With only a week left in Kununurra, a mate rang to say he had some friends in town, they were going fishing and had the perfect sized 3.7m Dart to access remote locations. In a heartbeat, I rearranged my work schedule and packed the truck.
After the success of the last barra fishing trip, I was just a little excited to say the least and by midday had the camp set up, deck chair, rod holder on the mud bank, two rods rigged and lures strategically laid out for varying depths. Gardy and Tracey arrived soon after, who I had not met before, we exchanged pleasantries and while they set up camp I wandered down to a rock bar to cast poppers, with low expectations, being the middle of the day. After ten casts I got the first ‘boof’ with no hook up, then another a few casts later, then watched a solid 70cm barra follow the popper and on the final twitch right in front of me it got smashed and I was on. The angle was very short, being so close, the fight only lasted a minute or so before the barra spat the lure, but the omens were good!
Half an hour later Gardy and I were trolling and on the first hook up he lands an 80cm barra. I perform my usual high five war dance, he is of course overjoyed as the pressure is immediately off and their trip already a success. But of course, barra fever gets everyone and he is soon craving another, which takes two days to achieve. I land a 64cm soon after and so we are both in the game. Tracey is not keen to go out just yet, being a little croc shy, so we try some dead baits and soft plastics from the shore with no success. We were fishing on major bite times, with the moon above at about 9pm that night, so with this in mind, after dinner I wonder down to the bank and on the first popper cast, land a 58cm barra. Quite exciting at night time and so of course I made plenty of noise which brings the others out of bed to take photos. An hour later I can’t resist the urge and go down to land another smaller fish. Up again at 5am and I was in the groove now to land two more fish before sun up, although both undersize. These were all caught on a mid size orange halco popper, which an local indigenous guy had taught me to work in a way to create the distinctive ‘blooping’ noise that is so attractive to barra.
Later that day Tracey landed her first ever two barra, with her too soon craving the bigger one. Unfortunately, the next day, she was to experience both the thrill of hooking and fighting a large 80+ fish and the despair as it leapt next to the boat and nonchalantly threw her lure. Later that arvo I hooked and landed a horse at 93cm that took a good five minutes to land, with Gardy having to reverse the boat constantly as it tried to take me to the rocks. Then to top it all off, the next morning, with the bait schools going off at 430am it was popper pandemonium as I landed a 45cm, 58cm and then a 78cm ( pictured ), all on the same popper before sun up. All up we landed 24 fish, including 3 threadfin and 10 on poppers. Another amazing trip in a great part of the world. Time now for some serious salt water fishing when we get to Port Hedland next week.