Southern Fishing

Flew down with the fam to catch up with some fmaily and friends for a few weeks, and hoping to fit in a spot of fishing while I was in the south east corner of the country.

The kids were not prepared for the cold summer conditions. They were well rugged up. I think we got one day that was 30 plus degrees, the rest were cold.

First fish was with Dooka in his Savage 3.7m at Bridgewater. We threw spinnerbaits around for about an hour at the Loddon and then trolled for about an hour before we pulled the pin as Frost Bite and the rain set in.

The next fish was at Barmah where I met up with Ponyplay in his dads Quinny Explorer, another  FFFer who lives in Broome but was back in Echuca catching up with his family. The river was high and flooding the Barmah Caravan Park. We trolled some lures around for doughnuts, but had a great day checking out all the water around in a nice summers day.

Had a chat with my brother in law Chis Xmas day who thought we should head out to Bridgewater on Boxing Day for a few hours, so we did. Chris got smashed by a good cod on his third cast, but other than that she was quiet. So as you can see by now I have been doing plenty of boating down this way.

28th December and time to leave Sunny Vic and head over to camp on our friends lawn at Merimbula for a week or so. We took the scenic route and went over through Albury, Jindabyne and Thredbo after stopping at Lake Hume for a night and checking it out all full. This is an area I could stay for a while, big mountians, rivers and lakes.

Camped with my wifes sister and husband Chris and their 455 Hornet and attacked the Merimbula and Pambula Lakes and the Merimbula Bay. We mainly threw Squidgy Wrigglers around for a few flathead, and we also caught a few Tailor when we found schools of them which was good fun. Bloody nice to eat those flatties but it was tough going. I also managed some cod looking thing as well which gave my 2kg $20 combo a nice pounding.

We headed back to Bendigo via Omeo, Mount Hotham and Bright, which is a scenic as it gets. When I got back to Bendigo a mate invited me up to Lake Mulwala for a night to chase cod on Surface Lures. The mozzies were thick, but I managed two cod around 50cm, a 49 and a 51 and Coxy managed one. I have cught some barra on the surface, but these were my first cod on surface lures and it was great fun, you can even jump off the boat for a swim. This was very enjoyable, any fish on a surface lure is enjoyable. We also planned a week of fishing the run off in April while on his TABS boat so it was a very productive session.

Jan 8th and we had a few beers for the wifes birthday when I jokingly say, “Hey lets get up at 3:30am and head to Kyalite for a fish tommorow moring” So that is what we did on Sunday before I flew back home on Monday. Prob should not have worried, it was flooded and it rained on us all morning til we pulled the pin at lunchtime.

I dont they will be having Jan holidays in this shack.

Back in the NT now and am looking forward to snagging a barra in the next week or so, maybe even this arvo in a culvert.

Dingo

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Crab Claw, No Boat

Went out to Mantan a few weeks back on the new moon trolled around with the family for a few hours fo no fish, off the water by 9am, but the kids had a ball anyway. I was planning on heading out there on the full moon this Sat night, but considereing it has rained every arvo this week, i may ditch that and do something else, if it looking like rain. I have had some great barra fishing this month which I have written an article about, so I might hit the golf course instead this weekend while I am in Darwin. Who knows.

I had a work conference at Crab Claw last Thurs and Friday. I had some free time out there and thought about taking the boat and decided against it in the end. Friggen should have taken it, as waking up to this off your deck and not having your boat is a bit hard to take.

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A Dingo, a Cox and a Mexican

It was the last weekend in October and my last run of visitors. My brother in law Steve and his mate Coxy. They flew in Friday and were keen to kick back and catch a barra. Best thing I thought would be to hit Shady Friday night and try for a barra, get that out of the way and the pressure was off.

Got out to Shady Friday just before dark and were greeted by an empty car park and it stayed that way all night. This either meant the fish had gone off, or we were lucky as everyone was too lazy to make the trip out. We trolled the lower rockbar first for nothing, so things were not looking good. We then moved to the upper rockbar where I got myself a 57cm, and when it got dark Coxy picked up a 67cm and a 63cm so mission had been accomplished. Steve did not put a rod in the water, he was happy just kicking back with a can in hand. Once we had some runs on the board we casted rubbers at the rockbar and surface lures around for no action at all. 3 Keepers for the night on Reidy’s Lucifers and back to Point Stuart for some kip at 10pm. Nothing wrong with that.

