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2 months travelling to Northern Qld and back! Bass & Barra

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:45 am
by arpie
Hi all

Better grab a cuppa & biscuit, this could be a bit of a read :snic: Lots of pics to come, so will be in many parts!

Where to start? Earlier this year, when Keith decided to compete in the Byron Bay Triathlon (the final race of the series) I thought ..... why not continue going north & head up towards Tully Heads, where we had recently been reunited by email with an old school buddy of Keith's! They had not seen each other for the best part of 55 years - what a good excuse to have a good long campervan holiday!! I started planning!! Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that there would be a few fishing opportunities for me to have, too!!

We left Forster & headed towards our first port of call, Nambucca Heads. There is a terrific campground right on the breakwall there, with a great hotel/restaurant, where we always enjoyed our first 'meal out' of the trip.

Unpacking the camper, we had a bad start to our journey, when, lifting my bream rods from the van, my little 'fly/spin' rod busted up near the top! It was a 7 piece 'travel rod' that was now an '8 piece'! I asked Keith to dismantle the rod carefully, as I had difficulty separating two bits, when, you guessed it, another bit broke, so now it was a '9' piece. I now have a new project to work on, trying (hoping) to repair it, as it is a terrific flicker of really light, unweighted jigs. I had contacted Gdcalmer/Wendy (now living near Macksville) to pop over & show me her latest efforts on her yak - it is now wired up for a small electric motor! We went down to the ramp & attached the motor & we both went out for a spin in it! Wendy has done a terrific job with it - it is probably the smallest of the Jarvis Walker leccies & she just uses a 7ah 12v battery to power it (same as her fish finder one) and gets from 2-3hrs use per charge. She uses it to cruise to her preferred spots, then turns it off & paddles around the area, before powering it up again, for the trip home. Well done, Wendy!! We flicked some sps around the estuary for some small throwback bream & flatties
1 wendy leccie.jpg
2wendy leccie.jpg
Wendy with her leccie motorised yak

Next day, we reached our destination for the next week - Byron Bay! Our camp ground was in the middle of town, so we were able to walk everywhere, however, as the campervan was setup with our tent, I was relcutant to pull it all down again, to get the yak to water ........ when along came my saviours!! Whilst Keith was still 'in training or resting' for the triathlon that weekend, Grant suggested we toss both our yaks on the back of his ute & we try out a small creek he had spotted on his travels in behind Byron! Not one to say 'No' ..... we were on our way! You wouldn't believe it, but, along a fairly busy road, we pull up beside a lovely creek & launch our yaks. It looks a bit like the 'secret creek' I discovered at the end of last year! Gorgeous! With the yak sitting in the middle of the creek, it was easy to cast to both sides, targetting the shadowy bits and any exposed snags and logs.

Grant was getting some early hits & hookups, but after missing or dropping a couple, I couldn't catch a cold! Then suddenly (after Grant had given me a spinning blade with an Atomic grub on the jig head) I get a hit! I'm on!!! Yaaay! A fiesty little bass is brought to the yak! This is followed shortly after by another of slightly bigger. Neither were legal, but put up a good fight. It was so good to have caught a bass again! Grant headed off, with us promising to make contact with him after the race that weekend.
4 my bass.jpg
My fish
3 great creek.jpg
gorgeous creek

The next day, Hollgi dropped by & tossed my yak on top of his on the roof racks & we drove to Brunswick Heads, where we launched into the estuary up there .
5 holgi yaks.jpg
My little sport fitted on perfectly!

I was looking forward to tossing some lures around the bridge pylons, but was surprised to see that the bridge had been dismantled after the new highway crossing had been opened! Darn! It had always held good fish there! I caught a few small flatties & bream & Holgi landed some legal flatties.
6 holgi flattie.jpg
Hollgi's nice flattie

more to come ......

Re: 2 months travelling to Northern Qld and back! Bass & Barra

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:58 am
by arpie
That next weekend, Keith competed in the Byron bay triathlon, acquitting himself very well - as the oldest competitor, he finished ahead of about 50% of the field - a pretty amazing feat, eh??

