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As the title of the post states, my bait was slammed so hard my reel went CRACK! And it was over. But luckily despite a few showers we had a great day at NPD today. Always fantastic catching up with Ray and Mark. Thanks for a great day gentleman! 92B9CB9A-4DCA-459E-9140-E04438E0BCDF.MOV
Armed myself with 2 necksocks, pulled one over my head and down to my eyes and the other from my neck up to top of nose, then added my sunglasses. I thought it my scare the fish away, but no they were still keen to see me. Managed 33 bass, one yella and one toga 67cm.Soon as the temp got a bit high I was outer there. Dino
This is a bit of a double report. I have to link to Rayke's post with some awesome photos. I hit Rayke up for a decky spot this week and was lucky enough to get a spot on his boat yesterday. My good mate Robbie was at my house and was telling me how much his son Max was loving his fishing. I asked Rayke if he could come along as well and the very generous man said yes. Rayke and Rick picked us up at Chandler at totally ridiculously stupidly numskully early o'clock and we enjoyed the cruse up to the Yellow Gate at NPD before gliding down to the boat ramp. I counted 85 pelicans. They were standing on the ramp but quickly swam out as we arrived. The ramp is feted with stinky poo covering every inch but they are such awesome birds. Just stinky ones. We headed off and pulled a few shrimp pots. Lots of small red claw in them and enough shrimp for the day. Then we got a stack of Red Claw to eat from the pots. I have a nice bag of tails in the freezer for dinner tonight. We tried a spot on the way for a few good bass then headed to the floats where we parked next to Ken who had caught a few. They were pretty good here. We caught some nice sized Bass and 2 nice Yellowbelly. For some reason most of the fish were coming in on the starboard side of the boat. Rick was killing it with about 6 cracking bass over 40cm. Finally Max Caught his fist ever Bass. It was not a huge fish that popped his cherry but hopefully a memorable one. He upgraded a few times during the day but I don't remember what his best ended up being. The soon went quiet so we went over to the far maker then the new area for not many at all. Back to the floats and they were here again. Not in huge numbers but kept us interested. I caught a very nice 48cm. My PB was 50. Rick said he had one at 59 and Rayke couldn't remember his biggest but something like 56 or 58. I really wanted to crack onto the +50s... The sun was really hot. Belting down on our heads now at about 11am. I was letting my line reach the bottom and counted up 7 winds. This was to try and have the bait where I thought the fish were and a vein attempt to avoid the worst of the snags. I was finding that the fish were being a little fickle with their takes. The line did some mild flicking, not too dissimilar to the shrimp flicking. I am more used to waiting through the bites for a pull down before lifting my rod but I lost a bait so tried to be a bit more aggressive. Next drop... flick flick... gentle lift and I was on. I caught 2 nice bass in the 30cm range but no +50. Drop again... flick flick... gentle lift and............ BOOOOMMMM... I was on! To a monster! I love to fish with my, probably silly, little Alvey reel. A nice old bakelight job my grandfather passed to me. I love the challenge, when you have a good fish on, to palm the spool and let it run. You do get some minor burns from the line if you don't get to the spool properly and it rubs on your hand but overall its a super fun way to fish. I like to think that it is an extremely skillful way to fish. The floats are a spot on the dam that mark a large group of underwater snags that have been very productive. I caught my PB Yella there 55cm and have caught lots of Bass there. The problem with fishing a large snagy structure is you often get bricked. I was fully aware of this when the rod buckled over and I had to let line peel off the Alvey. I put what I thought was maximum pressure on 10lb mono and trying very hard not to high stick (but failing miserably) fought to control what I now knew was a cracking fish. It ran off left before turning right. I had to very quickly grab a lot of line as it swam towards me then instantly switch back to palming as it did thumping run back down to the snags. I got a quick gimps before it again turned and ran. It was pretty special. A huge silver plated Australian Bass... It fought all the way to the net and Max helped me land it. We put it on the ruler and it went 52cm. YEW!!! You will have to go to Raykes thread for a photo that shows the whole fish. Max must have big fingers haha. We did get a few more nice fish but headed home soon after this. A Cracking day again. Thanks @rayke1938 for taking me out and Rick for driving. (sorry rick I keep forgetting your user name. Reply to this and I might remember?) Dinner was battered Bass. So Good. Like I said, tonight is yabby pasta. I hope to post some pics of it... hmmm perhaps a yabby curry... Mix it up a bit
