Fishing with Maggie – Back in Darwin!

Claire and myself finally managed to move back to Darwin, so hopefully this blog can come alive once again. Today I took Maggie off for her first fishing adventure via Darwin Harbour Fishing Charters.

We went and it was a fairly quiet day at first. Maggie caught her first fish (I believe a grunter) and things came alive at the tide, the boat caught a couple of jewfish and some golden snapper. I hooked a couple of good sharks (probably sharks) but they busted me off.

The good news was that Maggie absolutely loved the trip and is looking forward to the next time we can go.

Maggie very happy on the water

All quiet on the western front

“Beware the westerly” Stewie from work says. He believes as soon as it starts blowing, the barra shut down.

But it had been a month since I had taken my boat out, with the rain and holidays coming up I needed to take the chance. Just out for a quick 5 hours in the harbour.

When we first got there, there was action. A few splashes, and heaps of baitfish. Not only that, but far out, so many boats in my choice creek, a lot wearing the competition outfits.

So I thought we might be in with a chance. Marko and I both got a total of one hit each. Each person I spoke to said they had nothing. And so we headed home, without anything.

Me: 1kg of magpie goose breast, thanks Mark!
Mark: nothing

Took this to help my sell my boat:

Land based hopping

Well I haven’t been out on my boat in a while and Mud and I were planning on having a shot. However a few terrible storms on the Saturday made me rethink the idea of getting out on my boat. A mistake based on the weather and the fishing reports but oh well.

We decided to jump in the car and bit some billabongs and culverts. We hit a billabong early in the morning and there was definitely fish there, you can see them from time to time as the water was pretty shallow. But they wouldn’t take anything. Which is rude as it was a 4.30am wake up to ensure we were there at dawn!

So we headed onto shady camp barrage for a flick – zero water on the salty side for as far as the eye can see. Had a go and fresh, but nothing on.

Decided to head to another culvert that was a long way away. When we go there we were surprised by the amount of water. Only had about 40 minutes there as we had to head back home. Mud got two big hits but no hook up. I caught the world’s smallest barra.

Got one tiny barra, and that’s it!


Rats on the Chew

It’s been since March that I got my last barra keeper. This was the 16th time that I have gone out and targeted them without personally pulling one in. I was up at 4.30am, it was very hot on the boat (it’s November after all) and we put in some serious hours on the water.

Mud got two barra, the biggest was 47cm. I got one, though technically not landed, I might have put more of an effort in had it been size, I would estimate 35cm. So it wasn’t all bad.

We headed to Salt Water Arm, we even got a Tales from the Tinny report from Shane Compain for SWA on the way there. Last weekend he got 30 fish, 20 keepers, it was as healthy as he had ever seen it, all we had to do was…

So we followed his advice, without much luck.

One thing we realised on the way there that TEBs was at SWA and there were going to be boats everywhere. My only consolation at my current cold streak is that I spoke to quite a few boats, and it seemed much the same. Three didn’t have any barra at all, three had a single keeper, all barely legal.

Well I am off to the tiwis next weekend and if I can’t get barra there, I will have to think about a retirement… maybe start targeting tiny cod, I’m good at that.

Me: 35ish barra*
Mud: 47cm barra, 40ish barra

Random story of the trip
It is possible I hooked a monster fish at the narrows, but I am still pretty sure it was the ground. Mud thinks line was peeling off to fast to be a fish, but it was about 2 seconds before the line snapped, so who knows.


Promises Lead Nowhere

A very early wake up to be on the water at first light. We headed to a coast creek near the boat ramp, about a third of the way to where Brian usually fishes, I didn’t want to go the full trip because of the afternoon wind. Things started pretty well, hit some snags and Brian pulled out his first barra, 47cm. He pulled out two cods before I got my trademark small cod of the day, but soon the water receded and across the low we didn’t think we would catch anything. The signs were good, bait was around, every now and again a large fish would jump, or we would hear a barra boof.

We waited and waited for the fish to charge up the river like they did the last time, but it never happened.

Things got more quiet as the water came in, the bait were gone and nothing was happening. We decided to head back and in desperation I stuck a line out to troll back. Nothing happened and I was about to give up before BAM I was on.

It resisted at first but allowed itself to be wound into the boat, so I was thinking catfish. But suddenly it was peeling off line like there was no tomorrow. It kept up this trip for a while, it was impossible to bring to the surface, it wouldn’t over resistance but as soon as it was near the surface it would peel off. If I wasn’t in 1m of water I would have thought a GT. Brian was hoping for a barra but without the jump I didn’t think so.

Anyway, it was soon worn out, and it revealed itself to be a nice sized Queenfish. The reason it was acting so strange was because I had hooked it through the top of its back, meaning it was impossible to turn its head. But hey, it was great fun, it has been a while since my line got peeled off, and I personally love the taste of Queenies. I’ve got some Nummas (Cerviche) in the fridge as I type.

I was really disappointing that the barra weren’t on, as this time I was prepared with a bent minnow and a popper. But oh well, still a fun day on the water, and I’ve got a feed for this week.

Last week will be my last trip for a while, I need to stack up the freezer soon!

Me: Nice queenie, small cod
Brian: 47cm barra, 2 small cods

Random story of the trip:
The queenie had a little fly hook in the corner of his mouth.