Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Morning On Darwin Harbour.

Hi there,

Yes, it had been a long time since I last went fishing.
So when Theodosius sent me a text message asking if I wanted to go fishing on Sunday, I said Yes Please!

The plan was to go and spend the morning on Darwin Harbour, to try to catch a fish or two, and hopefully they would be Barramundi.

At 6:27AM on Sunday I got a text message from Theodosius saying that he was in front of my place.
I ran out with all my gear, impatient to go and get some fish.
Ah the expectation...
Ah the excitement of going on a fishing trip...

We launched easily, from Dinah Beach boat ramp, and headed for some little arms in the harbour in the morning light, as the sun was just rising.

Zooming in the morning.

As we neared the first spot that we were going to fish for the day, I couldn't help to think how lucky we are, living in Darwin. To have such a great harbour on our doorstep.

Sunrise over the mangroves.

Flat waters are the best.

Yes, it was picture perfect, it feel like if we were in an advertisement from Tourism NT.
Once the sun rose high enough to give us some proper light, we saw fog or mist on the mangroves.
For a little while we could have believed that we were in Scotland on our way to fish for Salmon.
It was just a bit warmer that what I imagine Scotland to be.

Dawn on the tidal creek.

It was calm and peaceful, but we wanted the mayhem created by catching some angry fish.
So we set ourselves to the task and started to fish.

Fishing in the first light.

Theodosius, said that a submerged snag was just in front of us, under about two meters of water.
We could see some little Trevally and Queenfish smashing the baits above it.
So we tried to send our lures deeper into the snag. 
And it didn't take long for Theodosius to get the first fish, a nice little Flathead:

Theodosius first fish of the day.

Despite Flatheads being delicious to eat, this one would have been a bit too small to fillet, and as such was released to grow a bit more.
And from the exact same spot Theodosius proceed to reel in two beautiful Golden Snapper, one after the other.
He put back the smaller one in its natural habitat, and gave me the bigger one, that I placed in the esky, as I was not yet sure to catch a fish on the day. And as they say, a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.

Theodosius releasing the smaller Golden Snapper.

I then got hooked up on a medium sized Queenfish, who promptly took my line around a submerged branch and got me truly and properly snagged.
I had to break the line and loose the lure.
So I decided to try my luck with a surface lure and started to flick around a small walk the dog type of lure. As I was doing a cast that should have been pretty average, something happened.
And no, not something great...
The leader knot got stuck on the line guide on the rod, and this here is the result of it:

Bird nest.

Yes, the best bird nest I had in ages was now in my hands.
I looked at it for a few minutes, and decided to leave it as is, and continue the day with my other rod and reel. I would take care of this mess later on at home, and not continue to waste any more of precious fishing time.

With that, we decided to move a bit further and arrive to a beautiful snag that we could perfectly see under shallow water. 
And among the many branches of it, we could see our coveted target, Barramundi!
A few go them were in there, and at the first pass of Theodosius lure, they went straight for it.
Sadly none stayed connected to the lure.
So it was my turn to cast in there, and what a sight.
We could see the Barra coming out between the branches and fighting for the lure. Some of them were really fired up, and had that white line on the front of the head, that they have when full on in feeding mode. One of them had a few go at my offering but failed to hook despite biting on the lure at many reprise. 
Theodosius casted again and this time came back with the good:

Theodosius with the first Barramundi of the weekend.

Even if this one was just slightly too short to keep. I was quite simply getting a lesson in fishing, as I was yet to land a single scale. While my skipper was already on his fourth fish.
It was time to wake up!
As we moved a bit further again, I finally caught my first Barramundi of the day. It was 57cm, so good to keep, and I gave it to Theodosius, as he had given me a Goldie not long ago, this was the least I could do.
And I was now happy to see that I could still catch a fish.

Theodosius was fishing from the top of his ladder, from where he could spot the Barramundi much better than I could. And would regularly point them to me, so I could cast at them.
But he was better than I and came back with another fish:

His second Barramundi for the day.

You could see in the back, how calm was the water. 
The tide was now falling rapidly and we could not stay as close of the mangroves as previously, without the risk of getting stuck in the mud.
So we mover a bit further away:

Falling tide on the mangroves of Darwin Harbour.

At one point, we got surrounded by a school of Blue Salmons, and yes once again, I was not the sharpest hook in the bag, so I wasn't the one to catch one of them.
I suppose that you guessed who got one:

First Blue Salmon.

This fish was released to fight another day.
It didn't took long before I heard the Yep! I am on! again.
Yet this time, even if smaller, the fish was handled with more precaution, du to his good set of teeth:

Baby Barracuda on the lure.

Yes it was just a young one, but it already would have had a nasty little bite, and was treated accordingly.

We then went to a little creek where Theodosius told me that he had once lost a nice Barra in there.
I really hopped I would get one in there.
And it happened:

My second Barramundi for the morning.

Coming in at 66cm (25.984252 Inches), I decided to keep this fish too for a good feed.
And by now, I can tell you that it tasted delicious.
There I also caught a Catfish and a little shark. Both were released, rest reassured.

After that we went back to the first snag that we fished earlier in the morning. 
With the now lower tide we saw the lure I had previously lost, dangling on one of the now visible branches, And Theodosius managed to grab it and gave it back to me.

We then went to a last creek to try to find some more Barramundi. But what we found was a lot of Blue Salmon.
We even got a double hook up on them, and here is the result of it:

Blue Salmon double.

Both of them were released as we already had enough to provide our respective family with a good feed of fresh fish.
So on this good note, we decided to call it a day and to head back to the ramp.
This was a happy day, we saw many fish and stingrays. Even a small pod of dolphin on the way back.
Thank you Theodosius for inviting me on your boat.

So I had a great meal of fresh fish, but now I still have this bird nest to take care of...

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

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