FFF Seadogs 2019 - Round 4 - Tuna and Queenfish + Barra

Kicked off on March 1, but winners are chosen from the best six of 10 rounds, so enter until July for a chance to win. Great prizes. Open to fishos in all states with barramundi. To enter, post a pic of your boat or car adorned with a FFF sticker, available at www.fishfinderbooks.com

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joesgotone
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Re: FFF Seadogs 2019 - Round 4 - Tuna and Queenfish + Barra

Post by joesgotone » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:46 pm

Went for a flick near one of my usual playgrounds with just a little hope of finding some Barra on a Monday as it had the best wind forecast for the week. But wind forecasting in Darwin has been somewhat below actual wind speeds for a number of weeks so it's been good to play safe and just enjoy time on the water.

I had a great day chasing Tuna 10 days before and landed over a dozen. It was one of those days when the wind died out at midday and remained wonderfully calm. I took one of the kids out a few days latter but the wind dropped for a brief period and then came back with greater force from a different direction. We still got a couple of brief hookups but couldn't land any. As I hadn't checked the board I wasn't aware it was tuna month. My biggest still went 75 and nearly 10kg but the picture on the cleaning table isn't that nice. Still I let most of them go but have a good supply of Sashimi to keep me happy. I noticed the water temp as being around 24 for most of the day so thought the Barra may be too quiet to bother chasing them. There were still a few Barra pics on social media so I figured it could still be worth a flick out of the wind.

I tried some of the usual areas that had produced in the past but was following a different plan and was going to fish an area I had never fished before. With no idea what to expect I just started the usual pattern of casting at everything and anything that may hold a fish. With the current and wind pushing me along at a good pace this wasn't an easy task. The 80lb Motor guide comes in very handy when you fish on your own as it can help control a drift and is a god send when you snag up. It took a while to find a couple of under size Barra near some very nervous Popeye mullet. Always love watching the reactions of the other organisms to find out whats happening below. A group of mullet or a few flicking jelly prawns is all the invitation that is required to put a lure in close to that area. These fish were sitting amongst some fallen timber that didn't look like real structure but after years of flicking at sticks you quickly learn that almost anything can hold fish. It was good to get a fish in the boat to let me know the lure I was using was either effective or very annoying. When teh second fish came in on the gold bomber I decided I needed to at least get a few pics to stay in the FFF comp.
The drift continued to a point that looked like it would be productive due to structure and bait movement. After a number of casts to methodically work the area I had a quick hit but no hookup. I saw a Barra swipe at some baitfish but couldn't get another hit in this area.

I continued the drift along a small bank and kept watch on every back eddy. There was a large back eddy coming and looked to be the prime spot for the area. After a few casts while my mind was wandering off thinking of where else I could try and what else I may find, I heard a definite Boof under the water and saw a Barra turn just behind my lure. So the Gold Bomber was still the right selection but at times the very erratic retrieve I use can affect connecting to the fish. But I catch enough fish to justify using my technique as it gets hits, even when my wrist gets fatigued and sore after hours of rigorous flicking of the rod tip. I have found that if you use the same technique often enough you develop a resistance to the pain and sometimes cramping of your rod hand. I kept casting in this area as there was obviously a Barra that was at least legal.
I continued the drift in a hope of finding a fish or two but no body wanted to play. As I was running out of fishable water I started the outboard and put a coupel of gold bombers out the back to troll back along the drift to try the drift again. With the water falling there was no other option but to fish the same area for the next few hours.
Using the electric to guide the boat and the motor to push it the Trolling Run was not disappointing but as expected fruitless. Keeping an eye on the water and the options as I cruised past them I noted a Barra Boof in a corner I had tried before so was keen to finish the troll and drift back down to this spot. It was 1130 now so was a good chance to get some lunch in while the motors did most of teh work. The drift was quiet but this time in a prime area of deeper water I saw a Barra roll just below the surface. What a delightful way to get frustrated by a wild animal. You know they are there, you have seen then doing a feeding behaviour but you are obviously not putting the lure in the right position for them.
After being frustrated for a while I moved a bit further on to some colour changes and spotted some Threadfin feeding along the bank. They were not huge fish but I always enjoy a good fight and these guys are the real power house of any creek system. Their speed and power through the large tail and good stamina makes them a welcome bycatch. Well as often happens I followed the salmon feeding along the bank for some time for no result but did see some nice Rays chasing bait in the shallow edges. I noted a shallow area that had a snake drain submerged in it. I have learned over the years that Barra will sit in the snake drain waiting for food to drift or swim by. I didn't do a good cast as I thought I had gone a bit shallow on where I wanted the lure to pass through the area but nothing else matters when a Barra grabs the lure and jumps out of teh water. It wasn't huge but at 56 cm it makes for perfect eating size.

