Monday, December 31, 2012

The Day Before Christmas.

Hi there,

Here comes a true fishing tale, which took place on the day before Christmas, in the land down under.
Knowing that I had changed my holidays plans, and was going to stay at home for the full holidays, good mate Moz gave me a call, and asked if I wanted to go for a morning of fishing on the day before Christmas.
Of course, I said yes. I hadn't really fished for a long time, and I missed it big time.
People who know me, tend to say, that I am rather keen on the fishing thing...

The plan was to hit a few of Darwin Harbour creeks, in search of Lates calcarifer, yes we were going to catch some Barramundi!
We left in the morning, but at a reasonable hour, with the sun already awake.

Morning on Darwin's Harbour.

We found a bit more wind than we had expected, but once in the creeks, it become nice and calm.
So we enter this little creek, and Moz tells me that here is a place where it is best to fish with small soft plastic, lightly weighted. So as he start to fish, from the front left hand side of the boat, I quietly go to the back to change the set up on my line. Getting ride of the clip, and putting a small soft plastic on the line. 
Just then I heard Moz saying: Yep! I am on!
So Still crouched over my gears, getting my line ready, I ask without looking if it is a big one. To know if I should drop every thing and get the net. To which Moz reply that no it is just a small one...
And just after that I hear a little Splouf,  A louder SH..! and a mega SPLASH!
I quickly turn over to look what is going on? 
All I can see, is that no one is standing on the bow!
What!?! Now I drop everything and run to the front, look in the water, on the left, nothing...
On the right, nothing... On the left again, nothing!
Now I start to freak out, and to think that the only thing that could have happened, is that a big crocodile, came, jump and got him. Dragged him under water, and is eating him under the boat just right now.
This is in my mind the only explanation, he has been under water for way too long for anything else to make sense... Nothing on the water, even his hat is not floating ... it is calm, I am alone, and my good mate has just been eaten by a crocodile... I shout: Hey where are you? Can you hear me? 
Aï aï aï!!!
What I am going to do! Why why why???
Then I see something moving under water, coming toward the surface. Is that the crocodile coming back for second serve? No! It is a hand holding a fishing rod, and just behind, Moz came out gasping for air.
He his passing the rod  to me, so I grab it in my left hand and extend my right one to him, and as quickly as I can help him to get back onboard.
Good, I have not soiled my pants, and he is still alive and seems to be in one piece!
His first words are: I am very upset, I lost my sunnies!
To which I say, What?
He then proceed to explain to me that he was thinking that he had a small fish, and was taking it easy on it, then the little fish turned into something bigger and suddenly pulled the fishing rod out of his hands. So without thinking he dived behind it to get it back. (Anyone who knows the Darwin's harbour creeks, knows, that they are inhabited by crocodile, sharks, jellyfish, stonefish, stingrays and god knows what else...) 
So he dived, behind his sinking fishing rod, and could not grab it, so swam to the bottom of the creek (3.4 meters, 11.154856 foot, yes I checked the depth sounder as he told me so), and started to touch all that he could touch at the bottom of the creeks, and finally in the darkness of the muddy river, felt between his fingers the fishing rod. Took it and started to get back up, this is at this time, that he felt his sun glasses fall from his face. But was starting to get short on air and had to get back up as quick as he could to the surface, where the city boy that I am was starting to seriously panic.
As he finishes to tell me the full story and to repeat how upset he his to have lost his sunnies, because he really liked these ones, I realise that I still have the fishing rod in my hand, and that there is something happening with it. Yes the fish is still on!
I gave him the rod and he reels in a very fine specimen of Darwin Harbour Barramundi.

The fish that made Moz swim.

At 79 cm (31.102362 inches), it was a nice silver fish, healthy as can be.
We discussed for a few minutes if we should keep it or release it. It finally ended up in the esky.
That will teach him to loose Moz sunnies!
We got many other hits in this creek, but couldn't stay connected to anything. 
Then another boat arrived in the creek, and started to troll and cast a cast net here and there.
The hits shut down, and we decided to go and try our chance somewhere else.

We tried the flats around Channel Island for a little while, to no avail.
But a flathead by Moz, which managed to unhook itself just at the boat.
And some sharks that we saw swimming not far from the boat.
Then, passing under the bridge, we saw that we thought were Trevally busting the surface, so we casted to them for a few minutes, before we realised that they were big Milkfish, feeding on some very small fishy prawns white things.
No way we were going to catch them on our had bodies lures...