We rested on the Sunday, then headed off towards Murwillimbah and Jewhunter on the Monday! Grant already had the boat ready to race up to Clarrie Hall Dam for a late afternoon bass session ...... so we took off not long after arriving! Thunderclouds & lightening threatened as we headed out onto the lake with the leccie motor moving us quietly towards the sunken trees! Grant cast towards 2 trees & on the second cast, he is on to a terrific fish that tried to bust him off around the tree!! A nice 43cm bass!! I was casting to the edges of the weed, into any break between the weeds & at any structure or snag that I could see & only came up with 1 hit & miss! Darn it! Ne'er mind, even a slight downpour didn't put us off from fishing on. Little did we know that the day before, there had been a huge fishing tournament on the lake, that had landed hundreds of fish ..... little wonder they were a bit 'quiet' the day after!
10 43cm bass.jpg
11 grant & bass.jpg
Next morning, we headed up to Maroochydore. By then, I'd been in touch with Toni/Estuary Girl (who had camped near me at SWR last year). She said that a bunch of them (ECKFC) were meeting up that weekend at Somerset Dam to see what they could catch ..... so we now knew where we'd be heading after Maroochydore!

Dragging the yak across Bradman Ave & onto the Maroochy River, I had high hopes of getting into some flatties & bream & wasn't disappointed on the flattie front! Using Berkley Hawgs, I caught pretty well all my fish on them! Mainly nice flatties (to 40+cm) and pike, with a small bream & trevally! Got 2 nice flatties on the first day & another 2 on the 2nd day, that I kept & gave to my sister!
15 another flattie.jpg
13 40+ flattie.jpg
17 crook bream.jpg
nice flatties & 1 crook bream

I also managed to 'save' a racing skiff that had gone further up the river than it had intended & ran out of wind! It just could not get back under the bridge & back to the breeze, so I suggested that they tie up to me & I would pedal them back under the bridge! To say that they were somewhat disbelieving to start off with, then somewhat embarrassed, being towed by a kayak would be an understatement!! Once back under the bridge, they were off again!
14 towing skiff.jpg

Re: 2 months travelling to Northern Qld and back! Bass & Barra

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:04 pm
by arpie
We then headed off to Somerset Dam, meeting up with Toni again for the first time in 18 months and other ECKFC yakkers. Great to put faces to names ...... but I am a shocker with names, so please forgive me in advance if i get them wrong! It was pretty slow fish wise, tho some fish were caught, but the red claw yabbies were all over the place! It was a lovely dam and disappointing that no bass were landed by this yakker!! If we'd headed up to the Spit area,apparently, we would have gotten into some, I heard later! I did catch a turtle tho, on a blade ..... by the foot!! A small bit of excitement in an otherwise fishless session! Toni had a crook night on Sat .... in the wee small hours, having to take herself off to hospital! :sad1: Shame.
18 red claw.jpg
18 toni.jpg
19 waterside camp.jpg
(under water after heavy rain the week after!)

Some beautiful little bays to fish, but Where are the bass???
20 where are the bass.jpg
21 blade turtle.jpg
I tried to entice Toni over to the Dark Side .....
19 moving to the dark side.jpg

Re: 2 months travelling to Northern Qld and back! Bass & Barra

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:16 pm
by arpie
19 keith & wazza.jpg
19 lantana eric.jpg
19 ECKFCer.jpg
THis guy (above) went out early on Sat & didn't return till almost dark - we almost sent out a search party!! He got into some good bass on the Sunday afternoon, after everyone had left!!
19 eckfc.jpg
19 eckfc.jpg
19 happy campers.jpg
More ECKFCers

Most yakkers headed home on Sunday, but Keith & I stayed till Monday morning & when it started raining in the small wee small hours, we packed up & decided against returning to the coast, heading up towards Kingaroy where we sought refuge with buddies there, for the 2 days that it bucketted down!! They were actually really pleased that we had brought the wet weather with us, as they are still basically in drought! We were just pleased that we weren't camping out in the rain!

It was great fun sitting round the camp fires at night - terrific company - many thanks for allowing me to gate crash your gathering!!

This is when the coast was copping a hiding - both Qld & NSW & it was quickly declared a disaster area for both states. Inland, we didn't get a drop! And so it was, until 6 weeks later, when we were heading down the coast again & copped a bit as we reached the Sunshine Coast again!