There were a number of bait types in one area along the bank but no salmon in that spot so after a couple more casts I hooked another Barra of 59 cm. I kept casting in this area as the bait was still indicating that they were nervous but I didn't hook up though I did see some large swirls that encouraged me to keep casting.
I decided to continue chasing the Threadfin along the edges and put the occassional cast into the deeper water. I had a couple of bumps on the lure but was not able to hookup. At times I think this is the salmon crashing into the lure as i do hook a few on the outside of the mouth. Working the now slightly worn gold bomber through a slighly deeper run I hooked up solid on a nice Barra. Hitting spot lock on teh electric is always a good idea to avoid ending up in a bad position but at times creates a risk to landing a fish. This one was bigger and pulled some drag and did dive toward the electric motor which is always a heart stopping moment. Once clear of the motor I was able to lift the net onto the side of the boat ready to scoop up my prize. As I fish on my own it can be tricky to net your own fish as you have to hold the rod in one hand and the net in the other. I have lost lots of fish at this stage of the fight but am no longer concerned by this unless it has a tag in it. The fish came up on top and was moving toward me so I dropped the net over the side and as it entered the net the gold bomber caught on the mesh and now half the fish was hanging out of the net and I was still just using one hand on the net. A quick shake got the fish to turn side ways and move further into the net and safely in my control.

After placing this fish in the esky to bleed out and chill, I finally decided to cut and retie the leader. Perhaps I am lazy, perhaps I am calm and not upset at loosing a few fish. Maybe I have too many lures and don't mind loosing a few, especially after the paint has been rubbed off by catching a few good fish. But at 35lb it is not a heavy leader and as I only use 20 lb braid on my reel it seems to handle most of what i need it to handle. I am currently using a Shimano Territory Barra Magnum rod with a Diawa Steez SV TW reel. This casts like a dream and is light in the hand for casting all day. I use cheap line purchased on ebay, but one I have learned to trust over the last 20 years as being of very consistant quality. I buy my leader from Big W as the cheap Jarvis walker spools of 300 m of 30 or 35 lb line. I rarely but heavy leader and do not subscribe to Flouro carbon as it is almost as costly as the lures I use and loose. My second outfit is a Daiwa Morethan on a friends G Loomis rod again using 20lb braid. Good friends ask you to use their gear as after years of owning it he had never caught a fish on it. Its a little heavier but casts really well.
Back too the fishing. I decided to move back to the beginning of the area I was in and found some bait getting boofed on the surface by a large Barra. Casting in the windy conditions allowed me to stay clear of the area but get the lure in the right spot. The same fish Boofed a couple more times in the same area. It took a few more casts than expected but I got this big fellow to grab my lure. At this size I have found that when the fish runs and is taking drag is when I have lost most of the fish as I fish the drag a little hard at up to 50%. As this area had no significant snags I backed the drag off slightly to increase the chance that the leader would cope with the chaffing from the gill rakers. I enjoy how a big Barra can just pull line when they want to as they pick their own direction while the smaller models can be turned easily. These guys pick a path and follow it when they want then slow which allows you to turn them back toward the boat for a few pumps. When the lift their shoulders clear of the water and shake their head from side to side and you can see your lure wedged in the corner of their mouth, you feel a level of confidence when you can see more than one hook doing the work. The last fish just had a single hook holding on. The feeling of relief when the fish slides into the net is always quickly followed by concern for the fish. Can I leave it in the net for a moment to catch its breath. Never for too long in areas known to hold crocs and especially not when fishing on your own. Just a second or two more and swing the net into the boat. The lip grips are ready to go, the pliers are there to get the hooks out quickly. The fish is slid onto the brag mat and the paper is already there from the last shot. But how do I show the fish in location without hurting the fish I want to release so that someone else can have the same fun I just did. Oh how about I pull back and show some background. Bugger the background looks a bit obvious I think. Oh well I have always found that we all fish differently using our own styles and techniques. some use bait and some don't. I have found that what works one week doesn't always work the following week. It is the flexibility to work out what is happening around you and changing what you do to suit the conditions can often make a difference. But no matter how good you are there will always be days when you will go home with doughnuts to show for the day. I have taught my kids not to ask if I caught any fish, as what is important is if I enjoyed my day fishing.
It is always nice when you know that the time out of water has been short and you have handled the fish carefully. Putting the 85cm fish back in the water it imemdiately kicked strongly and convinced me to just let go. It swam off strongly into the well oxygenated turbulent water. The wind was stirring up teh water which had started to flow back in with the rising tide. A few other fish were active on the surface but even using the side scan I could see fish passing through the beam but couldn't hook any.
I decided to do some trolling with the current and managed to hook and loose 3 Barra. I will get brave one day and troll with just the single rod as one fish tangled with the other line and trying to wind two rods meant a loss of tension and a missing fish. Another was jumping all over the place and managed to throw the hook. The third was solid and was swimming from side to side so I tried to remove the second lure from the water and when the lure was close to the boat the fish spat the hooks. I then hooked another fish on the troll and it came in quite easily as it was a smallish threadfin salmon.
When you write a story you can't always include the other things that pop up and catch your intrigue and keep you focused on the beauty of the surroundings you are in. I saw dolphins up a creek, lots of rays, too many salmon, Barra actively feeding, lots of bait fish and prawns, so many different birds from Wedge Tailed Eagles, Brahmany Kites and Ospreys to lots of egrets and herons.
My poor Gold Bomber is now missing a barbed point on the tail treble and each of the trebles has been bent and straigtened a few times now. I will replace the broken treble but with a similar hook. I am happy to use the standard trebles on my lures as it gives them a more rigorous action and get more strikes but as I said I am happy to loose a few fish as when you fish on your own it is the encouragement to keep casting for up to 8 hours. This was a day when I did more trolling than most days and hooked more fish trolling that in past trips to this area.
I do think that I need to spend more time taking pictures but when it is about having the experience and doing this in isolated parts of this beautiful country you are always better off going back to that place than taking away pictures of it.

