Sunday, 15 April 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012 Fishing Report
I hit the Haughton river yesterday again with Jake. I was really keen to try out some Z-Man 4" SwimmerZ that I picked up from ProTackle on Thursday. These soft plastic lures look and feel fantastic.
We headed into some different country as the big morning tide didn't really suit where we have been picking them up in previous weeks. Second cast of the Z-Man and I hooked into a small fish. It was just a little Archer fish, but as I pulled it in a large Barra 'boofed' it right beside the boat! While he completely missed the Archer, we at least knew straight away we were in the right spot.
Continuing to work the deeper banks we picked up a succession of smaller rat barra from as little as 30cm up about 55cm. But convinced it would have taken a much larger fish to have a go at a 30cm Archer, we persevered in this area. Jake worked his way through a series or hard bodied and soft plastic lures, and enven brought out the fly rod for a while. All were successful on the smaller fish, but nothing worked quite as well as the Z-Man.
We had probably boated a dozen or so of these 'rats' before a real fish hit my lure. Immediately we knew it was a good fish as it was the first to peal the 8lb PowerPro off my Stella. I would have had some great GoPro action of this fish, but as the fish ran toward the back of the boat I went to step off the front casting platform onto the eski and fell arse over. The camera then fell off my head and finished its filming on the bottom of the boat! The fight was quite a long one as the fish slugged away against the small amount of pressure I could put on it. And, of course, I then started to question my use of a 20lb leader. But all held and the fish was soon in the net, hardly a mark on the leader! At 68cm it was to be the fish of the day.
It wasn't long after this fish that we finished up our session in this part of the system and headed off to try some other areas. Our next trick was to work some deeper water with Thready Busters and Transam style lures. We headed to a favourite corner of Jake's that has a deep 4m hole on the inside bend. A few fish were marking on the Humminbird Side Image, so we Spot-Locked the Minn Kota and began to work the lures deep. Jake is far more skilled and practiced in this style of fishing that I am, and he managed 2 nice little Barra from here while I only had a bump!
From here we headed back around the mouth of the river, but didn't really find success anywhere. Boats were all over the place, the tide was ripping through and the water was pretty dirty. But we had had a pretty good morning session. In all we probably boated about 20 Barramundi and a few small Jacks.
The Z-Man had really proven itself for me. At the end of the day I was still fishing with the exact same lure I had used all day. It had caught numerous fish including the 68cm Barra. I'm going to retire it and put on a fresh one next trip, but it could still be fished if I so desired. In fact, the lure photographed below is the one used all day yesterday! They are sold at ProTackle in packs of 4. They come with a funny looking hook to rig the plastic on, but I discarded this in favour of a 3/0 Owner worm hook. I rigged the plastic the weedless Texas style with a '00' ball sinker in the same way I rig Atomic Prongs. The plastic is very soft and has a hollow belly. This allows the plastic to fold away and expose the weedless hook very easily. The only thing I found was that the smaller Barra would consistently grab the tail of the lure and pull it down on the hook and fail to hook up. This could potentially be improved by a larger hook that puts the point further back in the tail. In fact, Matt at ProTackle did recommend to me to use a 4/0 Owner, but I was happy with the action of the lure with the 3/0. I also squeezed in a little s-factor in the belly of the lure.