Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My First BarraGuru.

Hi there,

I got very lucky and I was offered a beautiful wooden fishing lure, a BarraGuru.
BarraGuru are hand made timber lures, produced in Darwin, by Tony B.
These as the name suggest, are fishing lures to be used in the pursuit of the mighty Barramundi.
I had seen a few of them, but never had the chance to own one before, it is then easy to imagine my joy at getting one.

And yes, you need to see it, so, here it is:

A 2012 BarraGuru.

The lure is 9.5cm long (about 3.7 inches).
I really like this shape, colour and pattern. It has a retro feel about it, that makes me think of an old English car. In the flurry of multicoloured plastic lure that we can find in almost any fishing tackle shop, it is a bit like finding back an old classic.
I really enjoy that, it has to me, a calming effect. 

Signed under the belly.

Yes, it is signed and dated under the belly. This is the sure proof of a small but passionately hand crafted production. Not just a token of pride, but more the sign that the maker stands behind his creation. 

Head and shoulder.

With a view of the aluminium bib on which the body pattern is repeated, another nice touch in a world of hurried and good enough attitude.

The red throat.

The red throat reminds me of an Erithacus rubella, more commonly known as the European Robin. 
How does a fishing lure makes me think of a bird? Well, I am just pretty confident that there are many anglers out there who are closet bird watchers. 
Simply for the fact, that water birds are often a good pointer as to where the fish are...
And on a very slow fishing day, looking at the birds is a good way to occupy one's mind for a few short moments,  away from the hard work of catching some elusive fishes.

Now, how did this great little lure landed in my open hands?
Well it is really straightforward, I received one phone call of Tony B. himself, who said that I was welcome to come to his place to show him some of my lures, which needed identification, that he could help me with that.
And that he would give me a lure from his own production at the same time...
(Yes, I was very fast in getting to his place).
Thank you Tony, this is a very nice present.

He doesn't really sells his lures, he is more in the swapping for other lures or gift of his lures, to some of his mates or to some charities, than in the selling business.
Which is why they are not that easy to come across.

And now for the real lures collectors out there...
Here is a little thing about this lure, that makes it very special, on top of every things that you have been reading so far...
Yes it is a wooden lure, but could you guess what kind of timber it is made of, and where does it come from?
Are you seated?
The timber is Australian Red Cedar, and it comes from under the house of the famous lure maker Eric Moller in Cardwell, in the far North Queensland...
Yes the very timber this lure is made of, had first been stoked by Eric Moller himself, as stock for his own lure production.
It had never been used, and Tony B. got it from Eric Moller grandson.

Now if this is not special, I don't know what is...
To me this is quite simply another superb piece of Australiana fishing.

When Tony B. gave me the lure, he asked me if I was going to fish with it, saying that this one had a very nice action in the water...
Of course, I replied that there is no way that I would use it to fish!
That I was too afraid to scratch it!
Or even worse, loose it to a big fish or a snag.
Tony laughed, and said that I should use it.

But no, this is another perfect little swimmer that will never touch any water again... 
Some would say that this is a wast of a good fishing lure...

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

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Up The Adelaide River.

Hi there,

We got, Arrabmundi and I, invited onboard Moz boat for a day fishing in the upstream of the Adelaide river.
It had been arranged that we would all meet at a very early hour, at the boat ramp on the river. It was a strange feeling for Arrabmundi and I to go fishing in a car without a boat in tow. We had the sensation of flying too low...
Once at the river Moz's boat the Hard Gore was quickly launched and in the near darkness we started zooming on the water.

Early morning on the Adelaide River.

The plan of the day was that Arrabmundi was going to show some of his good spots to Moz, and I was just there to have a good time with two mates.
So we went up river past Goat Island, in some sections of the river that I had never seen before.  It is alway a pleasant feeling to see a new part of a watercourse that you had never explored, and I had a good time. 
But the fishes were playing hard to catch.
We tried a few places but for not much action, so we started to talk about an early lunch.