Off we go to the next creek, passing along a crocodile trap.
As soon as we entered the creek, we saw that it was full of bait, so our hopes went right up once again.

The last creek of the day.

This was going to be the last creek of the day.
Despite all the nervous bait, we couldn't raise a single scale, and it was now nearly 12 o'clock.
So we started to slowly make way to the mouth of it and I was considering that this was going to be another of these days where I can't get a fish...
In desperation I did the longest cast that I could toward a little drain on the side. I had on a little green soft plastic that Arrabmundi had given me with a whole lot of other very cool lures the day before.
I was reeling in this little lure, wondering if I was just lacking focus, and if that was why I could not catch a fish... 
Just then out of nowhere, my line suddenly tensed and started to fly away from my reel! It had been brusk and I didn't expected it anymore. The line was peeling, and going for the depth.
I must have shouted much louder that I would normally do, I have a fish!!! I am on!!!
In a split second, nothing else mattered but to try to boat this fish.
The fight was aggressive, and going in every direction. This was not a Barramundi fight, maybe a Catfish, or a Stingray? Then we saw a bit of colour, and I started to wonder if I had finally hooked on my first ever Mangrove Jack. This was no Mangrove Jack, it was a Golden Snapper.

My Golden Snapper.

This might not have been a monster one, but it was so far my biggest Goldie caught on a lure, and that totally made my day.
Moz quickly got the lure out of its mouth and said that they often swim in school so I should recast where I got this one. This is did a few times, and didn't get any more fish. Yet I was still very happy, as this would be great food for my little family.

The fish was gutted, placed on ice in the esky, and we started to go back.
Moz also gave me a big fillet from his Barramundi, so I got plenty of good food, from one very pleasant morning of fishing, on the day before Christmas.
Thank you Moz.
Yes I have never caught a Mangrove Jack yet...

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

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Just A Quick Update.

Hi there,

Just a quick update, to let you know that the blog is still alive.
The only reason I didn't post much in December is that early in the month, I was told that in a cost cutting exercise, I had lost my job.
This had me by surprise, and made me feel really down and gloomy.
So the fishing, the lure collecting and the blog took a back seat, for a little while.
I would just say that it wasn't my best December.

This is also why I din't made a Christmas giveaway this year.
Sorry about that.

Anyway, I should be back soon, with hopefully some good stories, pics, and maybe even a new job.

Have a good day, and a very good festive season.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Just A Little Mackerel.

Hi there,

This morning I went fishing on the Cullen Bay rock wall, and I came back with just one little Mackerel.
Yet it was a great morning, as I hadn't really fished the place in a long time.
So my plan was to be there at day break, and I arrived there...
Well, let's just say a bit after day break, when it was already full day light...
The first thing that I saw on arrivals was a big sea turtle quietly swimming around along the rock wall.
Good sign I told myself, if the wildlife is there, I might get some action.
So I started to cast a small popper that I had modified around.
Waiting for the big hit to arrive, hoping for a Queenfish or a Trevally.
But instead after about 15 to 20 minutes of casting, I made a nice long cast, and the popper flew away very far... Much further away than it should have, and that was because my leader had broken and it was free of any line to slow it down...
So there I am, not half an hour into the morning fishing and I lost a little lure that I had put a bit of work in it...
I wasn't too impressed with myself, and started to wonder if that would be one of these days, where everything goes wrong.
So as calm as I could I walked by towards my fishing bag, sat down on the rocks, and started to put a new leader on my line and to wonder what lure I could use after that.
I went for a DUO Beach Walker.
As I was attaching the lure to the end of my line, another fisherman arrived behind me and said hi.
We had a bit of a chat, and it turned out that it was a follower from the FFF forum.
He had arrived in Darwin from Tasmania only 4 month ago, for work, and with a contract nearly at its end, was bound to get back to Tasmania in the next few week.
He was fishing soft plastic and I was fishing hard body.
He also had a baited line in the water a bit on the side, and I also had a fishing rod ready with a metal slug in case of a bust up.