We rose at 5am and headed back to Shady for the sunrise. We tried casting and trolling everything possible, but the fish had shut down. The boys were struggling with the heat and we were off the water by 11am fishless. There were three other boats on the water that morning. We had a few good strikes casting weedless and frogs around the lilies but that was it.

We called into the Bark Hutt for some grub and then put the boat in at the Adelaide River for a quick cruise up to Goat Island for a couple of relaxing beers on our way into Darwin. It is just something you have to do. Only one problem though, we left the wallets in the car, luckily we had enough coins in the boat for one can each. The boys were impressed and a great way to finish off the day.

Sat night and we were in Darwin planning for my first assault on Salt Water Arm. Some generous FFFers had given me some tips. We were very excited sitting around waiting for the mornings fishing with anticipation of some silver slappers. We woke at 4am to heavy rain, we checked the radar and it was not looking to good, so we went soft and went back to bed. We just did not fancy sitting in the boat drenched, and skidding around on Gunn Point Road, when we could do something else in the arvo when the weather had cleared, we are definately spoilt for options up here. When we did get up we thought the low tide has gone, we have to do something for the day, so we did a detour on the way home and called into the Finniss Fresh on the way back to Litchfield NP. I just love the look of this place, tropical Jungle with timber everywhere “A Caster’s dream”. We saw some barra and sight casted to a few but they were just not interested, it was as though they had been on the Hippy Weed or something. After a few hours of casting we spent the last hour doing some deep river trolling for something different and Coxy managed a 60cm barra. Crossing the Finniss on the way home it had risen a lot and was over the banks and nearly at the crossing.

Bloody work gets in the way of fishing and Monday I was off to work while the wife took the boys into Sandy Creek Waterfall, Buley and a few other things, not Wangi though as it has just closed for swimming again.They met me at work in the arvo with my cruiser with a few ales on board, a couple of rods, cameras and lures, and we went off on a little adventure in search of the hard hitting ‘Sooty Grunter’. We headed off towards some water I had been to a few months back, the only problem was that the grass and trees had grown and I was not to sure if I was heading in the right direction at first, but we made a track in and found what we were after, some friggen water to cast into. We picked up a rod and a lure or two and set off walking the banks trying to find a gap in the dense vegetation to cast a lure. I love this ‘crap’ We worked a few lures in the main billabong, I lost a barra early but the flowing water upstream was tempting us too much so that is where we headed. We cast around the rocks for a few missed strikes and a couple of fish. I picked up a little Sooty and a very small barra. But this meant he must have a mummy. Coxy also got a barra and good sooty so it was a good arvo. Coxy did lose a barra which tore through the leader when he thumbed it to get it out of the snags. He did jump around a few times after trying to lose the Lucifer which was stuck in his lip. We saw him jump enough times and he must have been in the low to mid 70’s. We could have stayed for longer, but we gave the wife a deadline, that if we were not home by this time come and get us as we were bogged, so off we left.

It was a shame we did not get to SWA arm, but not a bad way to spend the weekend. I am sure the boys enjoyed themselves and saw a variety of places including some of Litchfield NP’s best. And in my view chasing Sooty’s through tropical jungle streams with sweat pouring off you is an awesome way to spend a few hours, or even days it was a great way to finish off the boys weekend.

Dingo

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Manton Wednesday night and today

I have not hit Manton and decided it was time, its not far from home and it has barra what more do you want. After a few weeks of setting a date I met up with Bullet and Bandit who also bought me out a deckie from Darwin in Tim Wicks. I was suprised when we got to the ramp that there was 1/2 a dozen trailers at the ramp for a Wednesday.  AFter a few quick tips from Bullet, we were off and trolling. Started off trolling classics for no action, then about 9pm the rain, lightning and wind came in. This was good as everyone left, the only boats left on the water were mine, Bullets and the boat Ozdodge and Mad Dog were in. Mad Dog was up for a chat and seemed to be enjoying himself so good on him. After the rain stopped it hit midnight and we had not had a touch. I went and saw Bullet to see what the plan was as I was knackered and had to work the next day. He said a couple of more runs, no worries. If it was not for Bullet I would have pulled the pin at Midnight. Thnaks for telling us to stay on Bullet. in the next half hour I caught a 76cm on a black B52, then Bullet got a 72cm and Tim got an 80cm. What a great 1/2 hour, but that was it. I love my fresh water and will be back again that is for sure.