This is when I felt a bump on my line, then a sharp pull, then nothing... The pull had been clear and frank, it even stripped a bit of line from my reel and both of my fishing companion saw it and asked me if I was on? 
I said that no, I had a good hit but didn't connect...
I had already stand up to work the fish, and was going to seat down slightly disappointed, when the line pulled again! In fact I was well and truly on! 
But just after being hooked the fish first swam fast towards the boat so I had not tension on the line, and then made a U-turne to show me that it was still on and ready for a fight.
I didn't know if I had to laugh or try to focus on the fish, so I did a bit of both, and started to try to get some line back. Which was the exact opposed thing that this very fish had in mind. As we were on the side of the river, in a spot full of logs and snags of all kinds, Moz started to drive the boat toward the centre of the river, and this was the clue for this Barramundi to try to run across the river. Arrabmundi told me that if it was going to take me in the sticks on the other side, I could say good-by to this piscatorial rocket.
Just what I needed then and there, to stay cool...
I tried to not panic too much, but the fish was starting to get tired and I got him back to us, where it was netted and in the boat!

First Barramundi of the day.

At 67cm (26.377953 inches) and some dust, it was not huge, but had been able to give me some troubles.
As it was the first fish of the day, I decided to keep this one, just in case, you know...
And I was right.
We then went through a very desert patch, with not even a bump.
So we decided to go for an early lunch, on Goat Island.

Speeding up on the way to lunch.

Kai hospitality on the island was great and we sat in the freshness of the place, getting some cool drinks direct from the fridge and tuck into our burgers.
Full of all the good things, we went back to the serious business of fish catching.
And Moz caught the first fish of the afternoon.

Moz first Barramundi of the day.

This was a small fish but it was proof that to bring happiness, size doesn't matter, Moz was all smile. And Arrabmundi and I too, as we though that the fish had heard the dinner bell and were now on the chew.
Well if they were on the chew, they were fussy eaters, that's for sure...

Then as we were going from one spot to the other, I spotted a fishing lure floating on the river and pointed to it. Moz turned the boat toward it, and we picked up a nice Yo-Zuri lure. I had looked at them at the shop, but didn't bought any, because of the price that they command. So I was rather happy to get a free one.

And not long after that Arrabmundi was on a little Barramundi that had bitten on his lure (one of the new Killalure designed by Lance Butler). 
But the fish was not that big when compared to the lure...

Arrabmundi fighting the monster.

Ok this was no monster, but a fish is a fish and that made every body happy, as now we all had a fish at our names.
Then cruising on the river, it was Arrabmundi turn to spot a floating lure, this time a Big B52's, a lure with a proven record for catching nice Barramundi.

We moved to a rock bar, where both Arrabmundi and I got a good hit in a few second intervals. Mine didn't hook up but Arrabmundi's one did and he did fight it for a little while, till the fish jumped and spat the lure...

So we decided to work this area a bit longer.
And Moz got a better fish.

Silver Barramundi from the Adelaide.

This fish was put back in the drink, to fight another day.
We once again moved to another place to try to find the fish, and we saw Dave who was fishing with two friends of him.
So we moved a bit further away, and then I hooked a new fish and managed not to loose it.

My second Barramundi of the day.

This one was on the short size, so I decided to release it, so it could grow a lot more and be more exciting the next time we would meet.
Yes it was going to be my last one of the day, lucky I had kept the first one...

With the fish being so peckish, Arrabmundi decided to put a deep diver on, and to bounce it on the timber at the bottom of the river.
The tactics paid off and he got his second fish of the day.
We then all had two fish in the boat, and decided to slowly go back to the ramp and then home.

We did stop for a few minutes to a little creek mouth to flick our lures. Moz said that he got a few fish in the 80cm (31.496063 inches) there in the past, but also that a very big crocodile is supposed to live there. 
I made sure not to lean over the gunwales, I may even have taken a few step back towards the centre of the boat, without thinking about it...

Then we arrived at the ramp, got the boat back on the trailer and had a little chat about the day.
In my books, this was a great day: three guys on a boat, fishing and talking fishing all day long. We had all boated some fish, we didn't loose any lures.
What else do you want?

Ho, and what happened to the Barramundi that I kept in the esky?
Look what has happened to him:

Grilled fresh Barramundi and salad. 

My little one, the lady of the house and I were very happy with this fish.

Yes I know, I have not yet landed a Barramundi over the magic meter mark...

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

6 DUO Lures.

Hi there,

Yes I was very lucky to be the winner of an internet draw made by DUO Lures Australia.
The rule was pretty simple, you just had to like their Facebook page and leave a short comment on it.
To win it you have to be in it, so I did it and not very long after I got a message from the guy at DUO Lures Australia, asking for my address as I was the winner of the 4 DUO Barramundi lures pack.
No, this is not a typo, they said 4 lures, and they surprised me with 6: Thanks guys!