As there was not too much action I walked to the end of the rock wall, and casted from left to right covering as much water as I could.
I started to be more and more confident that this was going to be another day without fish, or that I should go and change my lure.
Ok, a few more cast and I might move away...
And then bang!
I was on, It wasn't pulling very hard and didn't seems very heavy, but it looked to be silvery in colour and I wanted to land it.
Only when it arrived close to the rock did I realised that it was a small Mack, and I started to hope that it would not cut my line.
But it did not and I landed it:

Mack on the DUO Beach Walker.

This wasn't a big fish, but it sure put me in a good mood, and a nice little lunch it was going to be.
I was going to eat some fish today!

Yummy little fish.

After that I didn't land anything else, but twice I saw some fish coming for my lure and turning off just at the last second when they had the nose on the lure.
And that was enough to keep me happy.
I had changed my leader after the first fish, as it seemed to me that the knot was a bit on the light side, and I was still hoping for the big strike.
And I did get a nice strike, from what I believed to be a big Queenfish, it hit hard and gave a nice pull on the line.
But didn't stay connected and I lost this fish in about 2,23 seconds...
once I got the lure back, a I wanted to check if my hooks were still sharp.
Yes they were still sticky sharp, but my new leader was half destroyed, it wasn't a nice Queenifsh, but a reasonably good Mackerel that had hit the lure.
There must have been a few around this morning.
In fact we did see 4 bust up of little bait being harassed by predatory fish well under casting distance.
Don't ask, yes I tried to throw my chrome slice in there, and didn't get a single hit.
The other guy had three hits, but didn't connect a single time.

We also saw two other bust up that were a bit too far for me to cast to, but someone with a better technic or better gears would have been able to cast to them.

I also saw a Barramundi that would have been just legal or very slightly above legal, swimming against the rock wall, hugging the rocks as close as he could.
But I was not able to tempt him.

The other guy, (sorry I forgot his name) got a nice hit on a baited line that he had put a bit on the side of where we were casting, and picked it up.
It came tight and it fought heavy and down, so he called it for a stingray.
But as it come closer, it showed itself as a shark, not huge but big enough to give a bit of a work out to anyone.
And big enough to eat...
But just on the rock it chewed the leader and swam away...

Then I sarted to be a bit hot and thirsty, I had finished my water bottle and decided to go back home. 
All in all it wasn't a bad morning, saw a lot of fish, got a little one, and meet a member of one of my favourite forum.
I did loose a lure.

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

Friday, November 30, 2012


Hi there,

Just a very short story about some lures that I like...

As a child, I remember sitting at the kitchen table and listening with great attention, to my father and his friends, talking about a lure that could swim at different deep. To find the fishes wherever they would be hiding. This to me was magic and resonated in my mind as the fisherman ultimate tool. I wanted one.
Today I have a few in my collection, and in fact they are still being produced.

ABU Hi-Lo.

The Abu Hi-Lo is a well-known lure that has been used by many.
It is nearly a look-alike of the Heddon Vamp Spook from America. But it had something more, it has an articulated bib.

The articulated bib.

It first appeared in 1955 at a time when the Swedish company was called AB Urfabriken. It then arrived with a bib adjustable in five different positions. In 1958 it gained one more and now offers the choice of six different angles for the bib. Giving the lure the ability to swim from very deep to very shallow, it can be used as a surface lure, a bit like a popper.

The real collector will look for the pre-1958 version, easily recognizable for not having any patent marking on the belly.

Mines, all have a marking on the belly.

It has been available in five different sizes, included the jointed version.
As a floating, slow sinking or sinking lure.
Originally built in Sweden, the production moved to Asia in 1981.
They have since been made in Japan, Taiwan and China.
Not that many lure models have been produced for over fifty year, and are still being used now. It still sells very well overseas with Pike fishermen, and I was told that there is still some passionate using it down south. But today, for many up here, it has lost its flavor.
Still, I definitively like them…

Here are a few of them:

Three sizes and a jointed one.

Blue and all alone.

Two brothers.

Yes I know, none of my Hi-Lo were made prior 1958, so all the lure that I show you in this post are not really collector lures...

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

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My First Archerfish.

Hi there,

Moz kindly invited me to go fishing with him aboard his boat, and this is when I caught my first ever Archerfish...
Thank you Moz.
After a very good post from Arrabmundi on the FFF forum, about how to catch some Barramundi on the upper Adelaide River, by dropping some soft plastic lures among the submerged timber, we decided to have a try at it.
And went with the goal for the day, of fishing only weedless soft plastics in the snags.

