Exploring New River – Day 1

26 03 2012

After once again not being able to get out due to weather or other commitments I was left with nothing more then the occasional quick flicks after school chasing redfin. However I did manage my first off the surface which was high on the bucket list.

First redfin off surface
Gladiator Spray Popper

But when time freed up and the offer came to go with a couple of mates out to a stretch of river none of us had fished before, how could I possibly refuse? Reaching the water mid afternoon we were quick to kick the boat off the steep riverbank and begin our fishing.

Only fourth cast in Mal was quickly onto our very first fish of the trip, a beautiful fish coming in just over legal length.

Hydrobug Jerimiah

Drifting steadily down river we were throwing beautifully in under overhanging trees with many fish hitting but very few feeling a hook. Drifting through a shallow rock bar Mal cast under a tree where he managed to drag out another cod.

Hydrobug Jerimiah

Only a second after releasing the last fish Jake stole my rod to hook this, his first ever freshwater fish.

Jake's first freshwater fish
90mm AC Invader

Parking up the boat and trekking our way through very small and shallow holes we managed the odd nudge and tap but nothing was sticking. Coming to a small round hole Mal casts where the water runs in to hook up quickly into something very heavy and powerful. Only moments into the fight the battle is won by the fish with highly tensioned line rubbing on a rock resulting in a bust off. However within a couple of minutes we thankfully see the lure float it’s way up to the surface to find one snapped and twisted treble with another treble straightened and covered in scales.

Venturing further downstream I come to a picturesque shallow sandbar. Casting extremely accurately into a small snag I drop one fish. A follow up cast back in sees this extremely fat cod landed, my first for the trip.

Hydrobug Jerimiah

At the top of the amazing looking little hole I overcast into a tree sitting in the water. A quick walk out and swim to rescue my lure was a relief from the heat. Getting back to the bank Jake picks up my rod and jokingly casts in through where I had just swam. Part way back to the bank he screams that he’s on, half in doubt and half in amazement I look up to see the Banax combo being put to the test. Luckily with the solid backbone of the 10-14lb Vanessa rod and the guts and smooth but powerful drag of the Syren this surprisingly large shallow water cod was landed.

Jake's second freshwater fish this beautiful shallow water cod
Hydrobug Jerimiah

After a few photos and a healthy release we decided it was getting on late enough to swap over to surface lures and commence our walk back to the boat and then home.

Mal was quick into the surface action landing these two almost one after another.

Mal's first on surface
Hydrobug Jerimiah surface lure

Mal's second on surface
Hydrobug Jerimiah surface lure

The surface went quiet for the walk home with not a hit between Mal’s last fish and the boat. Getting in the boat we made our way back up river. Stopping off at a few likely looking spots. As the call for “One last cast..” was made I launched my lure aimlessly along the river.

Mal was explaining to Jake to just “..listen for the slap.” No sooner then it leaving his mouth we hear my lure change from the bloop, bloop, bloop of my surface lure to the signature surface explosion of a Murray Cod. Catching a glimpse of the water being thrown in the air reflecting in the moonlight our hearts jumped as I loaded up the rod with the weight of the fish.

The fish was far from big but was very well conditioned and put up quiet an account for himself giving us all a false impression of a good fish after such a great hit.

Hydrobug Jerimiah surface lure

This called for the end of the short trip as we made our way back up the river and back to the place we were staying.

This short trip for the day gave us a total of 8 cod, with one great fish from very shallow water.

Gear used included:

Banax Vanessa 10-14lb, 6’6″ 2pc (perfect for hiking through scrub but still having the luxury of long accurate casts in bigger holes) matched with the extremely smooth Banax Syren with 6kg Gladiator Bonzai braid and 15kg ASSO fluorocarbon leader.

Gladiator Cape Yorker 1.2m, 8-10kg (kayak rod) matched to a Banax Avalon filled with 10kg Gladiator Bonzai braid and 15kg ASSO fluorocarbon leader.

All fish except Jake’s first caught on Hydrobug Jerimiah, surface cod caught on Hydrobug Jerimiah surface lure. Jake’s first caught on a 90mm AC Invader.

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