Thursday, September 12, 2013

2013 Top End Barra Series Round 4.

Hi there,

Not long ago was the fourth round of the 2013 Top End Barra Series, it took place at Salt Water Arm, and it was great.
Why you may ask...
Well, let me tell you the story of it.

It started a bit on the wrong note. As I got a call just a few days before the event, from the skipper of the boat I should have boarded. Saying that his outboard was broken...
He was not able to get it fix before the competition, so I had a very short time to find a post of decky on another boat.
Lucky me, Rossco, one of the organiser of the Top End Barra Series, gave me a call on the same day, and offered me to be a passenger on his vessel.
That was one thing sorted, now we would have to find the Barramundi.

Rossco picked me up at rather early time on the Saturday morning, and we quickly were on the road, full of hope and joy.
When we arrived at the ramp, other people had already arrived, but we were not the last ones, far from it.
The weather was perfect, and it was neap tides, what a glorious day, I told myself...

Launching at Salt Water Arm.

It was a rapid launch, and we went straight for the Narrows, where we spent a short time trolling before making our way towards the Wilshire Number Two. The little creek where we were to catch over twenty fish over the weekend...

It started very fast with Rossco getting on the action, in no time:

First Barramundi of the weekend.

Rossco was on the board, his first fish was a point scorer, and he could already start to relax and take it easy.
Which he did, by catching another Barramundi!

Two in a row.

That was it, I had to do something...
So I caught a fish too:

My first little Barra of the weekend.

It was not a big fish, but at least I had caught one and it made me happy.
It was such a long time since I had caught a Barramundi, that it was like Christmas.
And then I was on a lucky strike, and caught a few fish, one after the other:

Barramundi number two for me.

Even small fish are sweet.

This one must have been one of the smallest Barramundi that I ever caught.

A bit better.

And my third Barramundi for the day, was finally a point scorer. Not a big one, but big enough to put me on the board too. This round was not going to be a donut for me.
After catching three Barramundi, I had to have what I would call a luck realignment...
And I got a small Catfish on the lure...

Catfish on the F18.

On this photo, you can see the lure, which one I caught all my fish during this round. I did try over ten different  fishing lures, but always came back at the one that was catching, ever and ever.
In fact, at the end of the weekend, I noticed that the bib of the lure had been deformed, and that the lure could not swim properly anymore, I will have to get a new one. 
I did try with timber hard body, plastic hard body, surface lure, plastic lures, but alway came back to the Classic F18 in Elton on Chrome colour. It was the outstanding performer over the two days of fishing.

After that, Rossco came back in the game, and snared another Barramundi:

Barramundi joy.

It is hard to describe how much joy can be derived to catching small Barramundi.
But to have them hit the lure in an aggressive manner, peel a bit of line and jump around, is just great. 
So I got another one too!

Happy Barramundi fishing.

Then Rossco got a beautiful Koi Catfish...

The Koi Catfish.

Ok, this is not a Koi, but it was a really beautiful fish, and it was the first time that Rossco had one like this, so this was a very nice bonus for the weekend. In all of my time fishing in the Top End of Australia, I must have seen this type of Catfish only two or three time.

Rossco strike again.

It was the last fish of the first day, and what a day it had been. In fact, the day wasn't exactly finished...
First we had to sail the boat in the sunset, to join the Raft Up.

Sunset and fishing lure.

Just at twilight we found the other boats who had already started the raft up.
The light was fantastic.

Beautiful evening light.

The boats were in Wilshire number One, and a party mood was already on the cards.
But as always, what happens in a raft up, stays in the raft up, so no photo, no gossips...

Just a picture from the morning after, and the reason of the good smell on the river:

Moz and Dean with Egg and Beacon.

Yes they were cooking in the early morning, best way to get your energy back.
Now, these two chaps, are not just two guys participating in the same tournament than me.
They are a lot more, first they are good mates of mine, but on top of that, both have started to make their own lures. Beautiful hand made wooden fishing lures. And have caught a lot of fish throughout the event with them. Dean caught all his fish with them, and finished fourth, that says a lot about the quality of his fishing lures.

And the icing on the cake?
They both gave me one of their lures, which I am not showing you now, because they will deserve their very own post very soon, so stay tuned for it.

The morning light seemed like a good omen too, it looked like the fishing gods were in our favour.

Sunrise on the creek.

It was one of these morning were you feel happy to be alive. Not because you have just escaped a certain and painful death. No, but simply because the world is beautiful.
To celebrate, I caught a little fish:

First fish of day two.

Yes, I do not look like I am fully awake yet... But trust me, having even a baby Barra on the end of the line, is a sure way to wake up quick smart.
It felt so good, that I did it again:

Another little Barramundi.

It might not have been a monster fish, but it was still the eleventh Barramundi to be boated for the weekend. There is something very satisfying when you target a certain specie and you manage to find them. Even if you only found the small ones, at least, you know that the fish are around.

And after my showing off from the early morning, Rossco decided to show me what he was made of, and managed to catch 5 fishes in a row.

Even little fish makes you smile.

A bit bigger.

This fish wasn't exactly a giant, but I wanted to get a photo of all the fishes that we would get over the two days event. So we photographed them all. Just as we were doing the photo of this little fella, a boat with a few people in it, passed us on the river... We had a good laugh at how they must have tough that we were desperate to take photographs of such a small fish.
But as I often said, even if I dream of catching a very big one, one day. I still prefer a day with ten smaller ones than a day with just a large one... So yes it was some happy times, with plenty to entertain us.

just another rat Barramundi.

And one more.

And then to mix things up a bit, it was a different specie:

Threadfin Salmon.

Threadfin Salmon are often a great by-catch when targeting Barramundi. Rossco, didn't want this one, so he offered it to me. To which I replied that it would be a nice present for my mother in law, as she like a fresh fish when I can get her one. And it would keep me in the good books...
So I brought it back for her.

Seeing all the fish that he was getting, I wanted some of the action too, so I kind of wake up, and jumped in it, so to speak. It was now my turn to catch the little critters.

Back in the game.

A nice little guy.

Three in a row.

This was my last fish of the weekend, and I was very happy with the score.
Rossco was still to catch his best of the weekend, and he did it:

Silver salt water Barramundi.

This was a nice piece of piscatorial chrome, and we cheered this fish like if it had been a much larger fish.
It was the last Barramundi of the weekend.
It was now time to head back home, with our hearts full of joy and our head, already thinking about all the fish that we would get the next time...
I had a very good weekend, thank you Rossco, for inviting me on your boat.

So yes, some people could say that we got the quantity, but no biggies...

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

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