EXCUSES EXCUSES EXCUSES
Since arriving in Kununurra a month ago I have been putting off writing this article and the reason will soon become obvious once you read it. Besides chasing the sun to make a living running skipper’s ticket courses, I am always looking for an opportunity to head into the river systems to catch a barramundi. So my first foray into the Northern Territory I put down as a reconnaissance trip to check water levels, water temperature and see how the almost non-existent wet season in Kununurra had affected the fishing. Unfortunately, the rivers have silted up and even though some are tidal, the potential for holding good barra was limited ( excuse number 1 ). With a shoulder still feeling the effects of surgery five months ago, using the throw net for live bait was somewhat limited, so after thirty throws for five mullet, excuse number 2 was well and truly ensconced. I soon realised that casting lures for extended periods of time was also somewhat difficult, so there you have excuse number 3. Five hours later with the scoreline barra nil, it was time to head home.
Two weeks later, local Margaret River scallywag, Jungle Jim Nilsson arrived in town, so it was another landbased trip to explore further. And explore we did, almost bogged in a tidal system, fished for two days, with the barra still dormant as I reckoned the temperature was too cold and there you have excuse number 4. Final option was to troll lures at a favorite location, but my 4.2metre vessel would not cut it in only a metre of water and Jungle had left his dinghy back in Derby (donkey). With other friends arriving soon from Broome, the pressure was really on and then Jungle came up with a brainwave. He decided to leave his van in Kununurra, drive the Gibb River Rd to Derby, collect his dinghy and then return via the highway to Kununurra in time for the next trip. Legendary commitment for a 1700km round trip, but the catch was he reckoned it would cost me $10,000. So Jungle does the round trip in four days and given the speed that he drives, that was amazing. With essential equipment now being two decent sized paddles in the event of ‘stuck in mud’ syndrome in croc infested waters, Jungle is making sure that I cannot possibly come up with any more excuses. To make things worse, he delighted in telling me that a chat to his caravan neighbour revealed they went on a Helispirit fishing charter trip and caught over thirty barra in one day. I outlined that at $2000 a day, he was more than welcome to take up this offer, but he would then miss out on the night time river ambience, open fire cooked meals, or better still Jungle cooking on his now famous ‘Sputnik’ fireplace ( see attached photo ) and not to mention the camaraderie of being in remote locations with a mate who you can bag the crap out of you when they catch no fish! So as it stands now, I am plum all out of excuses, we are going hard for three days next week and my reputation is firmly on the line. Stand by for the next instalment.