Monday, August 4, 2014

A Billabong In The Middle Of Nowhere.

Hi there,

Seano gave me a phone call early in the morning and asked me if I wanted to go fishing in a billabong in the middle of nowhere...
I said yes!

  • It was in the middle of nowhere.
  • We did get some fish.
  • We got all of our fish on weedless soft plastic lures.
  • it was a great day.

Want to read the full story?
Here it is then:

On a face book group Seano said that he was thinking of going fishing if he could find a deckie.
I said: "Pick Me!"
He called me and it went a bit like this:
Are you ready, can I come to pick you up now?
No! I haven't had a shower yet!
Ok, then, I will be at your place to pick you up in half an hour, we are going billabong fishing.

Quick quick, a shower, getting the tackle bag ready with gear for billabong fishing.
The phone rang again: "Hey Mate, I am in from of your place"
I walk out, with my fishing gear, and a plate with two toast and scramble eggs on it.
And off we go for a new fishing adventure. 
Eating my breakfast on the way.

In the bush, in the middle of nowhere we drove.
Don't ask me where exactly. I would honestly not be able to answer, I was too busy looking at the landscape. Half dreaming about all the fish we were going to catch, to be able to notice any direction that were were taking.

Driving through the bush to go fishing.

We finally arrived at about midday to our chosen location and launched the boat.
Boat ramp?
What boat ramp?

Launch site.

The billabong was beautiful, and not another boat in sight:

A billabong just for us.

It was the middle of the day, and experience would have dictated the use of diver lures, not surface lures...
But once again, being who I am, I decided to just have a few cast with the cool looking surface lure that Brett gave me a few week ago. You know, just to see how it swims and all...
Second cast with it, a little Barramundi boofed my surface lure, I jumped in surprise, but the fish didn't connect.
Now that was a promising sign if ever there had been any.
We were going to catch some fish! Was the thing that we started to think...
Well yes we did, maybe not cricket score of them, but enough to have a great day on the water.
Any way, after a few more cast of the surface lure, I decided to fish in earnest, and to put a weedless soft plastic, to cast at the snags.

We got a few hits, saw a few fish, and...
I was on! 
After an average cast toward some Pandanus roots, I can suddenly feel and see my line tense, I strike and it begins.
The fish quickly came to the surface, jumped and I can see that it is a Saratoga, a beautiful fish that I really like to fish for.
It start to do all the things that Saratoga are known for. It move in a snake like fashion, it jump and try to bury me in the snags. Luckily for me this one is not too big and I get it to the boat.

First fish of the day.

After a quick snap, it was released, healthy and strong.
As you can see by the size of the lure compared to the fish, they were hungry in this billabong.
Just wait a bit for the weather to warm up a bit, and it might turn crazy in there.

We then both got a few miss, dropsy all around.
Then Seano cast between some submerged branches and got a hit, but failed to connect.
So I sent my lure in roughly the same spot, and I am on!
Once again, the fish hit the lure on the drop.
Simple technic really: cast your soft plastic, let it drop to the bottom. Give it a few flick rewind a bit of line, let it drop to the bottom, and repeat. It is on the drop, while the line is slightly slack, that I see it suddenly going straight and changing direction. I quickly raise my rod tip, start to smile, and be happy.
As we were working some rather short distance cast, the tussle is not too long, but still very exciting, and I find myself with another Saratoga in my hands.

Second Saratoga for the day.

This was a better fish than the first one, and it made me very happy.
Which is good, as it was going to be my last one for the day!
I was just starting to feel bad, that I was on Seano's boat and catching more fish than him...
I should not have worried, because from now on he was going to shine, and get all the fish.

The first fish that Seano got, was a Sooty Grunter.
I had read and heard a lot about the Sooty Grunter, but was yet to see one in the flesh.
Sometimes it the simple things in life,  for me, finally seeing one made the day even better.

The Sooty Grunter.

This one was as fat as a footy, and it went back in the drink, to get even fatter.
And hopefully we will meet again one day.
It then became Barra Time!
Seano got two of them in a row, little ones some of you might say, but a fish is a fish, especially when it is a Barramundi.

First little Barramundi of the day.

Last Barramundi for the day.

I think that by then Seano was a bit tired of me alway wanting to take pictures of fish that he would consider not worthy. But hey, it was a Barra!

After Barra time, it didn't become Hammer Time, but it went full circle, and we, or I should say, Seano, got back in the Saratoga. While I got back at taking pictures.

Seano's first Saratoga for the day.

And it didn't take long after that for the last Saratoga, and last fish, of the day to come onboard.

Last fish of the day: Saratoga!

We were happy anglers, we had spend a few hours catching fish on an isolated billabong, far from the crowds that you sometimes find on the popular billabongs. The shadows were starting to grow longer, and we decided that it was time to go home.

End of the day on the billabong.

We did run ingot some trouble to get out of the billabong.
The trailer got stuck against a step in the mud. We had to actually skull drag the boat on the bank and then put the trailer under it.
One of the hand rail from the boat got ripped off the gunwale while the boat was dragged out of the water, but luckily, no one was injured, which is the most important.

Driving throughout the bush, we made a quick stop, so I could make a photograph of the sunset:
Australia, you are beautiful!

Sunset over the Australian bush.

To recap, it was a great day, discovering some new fishing location. Seeing a new specie of fish that I had never seen yet. Good company, good laugh, good fishing, what else could make a great Sunday?
Thank you for the invitation Seano.

Oh yes, I did get totally out fished once again...

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


Anonymous said...

good story.
The Fisherman's daughter

Rambling Expat said...

Thank you Fisherman's daughter.
I saw that you find some new birds at the dam, well done!

Have a good day,

Balista said...

The place Billabong is really fantastic. Good efforts.

Rambling Expat said...

Hi Ballista,

Yes, is is a beautiful place.
I notice that over the year you have regularly commented on my blog...
Why don't you sponsor me with a few lures to see them presented on the blog?

Have a good day,