The plan was to take it easy and be on the water at around 10:00am, and cruise to Goat Island for a Burger with chilli sauce for lunch, and then start fishing.
And this is what we did, had a good burger and a chat with Kai to get all the good oil on the fishing...
And basically he told us that the fishing had slowed a bit these last few days...
And he was right, with a water temperature just over 32 degrees Celsius (89.6 Fahrenheit), the fish were not as numerous as we would have loved.
Yet we quickly started to get some hits on the first few cast. Moz was the first to score, with a fiesty little Barramundi:

First Barramundi of the day.

This put us in a good mood, we then thought that we were doing the right thing with the good lures...
It was still early in the afternoon and our optimism went back right up.
Now, I wanted a fish of my own, and it was to happen.
But it was not one of the targeted specie, yet it made me very happy.
It was an Archerfish, and that was the first time ever that I caught one, and that was on a lure.
My favourite form of fishing.

My first ever Archerfish.

There is something very pleasant in catching for the first time a fish from a specie that had eluded you till then. It was also very interesting for me, as I believed that they would feed on insect only, but obviously once again, I was wrong.
So despite what you could call a by catch it made my day, sometimes simple little things are what matters.

We continued to have regular hits, but lost all the fish that were having a go at our lures.
Then I finally got a little Barramundi too. My lure was way out of the snag and was pretty close to the boat when my line suddenly tensed and I got all excited, as it made a little jump and I saw that it was a Barra. A rat some would say, but to me a Barramundi is a Barramundi.

My baby Barramundi.

Yes it was just a baby, and didn't offer much resistance to the locked drag that I had set up my reel to, in anticipation of a bigger fish. It was still very green in the boat and started to jump a bit all over the place, so a quick photo and in the water it went back.

We tried again in a few different place, and when we finally saw a place that to us screamed: Barramundi lives here! We moored the boat to a branch coming out of the water and started to cast all around us.
And Moz started to get hits after hits, sometimes a few in just one retrieve.
Being who I am, I casted in the total opposite direction he was casting at...
And I got a fish!
My second Archerfish, it must have been the day for it:

Last fish of the day.

This was going to be the last fish of the day.
We continued to cast here and there, and even tried to troll for a few minutes in a spot that Arrabmundi had showed us, and which really produced in the past. But to no avail.
We did get a lot of hits on the soft plastics, but nothing more stayed connected.

With a storm coming and a slow action on the fishing front, we decided that it might be time to call it a day, and go home.

Storm on our way.

As we zoomed back down the river, we passed through a bit of rain, but quickly got on the other side.
Like if the storm was going the opposite direction from us, which was nice.

Rain clouds on the Adelaide.

Back at the ramp, Moz asked with a big smile if I could jump in the water to hold the boat while he was going to fetch the car... No! I said, and he burst out laughing and handed me the rope to hold the boat from the safety of the top of the ramp, I felt better immediately.

On the way back we discussed the day, and what happened. We got a large amount of hits that didn't materialised in a catch, but were they hits from big fish?
Well it is hard to say, because with soft plastic lure, it is often just a little taps on the line that signal a hit from a nice fish. A very different feeling than a strike on a hard body lure. 
So I smiled, and decided that they were hits from enormous Barramundi...
We didn't got the numbers that we would have loved too but this to me was still a great day in the Australian outdoors.
We did get some good laughs, a great time and the water. Moz showed me how to, and fixed one of my reel that was making strange noises, thank you for that too Moz.
And now it may have to wait for a few month and the run off before the next trip up the Adelaide River.

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

Friday, November 23, 2012

The New Reidy's.

Hi there,

Today I am going to show you a fishing lure which is yet to be named...
The lure is made by Reidy's Lures in Australia.
It is a lure that look like it would be great to use on the mud flat, or land based above the shallow rock of the shore.
Maybe even just above some weeds bed.

So what does it look like?
Here it is:

The new Reidy's.