Re: 2 months travelling to Northern Qld and back! Bass & Barra

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:25 pm
by arpie
We had thought of going to Boondooma, just up the road from Kingaroy, but it would have been really muddy around the edges of the lake after all the rain, so we elected to continue up past Monto towards Cania Dam. What a lovely spot. I can thoroughly recommend it to everyone!!

The native birds are abundant, the scenery spectacular, a terrific campsite with lots of 'extras' including damper most days & Camp oven meals for those that can't be bothered to cook for themselves ..... Bush Poet readings, bird feeding most days & more!
22 cheeky lorikeet.jpg
I met up with a 'young bloke' who had been there for about a week, with no success on the dam, so we managed to fit both our yaks into the back of his ute & headed towards the dam! First outing, neither of us caught anything - I was using the fish finder to check out the drop offs & see if the fish were holding deep down or nearer the surface - our plan was to go back the next morning & give it a real go!
23 yaks on the go.jpg
24 spooky fog.jpg
Greg hadn't ever fished for bass before, so I gave him one of Grant's lure setups - a spinning blade with a small jig head with an Atomic grub on it! The one Grant had given me was a browny colour & I also had a greeny coloured one, but it was the yellow/black one that Greg gave me, that put us onto the big fish!! I hooked up a few small bass to start off with (an improvement on yesterday) and was mainly fishing around the edges, targetting the weed beds. I even hooked one on the 'do nothing retrieve'! I had put a clear DOA prawn lure on & had it in the water as I untangled a bit of a birds nest on my reel & blow me down, the movement of the yak must have given the prawn some action & this little fella jumped on!! You can just make out the DOA prawn near my thumb. They use regular prawns for bait at this dam, which surprised me!
25 doa bass.jpg
Then Greg showed me how to catch bass!! He actually outfished me on all 3 days, catching the biggest fish too, a lovely 45cm! I reckon he thinks this bass fishing is pretty easy, eh??
26 greg first bass.jpg
I had actually caught about 7 or 8 fish on the first 'fishy' day, 4 or 5 of them legal - a PB for me with bass!! On the 2nd & 3rd day, it went down to 2 landed, with lots of misses or dropped ones, but they were still nice fish, around the 43cm mark again. Greg caught 3 or 4 to my 2! Some of them had a bit of fungus on their fins, which apparently happens after heavy rainfall. Every time we approached a bend, we tossed the lure towards the shore & usually got a hit or a hookup. But the most productive method was to sit offshore & cast towards the edge of the weed beds.
27 43cm bass.jpg
We continued catching fish at a regular rate. Average size 43cm.

Re: 2 months travelling to Northern Qld and back! Bass & Barra

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:36 pm
by arpie
Greg hooked the biggest bass of the 3 days on the water & his smile says it all!!
28 greg 45cm bass.jpg
34 another nice bass.jpg
At times, you could see & hear the bass 'boofing' as they sucked insects or shrimp along the edge. Their fins were sticking out of the water, they were in such shallow water! We put all our fish back except for 2 (one for Greg, one for us) which were dinner that night! Yum!!
29 dinner.jpg
30 cooked dinner.jpg
Lovely dinner!

Our final day on the lake was a bit wet, but Greg & I stuck it out & got into some more good fish. We were targeting the semi submerged stumps & rock walls this time & got into some nice fish again. Miserable conditions, tho!
28 greg bass.jpg
27 another big bass.jpg

