Monday, March 2, 2015

Casting Into Little Creeks.

Hi there,

On the first of March, I went fishing after just a month without any fishing done...
What a long time it had been.
And here is the tale of it.
  • My beloved St-Croix fishing rod got broken.
  • Seano got all his Barramundi on his own homemade fishing lures.
  • Most of our fish had scars from previous attack by predators.
  • I got my third biggest Barramundi so far.
It started in the evening, around a table at the Ski Club, where a few friends were talking fishing.
At one point Seano asked me : "Do you want to go fishing tomorrow?"
You guess it, the answer was that yes I wouldn't mind going for a fish.
After all, I had not fished for a while, and was starting to seriously miss it.

The following morning, I waked up teen minutes before the pick up time and rushed to get a clean, and dressed, getting my gear and in front of the door, waiting for Seano to pick me up.
I usually wake up way before the alarm clock ring when going fishing, but this time, don't ask why, I slept right through the alarm, and wake up by chance just in time.

Anyway, on the road we went, stoping at a service station, as I didn't had a breakfast yet.
And we arrived at the ramp to find a few boats already there, but not so many that it would be a pain in the neck.
We started to get the boat ready, Seano hop in the boat, and walk on the only fishing rod I had taken for the day, my new and beloved St-Croix bait caster. Now what happens when someone walk on a graphite fishing rod? It usually breaks, and this is just what happened...
My heart sank, I liked this rod, it was practically new, and this was the only one I had with me on the day...
Seano found a solution, and the rod was quickly fixed, albeit a bit shorter.
We were able to go fishing!

And this is where it started to be even scarier...
Seano asked me to get in the boat, while he backed it down the ramp, and to idle in place while he was going to park the car and come back.
For the people who know me, steering a boat is not my forte, and I tried as much as I could to stay cool, the launch went well, the stay idle part without hitting anything went ok/so so, and then I had to come back toward the ramp to pick up Seano who had parked the car...
Another boat was doing the same thing at the same time, and I nearly ram the boat into them.
If they hadn't caught the railing of Seano's boat to turn the hull back a bit on the left, it would have been a full frontal collision. 
Seeing that Seano quickly jumped in the boat and got us out of there.
In direction of our first little creek to explore.

Seano wanted to test one of his new own homemade fishing lure, and I was casting a weedless soft plastic.
We got a few little hit, but nothing very serious.
Then Seano casted in the middle of a snag, working his lure very slow, as to not snag it, when a little Barramundi came out of nowhere and just totally nailed his timber lure.
That was an interesting little fight around all the submerged little branches, but the fish came into the boat, and that was the first Barra of the day.

Barramundi on Seano's homemade fishing lure.

This fish was just one centimetre above the minimal size limit, but was released, as it looked like he already went through a hard day:

Barramundi with predator scars on its side.

We couldn't be sure of what had left these scars on the side of this Barramundi? But if he survived an attack from another predator not long before, he deserved to have another go at life.
So in the drink it went back, lucky little bugger.

withe the action being a bit on the slow side in this creek, we decided to try our luck in the next one, and off we went.
Seano, was obviously not yet convinced of my utter inability to steer a boat, he put it on inexperience, and told me that it was time for me to learn. So he asked me to sit in the pilot seat and to drive...
I think that it gave him a good laugh.

Everything is fine.

Yes, this is me trying to pretend that I am fine and that everything is under control...
Yet my feet don't even touch the floor.
Luckily we didn't need to go very far, and the next creek was there, for us to try again at catching some Barramundi.
And Sean did it again, on the same lure that he had made himself:

Seano with the second Barramundi of the day.

This was a very small creek, full of bait, yet the Barramundi had preferred to go for the lure instead of one of the many little mullet swimming around. This must have been a good lure.
With the fish in the 60s, it was a good size for food, and in the esky it went.
As the action went quiet in this creek, we moved to the next one.

I once again changed lure, Seano continued to use the same one.
I didn't catch a fish in the third creek.
Seano got his third Barramundi in the third creek.

Seano Third Barramundi of the day on his timber lure.

In each creek the Barramundi seemed to be bigger and bigger.
This one went 75cm (29.50 inch) and it was kept too.
This one had given a very good fight, hooked at the front of the boat, it swim past our side on the left, turned just under the outboard, to start jumping on our right, with Seano's line still under the propeller of the outboard. Hairy situation, but in the end, she was netted and we were happy.
You can see, still hanging from her mouth, Seano's homemade lure. 

By then, Seano started to reminds me that it was a three to nil, like if I was to forget about that.
Yes, this is what fisho do, and this is part of the fun too, what ever end of it you find yourself at.
Seano was smashing it, and I was not getting any.

