Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Morning Fishing Middle Arm.

Hi there,

Last Monday was a public holiday, and what could we do on a public holiday?
Well, we spent the morning fishing in Middle Arm.
  • We fished in Middle Arm.
  • We caught many fish.
  • Some crabs too.
  • It was an epic day.
Brett had been looking on Google Maps to try to find some new spots to explore.
There was a mud flat in Middle Arm, that he was yet to fish, and asked me if I wanted to go with him on this little exploratory trip.
Of course I said yes.
We left rather early and arrived way too early to our destination. The water was still high in the mangrove. 

Morning light in the mangrove.

No matter how beautiful this was, we had too much water under the boat to catch any fish.
To kill a bit of time we sailed along the mangroves, enjoying the scenery. I did try to blind cast a popper here and there. And one Barramundi boofed it, got connected, dived and promptly got the lure snagged on a submerged taproot. The fish swam away, the lure floated back to the surface, alone...

By then, the tide had begun to go down, and we could start to see a few Barra on the flat.
Most of them spook before we were even ready to try to catch them.
But one, swimming parallel to the boat, going in the same direction, attracted our attention.
Brett told me to have a go at it. I flicked my lure, swam it past its nose, for not even the slightest reaction. I tried a second time and the same scenario unfolded.
Brett tried then to cast a fly near him. When the fly passed in front of him, he turned toward it. Followed for a little while, very slow, then just boofed it in a flash! And Brett got his first sight casted fish on a fly for the season.

First Barramundi on the fly of the dry season.

Ok, with one Barramundi on the board, we knew that we had come to the right spot.
It was a nice little specimen, and was released to fight another day.
The water high was not yet optimal for the pursuit of Barramundi. Yet, we could spot another delicious prey walking below us...

Mud crab on the spear.

Yes Mud Crabs of good size seemed to be in good numbers on this flat.
The yell of "Mud Crab, Give me the spear!" would resonate two more times:

Mud Crab number two.

Mud Crab number three.

After putting three of them in the esky, we were reassured that none of us would be hungry on this day. Our focus switched back to the more elusive Barramundi.
Brett had got one on the boat, I had lost one, most of the ones we saw, were too nervous and panicky for us to have any real chance to tempt them with our lures...
They would sometimes follow the lure, nearly to the boat, get very very close to the lure, and turn around and disappear in a dash.
When I finally got one to take my lure in earnest, and start jumping around.
It wasn't a monster, but I got excited, and managed to get it in the boat.

My first Barramundi of the day.

This one was slightly undersized, and was put back in his element, so he could grow a bit more, until next time.
We continued to move around on this rather large flat, were we saw a large number of ray and shark.
Some small, some bigs, I tried to take some photograph of them, but my pocket camera doesn't have a polariser filter, and they didn't come out as expected.
In fact they were so many rays, that we sometimes got confused by their wings flaps thinking it was the flash of a Barra. 
We stayed a while without catching anything, starting to wonder what was going on.
When I pointed to a silvery flash in the water saying: Barra, there!
And casted a bit in front of it.
Brett said that it was a stingray, as we then saw one just in the spot I had pointed to.
But just then with a sharp jolt my line pulled me back to attention, the rod had a serious bent in it, and the water splashed all over as a nice slabe of chrome erupted out of the water.
I was on!
And to a nice Barramundi.
It started to go right, then left, trying to get away. I got it near the boat, but it then made a good run away from us again. Brett asked me if I had forgotten to put any drag on my reel. This fish truly was able to take some good run, but I assured Brett that my drag was on.
Finally it was close to the boat, I was going to be able to get it in the boat.
And the lure flew pass my head at great speed... The Barra had spit it as he was just at my feet.
Looking at the lure I saw that the hook had bent. Yes, I had some drag on my reel, maybe even a bit too much of it in fact...
Hard lesson...

On the same spot Brett came up with a fish, and a good one too.
This one was going to be for the esky:

A fish for the table.

We now had an esky with three mud crabs and one good Barra. But I was yet to contribute to any of the bounty.
It started to sink upon us, that we might have found a nice little honey hole.
I got a lot of hit, but kept loosing my fish.
Brett on the other hand was having a ball of a time:

Brett's third fish of the day.

And ...

Brett's fourth Barramundi of the day.

It is not that like me he was losing some fish. But he still managed to get a good proportion of them in the boat.
I was starting to think that I would need to do some homework on how to properly hook a fish.
At least I got one that stayed connected to the lure, and was able to bring it to the boat:

My first legal Barramundi of the trip.

This one was of legal size, and I kept it for dinner. I was happy.
I loose some more, and Brett got another one in:

Happy as a man who catch all the fish.

A lot of Barramundi were swimming around a rather small patch of mud. It was really good fishing.
Even if I kept loosing them.
Still I got a good hookup, and this one seemed of a reasonable size.
It took me a bit longer to get it in the boat:

My best Barramundi of the day.

Still no giant fish, but a nice one that I decided to keep for my mother in law.
Because she is a good woman, and sometimes staying in the good books is as easy to bring back a fresh fish.
This one was going to be the last fish of the trip, it was time to go back.
But what a trip it had been!
Thank you Brett to invite me to explore this part of the harbour that you had never fished before. It was really worthwhile. 
This had been a great day.
Yes we did miss and lost a lot of fish...

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

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