A few days ago @rayke1938 posted that there was a Decky spot and after the last trip to NPD I jumped at the chance. I had cooked up the Bass from the last trip for the family with some soy, ginger and spring onions and we all loved it so keen to get more. The red claw i took from the last trip were simply boiled and eaten like prawns and so sweet. I am yet to learn how to deal with the strong fresh water flavour of the yellow belly. We ate the one I caught but struggled to like it. I don't like the idea of disguising the flavour with loads of spices so am in search of complimentary ingredients and techniques. The flesh is soft and moist and you can get great thick fillets from them... The struggle is real people. So with a ridiculously early alarm set I rubbed bleary eyes, made coffee in the surprisingly cool dark morning, packed the Nordic Stage Gunslinger and headed off. By the time I got to the yellow gates the full moon was in the windscreen and the massive golden sun rising in the rear vision mirror. I don't think you can make out the moon in the photo soz. P.s. i stopped to take this photo... Stay safe on the road people. This was going to be a good day! Ray rolled in like the rockstar he is. The paparazzi was there to great him. They said they wanting access to the ramp saying they wanted to take drone footage of the lake. But we all knew their hidden agenda was stalking out Ray's fishing spots and techniques. The guy had no licence to use the area and Ray told me he was a bit rude so he was summarily ushered away by security. I got to meet the delightful @christophagus. I had enjoyed reading his reports, especially about land based shark fishing, so it was great to finally shake his hand. Ray's boat is a simple old tinny... If you believe that I have a bridge in Indooroopilly that I can sell you for very cheap... at about 5m long it is the best set up boat I have ever had the privilege of sitting in. He runs 2 electric engines and has an enormous battery box in the middle of the boat. This would normally be an annoying space hogger but as the boat is so huge and it is so well placed it becomes a great bench for weighing and measuring fish (and for coffee cups) he has so many little tool holders and every seat has access to knives, lip grips, nets, fish rulers and an ingenious fish keeping set up. He even has a fish magnet! That's it sitting on the ruler. This boat is chock-full of well built, carefully thought out and well placed tools that help enormously. For instance he has a bow rope. Dropbear... everyone has a bow rope. Ok, true but at the moment mine is too long so gets in the way of the anchor, is very likely to fall out and wrap the prop and is just tied to the bow rail. Ray has a beautifully spliced perfect length bow rope with a handle spliced into the bitter end. The ramp at NPD is not very steep and the boat charges off the trailer if untethered. No problem Ray has a cleat on the boat winch riser that he uses as a break to slow the charging boat into the water. So simple but fantastically practical. Electric motor with dynex rope and snap shackle makes retrieval a breeze. There are many many more optional extras on this boat that either I forgot or just took for granted. It it such a great boat for 4 people to fish from. It was a stunning day with very little breeze and no chance of rain. The Pelicans flew off as we made it down the ramp, leaving behind their nights mess as well as an egg?! We wondered if they taste good. Something thought it must as it wasn't there when we got back. I reckon it would have made a cracker jack Pavlova. So off to check the shrimp traps. The first ones seemed like they had been share farmed. If only they re baited them it might not be such a problem but the first few came in virtually empty. The further from the ramp we got the fuller the traps were and we pulled in plenty of shrimp and a stack of red claw. yay. Then I set up the rod as Ray sounded around a few likely places. No one was home so we headed for his favorite spot. Percy was thrilled that Ray and Chris were into it pretty much straight away. Look at the conditions we had to put up with. The Bass were small and not in huge