Wednesday, January 23, 2013

First Time At Cahills Cossing.

Hi there,

Just a mini report about the first time that I went fishing to Cahills Crossing.
I had never been there, and this is a very beautiful place near Jabiru.
We just passed through, but now that I have seen a bit of it, I would love to get back there one day with more time.

Moz, gave me a call one morning, saying that if I wanted, he could pick me up one hour later, and we would drive there for a try at fishing the culverts and maybe the crossing.
I was on it like a kid on an ice cream.
I wanted to see this famous place for so long.

We drove directly to Cahills Crossing, and it was closed, because of the rain from the previous days.

Cahills Crossing, under water.

We first started to flick our lures from the viewing platform. Then Moz spotted a little passage on the left of the road, that lead to some rocks from where it seemed to be safe to fish. With a lot more room to cast. So we went on it and started to fish again from there.
As I was reeling in my lure just next to the rock, I had the feeling that something had followed it. But I was not sure if it was just a shadow made by a nearby tree, waving in the wind.
To be sure of it, I sent my lure where I had dropped it on the previous cast, and tried to retrieve it on the same trajectory. Once the lure was not very far from the rocks, a flash of light in the water, and bang I was on to a vigorous little Barramundi.

Greedy little Barramundi.

This was no big fish, but it made us think that we were in the right spot.
Well about a few hundreds cast latter and no more fish, we weren't so sure anymore, and decided to start to make our way back. With the plan to stop at the culvert we would see on our way home.

The first good looking culvert was already busy with two other fishermen, so we just had a little chitchat with them, and left them at it. They hadn't caught a fish yet.

At the second one, at Magella Creek, I didn't get anything, because Moz stole all the action.
He first started to even the score with a little barra.

Moz and a little Barramundi from the culvert.

And then he got something like five or six hook up, while I was just gave a little swim to my lure...
It is faire to say that both his technic and the spot from where he was fishing were better that mines.
Yes I hear you, for the technic, it is a question of practice and talent, but for the spot, I could have just walked next to him...
Well, to this I will just say no.
He had taken his shoes off, and walked in the middle of the road/culvert to fish straight in the middle of the creek. With the light fading this was to me like wadding in the crocodile causeway. There was no way I was going to get in there, not even for a better fishing spot.

We did see a kangaroo cross the creek behind us, and this was the first time that I saw one of them jumping in the water to cross a creek. The sound and image of it will stay in my memory for a long time. This is part of what makes fishing in the top end so magic.
This was a great little trip, thank you Moz for the invitation.

From Darwin this was a round trip of between 400 to 500 km, and we came back with no fish in the esky. Because the two landed ones were undersize... I know what some people might think...

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Sunday Fish.

Hi there,

Yes last Sunday, I went fishing with my good old mate Double Haul.
It was a long time since we fished together, and I was very happy when he called me to go fishing on Darwin Harbour, to try for some Barramundi.
After all, Double Haul, is the man who put me back on the Barramundi fishing, after I had spend a few year not catching any of them, and concentrating on getting some other prey from the rocks around town. It is also with him, that I have caught, my biggest Barramundi so far, and it was the first one I got after my previously mentioned, few year long Barra drought.
The fish was 91cm, and I still remember it.
So this little fishing trip promised to be a good one, filled with laugh and maybe a few fish...

Double Haul picked me at 9:00am, and we were in the water not long after that.
The plan for the day, was to go not very far from the boat ramp, and to try to get some Barra and Salmon, casting small lure against the mangroves and snake drains.
With the morning high tide, the place looked promising, despite a relative lack of bait fish in the water.
But in a very short time, my little Hell Raiser lure had a hit. I had casted just against a tree, and a nice drop off was sitting in front of it. Just as the lure arrived above the drop off, a flash of silver, and I was on. The fish pulled the line, came quickly back to the surface, made a little jump, it was a small Barramundi, it showed us his back fins, and gave a good head shake, and was gone...
I had lost this little guy.
But we hadn't fished for very long, and this made us think that this was going to be a great day full of fish...