On another note I have my old man up and he wanted to see some crocs. I was planning on going to Shady tonight, but basically could not be stuffed so did a quick run out Corroboree this morning. Road was awesome, fishing was dead, and there was stuff all boats on the water.

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Shady Fresh

Had a solid night on the cans Friday night in Darwin as my brother in laws was across from Broome. The plan was to go and hit Shady Sat arvo. It was 2pm by the time we got some energy to get out on the move. We loaded up the Esky with beers for Mat and Shaun and a few cans of ‘Mother’ for the driver, me, to get me home. The sky was dark, and it rained most of the way out to Shady and things were looking grim. The road was good with only one wash out to look for. There was only one trailer when we got there and 2 when we left, so it was very quiet.

We launched under black skies and trolled the lower rock bar for zilch, we then hit the top rock bar and Mat picked up a 57cm on a lucifer. Just on dark I picked up a rat, just over 50cm. Things were quiet, prob something to do with the rain over the place in the last week. I was hoping for a big night on the surface lures, as I had some awesome sessions a few weeks back on Reidy’s J Walkers, but this was not the case Sat night. I was keen for a big night as some other FFFers were telling me they did alright last week after dark, but the boys were a bit lazy and our energy was dieing fast. We flicked surface lures around til about 8:30 for 3 tarpon and called it a night. The fellas saw a heap of crocs so they had a great time. My old man is flying in this week so I will prob take him out for a sight seeing cruise and hopefully snag him a barra next weekend, hopefully we can get out a little earlier next week.

WTF: As we got to the ramp Sat night, there was only two boats on the water. One trailer was in the car park, the other fella had left his car on the ramp with his trailer submerged in the water. Can’t work out why you would do that, Know can be that friggen lazy can they. This could not be good for your wheel bearings could it. Anyway I had no idea why the car was like that, maybe someone can lighten the situation. Also we were shining the spotty around in the boat looking for crocs when Matt was backing the trailer down, and to our amazement there were two people sitting up on the barrage. Stuff that.

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Upgrading

I had a week of fishing the sweetwater a couple of weeks back. I am writing a report for the NT mag, but basically Corroboree was dead, Shady Fresh and Yellow Waters were OK, my biggest barra was 64cm. Nothing was going off its head, and the road to Shady was good and the Old Jim Jim Road was good aswell. We had plenty of storms that upset the night fishing, and this may affect the roads from here on in.

I did not fish this weekend and thought I better put something on the blog. So here is my boating History. I was flicking through some things on the computer and started reminissing.

 My boating life started with a 3.7m savage with a massive 2hp Honda, It used to fly. It was not mine, it was my father in laws, but after a few years of fishing in this baby it was time to get my own rig. I hunted around for a while and picked up a 385 Quintrex Explorer with a 15hp on her. She was my pride and joy, I remember parking her in the garage and I looked at the wife and said this is the ducks guts, we will keep this baby for ever.

 I then moved on and bought a 435 Hornet Trophy with a 40Hp Yamaha 2 stroke, which was a good rig, but it was not long before I wanted something with better fuel economy and a bigger fuel tank.

I then moved onto a 445 Hornet Trophy with a 60Hp Yammy 4 stroke with a 60litre underfloor tank.

 

I then picked up a job on Melville Island and the family was getting bigger. The Hornets sides were too low and the floor space was quite small for two rug rats running around. The day I sold the Hornet a GS XM480C came available. She fitted the bill and it caught some fish while living on the Island.

 

I was then wanting something with a few more horses and something that would legally fit 5 people. So the 480 was sold and I was getting a 5m built with a 115Hp, and decked out that way I wanted it. Well that all went down the gurgler when GS did. Sure I was pissed at GS, but after looking around I still wanted the boat I was getting built. I nearly bought a Centre Console 5.5 GS, but as I mainly fish bongs and rivers by an electric it just felt too big. I am glad I did not buy it  as I found this in Queensland shortly after. And have never looked back.

 She is a GS Marine Xtreme 5.2 metre Tournament Classic. XM520TC powered by a 140HP Suzuki 4 stroke. It has everything but the kitchen sink and has prob only had 4 weekends off the water since I ahve owned it. And it flies. 

