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...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My First Tripletail.

Hi there,

Not long ago I caught my first ever Tripletail (Lobotes surinamensis).
And this is the story of it.

I was very lucky to be invited with my friend and colleague Gavin, for one day of fishing on Peter's boat: Barradiction. Now every times that I went fishing on this boat, it has been from an angling point of view, absolutely memorable. This time it was going to be even better.

Our target for the day was to be the great Barramundi, and the location was to be some costal creeks not far from Darwin.

We sailed early in the morning full of anticipation, hopping for some good Barra action.

Sunrise on the way.

We arrived to our destination, and on the first snag, Gavin landed a nice little Mangrove Jack on what might have been his first or second cast. This was the first Mangrove Jack that I saw in the flesh, this could only be a good sign. I then missed a little Barra from the same snag, and Gavin got a little cod. Then I got a small Snapper from it. This was a great mixed bag in a very short time, from the one spot.
How promising was that!

My little Snapper.

I was very happy to have caught this little Snapper on a DUO lure that I was trying for the first time, it worked well.

The fish coming from that snag were numerous, but rather on the small side. So we left them biting, and went on the search of bigger prey.

Peter and Gavin and a few fishing rods.

We started to troll, and some blue salmon were quickly snatched from the depth, but like spoiled kids we wanted our Barramundi and nothing else.
Then a bump in my line, followed by tension and a bent in the rod, and a feisty little Barra started to jump at the end of the line.
Not even of legal size, but big enough to let us know that indeed, Barramundi inhabit these water.

First Barramundi of the day.

Sometimes little fish can be sweet, and this one was one of them.
Just after that I got a small Blue Salmon, so we knew that a lot of them were swimming around.

Blue Salmon.

Peter managed to get a good Barramundi not long after that. 

Peter fighting the fish.

And Boated!

Peter, then started to show us how it is done, and why a few years of experience always make a difference. 
He got a few Thready Buster lures, he offered the grey one to Gavin and took the pink one, I had another yellow lure...
Peter first caught a blue Salmon, then another one, Gavin and I got nothing...
Gavin being a man of science then asked if in the interest of science, he could have the pink one and Peter the grey one.
This was to prove a great move for Peter, as he used this grey lure to land the Barra of the day, a nice 95cm (37.401575 inches) Barramundi.

Pure chrome Salt water Barramundi.

This fish was as beautiful as they get, pure chrome in colour, fit and healthy.
I do not know if this was by pure unconscious dejection or by accident but not long after Gavin broke his fishing rod. Never a good feeling when this happen, either to you or a good mate.
I was then hopping that he would soon get a good fish to bring back a smile on his face. 
It happened, and what a fish it was:

A nice Threadfin Salmon.

Here was a very fine specimen of Threadfin Salmon (Polydactylus macrochir).
It went directly in the esky.
Not long after that I got my last Barramundi for the day.

Happy fisherman.

Yes I was very happy with this small fish, as it was my first Barramundi on a Reidy's Goulburn Jack a lure that I was testing for the first or second time only. I kept this fish to feed my little family.

Out the mouth of the creek, we saw some birds cartwheeling over the sea and went to investigate the commotion. Being a very keen spinner, I could not hold it very long and casted a chrome slice in there...
And a little Spotty Mackerel came back with my lure.

My first Spotty ever.

This was really a day of first, and the best was yet to come...

Pretty close to where this little Mack was caught, Peter being the good skipper that he is, noticed a few tree branches floating on the water.
He motored toward them, and gave Gavin and I a baitcaster each.
This was our chance to try for a Tripletail. We knew that the museum in Darwin would have been happy to get a new one for its fish collection, and I was super eager to catch my first one ever...

On my first cast we saw four of them swimming behind my lure, and one of them detached itself from the group and went for it. I was on! And what a surprise it was to see how easily it went back in the branches, like if the drag on my reel was just a minor inconvenience. It managed to bury me in the wood and to freed itself. I had though that because of the location I didn't risk to be snagged and hadn't put my drag too high. Realisation had been rapid and brutal, I should have got it a bit stronger.
And this I did.
We turned around the floating pieces of wood, and casted with not much success. So we swapped our hard bodies lures for some soft plastic ones, but that was not much better. And now we had a little shark turning around the boat, looking for a free feed.
Peter made us change lure once again, and we went for some scented Gulp, with relatively heavy jig head. The reasoning behind that was that we might have spooked them by now, and they might have got down a bit deeper in the water column, so we needed to get our lures in front of them if we wanted to have any chance to get one of them.
And this we wanted.
We came in line with the biggest branch, and I told Gavin: You cast on the right and I will cast on the left, so one of our lure is bound to fall on their nose.
That was a good plan, for me, as it was my lure that was nailed.
A short but fierce battle and Peter netted the fish!