Well, nothing much happened, for a little while, some half cooked hits here and there, but no real action.
So we finally decided to move further away, and to go in a creek nearby.
Upon arriving at the creek mouth, we found that the water had already dropped and had to find the channel to get in.
Once in there, we saw some pelicans gorging themselves on fish.
If they were able to get some fish, we would do the same!
Well, that was the plan anyway...
We casted a few thousand times, for not much.
So I changed lure, and put a Little B52's at the end of my line, explaining that I really liked this lure. As I once had a great session with this very one.
And to prove it, on the third or fourth cast with it, I was on!
But the fish didn't fight like a Barramundi, and Double Haul started to have a funny smile on his face...
When the fish came to the surface, I understand why: I had a little catfish.
He had totally engulfed the lure, and just the  head and eyes of it were coming out of its mouth. Both treble had found their marks. This was a two pliers job to unhook and release the little critter. And this is only once it was gone that I realised that I had not taken a photo of it.
This made Double Haul laugh, asking me why on earth I would want a picture of a small catfish?

We moved a bit further, and at a little creek/ big drain mouth, we saw some jelly prawns being harassed by some big Threadfin salmons.
Here was something that we wanted to catch!
So we casted left, right and centre, to no avail.
So we changed our hard body lures for some soft plastic ones.
I choose a little green Zman, that was given to me by Arrabmundi.
We were looking where the prawns were starting to show on the surface, and before they really started to go berserk we would flick our lures among them and hope to get a hook up.
This was very shallow water, and we could at time see the Salmon, rolling just under the surface, their sides breaking the water, feeding on the tiny prawns. It was exciting and frustrating at the same time, as we couldn't get them to take our offering.
Then as I had sent my lure to what I was thinking would be a great spot to catch a salmon, it finally happened.
I had left the little soft plastic drop to the bottom, and was just making it skip on the creek's bed, just slowly, a little bit at a time, with pause in between. Suddenly, a little bump on the line, just as I was to give the lure another skip, and the line start to head towards the centre of the creek.
I am on! You got him! Said Double Haul, and I started to get all excited.
The fish was taking line, and I thought that the drag on my reel was free, but no, so I started to hope for a massive Threadfin... Then the line seemed to come near the surface, and in one nice jump, a few feet above water level, the fish revealed itself.
And it was not what I was thinking it was, no.
As we had finally switched off from chasing Barra and were gunning for some Threadies, I got an interesting by catch... It was a Barramundi!
Off course, I then wanted this fish even more, and begin to stress that with just a single hook from a weedless lure, the odds were more in favour of the fish than I.
And yes salt water Barra from the harbour, have great force and stamina. I was surprise at how easily he would take some line. when it finally came close to the net, I started to be more confident. But just on eyeing the net, it put the back burners on, and dived straight under it and went back for the creek. Ha!
Second attempt was rewarded with success and the fish was boated.
I still wasn't sure that it was legal, and Double Haul laughed and said to put it on the brag mat: it went 62cm and some dust (24.409449 inches).
And here it is:

My Sunday fish.

This fish made me very happy, has it was my first legal Barramundi in a few months.
It was going to be good food.

We could have stayed there a bit longer, but a storm was on it's way.

Storm over the creek.

So we decided to get out of the creek, before we got locked in by the falling tide, and to try and get refuge closer to the boat ramp. On our way out of the creek, we saw some poor fellas who didn't negotiated the mud flat very well, and were stranded high and dry.

Waiting for the tide.

They had missed the channel and would have to wait for the tide to get back up, and might have had to weather the storm up there.
This was bad luck for them.
On our way back to the ramp, we saw what the storm really looked like and tried to rush past it.

Here comes the rain again.

But we got rained on and got soaking wet.
To keep warm, and because we saw some splash in the water, I casted a popper with all the vigour I could find. But didn't got any fish game enough to have a go at it.
We then moved closer to the ramp, but had to wait for the tide to be high enough to be able to get to it.
So we cruised up and down the creek casting as we went, as some big Queenfish kept busting all around us.
Then they stopped, and we hadn't got any of them...
The water was high enough, and we felt a bit cold, so we decided to call it a day.

To me that had been a great day, of catching up with a friend, and fishing under the sun, and the rain too, yes. Thanks for the invitation Double Haul.

Now, what happened to this Barramundi I caught?
Well some of it was turned into a delicious fish soup:

Barramundi fish soup.

This was the first time I had a Barramundi fish soup, and now I want some more!
So I guess, that I will have to go fishing again...

And no, we didn't caught any Salmon.

