Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Day In Shoal Bay.

Hi there,

Last Tuesday Jim and I went fishing to Shoal Bay.
We left at gentlemen hour, after he dropped his beloved at work, and picked me up at my place.
Yes some people have to work during the week while other are going fishing, and usually I am the one at work.
But having the day off, I tagged along, for a very pleasant day.

We launched at Buffalo Creek, where we quickly saw our first croc of the day.

Crocodile and fishermen.

This was not a prehistoric monster, yet it was still a crocodile, and I prefer to try to keep an eye on them. Specially when they are that close from the boat ramp.
From there we made our way to Shoal Bay, with the intention of flicking our lures to every snag that we would find.
Upon arrival, I was surprise to see the water being so clear, a rare sight around Darwin. We could see every under water snag, and even the bottom. This prompted me to use a Reidy's Junior B52, as they have a slow rising action that I really wanted to be able to see and measure, if I may say.
First cast was interesting, and i did a second one a bit longer.
Twitch twitch the lure goes down, pause, it rises at a very slow pace, nearly resting in position.
This was beautiful, and a good way of understanding how this lure is swimming.
Twitch twitch again, pause, twitch twitch and pause, I was thinking that I like the action of this lure, as it was slightly rising in the water column. When a little Barramundi materialised itself just under my lure, swimming straight for it. Twich the lure, pause, and Wham! The Barramundi turn in front of the lure, boofed it and turn away from me to swim back in its deep lair. Except that it didn't went very far before realising that it was hooked and made a bee line for the surface, where it erupted like a little rocket.
Jim had just told me that the last time that he was in this spot every Barra were giving some great aerial show, this one didn't disappoint. 
It went a bit all around the boat, before finding the entrance of the net, that Jim had placed on his way, and yes! We had a Barramundi on board, in a record short time.

First Barramundi of the day.

At 64 cm (25.19685 inches), it was not very large, but a fish is a fish, and most certainly when it is a Barramundi! I was happy, I had a fish to bring back home, good food for the family.
I told you that it came full frontal of the lure before boofing it, here is the result of it:

Lure head down in the Barramundi mouth.

We knew then that we were on the right spot, as soon after that, Jim was on a fish too, which had also taken his lure head first:

Lure in Barramundi mouth.

Jim first Barramundi for the day.

Yes, this was going to be a good day.
It was then a matter of minutes, before Jim was on again, and this time it was some kind of Trevally:

Jim and the Trev.

Not really one of these monsters that you chase on big popper… In fact I was wondering why it even attacked the lure? Greed or competition I guess…
We continued to drift aided by the electric motor, and to cast  to the mangrove lined bank when Jim got another one! And this time he was back on target with a Barramundi:

Jim's second Barramundi of the trip.

This was getting fun.
We could see when the fish were going to grab our lures.
I then decided to try a Ceto Tackle lure in a colour that I hadn't try yet, and loved the way it cast. Like a bullet.
I got a little cod on it:

Rock Cod on a Ceto Tackle lure.

The action of this lure is the opposite of the lure that I was using previously. It rise on retrieve, and dive on the pause. So a bit dangerous in very snaggy country, so I didn't use too long as I didn't want to loose it. I went back to the little one that had got me a Barramundi earlier.
And we decided to cross the bay to try another creek, the water was flat like a glass.

Crossing a flat Shoal Bay.

As we arrived to our new destination, we saw a baby crocodile, who must have been waiting for us:

Baby Crocodile in the mangroves.

By then the water had risen considerably, for a neap tide, and was now well and truly in the mangrove. I thought that I needed to fish deeper to get a fish in these condition. To remedy I put a weedless soft plastic on, and started to let it drop as deep as it would go. but with no success. So I made a long cast, deep in the timber, and joked that it would be hairy to catch a Barramundi over all this wood… Shouldn't have joked about it, it happened…
The fish took my line between the branches, I could see the line rubbing along the dead wood, and the fish jumping on the other side of it. I might have been a bit excited back then as to me, it was a sure thing that I was going to loose this one. Jim manoeuvred his boat to get as close as possible from the branches and trunks that were between us and this feisty little Barra. He even found a direct line, without any obstacle to cut my line. Reeling like a maniac, I was able to get it through, and near the boat. Jim did his thing with the net, and Voilas! My second Barramundi was on the deck:

A sweet little Barramundi.

This one had given me some serious fishing adrenaline, and in the water it went back.
Not to be outdone, Jim caught a bigger one just after that.
Not even letting me the time to savour my little victory.

Another Barra for Jim.

This one was rather nice, and Jim kept it, in the esky it went.
He didn't wast too much time to get another one, but a little bit smaller…

Baby Barramundi on Rapala.

Then Jim got two hit on the same retrieve, enough to get us excited.
Immediately I cast my lure in the vicinity of his cast and yes, I can see some fish following my lure, but turning back at the last second. They are fast and long, Queenfish maybe? We are not sure but want to catch one of them. We both cast our lures again, and I am on! 
The fish is rapid and goes from right to left in no times. Going deep, and then on the top, then down again. What is it?
Well, it wasn't a queenfish, and I am sure that for the ones among you who have fished these waters before, you might be starting to get an idea… 
It is long, fast, go in every direction possible, and is grey looking…
Yes, I had at the end of my line a little shark!
Lucky me, it was rather small:

A little shark, taken on a lure.

They are very good food, and I sometimes keep one. But as I already had a Barramundi in the esky, this one went back swimming to tell the tale to his mates.
This is about when we saw the storm, lighting an all, coming our way:

Storm on the way.

Now, from what I heard, storm on Shoal Bay, can be a bit rocky. So we started to make our way back, just in case. With the goal of fishing closer to home, so we could make a quick escape if things turned a bit sour, weather wise.
Closer we went, and started fishing again.
And Jim got the fish of the day!

Monster Barramundi.

Yes, it did attack a lure…
Greedy little thing.

Then he got a cod, and watching the rain falling around us we decided to go home.

Rain on the bay.

All in all it was a great day. We had started not too early, and went back home not too late.
Life was smiling on us.
Thanks again Jim, for a great day on the water.

So we didn't catch any super sized Barra…

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


George Sotiris said...

Good work mate, We would love to hear more from you and see if you would like to be featured on the Ceto Tackle Blog. PLease email us at if you are interested.



Ceto Tackle

Rambling Expat said...

Hi George,

No problems, I will email you now.

Have a good day,