My first ever Tripletail.

It was not only the first tripletail that I caught, it was also the first one that I had ever seen.
And because it was destined to the museum collection, it was also the first time in my entire fishing life that I had hooked on a fish that was going to end-up in a museum. Now this might sounds childish to some of you, but at the end of this great fishing day. Even if I had caught this one and only fish, I would have been very happy and that would still be one of my more memorable fishing trip. I had caught a fish for a museum!
Even if that meant that I would not be able to taste this fish which is supposed to be delicious, I was still  happy like a kid who just caught his first minnow.

It was then time to get back home.

Peter and I on the way back home.

It had been a great day on the water, with some very good company where once again, I learned a bit more about fishing.
Thanks Peter and Gavin for inviting me to fish with you.

Yes it is true, that now I dream of my own 95cm Barramundi, and of another Tripletail...

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

P.S: And don't forget my little competition to win a free lure, just click here to see it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The King Codder Fishing Lures.

Hi there,

When a lure maker calls to tell you that he has two vintage fishing lures for you, you know that you are in for a treat. So when Tony the maker of the Barra Guru lures called me, I was rather excited and faster than a fleeing baitfish, I found myself at his place.
The present came to me in the form of two King Codder.

Two King Codder fishing lures.

In an old newspaper from down south (The Age), dated from the 30 November 1962, I found an advertisement and some information about them.
They are Australian fishing lures that were made by DK Union Tackle Co. in Melbourne.
At the time Union Tackle had up to a dozen metal lures, but the King Codder were made of timber. Certainly with some big Murray Cod in mind. So how did these two ended up in Darwin is any one guess. Albeit seeing how robust and well built they are, they would have been very good lures in the pursuit of our local champion, the mighty Barramundi.

King Codder came in only two sizes and two colours. Red fin and Trout or if you prefer, Gold and Silver.
By offering me the gold ones in the two available sizes, Tony had given me half of the full set. What a great way to start collecting a lure that I had never heard of.
The colour pattern of the gold ones would certainly have been of great efficiency on the Barramundi. As this is a colour scheme still very popular on today’s modern lures.

The large one.

The small one.

Detail of the small one.

Little treasures can be as varied as the different people who own them.
To my these four small pieces of wood, have become part of my precious…
And now, I would love to find the two silver ones.
And it might take a very long time...

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

Thursday, October 4, 2012

If It Smells Like Rain.

Hi There,

If it smells like rain, it will probably rain...
I should have remembered that.
We got the first rain of the season, and of course, it happened on a day when I was going to spend just a short time fishing in a new spot.

A member of the FFF forum called called Olfart, said that he would show me around the traps of Lee Point.
Lee Point as a good reputation on big Queenfish and Trevally, for land based anglers.

So at around 5:15am, I was there waiting for him, and in the darkness, I could not yet see the sky...
This should have been the first warning sign, as it was supposed to be nearly full moon.
But hey, I was so happy to go fishing in a new spot that I wanted to try for a long time, that I din't even think about it.

Olfart arrived and we went on the beach where the day was rising...
What a sight...

A cloudy morning.

We were yet to get any rain yet this year, and these clouds just seemed to be passing through.
Still when My fishing buddy started to walk in the water, to commence fishing, I should have known better, just looking at the sky.

Heavy sky.

We fished for a little while.
And he kept saying, ho maybe we should get out of here before the rain hit.
And I was like, no we will be fine, way too early in the year for the rain to come.
So after a bit of unfruitful fishing, he told me, Hey turn around and look behind us:

Clouds to the top of the sky.

We were surrounded by a sky leaden by dark clouds.
That was the first day this season that the havens looked so cloudy.
Which finally made me come to my senses, it was time to pack up if we din't want to get drenched.
We packed up quickly and started to walk back along the beach, and the sky then unlashed some serious rain on all the unsuspecting anglers and walkers who had stayed there.
And we were not to the car yet...

First rain of the year!

So we rushed to the car, and headed back home as there was no way that we could have continued fishing there in these conditions.
I had to drive very slowly and carefully as it was hard to see what was going on.
The first rain was not messing around, it was falling hard.

Driving in the rain.

Now don't get me wrong, the  first rain is generally welcome and the end of the dry season.
But why just at the time when I was fishing a new spot for the first time.
Now, I may have to wait the start of the next dry season to fish that spot again.
Waiting all the time, with an imagination full of big fish...

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

P.S: And don't forget about my international giveaway by clicking just there, time is running out...