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

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The HellRaiser Worked.

Hi there,

Not long ago, I introduced you to a new little lure made by Reidy's, from Darwin Australia, who was yet to be named and released on the market. Well it isn't released yet, but has now been named and its name is the HellRaiser!
I gave it a swim on the first day of the year 2013... And it worked, it caught me some Barramundi.
Here comes the story of my fishing on the 1st of January 2013.

Once again, I was very lucky to be invited aboard Moz fine boat, for a day of fishing on Darwin harbour.
We launched at a very reasonable time, and Moz, tried to teach me how to steer the boat.
That was fun to drive between the moored yachts but I think that I must have been driving a bit slow, so he took back the helm and we quickly crossed the harbour toward the creeks where we wanted to spend the day, relaxing and fishing.

Crossing the harbour on Hard Gore.

As soon as we arrived we found a nice creek, with a lot of mangroves and some calm waters...
The place looked promising and in his second or third cast Moz got a nice little Golden Snapper on the line.
I started to wonder how he could be so fast at catching a fish, and looking at him I understood. He had a secret weapon, in the form of a remote control. That he must have used to direct the fish towards his own lure and away from mine... And yes I have the proof of that in picture:

Moz and his secret remote control.

Not long after that I sight casted to a school of bream and got one on the lure, but lost it not very far from the boat.
We then decided to move to another creek, the water was like glass.

Flat water.

In this new creek Moz repeated the trick and got on in no time, but this time to a little catfish.

Reeling in the kitten.

We moved in the creek, casting to every drain and colour change that we would come across. 
This is when Moz got the first Barramundi of the day.

First Barra of the day.

It was not a monster, but it is always nice to catch your targeted fish.
And he wasn't long before he got another one.
Then it was my turn! I finally got a fish in the boat, and it was a baby Barramundi, caught on the new lure made by Reidy's:

My first Barramundi on the Hell Raiser.

Once again, not much size to it, but the satisfaction to catch a Barra on a new lure totally made up for it.
And more importantly, this was my first Barramundi in a very long time, I was breaking the drought.
That made me really happy.
To celebrate, Moz opened a bottle of Barratastic ale, made by no one else than Doors Off.

Enjoying the Barratastic.

It was a hot day and I think that Moz enjoyed the fresh beer, nearly as much as I had enjoyed catching a  little Barramundi after being Barraless for so long.
And this was also a good way of thinking about our good friend Doors Off who is actually working overseas, you are not forgotten mate.
We moved to the other side of the river, to start to make our way back. Still casting to every good looking spot. Arriving to a place, where we found at the same time, an eddy, a little run off from a snake drain and a colour change, Moz said that this was a very fishy looking spot.
I casted my lure at the back of the eddy, and it had to cross the eddy, the little run off, and pass through the colour change before being back to the boat. This is finally in the colour change that I felt a sharp thug on my rod handle and that my line seemed to suddenly going away from the boat, instead of quietly coming back to me.
This was going to be my second little Barramundi of the day.

My last Barramundi for the day.

I was now convinced that this new little lure was working well.

From there we moved to a third creek, where once again, just on arrival, Moz got a new Barramundi.

Moz fourth Barramundi for the day.

It was like Moz, knew where to put his lure from the start, at each different location that we visited on the day.
Every times he got his fish in the first few casts, and this made me think that  need to learn how to read the creeks a bit better. Which to me is an exciting goal.
In this creek we saw some Barramundi feeding on jelly prawns, and one of them Barra, was a very big girl. We casted many times towards the drain in front of which she was feeding, but could not entice her with our offerings. I even changed my hard body lure for a soft plastic, but to no avail in the Barramundi department.
On the other hand, I did caught a small Star Gazer and this was the first time that I got one in a creek and not on the reef.

The little Star Gazer.

Not long after that, we decided that it had been a good day on the water and that we should head back to the ramp. And a good day it had been, with 5 different species of fish caught. Among them six Barramundi, despite the fact that they had started to feed on jelly prawns. So it is with the sense of  a well done job that we started to sail back to port.
Thanks again Moz, it was a great day.

For the people among you who love statistics...
The skipper got four Barramundi on soft plastic, and I got only two on hard body lure.
Yes maybe I should have see the sign earlier in the day, and changed to a soft plastic sooner than in the last twenty minutes of fishing...

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