Finally Getting Back Out

19 02 2012

With the recent weather being less then favourable and river and water conditions being rather poor on top of a pile of school work I’ve not been able to get out for what has felt like forever. However yesterday I did manage to get out for a few hour session with some mates.

With a very hot, sunny day and a steady but low barometer I knew that the fishing would prove tough in the river which is still very dirty in most places.

The day began extremely slow only hitting the water leading up to the heat of the day at around 12 midday. The fish were proving tough on spinnerbaits and smaller hardbodies with not even any taps or nudges encountered. The large bodied hardbodies were only getting one or two hits but that was enough of a sign for us to change over to the more traditional cod hardbodies.

Casting perfectly under snags and shady banks we were certain that something would soon hit hard enough and play the game. By about half past two hopes were getting low and stomachs were growling so we had made the very tough but needed call to fish one last snag each. Picking snags in this stretch of river was easy as it is very thin and only just over knee deep at best. Also in the quicker flowing shallow water, clarity was much better but still rather poor compared with the rivers standards.

Carefully placing my lure tight in shady structure on the opposite bank I was becoming very desperate to tangle with a cod. As I began to count out my final casts not wanting to leave the water. 5, 4, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, my line got caught up on a reed in front of me as it settled after a perfect cast. Jerking the line back through the reed trying to free it I would pull, pull again but this time my Vanessa rod bent right back over as I looked up to see a quite promising boil where my Hydrobug Jerimiah once sat just under the surface.

Calling out to my mates saying I was on to a fish I quickly jumped into the water to free my line from the reeds and fight the fish in. Once off the reeds I had a lot of slack line so I made a desperate attempt to keep the fish on by handlining it with one hand while holding the rod in the other and winding up the slack line with my mouth on the handle of the reel.

With the slack line taken care of and the line un-wrapped from around my hand I commenced to fight the fish. Being from such a small, shallow and skinny hole I imagined the fish to be nothing more then 45cm at a guess but with how it was fighting I began to wonder about my guesses. Once I succeeded in dragging the fish from the snags I had a clear view of what appeared to be a bit bigger then expected fish which continued to fight very strong.

The size of the fish, despite being able to see it, was not truly recognised until it threw a decent sized tail out of the water part way across followed by revealing a rather solid, thick shouldered head and front half of the body which broke the surface as well.

As the fight drew to an end I snapped a quick photo of the fish on it’s way in.

An edited photo of fish on its way in

Getting the fish in I then truly knew the size and quality of this beautiful animal I flukily caught. The fish wasn’t very long but was in great condition and extremely healthy. Quite a surprising sized fish under the circumstances of where it lives, which when the water is clear you can see the bottom (lucky to be more then a metre deep at deepest points) and mostly open. I plan to head back in better conditions with polarised glasses and pay close attention in an attempt to site this beautiful fish in its shallow home.

Photo of fish posing underwater

After a couple of quick snaps, only coming out of the water for the pictures she was un-hooked as quick as possible and released back into the hole, visible the entire time until hitting some dirtier water.

Photo with the fish

Once the adrenaline had warn off and the hunger had kicked back in we all made our way back to where we began and called it a day. Only the one fish caught with the others going fishless but quite a memory will be kept I do imagine.

My selected gear for this trip:
Banax Vanessa 10-14lb, 6’6″, 2 piece baitcast rod.
Banax Syren loaded with 15lb braided line and 30lb ASSO Big Catch Fluoro Leader
The lure that fooled the fish was a new to the market Hydrobug Jerimiah in a burnt reddy/orange colour

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One response

19 02 2012
Greg Murphy

Hi Joe,great read & an even better effort giving the conditions that you have mentioned,also some nice shots with the camera,well done,cheer’s Murph…

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