I had never had one of their lures in my hands, and all I can say, is that in real, they look even better than on the photos.

So here they are, with in first the Tide Minnow Slim:

Tide Minnow Slim 140.

This one came without any hooks, so I rigged it myself, I would call this type of rigging "Free Style"... I have no clues if it will work or not, but this is something that I want to try.
And it keep in line with the slim profile of the lure.
You can be sure that if it works well, I will let you know.
I just hope that the guys at DUO will not bee too shocked by the new look imparted on this lure...

Then comes the Tide Minnow LD:

DUO, Tide Minnow LD.

A lure of this shape, in the gold colour, should be a great Barramundi lure.
I will have no hesitation to flick this one to a Barramundi's mangrove heaven when the time will be ripe for it, I am pretty confident that it should deliver.

And now let me introduce you to the Deep Feat 90D:

The Deep Feat 90D.

This lure is smaller than the other ones, and will be good for when the fishes gets a bit timid, then you sometimes really need to downsize your offering to tempt them. And it goes deep too, another good thing on shy fishes.

And here enter the Beach Walker:

The Beach Walker 120MD.

Once again a very well finished lure, with a lot of shiny all over it.
This one should cast well and hopefully bring home the bacon.

This is now the turn of the Tide Minnow SLD-F:

The Tide Minnow SLD-F.

I just like the colour of this one, a very bright and clear lure, which I intend to use on the mud flats, or in shallow water. Yet again, this lure as a serious bling side to it, it will look good at the end of the line.

And finally entering the stage is the Tide Vib Slim 140:

Tide Vib Slim 140.

This one is very different compared to the other, this is a fast trolling or fast spinning lure.
To target Mackerel or Tuna, maybe Queenfish and Trevally...
Yes a pelagic lure, this will be fun!
I will not kid you, this is in fact my favourite of the lot, and I can't wait to try it.
It look so much like a little Garfish green on the back with silver flanks.

In fact, I like it so much that this one will have two more photos, just to really show you how sparkling and well finished it is:

What are you looking at?

Yes this is a slim lure with attitude.

Head and gills.

Can you see all the wicked reflections on the gills?
Well it is like that on nearly all of its body.
Just imagine that lure swimming past at full steam in clear water...
Pelagics will love it.

Thanks again DUO Lures Australia, you have just given me one more excuse to go fishing.
The only problem is that I have had these lures for nearly a week now, and didn't had the time to use them yet.

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

P.S: And if you want to see a few really good photographs of some DUO lure, here is a link for you to a great blog: Ze Kaywox, enjoy.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Two New Advertising Lures

Hi there,

Last week I was very lucky to get offered two new advertising fishing lures, for my little collection.
It was a message from Blinky from the FFF forum that brought me the good news, I just had to go and pick them up, easy as that.
Thank you Blinky.
And I was rather happy with that, as both are decorated with the logo of a company that has changed it's name, since these lures were made.
So it will now be very hard to find these ones...

Both are Reidy's lures, the local guys, made in Darwin Australia.
And here they are:

A Taipan and a Goulburn Jack.

The one in the foreground is a Taipan and dive to a deep of 3,5 m. (11.48294 foot).
The one in the background is the Goulburn Jack and dive to a deep of 5 m. (16.404199 foot).

Both are nicely coloured little Barramundi lures, but none of them is going to swim anymore, at the office they will stay.
Forever dry is the future of these two little guys.

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

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A New Fishing Sponsor

Hi there,

Yes! I just got a new fishing sponsor, and I am really happy about it.
I have been very lucky and my application was accepted by Wild Bait Lures as one of their sponsored tester.

Here is a photo that they have put on their FaceBook page announcing the 14 winners of the contest they had organised to choose the sponsored fishing lure testers:

Look at the third last one...

So now the pressure is on, I better have to catch some fishes with these Wild Bait Lures.
So I really hope that the Barramundi will like them...

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

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

2012 Top End Barra Series Round 2.

Hi there,

Last weekend was the second round of the 2012 Top End Barra Series, and the location was Shady Camp.
Everybody in the comp had some big expectations, as the area is known for it's very large Barramundi.
And yes I did get a Shady metery, but I will tell you  more about it in due course...

