Yes I got out fished, once again. Yet, it was still a great day in the Australian outdoors.
Sarrge had invited me to go fishing with him at Salt Water Arms.
We had left Darwin early in the morning, with the plan to get into some Barramundi, and have a good time on the water.
We spent the travel time on the road talking about life, work and stuff. And as soon as we were on the water, the discussion turned to fish, fishing, and... How to catch some fish...
But not longer arrived to one of Sarrge favourite spot in Salt Water Arms, that we saw some bait being harassed by bigger fishes, between submerged trees and mangrove roots.
Quick as a flash, I flicked my lure straight between the branches and started to reel it back in. Nothing...
Sarrge did the same: nothing... But another big boof just against a tree. My lure flew just past this tree, so I could swim it past just right next to it. And... It got firmly stuck to an underwater root, no way I would get it back, the line broke. I was one lure down, and the fish were still smiling...
Sarrge told me to tie the boat to a branch, and we would be able to cast our lure just on the ther side of the tree, where it looked like there was even more action than on our side.
Tie the boat I did, and started to rigging my line with a new lure.
Sarrge, started to work a little walk the dog type of lure, and a Barramundi tried to boof it but missed.
Haha, we must be on the right side of the trees was our reaction.
So he flicked the lure a second time, walking it slowly on the surface, and bang! he was on!
Not to a Barramundi, to a very decent Queenfish who immediately started to go for a few jumps, and a long run. Like Queenfish do.
It went and started to jump near a partly submerged snag, and got Sarrge worried that it would wrap the line around it and break free.
But as worried as he was, Sarrge continued to fight his fish, from the comfort of his chair...
Sarrge reeling in the Queenfish.
This was a good fish, and went for a few more runs before ending close to the boat.
Now I had to net it, and it didn't want to. It turned away from the net a few time, before finally facing it, and guided in it by Sarrge.
Happiness was definitively of the party!
Nice Queenfish on Barra gear.
This was the first catch of the day, and it made us very happy, I even thought that maybe this was the day that my fishless trips was going to end...
Was I wrong...
Anyway, as Sarrge was dispatching this fish for the esky, I had my gears ready and started to cast around a little fizzer, in the hope of a comparable catch.
There was this beautifull colour change, and we could see the Mullets swimming on the edge of it, in the clear water. And once in a while, a Barramundi would come out of the cafe coloured water, swim very slowly towards the Mullets and try to boof one of them. Sometime with success sometimes not.
This was a very exciting sight, well worth the trip in itself.
And of course, one Barramundi, came towards my little lure.
My little lure which was going: Fizz Fizz, pause, Fizz Fizz, Pause.... And as the Barramundi came under it, I paused the fizzer, the Barramundi came really close to it, and boofed!
Just one or two centimetre on the side of it...
It must have been a cross-eyed Barramundi!
The sound of it had been like if someone had used a pistol just next to the boat.
It made me jump, but the fish was far from being hooked, he just swam back in the darker water, taking his time...
Then I put my lure up in a tree...
Luckily, I got this one back, and decided to change it for a small shallow diver.
By then Sarrge was ready to fish again.
And he just showed me how to catch a Barramundi:
Sarrge showing me what a Barramundi is.
Being just 56 cm, this one was put back in the water, to grow a bit more, and become more of a good feed later on.
The funny thing with this Barramundi, was that when I was about to put the net in the water to try to scoop it, it actually jumped out of the water, and landed straight in the net.
With no doubt, the easiest netting I have ever done.
So yes, it was two fish for Sarrge, and none for me.
The day was still young, and I was hopeful to change that...
Yes, hope is a beautiful thing...
With the action seeming to slow down we decided to move and try to troll the narrow, and other place.
This was a great idea, on a tourism point of view, but on the piscatorial front, it was a disaster.
Not a fish, not a hit, just some nice landscapes.
So we decided to go back to where we had been able to glean a bit of glory earlier in the day.
The tide had fallen, big time, and after negotiating our way back to the mouth of the creek, through the sand barre and mud flats, in which we saw a nice stingray making a fast doughnut around the boat, (was it trying to tell me something?). We finally saw the extend of the snaggy terrain over which we fished in the morning.
And I could see the lure that I had lost previously in the day, now high and dry.
So Sarrge "beached" the nose of the boat, and I jumped on Terra firma to go and collect my lure.
Well Terra firma, was rather muddy, but I was able to walk through it and picked up another nearly new lure on my way to mine. So it was nice to get my lure back, plus another one that I had no clues would be on my way.
This plus a special lure that Sarrge had given me for my lure collection on the same day, mean that I now had two more lure, the kind of little thing that keeps me happy.
Walking among the mangrove roots to get the lures back.
(Photo © Sarrge)
After that we trolled a bit for not much and stopped up the creek to eat some sandwiches.
Looking on the mud bank, I saw these little crabs, running everywhere. They were so brightly coloured, that they looked like if they were already cook and ready to eat.
Not cooked, but alive and well.
No, I did not grab one to taste it, but to me they definitively reminded me of a nice big mud crab just cooked. Except that these were much smaller in size.
After lunch, made of soggy sandwiches while dreaming of mud crab and mayonnaise, we started trolling again.
This is when Sarrge, hooked a nice Barramundi, that must have been in the 80 cm.
Yes, the keywords here are: "must have been"...
As the fish made two or three quick jump to show us what it looked like, and then swam straight towards the boat.
But between the fish and the boat was, unknown to us, a nice set of underwater snags.
This is exactly where this Barramundi went.
Sarrge could feel the fish still on the line, with the line rubbing against the branches, and this was not looking good.
After some tussle and some pull and trying from every sides of the snag, the lure freed himself and came back, without any fish attached to it...
And this, was the last action of the day.
Not long after, we started to make our way back in direction of the boat ramp, stoping here and there to have a few cast to some snag, but without any recompense we quickly abandoned and decided to get back home.
Despite, being once again out fished, this had been a great day, with two fish coming onboard, some good laughs, in some very beautiful places. The kind of days that if I was a doctor, I would prescribe to all of my patients.
Thanks again Sarrge for the lure, and for inviting me on your boat.
Yes, I still would love for this fish drought to be broken...
But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,