27
Nov

Session where bait yielded nothing, but caught a couple of GTs on the vibe and my first wolf herring. Dropped a very large barra that made my reel scream like never before and also something large from the depths of the channel in the Inlet.

Did well to land the larger GT around the pylons, certainly went hard for a smaller trev.

wolf

trev

lil-trev

24
Apr

Had another live bait session a few nights ago in the Trinity Inlet. Live bait collection was easy, but no prawns. When we arrived I spotted some surface action and and called it for grunter chasing prawns. I was wrong and they turned out to be 60-70cm barra just cruising on the surface clearly visible in the clear high tide water. They wait for bait to get pushed off the flats by the tide and sit in ambush. Tony decided to try and cast net one and instantly they shut down. Needless to say, next time we will be throwing lures and plastics at them from a distance rather than the cast net. Barramundi are so in tune with their surroundings they really remind me of jungle perch. Doesn’t take much, but a sniff of danger and they shut down and move on (unless there is a stupid feeding frenzy going down).

grunt

After collecting bait from the flats we tried some deeper water that looked very promising and also threw some dead baits and yabbies out into the channel. One of my baits was snavelled and upon striking I could tell it wasn’t much of a fish and up came a cute little barred grunter. Not too long after I was bricked on the drop by a decent fish, not much chance to stop it. We both hooked some GT on live herring. I caught a small jack and Tony got a 60cm barra which he kept for his stomach.

trevor

TREVV

trev-tony

jackk

I also managed to get owned by something very large from out in the channel, presumably a large fingermark on light gear. I had no chance around oyster encrusted pylons but in hindsight I could have played it much better but I panicked when I felt the weight of the fish and just couldn’t turn if from heading straight at the wharf. I lost a similar fish last year that ran from deep water back straight under the wharf as if it knew what it was doing. These are the fish that keep us coming back for more. Suckers for punishment.

We returned the next night and Tony caught a 55 barra on live herring and a small queeny on a shrimp plastic. I caught a cute small jack. There were thousands of herring on the drop off the flats and we spooked the barra again off the bite and up into the mangroves. Doesn’t take much for them to work out what’s going on at this spot at night in relatively clear water.

queenfish

abse

jacky

castnet

Tony better start taking some photos of his barra I reckon, or at least allow a quick photo before release. Would be good to add them into these posts.

25
Mar

With the water levels elevated after some good rain, we hit a local freshwater creek for some jungle perch (Kuhlia rupestris) action!

Second cast at second spot in the main pool and I had a good hit, twitched the lure twice more hoping for a return and bang, I was on. It instantly took to the air and I had it called for a tarpon as it went bananas on the end of the line, then it decided to go deep and pulled some drag and I stated calling it for a small barra due to the strength and deep bodied look of the fish. All assumptions were incorrect and I had my PB jungle perch on the line! After a few tense moments, I got down off the mud cliff and the fish was lip gripped. Impressive fighter and good sized JP!

JP-lure
Healthy jungle perch caught using a Zip Bait Rigge MD 56SS on 6lb leader

JP-38
New PB at 38cm 😀

JP
Local Cairns creek scenery.

We did the rounds of all the usual spots for a couple of dropped fish and a fair few missed hits. Most of the fish were not sitting on the same snags as last time the water was this high. Tony caught the only other fish for the short trip, a healthy little guy on the last cast.

T-JP
Healthy little JP on a shallow crank

T-JP-hold
Don’t let the photo fool you, Tony was stoked with his JP lol!

11
Mar

Dinner was canceled and a last minute decision was made to go for a fish. I’ve been keen to test some of the latest batch of lures that I’ve come up with. Mostly larger lures with a bit of bulk to them. The plan was to collect live bait, soak a line in the Trinity Inlet and flick a lure around the lights where bait and barra congregate.

It was a fairly quiet night with not many runs, then out of nowhere Tony and I got a double hook up, his was a legal mangrove jack and mine a 60cm barramundi. The mangrove jack was caught on a sardine and the barra on a bony bream. We persisted for another 30-45 minutes with not much result before moving out of the shallow water into the deep not long after the tide started to run out.

60cm barra

60cm barra-mat

Fishing the deeper water was slow, the water was consistently changing between turbid and relatively clean with not much bait around. Then out of the blue, Tony caught a 40+ fingermark and also a fairly decent tarpon on a gulp shrimp, christening his new reel. After around an hour some bait (mostly mullet) started moving into the area off the flats and so did the barramundi. Tony started getting ‘flashed’ by big barra as he retrieved his tiny two inch shrimp, so I started throwing around one of the lures I’ve made.

I put out a long cast and instantly started a moderate to fast constant retrieve just near a developing current line. The lure got belted hard, really hard. Instantly taking to the air I could see this was a decent barra, I felt the line pull tight and the lure secure its place firmly in the jaw. This fish was full of beans and did his best to both dislodge the lure jumping several times with violent head shakes then huge diving runs setting the hook firmly. Also trying it’s best to take me around the pylons as well. The gear I was using stood up to the fight but I couldn’t believe the strength this barra had, on one of the power runs I was actually pulled off my feet momentarily. Awesome, haven’t had a estuary fish do that before! Netting the fish in a dilly lift pot was certainly hairy, yet mildly entertaining and it took many, many attempts in the fast flowing current. Didn’t look good on a few occasions but the braid held up and rod kept the barra off the pylons with relative ease. Very happy with this set up and it is far more capable than I’d given it credit for.

We were a little surprised the fish only went 85cm as it was a very healthy specimen and was called for closer to 90cm in the water. But for my first fish on a homemade lure, I couldn’t be happier! I tested the lure in the pool earlier in the day and even though it needs a final clear coat, the lure swam well so I thought I’d give it a go. Tony’s mate Matt saw it in the water and really liked the action asking me about it, he couldn’t believe I’d made it which was good feedback.

85cm barra on homemade timber lure

85-barra

85-barra-mat

Tony also dropped a large barra which was bound to happen fishing tight quarters with 8lb braid and a medium heavy rod. Hooked on the humble two inch shrimp!!

10
Jan

Happy New Year, lots of things planned for this year and heaps of news. I’ll start with a couple of photos from my last couple of land based sessions in Cairns. The rest I will save for up coming posts.

**Barra was released (closed season until 12 noon Feb 1st) and only brought from the water as I was fishing off a jetty and can’t release waterside without go-go-gadget arms!!

Caught this 62cm Northern Sand Flathead (Platycephalus arenarius) land-based this morning in a spot I noticed flathead lies. Just had to get the tide right.

Lure was a Maria MJ-1 D50SP in a natural prawn type colour (nice little lure).