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,

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