 kilometre, we arrived at destination for day break.

Sunrise between the Vernon Islands.

This was Michael first fishing trip since he arrived in the N.T to work and live.
And on the first drop he hooked a Mackerel!
I think that by then, my own jig had not touched the bottom yet.
This seemed to be a nice fish, and it was taking some nice runs, making Michael work hard for his first fish from the Territory waters.
But then the Mackerel started to jump out of the water, and Peter quickly said: "Free spool it!" And them in a much calmer voice he explained to our new comer that if a hooked Mackerel jumps, it is because they have a shark breathing on their neck...
So Michael did as told to, and the mack started to go on the other side of the boat.
After a while the bail arm was back on the line and the mack was being pulled back toward the boat,  with all of us trying to see the fish or what was going on in the water...
Then some big splashes erupted not very far from us and that was it for this poor Mac, it had been done by the sharks...
Michael reeled in a line cut, he had lost his first mack and his lure...
Welcome to fishing in the Territory!
Was what someone said, and I can promise you that it wasn't me.

Peter drove the boat back to make a second drift over the mark, and told us to drop our jigs.
And this time it was his turn to be on, and he got a nice Queenfish.

Peter's first fish of the day.

This was a nice and healthy fish still full of kick, so it was released.
Then Michael got another Queenfish, which was full of scare all over it's body.
That was a big fish, and it must have been very close to end up Shark's dinner, on one of it's lucky day.
So he deserved to be released too.

Then my jig got hooked, but on the reef, not into a fish...
Peter drove the boat back and the lure un-hooked itself from whatever was holding it. So as we were going back to the mark, I was reeling the lure and could feel its weight in the water, when suddenly, nothing... I secretly hopped that a big fish had taken it and was swimming in the same direction that us, but faster. 
Alas no, I had just been cut at the knot by what must have been a mack.
Yes this also is part of fishing at the Vernon.

Then as we were over a mark again every body dropped their jig and started to furiously reeled them in, when Peter said: " Ho I can see some big fish on the sounder".
Of course, I then stopped to fish to come and have a look at what fishes on the sounder look like. This was captivating but I soon realised that while I watched a screen, my companion were fishing and getting hits or hooked on some fish.
It was quickly time for me to get back into it.

And then it finally happened to me.
Something that I had heard of, but never experienced yet, my lure was taken on the dropp, not on the retrieve. The line which was dropping behind the lure in the water, suddenly accelerated and seemed to go more away than down, in an opposite way than the drifting boat. So I gave one turn of the handle, and the reel immediately started to scream.
Someone asked me if I was on the reef again or if that was a fish. It didn't take long to figure out that this was a fish.

Truly enjoying the moment.

(This photo is copyrighted by Gavin D.)
This fish took a first long and fast run, before I was able to gain a bit of line.
But it was a heavy fish, much heavier than what I had got in a long time.
Maybe even the heavier ever...
I had some real trouble to get any line back, and really had to pump the rod to get a bit of line back, before it would go for another run.
This lasted long enough for all the other to stop fishing and look with anticipation at what fish was in the end of the line.
It was heavy enough for someone to suggest that I may have a shark on the line.
But no, I knew it, this was the massive Spanish Mackerel that I have been dreaming for,  since a long time.
It was so heavy, I could not see the colour of it, impossible to get it to the surface.
Then it suddenly came to the surface, and was a bit smaller than I had anticipated for the fight he was giving me. But he wasn't alone, a shark was just behind it, and bitted the mac tail of in one single very clean cut, like if it had gone on a chopping board...
I was then able to get it to the boat before that shark came back for a second serve and Peter gaffed it.

Look: No tail!

Sure, some of you might wonder how come I was not able to reel in a mac of that size...
Well in fact for the truth to be told, it was hooked on the belly and had been able to alway swim away from me.
I had been unable to turn it toward me and this had given him an advantage, as long as the sharks didn't moved in.
Now the positive in that?
Well, for a moment I really did believe that I had just caught a monster fish, and that was great.
Also, it was bled even before being in the boat, this is what I would call efficient fishing.

Of course not long after that, Gavin was to hook on a nice mackerel too and to boat it in full, with a lure firmly placed between the fish jaws.
Someone then said to my address: "Hey you, look this is how it should be done, with the lure in the fish's mouth!"
To this I simply replied that this was so common that I still preferred to hook them in he belly.
What else could I say?

Then on another drop both Peter and Gavin were hooked at the same time, Gavin on a mack and peter to a GT. As Michael had never caught a GT before, Peter handed him his rod.

Double hook up.

Michael with his first GT.

Gavin with his Mackerel.

We then changed from the chromies for fast jigging to some slow type of jig to bounce near the bottom of the water column. Which of course resulted on another nice Queenfish for Peter.
This was interesting to me, as I had alway fished for Queenfish going as fast as I could with chrome slice near the surface, or with poppers. I had then naturally assumed that the queenfish were top water fish. This was an interesting eye opener. 

Queenfish jumps.

And a bit later on, Gavin hooked on something close to the sea floor, which put a serious bent in his fishing rod.

Is that bent or what?

This was a nice Trevally that we all but Gavin, estimated to be around one or two kilo...

Heavier than 2 kilo...

In fact in must have been closer to nine than to two kilo, this was a pretty nice fish.

Then it was time to go back, and I didn't understand why, as it seemed that we had just arrived.
But a quick check of my watch told me a different story, we had already been there all morning. It had just flew by as fast as when you have a great time fishing.
I had been a bit sick in the week prior to this trip, and had to take a bit of time off from work. In fact I nearly canceled my participation in this escapade on the day before the D day, as I was feeling a tad unfit. But I didn't want to let the opportunity to go fishing at the Vernon, and I do not regret going there. This was once again a great time on the water, with some good camaraderie and some great fishes.
We were back at the boat ramp at around 12:30pm and I was home early enough to have an afternoon nap. 
No, not a nana nap, a power nap...

Thanks again Peter for inviting us on your boat, that was a great morning.

So do I have not caught the Moby Dick of the Spanish Mackerel world yet?
No, not yet...

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