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.


Anonymous said...

Straight to the point and well written! Why can't everyone else be like this?

Fish Whisperer said...

Outstanding day on the water. You are very lucky to fish with people who have a lot of experience and are willing to share it with you.
Well done on all your firsts.

Tight Lines

Rambling Expat said...

Hi there,

Thank you for your kind words, Anonymous.

Fish Whisperer,
Yes sometimes I have some trouble to understand how lucky I am.
Fishing with experienced fisho and learning about it is real nice.

Have a good day,

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the informative article, it was a good read and I hope its ok that I share this with some facebook friends. Thanks.

Rambling Expat said...

Hi Anonymous,

Yes, no problems, but please remember that the photos are mines...

Have a good day,