Monday, November 7, 2016

Fishing In The Mangroves.

Hi there,

Yes, I went back to Channel Island...
  • I fished in the morning.
  • At Channel Island.
  • Even small fish are sweet.
I arrived at Channel island earlier than usual. As I wanted to fish a different spot than the one that I usually go to there.
Every times that I went fishing on Channel Island land based, I walked past a small clearing in the mangrove. Both Theosodius and Arrabmundi had told me that they got fish in that clearing. I needed to try it.
It is a beautiful little place:

Arriving near the mangrove.

To arrive at the mangrove, you first have to walk on the rocks, and this is the hardest part of the walk.
Luckily it doesn't last very long. Once there, it is like a small oasis, or the tropical mangrove version of it:

I fished from there.

It is a great little spot. Without much room to flick a lure from, every cast there is for me a mini challenge.
Yet I was thinking that I could manage to get a fish from there, and was rather optimistic about it.
In fact I keep waking up in the night leading to it, being as exited as the average kid on the night before Christmas. No I don't have a fishing problem, I just like it...
Anyway, perched on this little outcrop made of mud and roots, I had a great view of what was swimming in this waterhole. And I felt relatively secure crocodile wise, yet I wasn't too cocky. And was definitively not going to get down in the water if my lure had been stuck on a submerged pice of timber or anything else.
This was good thinking as Theodosius told me later on that he had seen a crocodile in this very spot in the past...
For me still looking for a spot where I could take my child for her to have a go at Barramundi fishing, where I would not fear for her to be taken by a crocodile... This was not going to be the spot, that is for sure.

So all seemed good, except that there was no bait swimming around, and that the spot seemed strangely calm...
Not a single hit on the line...
Starting to be a bit bored, I went to look at the rocks from where I previously fished on.
Once there I immediately saw that the tide was still way too high, and that I could not fish there.
Back to the mangrove was the plan.
It was still very quiet, the only difference was a couple of big diamond scale mullet lazily floating around. No jitters in these fish, obviously no-one was trying to make a meal out of them. At one stage I was even starting to take photographs of the mullets, that how fast paced the action was.

Relaxed Mullet.

Oh well, I was there, I had a fishing rod and a few fishing lures. I might as well practice my casting, and lob my lure as close as I could of the underwater roots opposite me.
Doing so, I retrieved my lure in a rather mechanical kind of way, looking at the marks of the receding tide on the wet trees. When a sharp jerk in my line made me focus back quick and sharp on why I was there in the first place. But the only thing I saw, was a big silver flank followed by a large yellow tail, waving goodbye to me.
After all this time I finally had a hit from a Barramundi, and totally missed it.
I tried to see the positive side of it. At least, I was in the right spot, using the proper lure.
With my attention back to the task at hand, I noticed that baits had entered the mangrove, and that the occasional boof or splash could be heard around the place.
Optimism was back in full force, and I concentrated my casting near a half submerged snag.
I was watching my soft plastic moving in the water, in an injured fish manner. When I saw the Barramundi come out of the snag, and attacking from the side, swallowing the lure.
I hooked him up by raising sharply the rod, and he seemed a bit surprise, not moving, just staying on his side. Then just like that, it hit the burners and made a line for the mangrove. I thumbed the spool, and pulled on the rod. Luckily it wasn't a big fish and this made him change direction and head straight for the middle of the water pool. From there a short fight in zigzag across the water separating us, and the Barramundi was at my feet. I grabbed the leader and pulled the fish out of water.
It wasn't a big one, but when you have been trying for a few hours, even small fish are sweet.

My little Barramundi of the day.

It was too short to be kept, so it was released to grow a few more centimetres before next time.
By now the water had really gone down, and it was too shallow for me to continue fishing there.
This brought me back for the second time of the day to go on the rocks from where I fished on my previous visits to the place.
From there, with a clear view on the harbour, I realised that a storm might be about to hit.
I still wanted a bigger fish and tried to fish there. After just a little while, I saw a guy pass in from of me on a kayak, with two fishing rods in the holders.

Fishing from a kayak.

It was clear to me that this guy was much braver than I.
Between the approaching storm and the risk of meeting a crocodile, I would not have swapped place with him for anything in the world.
A few minutes passed and I began to feel the cold wind, and see the mangrove trees behind me starting to bent and move a bit too much for my liking. The storm was closing in.
It was time to leave, and fast. A brisk walk got me back to the car, just as the first raindrops commenced to fall.

The storm upon me.

So I didn't get a big Barramundi, and the fishing was cut short because of the storm.
I really would like to eat some good fresh fish.

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

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