numbers. I think they had gotten nearly 10 before I got my first, I'm blaming the clearly unlucky starboard side of the boat. The sizes soon picked up and we got the clicker up to about 30. Ray got an eel tailed catfish and showed me how to hold them. I have always struggled with them and am afraid of the spikes. I hope in this pic you can see how Ray holds them safely and securely. He sure is a deft hand at handling fish but his makeup application techniques might need a little work... I did get a few bass but all a bit small. Ray and Chris got some bigger ones. But then it happened. Small soft bites. Something was gently chewing the Macrobrachium australiense. Take it... I felt a soft pull down, quick lift... I was on! Thumping powerful beats down low among the snags. Not fast circles like a large bass but unrelenting heavy drag pulling thumps resisting my attempts to pump and wind. I could feel the line rubbing against sunken timbers and remembered so many times having good fish on only to loose them. I love my Gunslinger. It is so light in the hand. It casts so well but has plenty of guts when you need it. Sitting down in the boat isn't the perfect angle to work a light carbon rod and I ended up high sticking a little but soon got some line. It came in for about 6 winds but when it saw the boat took off again giving me curry and threatening to bust off if the line touched the boat. I wanted sugar not curry! Then Old Yella had had enough and lay on the surface just out of netting distance. With two ravenous pelicans drooling in the background, I slipped the silicon net under her glistening golden sides and big fat belly as she lay quietly finning in the clear glassy water. Ripper bloody beauty bobby dazzler! At 50cm she was a cracking fish. Such a privilege to catch her. I find yellow belly one of the nicest fish to handle. So soft and gentle. Not flippy and spiky like bream or snapper. A few pics and she was back to her secret loggy hideaway, ready to ambush any Bony Bream that Ray told me were prolific in the lake. I was left to dream about how she would retire to her sunken snaggy shelters in a dimly-lit dampened den. The bass became scarcer but the sizes got better. I got the 32nd bass and it measured 32cm. Ray and Chris got larger ones. Chris got a tagged fish. It measured 45cm! It was his first tagged fish. He and Ray discussed how he could register it and get a certificate. It was measured, tag details taken and released. We got a few more and Ray got a cute little forky. Percy got it and I'm sure he will turn it into the prolifically potent Pelican poop on the boat ramp. I caught a tagged fish too and then fish number 40. Sure enough fish #40 was 40cm. So we only needed to get 10 more fish and I could get my first 50! That's how it works right? We tried in front of the eagle tree where the majestic White Bellied Sea Eagle stood tall, guarding the lake, ready to swoop and clear off un-licenced boats. Really I think Ray has trained this bird. He has ordered it to attack and take down any of the Paparazzi's drones well before they discover his spots and techniques. Nothing much happening here so we toddled over to the old sunken tree where Ray told us about a branch that had now fallen. It had terrorized them for years, promising to crush the boat if they got too close. Chris got another Tandanus tandanus and we got a couple more Bass but it got pretty quiet so time to go. I had to meet up with @samsteele115 as he had a net he was going to sell me and @Luvit had very generously dropped off a reef anchor there too. Back at the ramp the others assured me I wasn't being a Red Claw hog and let me take the 20ish we had caught and I put these in the eski, along with a nice bass I had caught and one Ray caught that had engulfed the shrimp a bit to deeply. Yes I'm sure all of you will be excited, I have grown as a person and brought along an eski... even with ice in it! So thanks again @rayke1938 for taking me along and it was great to meet you @christophagus. All up I think we got 43 fish. For mere mortals like myself this number is huge. When you consider that a canoe, that fished the same time and water that we did, donutted and the people on another boat I chatted to said they had got a few before they had a HUGE double take when I said we got just over 40 it was a great day out on the sweet water. That Ray considers this an extremely small number of fish to catch only goes to show how legendary he is as a Bass angler. It could be so easy to take trips like this one for granted and I have a cemented resolution not to. May your hands and boats smell fishy forever Drop Bear