As we arrived to our fourth creek, Seano, told me that if he hadn't his own home made lures, he would use a certain type of lure... And I had this type of lure in my tackle box...
Should I use it? 
Of course I should!
But he also said that I should just roll it in slowly, without jerking it. 
Now, I really like to work my lure, as much as I can. Even my soft plastics can often been seen dancing all over the place, instead of just bouncing them softly on the bottom of the creeks. 
So I tried that, and got a hit, but it didn't connect.
Did a second cast, same direction, but thinking that I might have flicked my lure a bit too close to the left bank, start to roll it in, suppress the big envy to make the lure swim in an erratic fashion. Trying hard to just go slow and not doing anything else.
I am on! Just a few feet from the front of the boat, my line tense and start to peel away, straight for the other end of the creek.
One long big run, that I can't stop, finally it stop, then go again. With nothing that I can do, we start to wonder if it is a Barramundi or a catfish? Could it be a Jewfish in such a shallow creek?
It is not jumping, it stays underwater, and we can't see any colours in this muddy water. Finally I can get a bit of line, with the fish staying in the middle of the creek, then going for the left side of it, which is ok as it is all mud on this side. But it turns and aim for the right bank, in the only place where there is a tiny little snag emerging out of the water. I am not sure that I will be able to stop it, as Seano tells me to not go too hard on it, as this very lure as some split rings that are not the best in the world, and that this fish seems big. We are still unsure of what it is.
Then the fish came on our left, pass the boat and head straight for the big river and the end of it.
As it passes us, it made a strange run, very short stop followed by a bigger stronger run. Seeing that Seanos exclaim : This is a Barramundi! Typical run of a good Barramundi!
So far we have seen a few boils on the surface, but the fish hasn't revealed itself yet.
It was so close to the boat when it passed us, but seemed to be so far no.
It has no problem to go from one bank of the creek to the other, and is now nearly at the mouth of the creek.
Then it came to the surface, not really breaching it, more rolling her side out of the water.
This is when I saw the big shiny chrome scales of a big mama Barramundy.
I was already rather excited but just right then, I nearly went full panic mode, thinking that this was a good fish and didn't want to loose her.
Step by step, it finally came close enough to be scooped in the net.
Oh yes at that moment, a few high five and yahoo were heard on this calm little creek.
Then Seano tried to lift her and said: 'Expletive' She is so heavy mate that it's a metery!
A metery it was not to be, but heavy, fat and fit she was.

My Barramundi of the day.

After a full month without fishing, my first Barramundi to come onboard was 95cm (37.40 inch). 
I was not going to complain about that, this was my third biggest Barramundi ever!
And my first good one on my new Curado reel, I was more than happy with that.
She too had some big scars on her body made by an unknown predator.
Once again, I got a good fish, because I had listened to a more experienced fisherman than I.
Hopefully, one day I too,  will be able to pass a few fishing tips to someone, and feel that I am helping in that domain.
Like all big Barramundi, she was released to grow a bit more, and more importantly to give birth to a few generations of little Barramundi, and keep our fisheries sustainable.

Seano, releasing my big girl Barra.

Once again, it was a bigger fish than in the precedent creek, and a one fish creek only.
But we didn't cry about it, and happily started to move toward the next one.

By now, Seano had understood that it was much safer and fast if he drove the boat himself, so we zoomed there.
This new creek called for a new technic, and the vibes came out.
Seano is experienced in vibes, I am not.
Seano caught some fish on the vibes, I did not.
So what did he caught you may ask?
Well that is when the not a Barra fish started to come out.
And the first one was a little eel.

An eel on the lure.

This was not the expected catch, and it was quickly released.
it didn't seems to have any trouble to swimming back in the deep, without asking any question.
We could see the fish on the sounder so we tried for more, and Seano got a nice little Threadfin Salmon.

Seano and the Threadfin Salmon.

But the clouds started rolling, and the time to fly away, so we decided that it had been a great morning on the water, and that we should make for the ramp, before a storm decide to hit us.

Cloudy skies.

We hadn't gone too far from the ramp, so it was a short journey, and the boat was back on its trailer, and with us, heading back to town.

Thank you Seano for the invitation, I had a great time, and now want to go fishing again.

Of the four Barramundi that we caught this morning, three of them had scars on them.
I don't know if the sharks are running out of food, or if this was just a coincidence, but we did find that interesting.

I hadn't fished in a full month, and it took me 8 change of lures before I finally listen to my skipper, who had fished these creeks many times before, to finally put the ninth lure at the end of my line and catch a fish. Once again, I should have paid a bit more attention at what I was being told earlier...
But I might still try some other lures next time before getting the one that work out of the tackle box...
So many lures to try, and such a small amour of time to do so...

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

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