Re: 2 months travelling to Northern Qld and back! Bass & Barra

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:44 pm
by arpie
I went up numerous creeks & was surprised to find some really nice looking weed! I grabbed some & took it home to wrap in a towel & hopefully bring back to the coast for some blackies, but was disappointed when, the next day, I checked it out & it had gone all black & slimey! Bummer!!
31 green weed.jpg
At the corner of the creek, I met up with these 2 Rockhampton guys, fishing a large submerged fallen tree that had already claimed numerous of my squidgies! THey showed me good weedless method of rigging squidgies when fishing snaggy areas. You put the hook & sinker onto a small loop & then thread the sp on with no barb showing. Seems the sinker, being 'loose' will free itself from any snag by acting as its own lure retriever! I had previously watched them bring this nice 45cm bass out of the snag, by opening the bail & allowing the fish to find its own way out!! Very cunning. Seems, the more pressure you put no the fish, the harder if pulls. Let the line go slack & it stops struggling!
33 rockie boys.jpg
32 weedless sp rig.jpg
Back at camp later on, I asked how they'd gone after I'd left them ...... when one of them asked ...... "Have you been to Paradise?" Hmmm, I thought, is this a trick question? So I replied "Is that an offer?" He went bright red as his buddies nearly fell over laughing!! "no, no" he said ...... "then again ......I could be tempted" hehehe - I finally let him off the hook!! He was, of course, referring to Paradise Dam (which I'd never heard of.) It is somewhere between Gin Gin & Ban Ban Springs. It had been receiving regular stocking of Bass over the last few years & was a closely guarded secret, and had only recently been added to the Qld SIPS (Stocked Impoundments) that are allowed to be fished with a SIPS licence. It is now on my list for next year's trip!

The surprising thing is, that Cania is well known for its saratoga & we didn't catch one!! We didn't even see one! A couple of other yakkers had seen & caught the odd one, so I'll have to read up on how to achieve that for next time.

After 4 days on the water at Cania with Greg (I never did get up to walk the Gorge but Keith did & tells me it was marvellous!) it was time to head north again. He was staying on for another week! It will definitely be on top of my list to visit again next year (in the planning stages already!)

We spent the evening beside the highway at a rest area by a river. I tossed a few sps & hbs around with no luck (apart from catching the bridge high up near the road, which I managed to retrieve very carefully, using a broken branch, as I hung over the side of the bridge!)

The 'water depth' guage indicates that there was some major flooding there previously!!
35 I think I shrunk.jpg
Our next stop was Fairbairn Dam, out of Emerald.

It is a massive dam which holds bass, barra, grunter & a stack of redclaw! Not many folk were fishing - they were all out with their 'opera house nets' catching redclaw! These were massive!! One of our neighbours cooked some up & gave them to Keith & I to celebrate my birthday!
36 big red claw.jpg
36 cooked redclaw.jpg

Re: 2 months travelling to Northern Qld and back! Bass & Barra

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:57 pm
by arpie
I didn't manage to get any bass or barra (apparently the barra were hanging out on the other side of the dam, where the trees were & with the cooler weather, were more difficult to catch!) But I did manage to get a fat boney bream
38 fat bony bream.jpg
39 very fat.jpg
Also a couple of 1kg+ Barcoo Grunters, one of which busted me off! I brought one back to camp, to cook up for dinner, only to learn that they are very ordinary eating & other campers suggested tossing it!
40 1kg barcoo grunter.jpg
Then I hooked this little fish! Some locals reckon the barra actually reproduce in the dam, but that goes against all knowledge of their breeding cycles ...... but i thought this may have been a baby one?? What do you reckon it was??
40 greedy little bugger.jpg
Somewhere along the way, I had worn a sharp edge along the side of my bail arm & I had busted up to 30m of 4lb braid on numerous casts :ang: luckily I was able to salvage the braid & tie it back on again ...... unlike the numerous massive birds nests I also got along the way, requiring yet another trip to a tackle shop to buy some more braid! Up there, the cheapest is $50 for 150m! :conf: I mixed up some araldyte & covered the sharp bit & it worked better from then on, but still threw the odd wobbly with birds nests ..... :what:
37 reel repair.jpg
I was amazed at how many campers were booked in there for up to 3 months! It is not far from the Gem Fields of Emerald, Ruby & Clermont, so I guess they must go there when they get sick of setting traps for redclaw & looking at the magnificent sunsets!
36 fairbairn sunset.jpg

Re: 2 months travelling to Northern Qld and back! Bass & Barra

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:06 pm
by arpie
From there, we headed up towards Charters Towers & decided to stay at a riverside campground about 10k out of town on the Burdett River. It had been badly flooded in the big Feb floods - the water level of the rivers rising to 10ft above the top of the telegraph poles! The owners immediately put the campground on the market & the bloke owning the adjoining property bought it & started cleaning it up.

Luckily, by the time we arrived, it was almost back to normal and the ground dry & firm again, altho one of the cabins had been left 'as was' to show just how bad it had all been! Mud & crap everywhere.

