03
Jul

Have been landbased fishing quite a lot lately with a good mate Tony (barra eyes) who is back from working away. Tony is a soft plastic and live bait lover, to Tony nothing beats an unweighted live prawn and who can argue with that (when it comes to bait fishing anyway), his favourite soft plastic is a 2 inch gulp shrimp.

This is a silver grunter I caught flicking soft plastics around Kamerunga Bridge one rainy morning. These fish are easily one of the strongest fighting fish you can catch for their size and they could pull a GT, Sooty or Jack backwards. Good sign of water quality, but really not much about this morning.

Later that day we hit spot N armed with loads of live prawns that we castnetted earlier. Unsure if it was the fact the prawns seemed very lethargic, but we ended up catching more fish on tiny gulp shrimp, with an exciting bite window that saw 4-5 few fish landed in minutes. There were GT, tarpon and barra all hitting bait on the surface. Later after the plastics and bait shut down and I got nailed by a big barra that I couldn’t turn (nowhere near, simply no chance) and lost my Gold Lucky Craft Staysee 100DD hardbody to a pylon. For about 20 minutes I was getting follows and bumps but no solid hookups, all it took was a slight change in hardbody and action to reignite them.

Here are some of the fish caught, not everything got a photo, but some of the tarpon were good size and made for some exciting runs as they were really hitting hard. Tony got a couple of barra in the 50’s as usual and I caught a horse bream that wasn’t very long, but was the fattest bream I’ve ever seen (the picture does no justice to this fish).

 

22
Feb

Noticed the tide was high this morning so quickly got ready as it had already started running out and got moving to a spot tiotony very generously showed me that I affectionately call the Mazdabator bridge (cos it’s a bridge and it’s near Mazda!).

As per last session there with tiotony, there were fish around and I wacked on a gulp shrimp that I couldn’t help buying when in BigW the other day as I know how well they work up here. Cast up under the bridge in the culvert (I’m pretty sure that’s what they are called), trying the different ‘rectangle windows’ opening as the tide runs out. The best method is to skip cast as far as you can get the plastic up the culvert and flick it back down not far off the bottom. Best done just before the drain starts flowing too hard as you can get more flicks in.

Had not been there long and got a big hit, this thing hit hard, started pulling what I thought was a locked up drag and after a few good pulls I managed to start to control it a little with a touch more drag set. This was until another good pull and I struggled to give it anymore room for fear of a bust up. Pulled the jighead open and it was all over 🙁

With a little (read: big) sigh and visions a small red demon laughing at me from beneath, I rigged a stronger, but smaller hidden weight jighead and tried a few different sections of the culvert. Nothing much was happening so I went back to the same spot and skipped way up under, letting the prawn mostly drift back with maybe two hops back, then, BAM. Another good solid hit and zip, zip, zzzzzzz, zzzzzzzzz, zzzzz, zzzzzzz, zzz, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz as this fish zig zags it’s way back and forward with some good headshakes. Then I just couldn’t stop it and POP! Devastated, I selected a few VERY CHOICE words and all I could do was explete them, rather loudly.

I’m using 12ld braid and the leader knots were holding up very well, jigheads either opening, or jighead knots breaking what was a frustrated angler to do? Knots were good. I only had 40lb as an alternative, so I thought may as well tough it out and see as 40lb might not be fair game and a big boring. (Note to self, get some leader knob). So I persisted and unwound the drag just a touch as I couldn’t afford to give these fish any more rope.

Hooked another and this time after a lot of zz (this is a tight drag ZZZzzz), zzzzz, zz, head shake, zip, zzzz, fish tired pretty quick and I noticed the familiar GT shape. You beauty, finally subdued one.

Then same, same with the drag same setting, but this guy was a brute and I just held on as he zipped around. Took a good few minutes just to stop him running and up pops a very slightly bigger (bad pic) and more angry model.

The people that walk past this spot all look at you like, wtf is this wanker doing fishing here. One guy that watched as I got the last GT in, couldn’t believe there were fish there. Lots of people say that as they walk past. Another guy on a bike even managed to ring his bell to get my attention to tell me that “Fishing is cruelty”, but I all heard, was “Fishing, you beauty!!”

All fish went back of course.

So later today I thought I’d finally go and do a quick check out of a spot just up the road from me that has looked promising. So I walked up a slip of mangroves along what felt like VERY CROCY territory to a bend in the creek with rocks, other structure, bridges, a weir and mangroves nearby to see what’s around where it narrows off a bit.

After rounding the bend I noticed these kids fishing with hand lines and I swear this kid was walking on water. WTFFFFFFFF, man am I getting this old already that I’m seeing stuff?? Well it turns out that these kids were standing on a very slightly submerged weir and fishing bait. Watched them pull in a few little fish and even a small jack. Which I think/hope they let go as it was undersized. Now these kids are either tough as nails or stupid (I fear the latter) standing anywhere near the water with the crocs up here, one kid said to me, “na I’m not worried they are all small in this creek”. Like that matters, and you’d know, I thought to myself!

So I cast a plastic, then a lucky craft small bevy shad (with upgraded hooks) around while I watched and apart from a few good bumps on one cast, nothing, but a promising spot none the less. One the way back I stopped at another spot and noticed a few lumps of dirt sticking up out the middle of the creek. So I flicked a cast out and nailed it, landing the cast less than an inch off the exposed part, two turns of the crank and BAM, I was on. Now this fish did not F around, he pulled me downstream against the current for but a moment, before heading over to the mangroves in record time. I felt the leader tangle and I just wound and ripped him out of there as best I could, (not that I wasn’t already doing that)! Managed to get him out straight away and get him over to where I was. Lifted him out and yep, a little jack. The strongest fish for it’s size I’ve ever met. The leader was scuffed to bits and he really was not happy, wanted to eat my finger. Got a quick snap and back he went.

I was getting nailed my sand flys and had caught my first jack on a lure, so stoked as, I left for home. Defiantly a good spot to explore with tiotony someday soon!

One the way back ran into a local homeless guy that was pretty cool. He said he always leaves the lures he finds on this certain tree and that he swims all up the creek and is more scared of the big barra than crocs. Classic, some weird ones up here (hey Tony)!