Manton Magic

Got the call from Dingo that Manton Dam was the go, but it needed to be a late one. The full moon was just right and we hadn’t fished there before. I was without wheels, so another couple of FFFers picked me up on the way.
For the full report see Dingo’s blog post here
This is the ripper barra I caught

Nice to meet Bullet and CB, A great night even though it took me all of the next day to get over it. Still, I didn’t have to work like Dingo!

Tricky Times at the Perons

I was introduced to Fishfanatic (FF) through a mutual friend, Craig ‘Crackers’ Hand. The first trip that FF was planning was poor timing for me as I was in the middle of getting through Meningitis. Later we were able to coordinate our times and made plans to head out to Channel Point. I left calling the permit office a bit late and Channel Point was booked out. So we decided to set of from Dundee Beach.

I would take my boat, and FF would tow it with his Hilux.

We left home at 4am and got Dundee around 6.30am. There was a little swell, enough so we were saturated soon enough. We first found a safe place to camp and dumped our gear to clean up some deck space.

Then it was out to some reef to see what we could see.

It wasn’t long and FF was into some Tricky Snapper.

and I wasn’t far behind him….

FF continued to bag more trickies and I thought I was in for a bad day after this cod

We moved spots and as the sun began to set and the fish came on hard again. More trickies for FF and I scored a nice goldie

Not long after that the sharks came in and it got ugly.

Had an excellent night in a great camping place. I had few too many ales and woke up with a cracking hangover. Flicked a few bombers and fizzers in the crystal clear waters of the creek we were camped in and got some followers, but no takers.

Seas were flat as..

We were only catching sharks…again…. so we had a crack at the south island. the weather was so claer we could see the brilliant colours of red cliffs. At around 1pm the weather turned nasty. We weren’t sure how long the rough weather was going to hang around for, so decided to head back towards Dundee before it got worse. Couldn’t resist having a go at the jewie ledge on the trip back, and in a short time I had a stonking jewie playing me! I fought him for 20 minutes and he had at least a dozen big runs. Every time I thought I had him stuffed and had him near the boat zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, my reel would sing. 20 back breaking minutes, then snap, and he was gone, with my hook still in his gob.

As we moved from the Perons to Point Blaze the weather got uglier with swell, winds and waves. It slowed us down, and with a couple more stops for a go at some goldies, and me having another lie down with a hangover that wouldn’t go away, we made it to Dundee beach at around 2am. I stretched out my swag on the casting deck and got a few hours sleep,

Of course when we woke up it was like glass again! Thems the breaks, at least we had no swell to contend with when putting the boat on the trailer.

Cheers FF, a great coupla days!

Kids Day in the Harbour

So after some solid advice from some of the stalwarts of FFF I headed out to the Darwin Harbour looking to hook my kids into fishing. They have been at me to ramp up the fishing experiences recently, and 6 year old Daly got a new rod last week, so it was all go.
“Let’s get up at 5am” said Phoebe (11yo), sure I replied.
I thought that Dinah beach would be the go, as I had some good oil from FishFanatic and Mud and both areas could be easily reached from DBR. So as we headed into the ramp (at about 6.30am) I was tossing up which direction to head in…..FF suggested the Larrakeyah rock walls; Mud pointed me towrds Pioneer Creek.
The water was as clear as, and it was perfect conditions for scooting around the harbour.
I decided to head around to Larrakeyah and have a look. Just the other side of the naval base I could see fish busting up the surface. We pulled up not far from the cliffs and set anchor. Within about 10 minutes both kids had their first fish.

Daly catches a baby Trev

Phoebe caught this baby finger mark, pity it wasn’t bigger

We moved to another spot to see if we could improve our luck. It is probably best to reproduce a post by Pechuer to describe how this went:

We were starting to think that we would go home with not even a real good hit when we saw this boat on our left coming and casting lures all around them. This finally caught our attention and we then noticed that some fish were busting the surface close to the boat.
Then they drove their boat straight in the middle of the splashing bait…
We looked at each other and said, they will just scare them away… 💡 Maybe they will even scare them away in our direction!!!
And yes this is actually what’s happened, this school of busting fish that were a bit too far to reach came just at casting distance…

So we were the idiots that busted up the surface feeders.
Anyway there was nothing biting for us so we moved back to the first spot.
Within about 15 minutes Phoebe’s rod bent in half, “Dad, my rod is gunna break”

And after a tricky bit of rod work She has herself a Trevally…..and I have a daughter that is hooked on fishing.
Daly was a little upset that he wasn’t catching the big fish!
About 15 minutes after Phoebe’s Trev my rod went nuts and I called Daly over. WE ended up pulling in this trophy cod 😉

We pulled up stumps and had a fairly gentle trip back to the DBR

Thanks to FishFanatic for putting us onto this great Kids Fishing spot. I would like to think we will hit Mud’s spot next time, though I don’t like my chances, I am sure the kids will gun for Emery point again 😉

GS Marine 4.8 XMTC


I have been crook for the last 12 months, and the prognosis is long term chronic illness.  I breaks my heart, but the love of my life has to go.