I tossed some sps and hb lures along the side river and hooked a cute little cod on a sammy!
41 small cod.jpg
Then, as the main river was still flowing fairly fast, I put a Berkley Hawg on, dropped it amongst some submerged branches that were out of the current & watched as this brown flash came out from under the bank & grabbed it! I got my first & only (therefore a PB) Sooty Grunter! I reckon those Hawgs are terrific little sps for fresh or salt!
42 sooty grunter on hawg.jpg
43 berkley hawg.jpg
We realised that if it was taking us this long to get up to Tully, it would take us just as long to get back again, so figured we'd better make a b-line for the coast. We headed towards Townsville & found a great campground across the road from the water & stayed a few days. By this time, I had somehow managed to get a dose of the flu! I was taking cold & flu tabs & managed to stop it from going to the chest, but was feeling a bit 'groggy' & down, so didn't get out much - managed to fish my way along a creek, with no joy other than being glad of retrieving my lures back from the trees that I inevitably caught! Mustn't have been concentrating much! THen we made our way up to Tully Heads & our buddy's place.

Not long after arriving, Woodsy's neighbour turned up with this ...... figuring out that it may be the closest I get to a barra, it was worth a pic!
44 30kg tinaroo barra.jpg
30kg Tinaroo Barra, mounted

Unfortunately, it was a bit blowy, so our planned trip out to the islands did not eventuate, due to rough seas! However, after a few days of listening to Ian & Keith reminiscing about their school days, I was getting fishing fever (luckily the flu fever had just about settled down by then) so I borrowed Ian's ute & went to Hull Heads for a fish from the jetty there. Crocs had been sighted in the area recently, so there was no way I was putting my yak in anywhere up the coast!

The entrance to Hull Heads is very pretty & has 2 jettys & a good boat launch area. I had a fish from the jetty & hooked onto my first (another PB) mangrove jack!! I had found a bit of old mullet on the jetty & had chucked that onto a line & just left it in the water. Next minute, I look back & my little 1kg flick stick is bent in half with a fish on it!! Bloody thing bit me on the fingernail as I tried to retrieve the hook, raising blood!
45 mangrove jack.jpg
As I was fishing from the jetty, I got the fright of my life, as this huge cod materialised from under the jetty! It was almost as if it was scratching its back under the jetty! The picture doesn't do it justice - it was huge! It hung round for a while & I floated a prawn past it, enticing a bit of interest, but you don't get that big & ugly without getting smart!
46 big cod.jpg
Ian & his wife had lived & worked up in the Gulf Country back in the 80s when it was still fairly primitive & moved to Port Douglas before it had become trendy, before heading down to Tully Heads to retire. They surely have some tales to tell & if they ever write a book about their lives in the outback, I truly reckon it would be better than Sara Henderson's!!

Re: 2 months travelling to Northern Qld and back! Bass & Barra

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:18 pm
by arpie
Back in Townsville, I figured it would be my last chance to get into a barramundi, so, for my long overdue birthday present, I headed off to a stocked fish farm, to have a go at some barramundi! The night before I was picked up, it was the coldest temperature in over 20 years, so my 'guide' Andrew, said to not necessarily expect hooking into any of the 'big boys' as they would be sulking & not be very active!

Seeing as how the barra were not in a 'real life' situation (altho there were some snags in the dams), I started off in the 'small fish pond' and caught a few there, just to get my eye in. Heading over to the 'big boys pond', I used my Dropshot Rod & 1000 Straddie reel, with 4lb braid, topped off with 50lb leader ....... to make it a bit more interesting! I fished for just over 3hrs & on my 2nd cast in the 'big boys pond' I said "I'm on, no, it's a snag, no, it's a fish!!!" Andrew was amazed! It was the fastest hooked big barra that he had seen!! She jumped out of the water & performed a bit, before bringing her to the edge, where she was brought out for a pic. A couple of them went to 80cm or more! All up, I landed 7 or 8 big ones.
48 first barra.jpg
49 80cm+ barra.jpg
first a small barra, then into the big boys
50 another nice barra.jpg
51 bent hook.jpg
another big boy & this is what he did to the hook!!

