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Showing content with the highest reputation since 21/01/20 in Posts

  1. 8 points
    Plectropomus

    Koombooloomba Dam sooties

    At 747 metres elevation, Koombooloomba Dam is Australia's highest tropical storage. It is perched in the dense forest on the Great Dividing Range on the headwaters of the mighty Tully-Millstream River and feeds some hydro projects below. The water is very clear, and cold in winter. Unlike other stocked dams, it lacks bony bream, freshwater mussels, water lilies, and other submerged vegetation. I guess the lake fauna and flora comprised whatever was in the fast-water streams blocked by the dam wall at the time. It has been stocked with sooty grunter and barra, but the barra do very poorly in the cold, with dead and dopey fish reported each winter. Lean pickings for fish, and popular wisdom has it that wind-blown insects drive the food chain. Perhaps sooties were already up there, or the stocked fish have found spawning habitat in the rapids, but whatever the reason there are abundant sooties in there with "cricket score" catches reported and hoards of juveniles visible along the edges. Few have caught barra in there, and those that do report that lures resembling sooty grunter are the go. Sooties need rapids in the hot, wet season to spawn successfully, and recent storms from a much-delayed monsoon had some of us hatching a plan to get upstream to the inflow to flyfish the spawning aggregations. The day did not start well, with lightning knocking out the power pre-dawn and torrential rain, with the flash and rumble of the dreaded cloud to ground lightning. during the 2 hour drive. Amazingly, the rain ceased just below Koomby and we were off in the tinny threading and feeling our way up along the old river channel through a dense forest of dead trees and prop-busting stumps. The plan was to get up to the Tully inflow and walk the bank with flyrods to sight-fish sooties. At 28% capacity we had just caught the first inflows of clear, tannin-stained water, and there were some cascades and rapids to fish off the rocks. Dan fished the opoosite bank with a blooper-type fly and I used a tiny shrimp-cicada thing tied by an SA mate (Dave) 20 yrs ago. At the first rapids the tiddlers just belted the little cicada if I let it sink deep and I soon had a half-a dozen captures before they wised up. Dan did not get a hit, so switched to a white clouser and moved up into the limpid pool above the cascades. Immediately he raised bigger fish and caught 2 in quick succession. He was trialling a line-tub worn around his waist to stop the flyline tangling and missed some takes. On the opposite bank I found what SA Dave calls a "Monty" of a spot. A fish surety. A tiny crystal-clear rivulet running over a sandbank to a deep dead tree. I got belted 3 times on that snag, with the first 2 humping boils at the surface by obviously big, angry, sooties. The third take was on the wrong side of the snags and within milliseconds I had been dusted. Broke the 10 pound flourocarbon leader just below the flyine -- and I had no spares in that department, so a long walk back to the tinny for more. Sooties are smash,grab, and run back to cover specialists. We decided the big fish were either absent from the rapids, or not biting, so we tried Plan B. Motor down in the boat and find islands or points with horizontal "lay-downs" of dead trees. Not that common, but marvellous habitat for a sooty ambush predator. Again, small fish were eager biters but no sign of the dark-black brutes that inhabit the dam. Back-casts often ended up in the dead forest, too. So the last plan of the day, before escaping the approaching lightning storms, was to try walking a steep bank with deep water, rock ledges and lay-downs. I thought I would "ground-truth" the presence of bigger fish with a spin rod and little Mohawk deep-diver. Dan went off along the bank and I fished off the boat, testing a deep rock ledge. Some tiddlers on the fly were followed by a decent fish on the lure, which pulled the hooks at the net. So there were big fish there! Then we started to see sooties patrolling the edges as the shadows fell on the water. I was mucking around with various little Clousers on the tiddlers, by applying "S-factor" scent and testing if Dave's 20 yr old, high-sparkle flies attracted more attention when a grey/brown fish in the 30's came out for a look. I changed to a bigger, ratty, marabou fly and landed a better fish but could not tempt the lurker. Meanwhile Dan raised 2 huge fish on his Clouser from the base of a high dirt cliff with overhanging snag -- another "Monty". We spent the last half-hour of the day together trying to fool those fish, which were joined by a third that emerged swimming along the drop-off from left-field. I don't think they could see us, but we could see them and they would not be fooled by flies, soft-plastics, minnows, or even a very lifelike savage flick prawn, scented or not. Easily 40cm -plus fish, with charcoal backs and big spade-like tails. They showed mild interest, but were rejecting the offerings from afar. I guess they don't get that big by being gullible. At the ramp we met a 'yakker who fished there regularly, and he told of once stumbling across a hatch of the spent, winged termites that blanketed the water in wind-rows. He told of sight-fishing sooties breaking the surface. Now that would be an experience to go keep going back for.
  2. 4 points
    Plectropomus

