Sunday, 9 October 2011

Darwin Day four - 

I am handing the reins over to Marty today. Papa went fishing for the day, as we had a relaxing girls day at home. Here are three photos that sum up our day together bubbaloo...

Cooling off the cheeky pup
Couch cuddles
Over to Marty -

Today I went on the quest to catch the almighty salt water barramundi on the winding Finnis River. To start the day I was picked up at 4.45am by 2 crocodile Dundee lookalikes which had a total of 8 teeth and 1 ponytail between them. 

It was 2 hours of driving through the highways and scrub, watching the sun rise and seeing dingoes and wallabies scampering between the termite mounds.
We set off from Dundee Beach to reach the river. After getting towed into the water by a tractor we nearly ran over a dugong as we set out to sea at a robust 30 knots.  After copping a few litres of salt water from the waves, we reached the river.

We then cruised the river for hours, trawling our lures for barra, within the first hour, my ponytailed friend Steve-o has already landed a couple, measuring 60 – 70cm (under 50cm – you have to throw back), whilst I looked on in dismay. Not to worry though, there was always something Darwinian to keep me entertained, flocks of giant Brolgas (cranes) flying overhead, 2 inch long bright yellow wasps buzzing round my head, or just listening to my counterparts spinning yarns about sharks and 25ft stingrays they had encountered…then BANG!! A mighty barra took my lure, we battled…the mighty fish tired as he would jump a foot out of the water in an attempt to lose the hooks, and I reeled him in toward the boat. As we pulled him aboard I was able to gauge his size for the first time…we measured him… 40cm…sigh…legally bound to throw him back I gave him a cuddle and released him…size doesn’t matter when you catch your first barramundi (apparently) and there were cheers and handshakes all-round, and a warm beer was popped in celebration.

As the hours wore on I would battle other fish, many getting the better of my inexperience and weak wrists, eventually I would land a 60cm barra which was much more satisfying (and legal). 

After lunch my constant watch for crocodiles was finally rewarded, a 4m saltie appeared a few metres from the boat (6m long), as we watched, it watched us, our boat drifted on…BANG! The boat came to a sharp stop as we ran onto a rock platform cm’s below the surface of the water, I looked back toward the croc, he had disappeared underwater. The boat was now perched on a rock, swaying back and forth as the engine was unable to propel us forward or backward. We were metres from any land or trees, our driver Roscoe sweared bravely as he punched the motor throwing up plumes of muddy water as we attempted to get free.  I looked at the beer in my hand, wondering what type of character I would be in this real life horror movie, “I gotta get outta here, Im not going in that water, im not out of order, you’re out of order, I got a wife and kids man, ahhhhh!!”
After a few minutes of weight passenger shifting and stationary water donuts, we broke free of the rocks, I breathed a sigh of relief.
Over the next few hours, I battled and lost a few more barra as Steve-o continued to reel em in, we cruised the river soaking up the sun.  As the afternoon wore on we decided to call it a day, the final Barra count – Marty: 2  , Steve: 11, age and experience definitely won out on the day. Highlights of the rest of the day were; getting salt-water-boarded over 30mins as we went back out to sea to reach home, watching the other fisherman marveling over the barra as we cut the fillets (large German man licking lips: “Look at the flesh, beautiful animal”), watching creeks fill and the road flood due to <5mins of heavy rain, admiring the mushrooming clouds on the horizon as the sun set, and finally bringing home about 6 kgs of freshly caught barra fillets to feed Ash & Lola. Good times.

Your papa

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