Yeah, I know - it was cheating a little bit by fishing the ponds, but it was my only chance of getting into barra on this trip! Next year will be different! I am already planning a trip with my girlfriends to do the Bass & Barra trail for at least 4 weeks! Wendy is already a starter & Kim is keen ...... hopefully Toni, too. Even so, I dropped or missed more than I caught & had terrific fun pulling in the 8 or 9 that I did (hehehe I outfished Andrew on this occasion! ) So, if you are ever up that way & want to test out your barra fly fishing or don't want to go too far to get into some action, send me a pm & I'll put you onto them! You just pay by the hour & buy any fish per kg if wanted.

From Townsville, we headed down to Yeppoon, where our nephew & his partner live. Both are keen kayakers & Shanon has made one sea going kayak already & halfway thru making his second. They often paddle out to Great Kepple Island for camping trips (about a 4hr paddle each way), last weekend included, whilst we are shivering in our boots now! It was great sleeping in a 'real' bed after being in the camper for so long ....... so it was easy to be talked into staying for 6 nights, as Shanon wouldn't be returning from a job off the WA coast till then! If you are ever in Yeppoon, on a Sunday night, you must have the Parillas at the local pub opposite Surf Club! It is a SPANISH MEAT FEST, with lamb, chicken, beef & pork being cooked on hot charcoal & served with garlic sauce, bread & salad for $15!! Bargain!! Yum! I took the yak out a few times (good to be in non croc waters again) but didn't do any good! We'll be back tho!
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stowaway on the yak
54 how not to stow fish bits.jpg
I guess this shows what you can catch at Yeppoon, but very disappointing to see that someone has just tossed the carcasses onto the bank of the estuary instead of into the water for the fish to feast on. You can only just imagine the stink!

Re: 2 months travelling to Northern Qld and back! Bass & Barra

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:32 pm
by arpie
55 yeppoon view.jpg
52 view yeppoon.jpg
view from the deck with Keppell in the background,

Some of the bays heading south are easy to launch from & have islands handy for an easy paddle. The Marina/harbour is really big & worth exploring too!
52 yeppoon.jpg
We thoroughly enjoyed Yeppoon & will definitely be going back there one day!

Burrum Heads is a cute little coastal town just north of Hervey Bay. I had been in contact with Strider/Alan, Goobs/Guy & RIcho23 & went with their suggestion to stay a few nights at the beach side caravan park there. Gorgeous spot. First day out on the yak, I stayed fairly close to shore, fishing between all the moored boats ..... the tidal range up there is huge & flows very fast, so, on my own, I erred on the side of caution. As it was, I got a lot of exercise pedaling against the current for most of my 5hrs on the water! Didn't have much to show for it tho! I hooked the odd grinner & tiny flatties. I could see the 'locals' spinning for pike as 'livies' which they then tossed back in around the boat ramp later with the in coming tide, to get queenies etc
56 burrum grinner.jpg
59 see thru flattie.jpg
grinner, & see thru flattie - those hawgs again!
56 burrum birds nest.jpg
I kept getting those mongrel birds nests tho!

Re: 2 months travelling to Northern Qld and back! Bass & Barra

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:45 pm
by arpie
The owners of the caravan park still remembered Yakass's stay at their camp & supplied me with copies of his fishing reports for the 3 or 4 days that he went out. This gave me an insight into the fishing possibilities of the area, but being a wuzz, I wasn't going offshore, so stuck with the estuary mouth! The little Squidgy Pro bloodworms did their trick on some flatties, tho!

The next day, I met up with Guy & Alan. The current is pretty fierce there, as the tides are really huge, so we chatted for a while, waiting for the tide to slow down, then got our gear together to go for a fish ...... Oh No!! Guy had left his rods behind!! :snic: Bummer!! We've all done it at least once, I reckon! I loaned him one of my 'good for anything' rods, as he wouldn't take one of my flicksticks! It is a bit longer & heavier than you would normally use on a yak, but he stuck with it! :ops:
56 burrum yakking.jpg
56 yakkin burrum.jpg
We headed further afield across the entrance towards the other side, alas, also for not many fish! Even the locals have been complaining of the non existent catches. A few more small flatties & the odd grinner, till the big toadies turned up, then, after losing a whole packet of gulp prawns to them, we called it a day! Alan was even catching the mongrels on hard bodies!! Guy had headed home earlier but it was good to catch up with Richo on the boat ramp! Lovely part of the world, guys!!
58 another one.jpg
56 burrum another toad.jpg
56 burrum 3 amigos.jpg
Alan, Guy, the 3 amigos - Roberta, Richo & Alan
57 burrum sunset.jpg
Lovely Burrum Heads sunset