Yes this is nearly like a Little Lucifer...
But look at the bib, it is much shorter... 
This is a very shallow Little Lucifer.
Except that it doesn't have a name yet, so it is not the shallow Little Lucifer.
In fact, Reidy's has a little competition going on at the moment, where people can send them some idea of names. The winner will see this very lure named after his or her idea, and will for this recieved a very cool prize from Reidy's.
Where to send the names you may ask?
To the following email address I would tell you:
Now, don't go telling that I never do anything for you...

Good luck to all, even if you beat me to it. And yes, I know that the odds are not in my favour.

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

P.S: Ho and yes, I was lucky enough to score one of these lures before they get released on the market, so I can't wait to go and give it a swim, to see what it look like in the water...
Thank you Reidy's.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Request From The Museum.

Hi there,

I just received a request from the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.
They asked me if I could relay on my blog their need for some very specific catfish...
So here is the email that I just got from them:

Hi Rambling Expat,

The Museum is keen to get some genetic samples of eel-tail catfish (Plotosids) from around Darwin in Salt Water (have plenty from freshwater rivers). They are an interesting group and occur from muddy estuaries to reef habitats including rock pools. If anyone should come across any we would be grateful if they could pop it in the esky then freezer  and bring it in – I would happily provide a behind the scenes tour at the same time and perhaps a special edition lure J (or can arrange to pick them up).

Here’s some pictures borrowed from the net of some of the different species, they vary in size from 10cm to about 30cm, and would be grateful if you could mention this on your blog.


So here are the links to some of these great little fish:

All these links (blue text) redirect to the images of a great Australian web site called Anima, wich is a great destination of fish imagery. A great place to ID a fish, or order a hand signed print.

So if you are fishing in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, this is for you.
And as I am sure many of you would have said or heard in the past: This is all in the name of science!
And this is why, they also would love to get as much information as possible in regards to where the fish were caught, dates and times, in what kind of depth, with lure or bait. Even GPS marks would be welcome.
Also did you catch it land based or from a boat?
If you catch one and bring it to the museum in good condition, that would be great, thank you. 
Your name would then be kept for posterity as a donor to the museum collection.
Think, at how much bragging right that would give you to face the grand kids...

Yes I know, this is a post without any nice fishing photos...

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

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Commemorative Rapala.

Hi there,

I was offered a commemorative fishing lure, made by Rapala for a local tackle shop.
And by no one else than the winner of the 2012 Top End Barra Series, Mr. Gregory Shields.
Thank you Gregory, this is much appreciated.

It was during a nice evening at the Ski Club in Darwin, for the end of competition event.
Just by the sea, under the palm trees it was a great night.

Early evening at the Ski Club.

With the moon in the sky.

I really like this place, it is a great spot to relax at the end of any day.

But back on topic, I got a new fishing lure...
As part of his winning prizes as the 2012 champion, Gregory received this beautiful lure.
The very thing that I wanted to win in the last round of this friendly competition, but it had eluded me.
Knowing that I collect fishing lures with advertising on them, Gregory came towards me in the evening and asked me if I wanted it.
I was so surprised, that at first I believed that he was joking.
But no, he was being honest and generous and for my great pleasure, gifted it to me.
Thanks again.

The lure is a commemorative Rapala, made for the 40 years of Fishing & Outdoor World, the oldest fishing tackle shop in Darwin, NT Australia. And in a place like Darwin where fishing is an integral part of the local culture, this is saying something.
In fact, it is even my favourite shop in town.
The shop opened in 1972 and 2012 marked the 40 years anniversary... 
I wonder what they will do in 2022 to mark the 50 years...

So, want to see it?
Here it is:

The commemorative Rapala.

This is the X-Rap SXR-10. It swims to 1,2-1,8 meter (4'-6'), weight 13 grams (7/16oz.) and is 10 cm (4") long.
The colour is FOW of course!
I love to collect advertising or commemorative fishing lures, and this is my first one from Rapala, so I am very happy with it.

Yes I know, this is a blog post about a fishing lure, in which there is two photos of palm trees, and just one of the lure...

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

Sunday, October 28, 2012

And The Winner Is...

Hi there,

So last month I started a little giveaway for one great KO Lure to be won.
The giveaway address was just this, if you want to see what it was all about.

The winner had just one thing to do, and that was to tell us what is his/her favourite fishing lure colour is, and then I was to draw the winner, with the help of

I have to say that I am a bit surprised by the very low number of people who entered the raffle.
It was pretty easy to enter and I got a number of 1499 visitor during the duration of the giveaway competition.
How many people entered?
A grand total of 4... So they each found themselves with a 25% chance of being the winner, not bad odds when you think about it.

