Exploring New River – Day 2

28 03 2012

With the success of the first day we had planned to get up early and head back and do some further exploring. However a missed alarm seen us not getting up until much later then intended and by the time preparations and the mornings coffee was drunk we did not head off to the river until late morning.

Reaching the river with the help of a new recruit, Dillan, who had decided to tag along after hearing the fish were biting, it was no time at all before we began our adventure.

Skimming through the first stretch of river flicking tight in close to the banks Jake managed to hook onto a feisty Yellowbelly, his first, which took a liking to the larger bodied Jerimiah.

Jake's first Yellowbelly
Hydrobug Jerimiah

Once we had begun our trek we were quick to the sandy haven we made it to the day before where we witnessed schools of small catfish and baitfish foraging through crystal clear water barely able to cover their backs. Such great signs of a healthy stretch of river.

Mal had strategically swapped over to a smaller bodied lure, Hydrobug Dytiscus at merely 42mm, to fish the snags which had already seen the presence of our much larger lures. Using this tactic he was quick to hook into a catfish over twice the size of the ones seen in the shallows.

Mal's Catfish
Hydrobug Dytiscus

From here we began our expedition into the yet to be explored stretches of river. Wading our way around the near inaccessible scrub and  walls of flood rubbish we fished the shallower flats to no avail.

It was not until walking the banks once again and flicking amongst shady snags right at the bank that we seen any more action. Mal was making use of a Gladiator Cape Yorker kayak rod which gave him all the advantages. This rod measuring in at only 1.2m (4ft) gave him the luxury of being able to cast easily and accurately under all of the overhanging trees surrounding from our left and right hand sides not only from above. It was at this point that the rest of us found it extremely difficult to get any casts in at all.

Being able to get the casts in it was no surprise that it was not long before he was on to our next fish for the trip.

The ability to fish where others can't really was proven with this fish
Hydrobug Jerimiah

Passing through the thicker trees we soon found an opening which gave casting room for all 4 of us. 3 of us using the Hydrobug Jerimiahs which were really proving their worth in the river and the other one using another lure to offer a bit of variety if the fish were turned off the larger hardbodies.

Within our first couple of casts the Jerimiahs really did prove their worth, not with just one fish or a double hook up but in fact a triple hook up on all Jerimiahs all from the same spot with the other lure not getting a touch.

Triple hook up on the Jerimiah's while the other lure didn't get a touch.
Hydrobug Jerimiah

At the dreaded point of river where we must turn around and head back the other way an extremely slow rolled lure over a rock bar sheltered from the direct heat of the sun by a solid tree seen me getting onto a fiery little cod which really gave an account for himself considering his size.

Hydrobug Jeremiah

Walking back along the opposite side to which we came we were trying to remember the areas we were unable to fish from the other side and fish them now.

The rod that I’d chosen to use a 10-14lb, Banax Vanessa, 2 piece with a length of 6′ 6″ gave me the luxury of being able to carry a long rod through thick, rod tip hungry scrub, by simply pulling the rod apart into two sections. However the major advantage gained from the long, light blanked rod matched with a very smooth reel is that I can easily launch long, yet accurate casts to snags unreachable by most. This truly did prove itself when on the way back we came to a slight opening with very ‘fishy’ looking structure and bank on the opposite riverbank.

With the others only able to reach there cast 3 quarters of the way I launched my lure deep into structure on the opposite side of the river. Not dragging the lure even half a metre back toward me I was quickly on to what didn’t feel like a big, but very energetic and strong fish. I called out to Jake who had just began walking upstream who quickly came back to assist.

Getting the fish across the varying forms of structure in the middle of the river I soon got a glimpse of a very solid Yellowbelly which had also taken a liking to the Jerimiah. After a bit of a struggle through more snags beneath me I got the beautiful river fish in which measured just short of the 50cm mark.