Re: 2 months travelling to Northern Qld and back! Bass & Barra

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:00 pm
by arpie
Time to move on, & we headed down to the Sunshine coast to meet up with my sister at Flaxton (finally!) and wouldn't you know it, the heavens opened wide (much as they did on the way up in the same area) and the rain bucketted down again!! Once again, we were lucky to be staying in the house & snug in bed instead of in the campervan! I headed over to Buderim & caught up with an old school friend that I'd not seen since 1968! We'd reunited by email a few years back & was pleased to know that she is also a fisho & camper (but with more sophisticated tastes than us!)

We opted to hightail it down to Brunswick Heads, where it had been blowing a gale just a day or so prior to our arrival! Seems tents were being blown over everywhere (shades of Stockton Beach & the Pasha Bulka again!) Luckily, it had settled down by the time we got there, but the water was absolutely filthy! Chocolate brown! Not much chance of catching anything here, I thought! WRONG!

I caught nothing on my lures or sps other than a small trevally, so borrowed a neighbours pump & got some yabbies! They accounted for the bream & blackie! All put back. I had one really good hit on the edge of a rock ledge & reckon it was probably a big blackie. It took off, taking line with it, then I dropped it! Darn!!
63 brunswick blackie.jpg
62 brunswick bream.jpg
Brunswick Bream & Blackie
61 Hollgi brunswick.jpg
Hollgi joined me for an hour or sunset fishing!
61 brunswick sunset.jpg
Sensational sunset

As we drove down the coast towards Macksville, every river we crossed was still very high, fast flowing & filthy! I didn't fancy our chances of putting the yak in with Wendy! She had been camping by the river, but had been evacuated out a few days prior, due to flooding, yet again! It was the 4th time this year that she had had to evacuate to higher ground this year! She took us down to the river to show us how high the flood had been! Good thing she moved out when she did, or she would have been in a right pickle!! Luckily, she has friends on a nearby farm, who allow her to stay on their property when it is flooding, so we joined her there for a couple of nights. Camp cooking around a fire was great fun, as was catching up with Wendy & our hosts (now good friends.) This was our last camping spot before getting home ....... and it was terrific. I am looking forward to the bass season opening again, so I can hightail it back up to Macksville for a week & getting into both some fresh & saltwater fishing in the area with Wendy!
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Nice chicken dinner round the fire,
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Keith made a new friend

Previously we'd met up with a buddy at Brunswick who said that Forster hadn't had much rain & he'd said the lake was pretty clear. I didn't really believe him, so was absolutely amazed to see how clean the lake was, as we crossed it, close to home!

I can't believe how fast the 2 months went! It all seemed to go 'so slow' in the beginning, then it sped up once we left Townsville! We had a terrific time & thoroughly recommend anyone wanting to do the Bass & Barra trail in Qld to give it a go. I was quite tempted to turn off as we went past Awoonga & Monduran, but had promised Keith we'd be back by the end of June, so will put those 2 on my list for next year's adventure!

Tell you what tho - I now fully understand why there is a mass exodus of Southerners (mainly Victorians!) to Qld every year - we were in shorts & tshirts will we left Qld ...... and on the way back, saw the steady stream of caravans heading north still!

Gee it is good to be home tho - that heater & electric blanket is just soooo comforting when it is cold!!

It was terrific fun & I can't wait to do it again! I am already planning the 'girls own adventure' following the bass & barra trail for next year! We may even allow some 'token males' near the relevant dams to join us! :snic:

I will be back on the Gold Coast for 2 weeks from 30th Aug ...... but unfortunately won't be able to fish the Wivenhoe Bass Bash, as it coincides with Keith competing in the Triathlon World Champs! :hb: I was hoping the 2 events wouldn't clash, but they did! :ang: Ne'er mind, there is always next year for that one, too! :cool2:

Cheerio & thanks for reading