So who won you may start to wonder...
Wait no more, for here is a screenshot of the draw made on

Yes this is the number one!

You could say that it is a case of first in, best served.
Congratulations Fish Whisperer, you love Blue and Silver fishing lures, and you just won a blue and silver one, with a bit of gold thrown in the mix.
So please, just send your contact detail of where I should send the lure to the following email address:
And your lure should be posted in the coming week.

Yes, this very lure:

The big bad KO lure.

KO lures is a new brand of Australian fishing lures, with a headquarter in Darwin, NT, Australia.

It is interesting to note that of the four entries, two were from Australia, and two from overseas.
And we also had a very poetic entry, thank you Mud.

To the people who didn't win, sorry guys, hopefully your will be the winner and grinner of the next one.
And just remember, as I often say...

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

Sunday, October 21, 2012

2012 Top End Barra Series Round 6.

Hi there,

Not long ago was the 2012 Top End Barra Series round 6, the grand finale, the round where the champions would rise.
The round was taking place on Corroborre Billabong, a very beautiful place.

Sunrise and flying geese on the billabong.

For this bout I was not to fish with Arrabmundi, my usual skipper, as he was in the process of moving interstate, and was a few thousands kilometres away when the event took place.
Instead I was fishing with Moz, with whom I had already fished on the Adelaide River earlier in the year.

Full of anticipation.

As we launched in the cold early morning of the first day of competition, we were full of hope and anticipation.
Corroboree Billabong is truly a beautiful place, and having fished there only twice in the past, I couldn't get enough of the stunning sunrise.

Sunrise at Corroboree Billabong.

Being originally a big city boy, this is the kind of show that make me appreciate the move to the slower paced life style that I now live.

We quickly motored to a spot called The Rock Hole, where we started to troll some small lures.
And it didn't take too long for Moz to catch a nice Barramundi.

Moz and a nice Billabong Barramundi.

He was on the board, and a first fish in the boat is alway a relief, we were in for some good action.
Or so we thought...
Because the rest of the weekend was going to be spent catching the wrong fishes, and missing the right ones...
I did miss a few Saratoga not very far from there, I just couldn't stay connected to them.

Yet it was still going to be a great warm weekend on the water.
When I say warm, I could say hot, or even stinking hot.
The first day saw a temperature of 37 degrees celsius  and the second day of 39 ( 98.6 and 102.2 fahrenheit ).
Not much breeze, and not that much shade, made it for what we would call a warm weekend on the water.
Even the crocodile were getting a bit cranky with the heat.
As we were doing a slow troll along a bank of water lilies, a big one surfaced just at the green edge of the aquatic vegetation and aimed straight for our boat. We didn't ask for anything, we just increased the speed of the outboard and moved along, out of there.

We did went fishing in a little canal, where we saw two young guys coming and fishing just next to us. 
They explained that they were new to the territory, and that this was only their second time fishing here.
Seeing us stoping there they thought that it must be a good stop and had decided to stop too...
You guessed it, beginers luck was on their side, as the guy who was the closer to us was explaing all of this to us suddenly hooked on what seemed to be a nice fish.
It was a nice fight in the narrow canal, and the fish was finally netted, with the young angler shooting: "It is a metery it is a metery!" 
To wich Moz replied: No, it is 87cm long. (34.251969 inches).
So the lucky guy went and got his tape. 
The fish was 87cm long on the dot!
Now if this is not a good guess estimate, I don't know what is...
We left not long after thinking that we should have got this fish, but hey, this is fishing.
And the joy on this guy's face was still a great thing to see, this was his biggest Barramundi to date.

Water lilies near the little canal.

Then we saw what was like the start of a bush fire, just along the bank of the waterway. We wondered what could have started a fire in this isolated and dry place, and continued our troll. On turning back wa saw that the fire was now full on and that two chopper had started to try extinguished it.
This was the first time that I saw some helicopters water bomb a fire, and what a show it was. I nearly emptied my camera's battery taking pictures of it.

Big smoke on the river.

Filling up the water bucket.

Water bombing the fire.

