Daly River 2018

And jacks, salmon, jewfish - tell us how you went. NT, FNQ and Norwest.
Corry
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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by Corry » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:03 pm

Fantastic reports and words of wisdom WW... lovin the read


Cheers
Corry

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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by NTFizzer » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:42 pm

dat being the contaminated Tindal aquifer

wonderwobler
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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by wonderwobler » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Water temperatures fluctuate a fair amount and must have an effect on things that swim, the air temperature certainly impacts on us land based animals.

It would be handy to know the temperature in the water column. At present the surface temp is around 25c regardless of the air temp. With generally overcast sky and swift flowing water it seems to remain stable around that for a fair bit of time, we can only assume that it’s cooler under the surface and the deeper the water the cooler it gets.

Anglers who care or think about these details have theories usually based on observation about fish activity in relation to surface water temps, there is a general consensus that cold surface water below 22c and hot water above 37c is generally not conducive to active feeding fish.

As the river flow slows and the depth decreases, in a “normal” season these things coincide with a clearing of the sky, the combination resulting in a steady temp climb, by the time the river settles to its dry season flows the surface temp aligns with the air temperature. Somewhere along the way a sweet spot happens, at about 27c the fish seem to be in the top section of the water column and aggressively feeding, retreating into deeper water as the temp climbs.

Perhaps that’s why trolling among the snags or bait fishing is more productive when things heat up, the fish are living in the most comfortable water they can find. Night fishing probably benefits from slightly cooler surface temps.

A temperature probe or some way of measuring the water column temps could be a useful tool, there’s sure to be a device out there and if there isn’t go to your shed and invent one, you will make a quid.

wonderwobler
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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by wonderwobler » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:33 pm

The river is falling in height.
Us river bank dwellers have not seen such a slow recede of water before, given that most of the heavy rain occurred downstream of Dorisvale it is remarkable the sheer volume of water that has flowed past my home.

Sand deposits on the bank left behind by the flood water seem unusually small compared to past flood events. I know that in the upper reaches of the catchment the soil is far sandier than around here, during the 2015 flood the water came nearly exclusively from the upper catchment area, in fact we were experiencing a very low rain fall season here in the lower reaches yet the sand deposits left behind were massive.

Most people who know the river were aware that it seemed to be getting shallower, Browns Creek being the most obvious sign of the change. It will be interesting to see if there is a “flushing” effect created by the current flood event.

It might be an illusion or a result of my aging eyesight but the water seems clearer, it’s still the colour of tea with milk but is comparatively clear in the shallow still water, this will increase over the coming weeks as the green water from upstream mixes with the brown water and has that marbling look, it’s a trigger for action.

An old man from the area told me that he can smell when the fish are feeding and to some extent where they are in the river, I think I have experienced that phenomenon more than once, but at the time didn’t register what it meant. I have read and heard of blue water fishermen experiencing similar things, catching a whiff of a far off bait school being devoured by Tuna and the like.

Successful predators are switched on to the environment. Next time you’re on the water and you turn on the electronic gadgets in the boat don’t forget to tune into all your senses.

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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by NinjaFish » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:54 pm

Always WW :)

Another 90 odd pages with pics would be awesome and I'll place my order now for the first signed copy :drinking8: for the read.

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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by wonderwobler » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:26 pm

I could hear the hum of the engine long before the boat was visible as I slipped number 23 back into the water, time for a smoko.

As I approached the creek with tannin water pouring out and mixing with the brown river it seemed devoid of fish activity, no boofing or nervous bait flicking about, a sea eagle was standing century nearby but no white birds were present.

My boat is fairly basic and somewhat ancient, just like me. The most modern thing aboard is the sounder, so after about 10 minutes or so of “looking” I thought there might be some fish life in deeper water. I anchored a long cast away from the nearest vegetation and where the color change was apparent in about 15m of water in the main river current.