Trying a new spot can be a challenge and when it works it means you have an option when your normal spot is being fished by someone else. Gotta love Barra fishing in Winter in Darwin.

Sorry if the pictures are in the wrong order but the size impacted posting them.

Joe
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how many is enough lures, rods and reels. Is there a magic number, considering you usually only catch 1 fish on a single lure on the one rod and reel your casting with.

thesurfingbarra
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Re: FFF Seadogs 2019 - Round 4 - Tuna and Queenfish + Barra

Post by thesurfingbarra » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:49 am

Went out to east point yesterday arvo to chase tuna. We’re a lot of tuna busting up with some good size queenies as well. Also jigged a few nice goldies off the bottom whilst waiting for the tuna to re-surface.
Deckie landed the longest queenie at 87cm.
:surf: :surf:
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Re: FFF Seadogs 2019 - Round 4 - Tuna and Queenfish + Barra

Post by Matt Flynn » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:14 am

Nice fish and great reports. The harbour is such a good place to fish.

Looks like a fair bit of smoke haze out back in the queenfish shot.

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Re: FFF Seadogs 2019 - Round 4 - Tuna and Queenfish + Barra

Post by thesurfingbarra » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:37 am

Matt Flynn wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:14 am
Nice fish and great reports. The harbour is such a good place to fish.
Looks like a fair bit of smoke haze out back in the queenfish shot.
Yeah Matt a lot of smoke haze around a few fires over mandorah and west arm area.
I agree the harbour is great place to fish with not alot of effort required. People dont appreciate how good it can be i think.

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Re: FFF Seadogs 2019 - Round 4 - Tuna and Queenfish + Barra

Post by trent » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:23 pm

80cm barra from salt water arm taken on a barra classic in green bomber pattern, water temp was 23degc so took a few casts to convince them to bite
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Re: FFF Seadogs 2019 - Round 4 - Tuna and Queenfish + Barra

Post by ozdodge » Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:39 pm

Got this 67cm tuna on a chromie at Lee Point
location shot.JPG
67cm tuna - June 2019.JPG
cheers
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ozdodge

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joesgotone
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Re: FFF Seadogs 2019 - Round 4 - Tuna and Queenfish + Barra

Post by joesgotone » Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:08 pm

Had a great month chasing tuna. Managed to land 12 in one day but didn't know it was tuna month at the time. So had to go back out and chase a few just to get a happy snap. Came in at 74 and is only one of two landed. Hooked and lost a few and had a few taken by the tax man. Still good fun and a good feed
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Matt. tried a full size pic and it still won't load.
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how many is enough lures, rods and reels. Is there a magic number, considering you usually only catch 1 fish on a single lure on the one rod and reel your casting with.

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Re: FFF Seadogs 2019 - Round 4 - Tuna and Queenfish + Barra

Post by Flickin4em » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:57 am

Must be busy slaying some massive trout? :rofl:
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Re: FFF Seadogs 2019 - Round 4 - Tuna and Queenfish + Barra

Post by Matt Flynn » Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:22 pm

Results for Round 4 attached, some cracker skinnies in there.

Round 5 results up in about 10min.

Love the skeleton work, apologies for the delay :mrgreen:
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