Hullick Family Fishing Diaries.February 16th, 2011 | Fishing Trips | No Comments »
Thought I’d update the blog to include a few of the fishing trips from 2012. Not a bad year on all fishing fronts for the whole family such was the great fish we found at a variety of spots around Darwin and beyond. This year’s trip to the South Alligator for New Year’s was a bit of a flop in the fishing stakes but we had a good time anyway. Fishing gear failure plagued our trip but did provide one amusing story. Suzi foul-hooked what turned out to be a large powertail (catfish) and shortly after the hookup, the reel broke off from the reel seat. This meant for the rest of the fight (about 10 mins), Suzi worked the rod while Jamie worked the reel from the palm of his hand standing beside his mum. Orders were issued all round for the whole fight which ended with a few exasperated “Bugger”s. We were all hoping it was a huge Barra but unfortunately it wasnt to be.
Earlier in the year, Suzi won the battle of the big barra with a 105cm specimen from the mouth of Tommycut creek. The following pic and an accompanying story graced the pages of the local fishing mag – Fishing and Outdoors. Here’s Suzi and the fish:
Unfortunately, that was the only fish of that trip but a couple of months later, the whole family packed up and trekked over to Channel Point for a few days at the campgrounds. The fishing over there was fantastic with everyone in the family coming home with some excellent fishy memories. Here’s a selection:
Suzi with her first Black Jewfish (aka Mulloway for those of southern addresses) and a feisty Barracuda.
Everyone got into the Queenfish. Out of about a dozen landed (all this size), we only kept one for Numus (yum!) – all others were released very quickly once the photo was taken. Mum and Dad caught these two at the same time (double hookup!!).
Channel Point is a fantastic trip – it is on the western side of the Top End about 300kms from Darwin. The campground is excellent with showers and toilets and private camp spots. Only 10 cars are allowed into the campground at any one time so you can find a fishing spot all to yourself and haul in catches like those above. We plan to do at least one trip out here each year.
Mates Run-off trip
We finally resurrected the “Boys Annual Run-off Trip” this year due to much cajoling and harrassing by me after a fairly long hiatus of a few years. A huge list of characters signed up for the trip but once the obligatory cyclone went past us and dumped about a metre of rain in a few days, most pulled out (some at the last minute). Those of us that were left braved the incessant rain and ended up having a great trip. Who says Barra dont bite in the rain. We mainly fished the downstream creeks above the Rookery and ended up with an excellent bag of Barra each. Unfortunately we didnt bother with too many Barra photos so you will have to take my word for it that we did in fact do well. I did however, take a couple of photos of the conditions which were pretty average to be honest. On the upside though…..it was beautiful and cool.
Stu with a catfish that almost made it to the boat in one piece. Both of these photos were taken at the same spot on the Rookery a few minutes apart. We landed about 5 Barra here. We caught many more a few km’s downstream in the same creek and then more back out in the main South Alligator River casting into creek mouths that were all spewing fresh run-off water.
King Ash Bay – Macarthur River trip (Nov 11).
I thought I’d put in another trip I took with another group of mates a few months before the Run-off. We had been planning this trip for about 6 months and despite the flat tyres on the way over and back (we did 5 all up), we had a great time of it. Unfortunately the Barra were well and truly off the bite in the main Macarthur river and the bottom fishing was a bit flat over the reefs outside the river. Fortunately however, the pelagic fishing up and around the islands was great, as was the camping. Here’s a few pics:
Mick (Captain Pugwash) Lacey. Boat owner and skipper extraordinaire.
Deckies Bob, Tallman and Hully with a Spanish Mackerel each. Interestingly, all the Macks we caught were 120cm long. We also caught Spotty Mackerel, Cod, Barracuda, Tricky Snapper and a lone Coral Trout. Without a doubt though, the best fishing was done on the troll up and around the North Island of the Sir Edward Pellew group of islands. We camped at the magnificent campground on the tip of the north island inside a sheltered sandy bay. It has all the mod cons…..a long drop dunny, two huge water tanks (with water filter and tap), a hard stand area with trimdeck roof and a fire pit. All you need for a few days of camping and having your arms ripped from their sockets by super fast pelagics.
Author with a nice little Tuna and Trevally…..having a ball!!
Macarthur River at sunset after another great days fishing. Another of the reasons I like to fish!
King Ash Bay which is about 30kms from the mouth of the Macarthur river lies about a thousand km’s from Darwin. Its a long haul but the fishing and the scenery makes the long drive (and many flat tyres) worth it.
2011 New Year’s trip
The yearly trek to the South Alligator over new years was on again (been going for around 10 years now) and has become something of a tradition. This year was a little more event filled than most years but unfortunately not in the fishing stakes. With only a couple of undersized barra to show for our floodplain visit on the first couple of days, we decided to head to the mouth so see if we could change our luck. The trip down was fantastic with mirror like conditions and a following tide making the trip short and comfortable. Here’s a few pics:
Barron Island looking toward the Jewie holes.
Looking from Baron Island across to Field.
Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the fish that it was a perfect day for fishing and we only ended up with one baby (60cm) Jewie for a 2 hour jigging session. The lack of breeze made conditions a little tropical but no-one was complaining. A quick trip over to Brooke nr 2 produced a nice 80cm threadie during a downpour in the early afternoon but nothing else. So we headed back to the main Brooke creek to meet up with our co-travellers. Thats where the dramas began.
One of the boats we were travelling with was uncharacteristically anchored up just inside Brooke. It seems that the Merc 60 four stroke wouldn’t run due to the very flat battery attached to it. Even pull starting it would only work for a few seconds before it gave out again. As no-one in the creek had a second battery on board and seeing as it was getting on a bit, we decided that the only course of action we had was to leave the boat down here for the night and come back in the morning. Bugger. Here’s a little feeder creek you might recognise a few hundred metres inside Brooke with the recalcitrant boat firmly anchored inside for the night:
So with the owners of the boat split amongst the two other boats, we set off for home. Unfortunately, the dream run down became a nightmare run home. After driving through a couple of rain squalls, the brand new Yammie 115 four stroke had its first taste of something solid when we found ourselves sitting on a sandbar about two metres from 10 feet of deep water. Who put that there? Luckily, no damage was done and we were able to press on…..until the mother of all river storms loomed about 3kms short of the boat ramp.
The lady skipper of our boat was none too pleased when the male skippers of the two boats decided that it would be better if we rode out the storm tucked in behind a little mud headland instead of pressing on back to the ramp and the relative safety of the cars and the Aurora Kakadu. Well….we got smashed. Driving rain and all-too-close lightning strikes were actually no problem compared to the looks I received from Number 1 boss lady who doesnt count lightning amongst her favourite things. Eldest son actually got a jolt from one strike whilst holding on to the wet canopy supports. A cup of concrete later and he was all good.
Visibilitywas quite poor during the storm. Unfortunately, visibility wasn’t poor enought to save me from the death stares:
But, as they say, all’s well that ends well and after a nervous hour getting belted by a new years day storm, we made it back to the boat ramp and then home base – the Aurora Kakadu. A few rumbo’s later and ,whilst I hadn’t been totally forgiven for my apparent lack of judgement, the days events became rollicking good stories. Next day we headed back to the mouth (minus lady skipper) to collect the other boat and unbelieveably, there it was intact and waiting. Dreams of pulled anchors and driving rain sinking the boat were for nought. We connected up the new battery and headed for home with our tails between our legs.
We tried the culverts on the way home to Darwin later that same day and despite the early rain and the fact that they were all pumping….zero. Oh well, we’ll get ‘em next year.