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Hello Mr. Sooty

I had been thinking about it for while, but just been busy the last few weekends fishing in the boat. I wanted to go bush and find some water to chase Sootys. Having a lazy weekend planned, A mate come around at 4pm and off we went to chase some Sootys. Off we went into the bush where we ended up at a nice little billabong. It had some steep bits, heaps of rocks, and was difficult to find somehwere to have a cast. The first cast bang I was on, Initially I thought Sooty, but it had some weight, I thought maybe something else. With the rod fully loaded, and pulling some drag, I got him to the edge. To my suprise it was a big fat chunky black Sooty. He meaured smack bang on 40cm, the biggest Sooty I have caught. Three years ago when I lived in The Vic River area I would spend abit of time chasing Sooty’s, the best I could manage was 34cm, so I was pretty pumped with a 40cm specimen. At this stage I was thinking we were in for soome red hot action. But after another hour rock hopping around the place, My mate picked up a Sooty and lost a couple and that was about it. It was all an exploring mission, and that is one billabong that I will be back to revisit, especially with the condition of those Sooty’s. They were fat.

We then went to a few other spots which looked fishy, I landed a rat barra on a gold bomber, and my mate landed another Sooty. We had run out of time now, as it started to get dark.

I could spend alot more time doing this stuff, it is rewarding fishing. Now it is time to get back onto Google Earth and search some more spots for the next exploring mission.

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Yellow Waters

I hit Yellow Waters on the weekend. Water temps were up around 29 – 31 degrees. Had a flick around some weedbeds upstream as far as the sign says with weedless plastics first thing Sat morning, had a few hits but could not hook them. Decided to troll for a while for zip. Headed back in about 11 and spent the next few hours in the pool. Tried again in the arvo, had a few beers and flicked around the weeds again for zip. The fish were there we just could not hook them.

Had a hot night in the tent, and I reckon that will do for the camping with the kids anyway until next dry season, they did not sleep the best. Also had some rain Sat night so had to rush out and chuck the fly on which made it steamy.

Got up Sunday morning and after some friendly advice for the local guide we managed to hook up to 4 barra for the morning before we called it quits at 9:30. The biggest was 60cm. Packed the tent up and struggled to get out of the pool for the treck home.

It is great to be out on the water where you are lucky to see a boat the place was very quiet.

Dingo

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Corroboree and new trailer

The new blogs are up, first one so I will see if it works, I thought I should test them out.

Had some relo’s up at the moment and thought a weekend at Corroboree would be the way to go. Set up camp at the Tavern Friday night, and hit the water Sat morning at 5:30am. Spent the first hour cruising around in the dark spotting crocs with the spotlight. We then settled a fair way down to avoid the crowds and started trolling. My father in law ended up with a powertail, and I picked myself up a 64cm barra on a lively lure Mad Mullet. It was the first time I had tried these lures so I was happy, but that was the only action I had. Back to the Tavern for bacon and eggs at camp by 11:30 and then spent the arvo swimming with the kids. Sunday was the same thing back on the water at 5:30am, did some trolling for 2 powertails and by 9:30 we changed tactics. For the next hour and a half we cast frogs and weedless plastics in the lilies. We had a heap of action here from Barra, Toga and Tarpons but just could not keep them on, but it was great fun. Water temp was around the 28 -29 degree mark, the road was magic and bumped into a couple of FFFers which was good. Rammers, JewieQueen and Lincoln. I will do it all again this weekend aswell, just not suere where I will go yet, either Yellow Waters, Banyan Farm or Mary River Park.

New Trailer

Also picked up my new trailer a few weeks back and I am very happy with it. A Voyager Dual Axle, with Stone Guards, heavy Duty U bolts, Dura Hubs, and the spare mounted on a hub. The boats sit great on it, and the trailer is great to pull around, hopefully can get me around the Top End without falling apart.

Dingo

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Dattos

Have not been fishing for a few weeks, and I am a bit bored. I was trying to find something on my computer and came across these.

My GS Xtreme is my pride and joy, but I just thought I would throw a few pics up of my other pride and joy.
She is sitting in my old mans shed along with a one owner original 1600 I have aswell, complete with hubcaps and grandma rug in the backseat.

My old man rallied 1600s back in his day, and then I did it. Funny thing is I hate motorsport, cant stand watching it, I know stuff all about cars, but love rallying my datto.
The last rally I did in her was in 2006, but when I went back to see the olds in June I dragged her out of the shed for a short autocross which was a bit of fun. Got to love the dattos, dragged her out of the shed pumped up the tyres, charged up the battery and away she went.

Dingo :fu:

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