Once again for this event I teamed up with Arrabmundi, that was as usual a productive association and full of good laughs. We decided to leave Darwin on Friday night, as to be on the water very early on Saturday, to make the most of the two days of fishing allowed for the competition. Arrabmundi had arranged for us to be in an accommodation literally 300 meters from the boat ramp.
Which was great because the area is renowned for the huge amount of mosquitos and other bugs that make camping a proverbial pain.
To give you an idea, in the evening once we were in the safety of our accommodation the sound of the bugs bumping on the windows to try to get in and feast on our blood, sounded like if it was raining outside...

Any way, we were on the ramp, ready to launch at around 5:45 am on Saturday, and started to navigate the river with the help of a big spotter light, in which we could see the gleaming eyes of the river's resident crocodiles.

We arrived to our first fishing destination just before day break, the water temperature was around 32 C (89.6 Fahrenheit). This was the mouth of Sampan Creek and already a few boats were trolling the waters. So we started too.
And very quickly Arrabmundi was on:

Hooked at daybreak.

We got excited, but it was just a Caty, not a huge but still a nice Catfish:

First fish of the day.

A bit disappointed we started trolling again, trying to see the positive in it, and it was that the lure worked...
Not long after I was on, and yes it was on a Barramundi, the first one of the weekend:

First Barramundi of the weekend.

At 73 cm (28.740157 inches) it was in my books, not a bad fish to start the weekend with.
In fact it was going to be one of my five top fishes for the round 2. This fish I kept for our dinner in the evening.

I was happy to get the monkey off my back, now it was Arrabmundi turn to get on the board, and he did it in no time:

Arrabmundi first Barramundi of round 2.

This was a better fish than mine, it measured 81cm (31.889764 inches).
It was a nice and healthy fish, we let it go back in the water.

Most boats around us were getting some fishes, but despite having some very good hits on our lines, we could not boat another fish for the morning...

So at around 12:00 pm, we went just inside the mouth of Sampan Creek and had a little chat with Dingo and Muntzy, they were having lunch. 
We left them and started trolling just there and then, when I got a good whack on the line and was on again.
But I lost the fish not very far from the boat. The boat behind us was on too and netted their fish, so we decided to give the area a little work out and started trolling it in earnest.
This was a very wise move and we both got our five fish required to get a good score in the comp in the first afternoon. These weren't big fish, but still it was good, and step by step we started to upgrade our bags of fish.
The fishing was hot and we got our first double hook up of the weekend:

Double hook up result.

This was the first time that I was on a boat and that we had a Barramundi double hook.
And not long after that we got a Barra that I don't know how, but it  had managed to get hooked on both our lures:

Whose fish is that?

Even Dingo and Muntzy started to get on the fish.
We had been fishing the place for a few hours, getting fishes in the 70's cm when a boat came out of nowhere, cruised through and got a nice fish in the 90's on their first troll...
Just after that another boat arrived did their first troll and got a metery, the type of fish that we were all after. The prised Barramundi of one meter or more...
We did try a bit more but could not get such nice fish.
So Arrabmundi said to put some very shallow lures and that we would troll just on the edge of the mangrove to see if any fish were hiding in there.
This resulted in our second double hook up of the weekend.
And my fish had been caught on one of the Gone Fishin' lure:

Fish on the Gone Fishn' lure.

Not long after that we decided to call it a day, and to go back to the ramp and to the accommodation before night time.
And guess what we had for dinner in the evening? 

Smoked Barramundi.

I had taken with us my small smoker, so we could have some fresh, smoked Barramundi for dinner. We had also taken some pasta with us, just in case we didn't catch any fish...
But to me, this was much better than pasta!

After that we went to bed early as we had planed to get up very early for the second day of fishing. We wanted to be on the water one hour earlier than the previous day, and this is what we did.
When we arrived at the ramp on Sunday morning not a single other boat was in the line, so we launched in a record time.
The brief for the day was to start like on the day before by trolling the mouth of Sampan, and then to head for the inside of the Creek.
So we started trolling, and I was wondering if the fishes could  see my lure in the dark...
I was suddenly sure that they could, because my rod started pulling in my hands and line was peeling off my reel.
Yes we thought, the Barra are on!
Well, after a bit of a fight I got a small catfish near the boat, as a repetition of the Saturday, we were starting the day with a Caty...
The positive in that?
I then knew that the fish would be able to see my lure...
And I did hook a Barramundi not long after that.
And then another one :

Morning Barramundi.