Cast #1 = Yellowbelly
Hydrobug Jeremiah

After releasing the fish I told Jake I’d show him where I pulled it from and cast to land the lure in exactly the same spot. At this point Jake had turned around to walk upstream again. Once again, in the exact same spot I didn’t even drag the lure close to a metre back towards me when I was on once again.

I laughed as I called out to Jake who had only just again attempted to walk upstream again. This fish didn’t fight as consistent however it made sure I knew where every snag was across the river dragging me around many branches and causing a very drawn out fight. Expecting another Yellowbelly I was surprised to see a  lovely river cod emerge in front of me, before once again wrapping himself around a log in front of me before giving in.

Cast #2 = Cod
Hydrobug Jerimiah

As we release the fish we hear Dillan call from up river saying he was now on as well. Seeing as I had the camera I decided not to pester my new ‘super snag’ much more and leave it for another day.

We quickly made our way to Dillan who had landed himself a well conditioned cod of 44cm which to my utmost surprise released eggs. I’ve caught plenty of cod this time of the year which have released eggs (the one before for example) so this was not of surprise to me, however I’ve never come across one so small yet mature enough to release eggs.

The little breeder herself
Hydrobug Jerimiah

Further upstream Jake and Dillan swap sides of the river to pick up some gear as Mal and I continue our way back on the side we were currently on.

Once back at our sand bar Jake quickly catches our final fish before trekking back to the boat to head home.

Apologies for the photo, was on opposite bank
Hydrobug Chaser

Once back in the boat as I’m paddling upstream Mal quickly calls that he was on to bring to the boat yet another healthy river cod.

Hydrobug Jerimiah

Stuck paddling still, after passing a rocky out crop Dillan casts into the shallows under some trees where he quickly hooks up as the lure is taken from the surface, at this same moment Mal’s lure had fouled up on its hooks and as he brought it back in along the surface it was hit by a solid fish. Mal quickly casts back out as Dillan is fighting his fish to hook into the cod which just attacked his lure on the surface.

Between Jake and I fumbling around the boat we land both of their fish for a quick photo and release.

Double hook up on the Jerimiah's this time
Hydrobug Jerimiah

Further upstream Mal changed to surface, despite being the middle of the day, where he did have some luck but the fish weren’t staying on the hooks. As this happened Jake and I both dropped a few sub-surface.

Calling our last cast for the day I cast between an island and an overhanging willow where I’m hit rather solid a couple of times. Mal and Jake both try their luck in the same place with Mal’s luck being proven again as his lure is taken just as he pulls it below the water.

After a rather intense fight on the lighter spin gear another beautiful sized cod is caught, a perfect way to end the day.

Mal's final cracker of a cod to end the trip
Hydrobug Jerimiah

Another of Mal's fish
Hydrobug Jerimiah

As we were pulling up the boat and packing away our gear to head home, Dillan starts flicking around at another island. After a few casts he calls out that he has a huge fish following his lure in. Follow up cast and part way back his rod doubles over soon to flick straight back up as the line snaps where the fish had clamped down on it.

This seen the end of day #2 and sadly the end of the trip.

Day 2 seen 1 Catfish, 2 Yellowbelly and 12 Murray Cod caught. Bringing the trips total to 23 native fish all of course released to breed, grow and be caught another day.

The gear used included

Banax Vanessa 10-14lb, 6’6″ 2pc matched magnificently to a Banax Syren with 6kg Gladiator Bonzai braid and 15kg ASSO fluorocarbon leader. This combo is unbelievably light, smooth and is just a dream to cast with.

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. This combo offers easy transport and carrying through rough terrain as well as easily being able to cast where it is impossible for longer rods.

This day we didn’t manage a fish on any lure other then the local Hydrobugs with a total of 11 Murray Cod and 2 Yellowbelly on the Jerimiahs, 1 Catfish on a Dytiscus and 1 Murray Cod on a Chaser.




2 responses

5 06 2012

This blog is pretty cool! How did you make it .

11 06 2012

Hey mate, send me an email at joe.press@hotmail.com or track me down on Facebook and I can run you through it all if you’d like?

Cheers, Joe.

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