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Fishing for Canna-bass

Marijuana trees flying through the air are the last thing you expect to see when bass fishing. But when the police find a cannabis crop growing in the forest near the lake, they send in the helicopter to confiscate the hooch.

My fishing companion Harry and I, were enjoying a nice quiet day on the water when the police chopper rudely interrupted our serenity. The aircraft made several trips too and from the crop, carrying its valuable load to police waiting on the other side of the lake. During one of the flights we witnessed a particularly large plant in full bloom tied underneath the chopper. We laughed as we marveled at the ingenuity of the police for creating such an effective cannabis seed sowing machine. Throughout the comedy show we caught plenty of bass. The noise of the chopper didn’t appear to deter the fish from feeding. Perhaps they had the munchies?

Lake Fishing Charter 1st Feb, 2018

The “pressure is on” when one fishing guide hires another fishing guide to go fishing. Especially when the customer is an expert guide such as Rohan Soulsby from Top End Barra Fishing. Rohan operates his charters from Darwin targeting iconic species such as the mighty Barramundi, GT’s, Queenfish and Golden Snapper. So it was fantastic to see Rohan’s enthusiasm and appreciation for our southern native species. Out on the water this morning Rohan connected with plenty of bass, three of which were around the 40cm mark. I felt the pressure easing with each fish that hit the net. Clarrie Hall had done me proud again.

Thanks for a great trip Rohan. I look forward to visiting up your way for a fishing trip soon……no pressure mate 😉

 

Bass Fishing Trip January 27, 2018

The bass fishing was consistent today with plenty of fish moving around and feeding on the surface. Popping sounds could be heard throughout the morning as the bass inhaled small bait-fish at the surface under the lily pads. Robs small diving minnow lure was certainly the flavor of the morning, drawing at least a dozen strikes from some aggressive fish. Rob managed to stay connected to at least half of them, finishing the morning with a very respectable tally. Thanks Rob for a great bass fishing session!

Clarrie Charter January 8, 2018

Under a cloudless sky and with barely a breath of wind we ventured out onto the mirrored lake. It was hot and still but Feizul and Shane managed to rustle up a few fish. I was surprised to see an Eel Tailed Catfish Tandanus tandanus take a spinnerbait today. Only the second one I have seen at Clarrie Hall to take a lure. The boys also landed a couple of Australian Bass Macquaria novemaculeata. A little different to the Small and Large Mouth Bass they are used to catching back home, but no doubt 2 welcome editions to their new species lists. Thanks for a great day!

Kayak Fishing Charter, January 2, 2018

Despite our early start, our surface lures were not enticing enough to elicit a strike this morning. However we did notice that there were plenty of fish sounding up in certain areas of the dam. It was just a matter of cycling through a variety of baits and presentations to see what would work. Today the bass responded to both hard bodies and soft plastics. Tony did a fantastic job and managed to net 6 nice bass all between 38-42cm.  Great stuff!

Bass Fishing Charter, December 22, 2017

An early start saw Conrad and I loading up the kayaks with tackle and disappear onto the lake covered in mist. As usual the bass were feeding early under the cover of the low light conditions. It wasn’t long before Conrad opened his account when a small bass snaffled his shallow running minnow. His very next cast connected with a much bigger specimen. It never ceases to amaze me how hard these fish fight for their size, and the protest this fish put up was no exception to the rule. Once netted the bass measured 42cm to the fork, which is about as big as they grow in this waterway.

Conrad managed to land another bass for the morning before the sun burnt through the mist and penetrated the cool clear water. With no cloud and no wind, conditions were hot and the water was glassy calm. Ideal conditions would include cloud cover and some wind, which tends to bring the fish out from under the security of the lily pads and into the open where they feed in the current. Today, the still conditions provided some truly awe inspiring scenery, but the fish went off the bite. None the less, it was another great morning out on Clarrie Hall.

Clarrie is Looking Good!

The water at Clarrie Hall has now cleared and the dam is now looking fantastic. Much of the cabomba weed is gone which makes the fishing much easier. You can now work your lures right along the edges of the lilies without fear of having the lure covered in weed.  The bass could be heard feeding on the surface which makes surface luring around the pads a great option. Today I caught bass hopping a mumbler across the bottom and also found bass by retrieving lipless crankbaits. It is great to see Clarrie firing once again!

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The Pink Thing Fly

The pink thing is probably the most famous and successful barramundi fly. But it is also very effective on a host of other species such as pelagics and even Australian bass. For the most part this fly is tied in the original way its inventor Graham White first tied it, with the exception of the Fish Mask head and weedless wire. Graham recognized that by building a thick body of buck tail and a thick pink ‘webby’ collar, the fly will ‘push water.’ This means that fish can better locate the fly in discolored water. Grahams’ pink thing was tied with bead chain eyes but tying with modern materials such as the Fish Mask will surely add more ‘push’ than ever. The wire weed guard means it can be fished right in among the mangrove roots.

Simon Fitzpatrick

Tweed River Charter, October 17, 2017

Patrick and I arrived at the river at 6am just in time to see the first rays of sunlight hit a very coffee coloured looking Tweed River. As is often the case, after a period of 12 weeks without rain the heavens opened up just a few days prior to the trip. The much needed rain had certainly stirred things up and visibility must have been 6 inches at best. Undeterred Patrick worked his fly at all likely looking snags and eventually found a hungry bass that took a liking to his Donny Brasco fly.

Judging by the colour of the water and the amount of rain we received it may take another couple of weeks before things clear up.

Simon

Gone Fishing Day 2017

This year I spent Gone Fishing Day with OzFish Tenterfield who organized a ripper of a day with a tonne of activities. Here is a quick clip I made showing the highlights of the day.