Saturday, May 21, 2016

2016 Top End Barra Series Round 2.

Hi there,

Here comes the long awaited story of the second round of the 2016 Top End Barra Series.

  • It was on the Daly River.
  • The water was very dirty.
  • The fishing was real hard.
  • The camaraderie was great.
  • I fished it with Jason.
This year the second round of the TEBS as it is known around our part of the world, was taking place on the mighty Daly River.
And what a round it was... The water was really low for the season, despite the Daly round being much earlier than on years gone by. A few people damaged their props or got stuck on the sand. And more than should have been, came back without having caught any fish at all...
Not even some little cat fish.
But that was not our story, we did get some fish!

Now how dirty the water was?
Well take a look:

Daly River.

As you can see, the river was dirty and dangerous.
Dangerous for boat's outboards, and for lures that got snagged on so many drifting pieces of wood.
Yet, as we arrived near this spot, we caught up with Brett and his mate Karl. And Brett told us that he had caught four Barramundi the previous day, and to troll just there with a +10 lure.
Naturally I put a Reidy's Big Ass in the 008 colour, one of my all time favourite, at the end of my line and we started trolling.
We must have been trolling for about 10 to 15 minutes when I got a massive hit!
The hit was sudden, and the line immediately started to fly from my reel at great speed.
I could not stop it, no question about that.
It lasted a few seconds, then the line went slack, the fish had spit the lure...
This must have been a really big one and we both called it for a metery.
Wow, we thought, if it is starting like that, it will be a cracker of a weekend!
Well life is not like that, and it was indeed a great weekend, but with not many fish to play with.
It was going to be a long time before the next fish bite.

We then saw Brett and Karl again:

Paparazzi everywhere!

Yes they were getting ready to take some pictures, but not of us...
In fact they were getting ready to photograph Pete who had just caught a nice Barramundi:

The photographers at work.

And yes, I did take a photo too:

Pete with a nice fish.

This was a weekend where Pete was going to shine. Being one of two only to get his full bag of Barramundi (5).

Catch and release in action.

At least it showed us that their was still some Barra in this stretch of water.
This brought us to trolling it a bit more.
I was by then using a lure that I had found a bit earlier, floating by. It was a Classic +10 and as the saying goes: " A found lure is a lucky lure". I got a hit.
The line tensed and started to pull a bit on my rod.
We got all excited and I was afraid that the fish would go in one of the numerous snags bordering the river. But we got it in the boat, thanks to a great netting action from Jason. And I was on the board!

My first Barramundi of the weekend.

At 71cm (27.952756 inches), this was no monster, but still made me feel very content.
This newly found lure was a lucky one.
And look at the chrome on this fish!
It was release too, to grow bigger and fight another day.

Not long after, Jason got a rat of a Barramundi, too small to be a point scorer.

And that was about it for the day...
The river was as beautiful as it can be:

The daly river in the afternoon.

But it was time for us to go back to the camping ground.
On the way we saw some TEBS participants who had elected to sleep in their boat. Straight on the river ready to fish at night if the fish were to come on the chew.
But with what seemed to be a storm coming we went for the safe option.

Sailing back to camp.

The rain was only very short, and after a good shower and a steak at the camp, we fell asleep pretty quick. Yes fishing is exhausting...

On the following morning, the light gave a sensation of end of the world, or maybe new beginning...

Morning light at the Banyan Farm.

This is what I saw as I was getting out of my tent. 
And then we went to the boat ramp:

Light at the boat ramp.

There the light was a bit different, but still quite impressive.
No wonder I love going fishing so much. At any time of the day, there is something to look at.
Just wait to see...

Jason drove the boat past Brown Creek, a spot of very low water, where a few boats ran into trouble:

Jason driving his boat.

Not long after that, we were at the spot where I had caught my Barramundi on the day before.
And Jason line got stretched!
He was on!
The fish started by taking a good run, and quickly as I could, I opened the net.
Yes this was going to be the biggest fish of the day, but after a good fight we saw what kind of fish it was.
And Barramundi it was not...

Shark on the lure.

Yes the Daly too is a river with a healthy population of shark.
Even if we both felt slightly disappointed that it was not a Barramundi, we did have a good laugh about it. These sharks can give you a good work out on Barra gear.

Not long after I got my second Barramundi of the weekend.
As soon as it hit, I thought, Oh this is not a big one, but please be at least 50cm...
But it was only 48cm, not even a point scorer.
Still a fish is a fish, and it definitively made me smile.
It was on the same lure than my last fish too, the lucky found lure.

As we were cruising along the river, either trolling or casting our lures to snags and fishy looking spots. We kept an eye on all the crocodiles that we were seeing. Yes the Daly has a big population of large salt water  and fresh water crocodiles.
We then spotted a salt water one, that seemed to swim a bit strange.
So we went closer, once we realised that it looked pretty much dead.
And dead it was:

Dead crocodile on the Daly River.

It was floating along with the tide, and was really smelly. In fact you could even say that the thing stank like there was no tomorrow!
Now I don't know what killed it, but if that was another crocodile, it must then have been a very big one... Scary...

And this, was the story of the 2016 Top End Barra Series Round 2 from my own point of view.
The fish that I caught put me in the ninth position for the round and 19th on the overall scoreboard.
Which for me is not that bad really, even rather good.

We still had a great time, it was good to catch up with some mate, and to fish on that river where I don't go very often.
Thank you Jason for inviting me on your boat.

Yes we could have caught more fish...

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