Features include:

  • As new Canopy from the Canopy Man + custom made mozzi net that fits over the canopy to create a sleeping area that is mozzi free.
  • Lowrance HDS8 with structure scan + Nav card
  • Lowrance 527C colour GPS Sounder (front mounted)
  • Bow mounted electric motor – 54lb Watersnake with wireless remotes + foot pedal
  • 3 batteries. 1 is solely for the Leccy and has custom mount under front deck
  • 40 Litre Engel fridge, as new with cover
  • Full cover + motor cover + cowling cover
  • Registered trailer
  • Spotties (1 x widebeam 1 x long beam)
  • Rod locker with capacity for at least 6 barra rods
  • live bait well
  • kill tank
  • lure locker holds up to 5 plano trays
  • Deck wash
  • bait board

Somebody hurry up and put me out of my misery.  It has taken 2 months since I knew it would have to go for me to drag myself to the computer and put it up here.  I feel f#%kin sick 🙁

40 Grand and its yours


Yep, this is my tinny.

I went through three tinnies before it over 3 years. As soon as my posts from the old blog appear you will see some of the posts on doing up the old rigs.  I guess I caught the boating/fishing (catching) bug in 2006 when a mate took me out to Cape Hotham. We camped over night and I was hooked.

Let me walk you through some of the features.

Love the look of the 90hp Suzzy hanging off the back. Now that I have a boat with a pod I would never go back. If you are reading Sheps the pod is one of those “safety features” that helped tip the ‘finance manager’ towards this rig.

I usually have the engel infront of the console, though it lists to starboard a bit, so am trying a few other locations for it. Tons of room under that casting deck.

Nice sized casting deck. I like the way GSM housed the EPIRB and extinguisher. The leccy is a 54lb Watersnake and the GPS/sounder is a Lowrance LMS 527c

When camping I fit the swag++ in here.

An 80 litre esky under the casting deck. There is still a bit of room to stack stuff around it if need be.

Thought I would add a pic of the funky anchor I now use. Have been through a couple and this is a ripper.

From the casting deck. To the left you can see the rod locker. In front of the console there is a rod holder. The canopy sits at the rear, and when it is down covers a fresh bait tank that is recessed in the transom.

Here is the kill tank and a couple of storage areas, that can double as lure lockers. Note the two batteries below the console.

Handy, though way too many lures in reality

This is handy too. It is especially good for small (barra) rods, and I stash other gear in here too.

I had the spotties put on when I first got her. I am happy with the trailer, probably the only thing missing is some stone guards. The paint work on the boat was damaged when I got it, and I have smashed it in some small creeks since. She is called Bowger and although I have told my wife it means large apendage in another language, she won’t have a bar of it (pardon the pun). I think it is someone’s surname, as the only definition I could find on the net was genealogical and it stood for a waterfowl.

Bynoe Trip

Dingo has been masterminding a trip to Bynoe with some FFF mates for a while. Last weekend it all came together.

Had my 6 year old sons birthday on Saturday, so didn’t leave Darwin until 5ish, and got to Bynoe at around 6.30. Couldn’t believe the crowd when we got there, and a couple of fellas were walking around in tutus (no kidding) so I wasn’t sure what I was in for. Soon saw Dingo and caught up with everyone, and none of our mob were inappropriately dressed.

Had a couple of :cheers: , a chat and got the boat ready as me and the deckie were heading out. All the others had been fishing most of the day, and I hadn’t been out for ages, so I hit the water around 8pm. I haven’t fished Bynoe before so thought we would head over to the Crab Claw Jetty. Stopped off at Knife Island and saw heaps of exposed rock. Had a troll and kept on to the jetty. The Deckie was expecting something out of the water so was surprised when we got there and it wasnt to be seen. A boat was right over the top of the mark. We pulled up for a chat and had a hunt around for structure but got Jack of that and headed back towards knife island. Trolled the rocks some more and then bottom bashed on a decent ledge. Didn’t get too much sleep, but a beautiful place to chill and there was a really light breeze all night.

Up before dawn and the water was as flat as. Hit a couple of spots in the FishFinder for naught and headed over to Indian island for a look. Sat over a couple more FF marks then started trolling from one rocky outcrop to another. Snagged what I thought was a bone fish, about 2 foot long and bright silver with no real width. It also had a piranha looking mouth…any ideas :uhh: Went back over the same spot for a pan sized cod. Then went over the same spot agan for what I reckon was a stonking Trev. I kept it out of the rocks for a couple of minutes, but it won and I lost a good predatek lure :fubird: Great fun though.
It is a beautiful area and I cant wait to go back and learn more about it and get some decent fish.

Thanks to Dingo for getting us together, nice to meet you PP, Muntzy and Bilster. This is something I want to do a lot more of, especially catching up with some FFFers.

Finally out on the water

LB finally got permission to head out and we planned a trip to Leaders Creek, one of our favourite spots.
It was especially exciting as we were taking the new boat out for its first run.
The road out was pretty good, and when we got out there we saw dozens of boats in the compound. Steve explained that the Howard Springs fishing club were holding a tournament.