Everyone has their favorite go to lures, I like to use floating deep crash diving minnow type lures in natural colour schemes as a first option to explore the water column, they are easy to control with retrieve speed and have served me well in the past.
After a round half an hour of casting in a 180 degree radius I had one knock in a spot hard up against some spindly branches of a tree top, I estimated the lure was deeper than 3m due to the angle of retrieve, I peppered that area for a while with the same lure without response.

A change of lure to a suspending type minnow with upgraded hooks that makes it sink slowly is one I have had great success with the last couple of years. I punched the lure up current from the suspected fish lair and let it sink as I counted of up to ten, slowly turning the handle to keep the belly out of the line, nothing. Another dozen casts and I increased the countdown, on 17 a solid hit and I’m on, the fish breaches and is around the mid-sixties. A few jumps and runs and it’s beside the boat and netted, I opened the account.

The next two and a bit hours were busy, if I landed the lure in the dining room at the right angle I could nearly anticipate the bite somewhere between 17 and 20 on my countdown, most of the fish were mid-sixties to low seventies, great fish that hit hard and jumped high. Two fish landed went 79 & 85. I got smoked by two other bigger fish. One spat the lure jumping the other buried the lure deep in the timber.

I sat down for a smoko after number 23, I had worked up a thirst and it had been a while since breakfast. The approaching boat was closing in fast and was on course for the creek. I gave the crew who were all dressed alike looking like pox doctors clerks a nod as the skipper quickly manoeuvred his boat into position up against the vegetation amongst the tannin water and tied the vessel of on a tree branch.

The lures began flying in all directions; we exchanged polite greetings and the cursory questions of are you catching any, I admitted to nothing and continued having my smoko. I could sense the skipper felt he had shown regard for me by mooring his craft well away from me. I watched as lures of colors as bright as the shirts they wore splashed down and then furiously retrieved so the lure action could be felt by the caster.

I was enjoying the break, I sometimes forget the mileage on my legs and various joints when I get excited and the fish are on.

Some people underestimate how well sound travels well over water, I started to hear whispered grumblings of “this is dead” and “nothing happening here” from the crew, I think my body language and apparent lack of enthusiasm also fueled the mood on board.

After about 15 minutes of frenzied casting and without a lure change or tactical variation the engine kicked into life and the boat pulled out and we wished each other good luck, they were out of sight as quick as a flash.

I washed my hands, put on a bit more sun screen washed my hands again and sent my lure into the dining room, number 24 was beside the boat as the sound of the engine faded.

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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by coastaljoy » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:23 pm

Great write up WW that would have been very funny sitting there watching them, you must of kept a good poker face. cheers for taking the time to post
he fishes he fishes he fishes its the only thing in life all he ever gets is hell from his fed up wife

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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by jeffish » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:31 pm

You sly Old Bastard :lolpoint: great read enjoyed it .

Scotty69
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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by Scotty69 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:00 pm

Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm :) :D

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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by kingsley_z » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:36 pm

Great read.

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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by Flickin4em » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:45 pm

Brilliant.! :mrgreen:

Top stories there mate :applause: keep up the good work. Loving this thread and can't wait to get down there. Admidttedly I'm one of those clowns you'll see dressed up in the latest gear with the super dooper latest samaki ''vibe'' tied on my spin rod. Instead of the nilsie spearheads on ABU 5600s or millionaire's running 12lb mono of years gone by. Still casting to the same spot though ironically.

Amazing how the river has changed so much over the years but I still love the opportunity to get down there every chance I get.

See you down the river :cheers:
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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by pms » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:42 pm

:applause:

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scottmac
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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by scottmac » Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:48 pm

Love this thread.
"I'm gonna whittle ya into kindling!" -16 shells from a thirty-ought six- Tom Waits

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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by Andy Grey » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:23 am

Thanks Wobler top stuff,...makes me want to pack up my life and nomad it up on the Daly.
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Re: Daly River 2018

Post by wazdog » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:29 am

It's the best river in the territory!!

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