    Koombooloomba Dam sooties

    In the wild streams a 400mm fish is a good one, but they get very large and fat in the lowland dams, with fish over 50cm present. The Trophy sooty in the 2014 Tinaroo Barra Bash was 3.965 kg (not measured) when it was still a "kill and weigh" comp, and most of the fish in the 2018 comp were over 400mm and up to 490mm (not weighed, as it is now catch-photograph-and-release). There are far northern streams where you can catch sooties, barra, jungle perch and mangrove jacks in close proximity in the upper reaches, but nowadays crocs are an ever-present risk in those same places.
  3. 3 points
    yellow door 1

    Mini Floating Burley Cages

    While I'm at it - I thought I'd have a go at some mini floating berley cages
  4. 3 points
    dmck

    Mini Floating Burley Cages

    This is the 'beast' that catches my attention (not that tiddler fish).... I'll have a 100kg!!
  5. 3 points
    yellow door 1

    Mini Floating Burley Cages

    Yeah my old floats were a bit big - and there isnt a beast that crawls, walks, flys or swims, that can resist my berley mix
  6. 3 points
    yellow door 1

    Knot tighteners

    Also rigged up some sliding ones
  7. 3 points
    yellow door 1

    Knot tighteners

    Also twisted up some berley cages this arvo
  8. 3 points
    yellow door 1

    Knot tighteners

  9. 3 points
    yellow door 1

    Knot tighteners

    Can also use the scissors as hook puller and clear tube over dowel for tightening sticks
  10. 2 points
  11. 2 points
    lofty64

    Melbourne Hail Storm - 19/01/20

    Hard hat weather , should bag it up , probably gunner be 40 degrees in a couple of days , the way the weather has been lately .
  12. 1 point
    SurfcaztR

    Curse of the Banana

    Catching Fish On Bananas Ep:2 Is the Curse of the Banana Real???
  13. 1 point
    gregtech

    TOO CRIMP OR NOT TO CRIMP?

    The FG is the king of braid to leader. As for braid direct to a swivel, the simple Palomar knot is hard to beat. We had a monumental group tangle on a charter out the back of Wedge resulting in lost bimini doubles. Bite was short with no time for for tricky re rigging. 50lb braid straight to swivels using the Palomar did the job on BIG sambos. Stressful fights though wondering if the knot was going to hold.....
  14. 1 point
    SurfcaztR

    TOO CRIMP OR NOT TO CRIMP?

    When chasing mulloway at Goolwa all sorts would take the line and i used 80lb leader,tying knots wasn't the best outcome as they would either start undoing and looked bulky.I'd recommend crimping,go to a tackle store and ask or work out for yourself which size crimps.You'll get a strong crimp by using a crimping tool,try crimping another way without the tool and it just won't come out looking right. One crimping tool does various sizes,once you've got yourself kitted up it will last a long time. Youtube will help you in the right direction
  15. 1 point
    AquaticResearch1

    TOO CRIMP OR NOT TO CRIMP?