At 78cm (30.708661 inches), this was going to be my second best Barramundi of the weekend.

Arrabmundi was now due for a fish, and he did deliver, we had just started to troll, my lure was not yet being pulled by the boat that he was already on to a fish that on the first jump seemed to be a nice one:

Best Barramundi of the weekend.

This Barramundi was 83cm (32.677165 inches), and was going to be the best fish to come aboard our boat for the weekend.
When it was close to the boat I started to get ready and to lower the net in the water, when the Barra jumped clear of the water and fell back with a big thump straight on my hand.
In retrospect, I was very lucky that none of the three trebles on the lure got stuck in my hand, as this could have been pretty nasty.

I followed with a massive catfish, which bent the hooks of my lure.
Then a smaller but still pleasant 74cm Barramundi. (29.133858 inches).

Salt water Barramundi.

The surprising thing with this Barra, was that he destroyed a split ring on my lure, and pulled it away.
This being a good lure, I took the split ring and the hook from another lure and putted them on it...
Not long after while we were trolling I said: I am snagged! Because my lure had totally stopped in its track, and the line was not peeling from the reel. It was more like a big dead weight at the end of my line...
Then, Bang! Bang! Two big sharp and very close to each other jerk on the line, and it went limp. The braid had be broken before I could even realise that I had in fact hooked a very big fish. Still I have no clues of what it was, but it certainly was my biggest fish of the weekend.

Not long after that we went back in the inside of the Creek to see if we could repeat the session that we had on the prior day.
And what a session we got!
It started slow but study, to become fast and furious.
At one stage I even managed to hook a fish at the start of the short troll, get it to the boat, unhook it while the boat was still on the troll and throw the lure back in the water, to catch another Barramundi before the end of the troll run.
This was my best Barramundi fishing session ever. 
We managed to boat over twenty Barramundi in the course of the weekend. 
I then picked up a 71cm Barramundi. (27.952756 inches).

Happy fisherman.

And then I got a massive hit, aggressive and violent, which took me by surprise, as it made some very fast runs and fought like no Barra had this weekend.
I started to get all nervous thinking that this was it, I had a big Shady Camp's lady on the line. I kept saying: This one has some weight to it!
And when finally netted, in was a 69cm Barramundi... (27.165354 inches).
This one fought well above its weight and really tricked me into thinking that it was a huge one...

We were starting to say that we would have to go soon, that we still had a long road to get home, when I finally got my best fish of the weekend:

My best fish of the weekend.

At 83cm (32.677165 inches) this fish made me really happy.
And of course, after that we had to do a few more trolling runs.

What was the lure that caught me all these fish inside the creek mouth?
It was a Classic F18 in the Elton on Chrome colour.
I had never really fished with these lures, but Rossco had told me that this was one of his favourite lure, so I wanted to try one...
I liked it, thanks Rossco!
Outside of the Sampan Creek mouth, the only lures that worked for us were the Big B52's and the Big Arse B52's from Reidy's.

So my five best fish for the weekend were: 71- 73 - 74 - 78 - 83.
How did I ended up with these?
I came in fifth place, which was a very good surprise for me, as I was just hopping to be in the top 20.
And on the overall score board, I am now in 7th position, with four more rounds to go.

I want to thanks once again, Arrabmundi for taking me aboard his boat and allowing me to fish in some fantastic places. And to Dingo, Bandit and Rossco for organising such a friendly and social fishing competition.

Ho, and what about my Metery?
I did get a Shady Metery, but it was a Caty...
So no Barramundi over the magic meter mark for me yet.

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

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Lure worked.

Hi there,

Remember the Gone Fishin' lure?
Well I tried it last weekend, and the lure worked.
Or should I say, fished?

I spend the weekend at Shady Camp, fishing the Sanpan Creek for the round 2 of the 2012 Top End Barra Series, a full report about it will be presented on this blog very soon.
It was a great weekend.

Back to the lure, yes it did work, and here is the proof:

Barramundi on the lure.

This fish was caught just at the mouth of Sanpan Creek, and was my first on this lure in this very colour.

Yes it is not a very big Barramundi, I would have loved a bigger one as the first fish on this lure...

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