In the heat of the day, this was a very impressive display.
But off course, this was not very good fore the fishing, so we moved a few kilometres away, to try our luck a bit more.
And Moz got a catfish...

First catfish of the weekend.

By then it was starting to be the end of the day, so we decided that our best luck would be to cast some weedless soft plastic in the lilies.
There instead of the targeted Saratoga we started to land a plague of little fresh water Tarpon.

Tarpon on the frog.

Another little Tarpon.

We couldn't get a Saratoga, Yet a bot that must have been about 200 meters from us was catching them with no problems...

The boat that was catching them.

Yes this boat was catching them and not us...
So when they left, in our grand wisdom, we decided to go just where they were, and to catch some ourselves...
Well, we went there, and didn't caught any... We got a few nice hits, but nothing stayed hooked.
So being human, we did what most humans would do: we decided to have dinner.
Moz stormed a great curry, spicy and all.

Yummy Curry.

Yes this was a delicious and well earned meal after a long day under the sun.
We were starting to relax in the relative dark freshness of the evening when we heard a sound that makes anyone standing on the water edge, or in a boat think quick about his or her next move.
Our hair raised and our senses started to work in overdrive.
It was the sound of a big salt water crocodile snapping his jaws in a clear warning that it wanted us out of its territory.
We didn't argue about who was going to put his hands in the water to wash the dishes, we just pulled up the anchor and moved a few kilometres away from that nice little spot.
We found a nice spot not very far from a house boat, and decided to set up camp just there.
In the morning we woke up to a fantastic scenery.

First light of the day on the billabong.

The light was just beautiful, and with the day rising we could start to see the mist on the water around the houseboats. 

Morning mist and houseboat on Corroboree Billabong.

Not long after this photo was taken, and not very far from it, I started to cast a plastic frog in the lilies, hopping to snare a nice Saratoga... I did get plety of hits, but lost all the fish. All on surface action, one of the most exciting form of fishing.
Then Moonman arrive in his boat, and told me that this is because I have the wrong lure...
He told me that his lure is better and do a cast to show me. And on his first cast, he got hit, hook up and landed a Saratoga...
This was not my day.
He then gave me a lure similar to the one he had just used in front of us.
I tied it up on my line... And didn't got a single hit on this very rod for the rest of the day...
No, not my day, not my weekend.

Later on, one of the competitor in the Top End Barra Series got the propeller of his electric motor chomped up by a big crocodile.
So yes we knew that the crocodiles were starting to become a bit aggro at this time of the year.

We then went back to the little canal from the previous day, and there we caught up with Peter and his deckie fishing the canal land based.

The deckie and Peter, fishing from the land.

Peter knowing that I love advertising lures, had one for my small collection that he gave me.
Thanks Peter.

The Bacardi Rums lure.

The gift from Peter was a lure with the logo of Bacardi Rums, one that I didn't have yet.
This is a very welcome addition to my little accumulation of advertising fishing lures.

We then moved around trying to find the fish, but couldn't get a thing to stay connected.
Then, I got a hit, and the hookup seemed to be strong.
Reeling the fish, I was just hopping that the fit would be of legal size.
Then it came to the boat, and I realised that its size didn't really matter, it was of the wrong specie. It was a catfish.

My last fish of the weekend.

This was going to be my last fish for the weekend.
It was starting to be late and we decided to get back to the ramp and then home.

The dirt road, on the way back to civilisation.

When we dropped the boat back at Moz's place, he gave me a big Jack Fruit that grew on a tree on his property. At least, I would still have something to feed my family once back home.
That was the first time in over two year, that I went fishing a full weekend for Barramundi, and didn't landed a single one of them. 
Every rounds of the 2012 Top End Barra Series, I had climbed a bit more on the overall score board.
This time I was to go down.
I started the finale round in the fourth position, and finished it in six.
I was slightly disappointed but was still in the top ten, which was my aim at the beginning of the year. And I still had a great time on the water, with many good laugh, and in a fantastic place. Thank you Moz for having me on your boat for this round.
Now, I can't wait for the 2013 Top End Barra Series to start.

It will be even more difficult to finish in the top ten next year, as the number of participant in the competition will be higher than this year. This is a great testament to the success of the Top End Barra Series and how much people enjoy fishing it. So I am not really sure that I would be able to do as good next year...

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

P.S: And don't forget the fishing lure giveaway...