Monday, October 16, 2017

from the archives

Um; was. actually, looking up something else - but one link led to another ... and found this ..
(from another blog of mine - apparently 'in hibernation' but seems to remain accessible ... meh.)
Tis also linked to a 'youTube' video .. but not sure whether the links remain intact in this 'copy 'n' paste'.

Ah, ye good olde dayes - when i had finance and access to the 'latest' most powerful 'laptop' computers (meh). At present, probably, the latest 'iPhone' or 'iPad' has more 'computing power' than my present 6 year old MSI laptop.
It is still struggling to compile and edit the 1080i HD video of the trip to Kangaroo Island ... but never fear, will make it work, somehow.

An alternative FACTS .. version of "reality TV".


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Barra Fishing Trip. Ord River, North-western Australia.

(PS. This post is still under construction .. heh. Am finding that embedding a video screen in the post is a little more complicated than first thought. Might have to separate video screen from blog. Or just put a link to it. Dunno yet. )

Well now. Have completed a six minute version of the day's fishing at Macka's Barra camp on the Ord River and uploaded it to Revver.
The other post and 4 minute remix on YouTube is here.

There are several video hosting sites, and a review of ten of them can be found here.

I chose Revver as they put a “clickable” Ad at the end. This is all very “experimental” at the moment, and am still discovering the trials and tribulations.

I feel that the camera work is only so-so, but had only recently purchased the Sony TRV355E, and had much trouble with wind-noise in the in-built microphone. Would really have liked to have spent several days there. It's difficult trying to film an “expedition” while taking part in it; so missed quite a few good photo ops of some of the action. Will have to keep the clips fairly short, as this one took nearly an hour and a half to 'upload' on to Revver, and even with Broadband, takes some time to “buffer down” before you can view it.


Had gone up to Kununurra in May 2004 for another event and, due to some cock-ups with arrangements, found that I had a spare day. Well, it seemed silly to travel all the way up to the Kimberley Region in North-western Australia and not have a crack at the mighty Barramundi.

Scientific Name: Lates calcarifer

Barramundi are protoandrous hermaphrodites: they start life as males, reaching maturity at around 3 to 4 years of age and later change gender and become females, usually at around age 5. Small fish are almost exclusively male with the percentage of females increasing with overall length.

Distribution map of Barramundi

L.calcarifer has a very extensive range in tropical and semi-tropical areas of the Indo-Pacific. Its distribution extends from the Persian Gulf to southern China and southwards to the northern Australia. Within Australia its range extends from the Mary and Maroochy River systems in south-east Queensland northwards around the entire northern coast to Shark Bay in Western Australia.

I was very fortunate to get on this particular trip, as it was pretty much a last minute decision.
So, with the Barra dream of every Australian worth his salt in mind, went to the Tourist Office on the Monday and made enquiries. They gave me several brochures, but no advice.

Umm, think I, then made tracks for the nearest Pub. Y' know how it goes .. "G'day, who's the best Barra guide in town? Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit..". After about six conversations, many beers and much differing advice - counted up the votes, and found that Macka's Barra Camp came out 4:2.

Macka's Barra Camp has become an institution when it comes to big barra in the Kimberley. In fact, one of Macka's specialties is catching the extra big, meter plus Barramundi. Even experienced Barramundi anglers can go a lifetime without cracking the magic meter long mark, yet at Macca's many such anglers have achieved this goal in one trip.

One of the strengths of Macka and his team of guides is that they ensure no effort is spared to see that you have a most exciting days fishing.

Macka picks you up at Kununurra, and soon after you are fishing aboard his 6 meter long craft which is specially designed for barra fishing, and includes all first class tackle and associated gear.

As the name suggests, Maccas Barra Camp it is not only day trips, you can stay overnight and extend your trip for several days or more.

For more information call 08 9169 1759 or check out his website
Macka's Barra camp

O.K... rang the number, found that there was one spot available the next day (Tuesday), and booked a spot on a day trip.
So, was duly picked up from Kununurra backpackers at 6.00am by Macka in a rather battered Toyota Troupie containing three other 'hopefuls'.

It is always a risk, taking a trip into the 'unknown'. They could have been hoons from the 90's, buuut, found myself in company with three similar age nutcases. Merv; life of the party, always with a comment, quip, quote or joke. Brian; quiet, reserved. Michael, likewise.

The bitumen disappeared about halfway into the hour and a half trip, through a gate, then bumped and tossed our way to the "camp".

One of the interesting things about some buildings in the 'Top end' is their relative impermanence. There are two seasons .. the "wet", and the "dry". The "dry" lasts for about nine months, and the "wet" IS. While cyclones are not all that frequent, they happen, so the general attitude is "why build anything permanent, when most likely will have to build it again next year".
So, we arrived at the camp, and were introduced to Andy, 'guide:boat driver:cook:mechanic:expert in pretty well everything.'
(there are always 'dream' jobs, somewhere.. and as Cher says, ".. if I could turn back time”.)
A fast zoom down the Ord river until Andy decided that it was 'bait time', pulled up at a quiet spot about halfway between the camp and the River mouth, and set off with his cast net.
Barra will take anything, but generally prefer live bait. These are called 'popeye' mullet.
Another fast zoom down toward the estuary, where Andy decided on a 'likely' spot. We moored, were instructed in the intricacies of 'bait casting' with this particular reel. (I had been used to a Penn 500, and these, while similar, seemed tinsy and tricksy).

After several trial casts resulting in over-runs, patiently sorted out by Andy, we settled down to anticipation.

Ten minutes later, there was a quiet pull on my line, and watched it travel out into the centre of the stream. Huh?? think I. Then the penny dropped, I flipped on the drag and hauled back on the rod.
Barra are fighting fish. It breached, thrashed its head from side to side, determined to rid itself of this annoyance. It dived, swam toward the boat and away, breached again. At all times one must keep tension on the line; at all times, anticipate .. let it run .. pull it back.
Unfortunately the person who picked up the camera to record this event left it on “full zoom” so there isn't a lot to see of the tussle except a lot of out-of-focus muddy water. Have tried to edit in some of the more recognisable images while keeping the relevant sound track.

After twenty minutes, it was close enough to have a net underneath, and lifted onboard.
It was a mighty tussle, and at the end of it I was shaking like a leaf in an autumn wind. This fish was 1.1 metres in length, and a female, so was required to return it to the water.

It was, in retrospect, an anti climax. I landed it at about 9am, and then caught another smaller Barra some 20 minutes later. You will see in the video that Brian “hooked” another fish, but Barra have a habit of “throwing” hooks, and he lost it. Try as he might, Andy could not find another fish. Mine were only two fish landed that day. From 9am until dusk we searched, tried several spots. Proving once again that wild fish are .. well .. wild. there are no guarantees in nature.

I think I was lucky (though prefer to think of it a superior skill heh heh). The other three were probably envious as well, but didn't let on.

Since the expense of getting up that way was considerable, I don't think that I'll be doing a "repeat" any time soon... but it's nice to have this photo on the wall.

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