We were on the water before 6pm at the top of the high and enjoyed the calm estuary waters on the way to the mouth. The plan was to fish the channel just up from the mouth on the outgoing, then have a look around while waiting for the slack.

After a few :drinking2: :drinking2: :drinking2: :drinking2: :drinking2: LB’s rod started to sing. He down played it saying he thought it was another stinking powertail, but the run was definitely that of a big Jewie.

After a 15 minute tussle he pulled in a stonker…see his version here see the picture below. It was a 122cm/16kg Jewie…..yehar
😎 😎 😎

We had another big run not long after this but that was it for the night and we passed out sometime…….

Woke up just before dawn and decided to check out the mouth of Adelaide River. Went to a hole that was supposed to hold Jewies and enjoyed a run on some pan sized finger marks.

About mid morning it was time to head back so we cruised in and Chris pulled us out. Wouldn’t mind trying SWA next time.

Really impressed with the new sounder/GPS purchased from Barralistic (sorry you are down south mate!) but still need to spend some hours in the rig to get used to it. Still don’t have the leccy on, though love the mount that GSM out on.

Looking forward to getting the kids out for a day.

Next upgrade

I called this post next upgrade, and if it is the boat I purchase next I hope it is the last for a while.

I have been out to GSM to have a look at it, and go for a spin Wednesday arvo. It is a XMTC (Extreme Tournament Classic)

Here’s some pics:

I’d like to thank Barrabeast for all his advice in what to look for in a boat, cheers mate :drinking1:

Savage Scorpion 485

As it has been ages since I posted, and I have sold the first boat I was doing up, I will quickly fill you in on the latest boat I have renovated. A Savage Scorpion 485 that was very basic and had not been run for a couple of years. It attracted my attention because it was the sort of hull and motor I was looking or. Something with a bit more grunt, and with a recent back injury a tilt trim was most important, along with a console and Hydraulic steering.

I have attached some photos of the work in progress and the finished product. Why the rush, well, I am looking at an upgrade and want to start posting bout it.

The following description gives an idea of what I added. It is the description I posted in the classifieds area:

70 hp 2 stroke Johnson (recently serviced) trim/tilt, electric start
Side console (recently strengthened brackets – alloy welding)
60 litre underfloor tank/2 x 22.7 litre portable (1 is new)
Garmin 450s Colour sounder/chart plotter + Furuno LS 6000
Nav lights, interior lighting, 2 x dc outlets
New switch box
Full canopy
Dual battery (with isolator)
Hydraulic steering
VHF radio (connected to gps for distress calls)
2 x new speakers
Dunbier trailer (registered to July 2010) + emergency repair kit to hold spare to trailer + spare hub and bearings)
Safety gear (3 life jackets, flares, fire extinguisher – all new + oars)
Reef anchor (new) + 50 metres of rope (new) + 4 m of chain
2 seats (a bit loose) and 3 positions
3 x rod holders in gunnel
2 rod racks (1 horizontal, 1 vertical)
Large bait board (+ 2 more rod holders – not yet installed)

The Trailer

After the first time I put the boat in there was no doubt that the trailer needed some work. It was an absolute bitch to get the boat on and off. As I am starting from scratch I had no idea what it was. After some hunting around on the internet, and a couple of handy chats with the guys at BCF, I realised that a few things needed tending. The most confusing part was that the rear roller was not moving. After getting under the trailer I could see why. Two small bars were attached to the main struts at the rear, and tapered in towards the top of the rear roller, went over the top of the roller and then attached to the same cross bar the roller was attached to. I finally realised it was to guide the boat onto the roller. Unfortunately the two small guiding bars were adjustable, and the nuts that kept them in place were pretty much seized. I hammered the rods back into place and hey presto, the rear roller moved. It had 2 huge gashes in it from the wear of the small keel on the bottom of the savage.

Down to BCF to get some new rollers, as two others were in similar nick.

The winch was in bad shape as well. The hook was tied in a simple knot to the strap, and the strap was frayed. When I pulled the strap off the winch was rusted out.

A new (quality) winch is installed and whamo! The boat slides on pretty well. I put in a Dinah beach yesterday and when the boat was off the trailer I noticed the skids were scarred……that’ll be next

Doing up the boat

So I got the boat home and gave it the once over. The first thing to do was to pull the old buckled floors out. I bought some form ply from Bunnings at 12mm and used the old floors as a template. A heads up for young players: 1. using the template is not a guarantee of a perfect fit and 2. don’t forget that the new carpet will add a few millimeters to your joins.
Thanks to Hookup I got the right advice, and made sure I did 2 layers of marine estapol (with additional attention being given to the edges) before laying carpet. With the estapol dry I measured up the carpet, and whacked on a heap of KwikGrip. I weighed everything down with my motorbike and air compressor. The next day I used my air staple gun to secure the edges of the carpet to the underside. The fit in the boat was good (not great) and they looked and felt fantastic :clap:
to be continued…………