Sunday, January 29, 2012

First Try At Culvert Fishing.

Hi there,

This is the story of how I got my first culvert's Barramundi.

Today for the first time I went culvert fishing, it took us on a 400 km (248.54848 miles) trip.
Culvert fishing is something that I had never done yet, despite the fact that doing the culvert run, is part of the fishing experience of the top end.
It is an highly seasonal type of fishing, which can be practiced only during or around the wet season.
This is the time of the year where the water from the rivers, the flood plaines and the culvert interconnect, this is the time to get in the action.

So why after all these years in Darwin, I hadn't done it yet?
Well mostly because to do it right you need a car, preferably a four wheels drive, which I don't have. And also someone who knows where to go.

All this came to me this week in the form of Mullet93 from the FFF Forum.
Mullet93 had done a post on the forum about his last rounds of culvert fishing, and I replied to the thread with a comment saying that this is something that I would love to try one day.
Next thing I know, I get a message the next day from Mullet93 asking me if I wanted to join him on one a trip the following day.
You guessed it right, I said Yes!

And thus the next morning at 4:25 his car was in front of my door, with him waiting for me.
We drove in the early morning hoping to be there first to have a good spot at the first culvert that we were going to fish.
As we arrived still in the dark to our first destination, we could see the lights of two cars coming behind us, but lucky us, they were going pig hunting. The pig dogs with gleaming eyes and blinking collars were in the back of their off roads ute and quad bikes, off they went in the dark over the crossing in search of their prey.

So we waited with anticipation for the first light of the day, as we didn't want to take the risk to walk on the crossing in pitch black and risk to face a crocodile, without even seeing it.
And then the fishing started.

Mullet93 fishing on the upstream side.

Not long after we had begun, as I was flicking the dowstream side of the crossing, I hooked a nice little Tarpon on a fizzer.
I decided that I wanted a photo of it still in the water under the little rapids, and as I was getting my camera ready, he found a way to free itself and happily swam away.

Not long after that Mullet 93 got a nice little Barramundi, on the downstream side too, and as he was taking the fish in his hands, and me getting the camera ready to make a photograph of the first Barramundi of the day...
The fish played an Houdini on us and escaped from his hands felt on the crossing, from there jumped in the water, and happily swam away...
Does it start to look like a patterns?
We had to break it!

It finally happened, as I was tossing a small soft plastic lure in the drop bear colour, once again in the downstream side, I felt a jolt in my line, and very quickly a nice little Barramundi jumped  clear of the water. Now whit soft plastics I am much better at dropping the fishes than at landing them. So the pressure immediately went up a few notches. 
I had spent all this time casting my lure in the calm eddies on the sides of the rapid flow on the borders of the crossing. This is just when I had decided to do a cast in the centre of the turbulent waters, to see how my little soft plastic would react in fast waters, that this fish had taken the bait. 
So much for the reputation of laziness worn by the Barramundis...
And in the fast flowing water is where this one decided to fight, putting the the stream to his advantage. After the first jump, he did all the fight under water, diving as deep as he could, like a Trevally would have done.
Being on the smallish side I was still able to get it close enough for Mullet93 to grab it and end it to me.

It was time for a photo:

My first Barramundi from a culvert.

At 59 cm (23.228346 inches), it was not huge, but it was legal size and I decided to keep it.

Not long after that we decided to go to the South Alligator culvert.
Where upon arrival we saw a guy who caught a nice clean Barramundi just as we had parked and were walking towards the culvert.
But the fish seemed to have slipped from his hands, and to swam away, with his lure...
That did not make for a happy bloke...
In fact he left just a few minutes after that, and we had the culvert for ourselves.

There we heard many boofs, saw many Barra, and even got a few hits, but didn't manage to stay connected to any fish.
Some of the boofs were directly under the culvert, it is a funny thing to hear a barramundi boofing just under your feet.
So we decided to drive our way back to town, and made just a quick stop of a few minutes to two other culverts, but they didn't produce.

This was a very interesting and pleasant fishing trip for me, the first time that I found myself flicking a lure from the road side, and I now understand why so many people are doing it.

So yes, some of you might think that this was a round trip of 400 km for just one bagged Barramundi, but still I really enjoyed this morning of fishing and seeing the countryside. 
Call me fishing tragic if you want...

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


Anonymous said...

You are having a good holiday
The Fishermans Daughter

Dr. Frankinspain said...


I've been watching some vids on Barramundi and it must be a great thrill.

Plenty more to come I'm sure.


Rambling Expat said...

Hi there,

The Fisherman Daughter, yes, as I like to say: it could be worse...

Frank, yes Barramundi fishing can be very addictive, I do love it, even if somehow, pelagic fishing has a special place in me.
What was great for me with this Barramundi, was that this one was the first that I extracted from a culvert.

Have a good day,

Fish Whisperer said...

Well done on your first culvert fishing sojourn. Barramundi on light tackle is great fun.
Tight Lines

Rambling Expat said...

Hi Fish Whisperer,

Yes Barra are great fun, and culvert fishing is often tight country, which makes for interesting fishing.

Do you have some culvert fishing in Fiji?

Have a good day,