Sunday, July 21, 2013

Barra Trooper Galore.

Hi there,

Not long ago, I had the chance to meet Dave, the maker of the fishing lures Barra Trooper.
He was extremely generous, and gave me some very nice  fishing lures.
Here comes the story of them.

First is the original Barra Trooper, but in a new colour, soon to be introduced on the market. The colour is called X RAY and you will, with no doubt understand why:

Barra Trooper X RAY.

Now, this is not just any lure in the new colour, no...
This is the very first one that was made for production. It is signed on both sides of the body of the lure, on the bib, and with a hand written note on the back of the card.
Here comes a close up of it's face:

Mean looking skeleton.

You can see the signature on the cheek of the lure. And yes, as you can read on the card, it is of course, a hand made timber lure, like all the Barra Trooper.
The evening I got this lure, I could not help, but send a photo of it with my phone to another fishing lure collector in Darwin, just to show it to him, even before doing a post on the blog.

After that came a Barra Trooper in a colour that he normally do only for himself.

The special colour.

I might be wrong, and that would not be the first or last time... But I think that this would be a great colour to target Mangrove Jacks. A fish that till today has managed to elude me. Classy in burgundy and gold, with black strips, this one makes me think of an old fashioned Chicago gangster. 

Then come a smaller lure, with a different shape that than the traditional ones made by Dave.
And it is a real little beauty:

Black and yellow like a hornet.

I have already said in the past, that one of my favourite colour for timber lures, is black and yellow.
For a reason that I don't really understand, this combination of colours remind me of a cafe racer motorcycle, and I really like that. It has to me a retro feel, that I don't get with other colours.
The finish on it, is just great:

Beautiful finish.

As an icing on the cake, this lure came to me, with a very special top up.
Three wooden pieces, that show how it was crafted:

Three steps to a good lure.

This is actually the first time that I have the wooden shapes, of a lure at different stages. This to me, is a very interesting piece added to my little collection. One could say that it has an educative purpose.

Finally, Dave gave me a prototype of a lure that he had been working on.
The overall shape resemble the traditional Barra Trooper, but is a bit shorter, a tad fatter and the tail is slimmer.
Have a look at it:

New prototype of Barra Trooper.

The photograph, don't really shows the depth of the paint job. It has a brown back, with a brass belly covered in gold spots. It is a beautiful and subtle paint work.

Portrait of a fishing lure.

And of course, like all the other ones, it is signed on the belly:

Signed on the belly.

Here they are, my precious little Barra Trooper lures, a very appreciated addition to the stable.
Thank you Dave, these will never see the water, but they will still be taken care of with great attention. 

I know that fishing lures are made to swim, and that most lure makers craft them in the hope that they will catch the fish of a life time... But those four compagñeros will definitively stay dry.

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

Monday, July 8, 2013

Exploring A Little Creek.

Hi there,

Last weekend, I had the chance to be invited on Sarrge's boat. To explore a little creek in the vicinity of Shoal Bay, in the pursuit of Mr Barramundi.
What a fine little creek it happened to be.

The perfect creek.

Jim, had been pretty happy with the results he got from this creek and told us about it, and gave some basic information about it to Sarrge, who decided that it was worth a try.
Upon arrival, this seemed to be like the perfect creek. Not too small, but not too big either.
Plenty of snags and mangroves. 
So we started with soft plastics, but nothing happened...
Except that on one cast, Sarrge's spool nearly flew away from his reel, and in doing so, created the mother of all bird nest. Not a nice sight on a bait caster: spool half way out the side door, and line all over the place.
He didn't seemed to be violently happy about it, I would even suggest that he was rather upset in fact.
So when I asked him if he wanted a photo of it, and saw him grab a filleting knife, I started to wonder if I hadn't once again said something profoundly stupid...
But no, he took it on his line and cut two big chunks out, and started to see a bit more clearly throughout the mess that was. And in no time was able to say : and voila!, and was ready to fish again.
All the time he had be asking me why I hadn't caught any fish yet, while the competition was busy...
I simply replied that I was trying to be polite, and that it would have been of bad taste to ask him to drop every thing to net a fish for me, while he was so engrossed in the fixing up of his reel...
In reality, I just could not get my lure to pass in front of a starving Barramundi, not for the life of me.
Once he started to fish again, he had made a change to a hard body lure.
And in no time got his first Barramundi of the day. A beautiful 64cm specimen of salt water chrome and healthy fish.

Sarrge first Barramundi of the day.

This was a nice fish, who had totally smacked the lure at full speed, and given a very good account of himself.
He went in the esky, to be dinner.

After that we dropped two crab pots... For zilch, nothing took interest at the bait we had placed inside the traps.

Seeing that Sarrge had a fish and me not, I did what anybody else would have done. And changed my lure and too, put a hard body at the end of my line.
And yes it worked, I got a fish too!
A bit on the small side, but a Barra on the lure, is a Barra nonetheless.

Barramundi on the Rapala X-Rap.

As this one was just a little guy, in the water he was sent back.
But one of the thing that made me happy about it, was that I got it on a lure that I had found at Shady Camp, fishing with Arrabmundi. I had never really fished with it, but had changed the hooks on it recently, and decided to try it in this little creek, thinking that if I lost it to a snag, that would not be too bad, as it was a found one.
And to be honest, having never really fished with it I was not overly confident with it... Now, I don't want to loose it!

But any way the lure of the day, was the golden one that Sarrge was using.
We were drifting with the tide, further and further into the creek, when he got his second fish of the day:

Sarrge second Barramundi of the day.

This was on a nice little snag, and made us very happy, this was a good day!
In the drink the fish went back.
I was busy storing the net at the back of the boat,  Sarrge put his straw hat on, flicked his lure and screamed: "I Am On!"
Yes, he had another fish on, before I was even ready to fish again!
Basically it was a case of two cast two fish...
Well done!
So, I dutifully netted his third fish, just wondering if he was going to do that all day long?

Sarrge third Barramundi of the day.

After that, I don't know if it was because I was told that Barramundi have a serious tendency to jump or what, but it looked like my lure ended up in the trees more often than in the water...
I was wasting some precious fishing time there, and of course didn't catch anything in the trees.

But Sarrge caught a fourth Barramundi, yes, in the water...

Sarrge last fish of the day.

We then checked the crab pots again, for the same result as we previously had: Nada, Zero... No crab.
Oh well, we had just caught some fish and had a great day on the water, so decided to get back on the way home.
Durring which, we looked for Tuna, but couldn't spot a single one.
We were left wondering where are the Tuna this year?

But we did see a big sea turtle:

The sea turtle.

And we were back at the boat ramp, after a nice day, fishing a new creek for the first time, and catching fish in it.
This was going to stay as a good trip in my books.
All the fish had bashed our lures big time, no half bite there. These were definitively hungry fish smashing lures with gusto.
And Sarrge had got all his fish on the same lure... One that I might try next time, because of course, I had the exact same one in my bag, but didn't use it.
Thank you Sarrge, that was a great day.

So yes, I did get largely outfished, once again, and now have one more lure that I don't want to loose, because I know that it works.

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