Tuesday, January 14, 2014

First Barramundi In 2014.

Hi there,

I finally got my first Barramundi for the year 2014.
Not a big one, but a fish is a fish, as they say. And to be honest, I was still very happy with that, as I had nearly forgotten what it feels like.

Jim had offered to take me on his boat, to some of his secret spots, I was hopping to finally break the drought and catch a Barra.

We launched at around 10:00 in the morning, a big change from all the trips that require a 4:00am start.
And just after the launch, we sailed along the mangrove, toward our destination.

Along the mangrove in the morning light.

But once arrived there, we didn't catch a single fish. We did saw a few Barramundi and sight casted in their direction, but without success. At one stage Jim got a good hit, but the hit didn't transform in a hooked fish. Yet navigating in a tight creek, with mangrove on bot side, was really pleasant, something that I had missed.
I realised very quickly, due to the amount of times my lure ended in the trees above the banks. Instead of the water where the fish are supposed to live, that I had become a bit rusty, this was clear.

So we decided to try our luck, at another spot. On our way there, we trolled our lures, in the hope to snag a stray Barra. I had a Gold Bomber on, and was just thinking that I had never done any good with them. When I got a smallish hit on the line, and started to get excited. I reeled in  the line, sure that I finally had a baby Barramundi and the end of it. Alas no, it wasn't a Barramundi, it was a Pufferfish.
And worse of all, it hadn't try to have a go at my lure, no, the poor little thing had been hooked, near its back side…
I can't find the picture anymore, or I would have shown it to you, honest.

Then we tried to cast at some snag along the bank of another creek, and Jim landed a Cod, but it was no monster:

First cod of the day.

This cod was taken on a Reidy's B52's, in a colour that I had never seen, not even on the Reidy's catalogue. But obviously, that was a good colour, as in no time, Jim got a second little Cod.

Two in a row.

Seeing that I decided to change my lure for a smaller one, in white.
And in no time, I too was on the Cod board, with an even smaller model:

My baby Cod.

All these little Cod were returned alive to the water, as they definitively needed to grow a bit more before anything else.
Oh, and this photo is also the why I should not try to bear the beard…
The water clarity was pretty good, and we saw a very little snake swim in the water, Jim put his lure near it to give you an idea of size:

Snake (Hydrelaps darwiniensis) and fishing lure.

My friend the snake specialist, B. Schembri, has since told me that this little guy is a black-ringed mangrove sea snake (Hydrelaps darwiniensis) and that they get to about 50 cm long. 
(19.685039 inches).

With such stellar results, we decided to make our way back, and maybe stop at a last creek on the way, depending of the tide.
On our arrival to the last creek, the water looked good, clear, with some snag and some colour change in places.
In my second or third cast, I got a hit and missed it before seeing it, but to me, that felt like a Barramundi, no doubts about it. I said to Jim: I got a hit! Just there, close to the boat, just in this spot!
So Jim, cast roughly in the same direction, and got nailed by a feisty little Barra! I asked if he needed the net, he said that no, this was just a rat and he would deal with it by himself. 
Well, he didn't really had the time to, as just at the boat, the Barramundi spat the lure and swam away without asking any question.
Anyway, we were now in the right spot, for sure we were going to catch some nice Barramundi.
Hope is a beautiful thing, isn't it?
Well Jim got another hit, from what he believed was a better fish. We then went as far as we could in the creek, keeping in mind that with the tide going down, we should be carful not to get stuck.
We saw Mullets and bait, but no Barramundi.
On getting out of there, we tried again where we got the three hits before. Jim casting at the front of the boat, and me at the back. When I finally got a hit that stay connected.
I quickly realised that this fish would not beat any records, but I was still surprised by its energy.
Jim got the net ready, and my little fish made another small run, he really didn't like the look of the net. Or maybe my attempt at growing a beard…
But in the end, in the net it went, and I finally had my first Barramundi for 2014.

First Barramundi of the year.

Not a fish of gigantic proportions, but still enough to make me smile. But being an undersize model, I gently dropped it back in the water, for him to grow big and fat, and hopefully we will met again in the future.

This had been a very pleasant half a day trip, and got me my first fish of the year.
Thanks Jim for inviting me on your boat.

And yes, once again I didn't bring back any fish home, and my little one said to me in a sad voice: "Daddy, you never bring any fish home any more, for me to eat…"

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

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