    Mike, I tend to tie everything from 150 down. Just keep the knots simple, uni knots to rings and swivels, maybe a Snell to a top hook in a two hook right with a uni fixing the bottom one on. Flourocarbon is a fair bit more stiff than mono, so it makes it harder to tie knots in the heavy stuff imo.
  16. 1 point
    Plectropomus

    Koombooloomba Dam sooties

    The bloke I went with was a Parks'n'Wildlife ranger at Chillagoe for 15 years and used to chase them in the Walsh River. He told of very large waterholes there. I've never been out that way.
  17. 1 point
    doobie

    Koombooloomba Dam sooties

    Well I tried typing that name out 3 times - gave up and just copy and pasted - who comes up with those names! Looks a great place and love the rock formation. Great write up and photos - thanks for sharing your adventure.
  18. 1 point
    HB tragic

    Koombooloomba Dam sooties

    Great read and photographs. Thanks for sharing. Regards, HBt.
  19. 1 point
  20. 1 point
    Plectropomus

    Melbourne Hail Storm - 19/01/20

    summer from hell!!! Everyone pays one way or another. Our house insurance premium went up 20% in late 2019 after the Townsville floods, even though we are 5 hours drive away, because we share the first 2 digits of their postcode
  21. 1 point
    doobie

    tuna oil

    Yeah .... mainly when I cook Asian dishes --- rate it highly
  22. 1 point
    Softy

    Koombooloomba Dam sooties

    Cracker report. Sure looks like a fun place to fish.
  23. 1 point
    Hunter69

    Koombooloomba Dam sooties

    Sootie on fly, nice. Thanks for sharing
  24. 1 point
    AquaticResearch1

    Koombooloomba Dam sooties

    Great write up mate, top read. I've always been keen to chase sooties, this just fuels the fire.
  25. 1 point
  26. 1 point
    Mjadeb1984

    tuna oil

    Has anybody used fish sauce. It’s water soluble so goes down through the water column and works quite well. I’ve had pretty good luck using it.
  27. 1 point
    keenfisho

    tuna oil

    There used to be a guy in the industrial estate at Parafield around the corner from the old no air and ROH wheels factories that sold in bulk, not sure if they are still there but work a look
  28. 1 point
    Meppstas

    Fishing Options at Middleton

    I used to often fish for mulloway at night off Middleton beach and catch a few from time to time.. check the beach out during the day to find the gutters that;s worth fishing during the night,, cheers Adrian
  29. 1 point
    keenfisho

    Melbourne Hail Storm - 19/01/20

    Bloody hell, that’s crazy
  30. 1 point
    Softy

    Melbourne Hail Storm - 19/01/20

    Wouldn't want to cop one of them to the head! Did your cars get damaged?
  31. 1 point
    AuusieDave

    Thunder Heat Elite Shark DeHooker

    I generally use a 30lb trace which ensures toothy critters tend to bite me off pretty quick as I don't really want to be landing anything too big and toothy in my yak, especially in SA. Don't worry mate, if your talking about SWR in March, I had no issues up there last year as the sharks that took my mackerel lines with wire traces were only reef sharks to about 5 foot. I'm sure there's some bigger ones around, in fact this one Shane caught was a reasonable size. Dave
  32. 1 point
    finatic

    tuna oil

    Carps, we have 100% tuna oil, was fortunate enough to stitch up a deal & secured 400litres from Port Lincoln recently, when its gone its gone, don't be fooled by labels suggesting the same coz it simply is not available. If you see "Tuna Oil" in bottles & it has distinct layers of different colours in it, beware coz "Oils ain't Oils" most are blends. You could be about to pay $15 or more a litre for Vegetable oil, Canola oil or whatever else they can find cheap to fill the bottle.Even Neptune branded Tuna oil, which has for years been 100% is now no longer Tuna oil, at least they tell you that though, it's now called Fish oil.Similar story to the "Cockle" thing, somebody else is prepared to pay a whole lot more for the raw product than what the fishos will, so, nil supply to the tackle trade. The health food companies are paying in some cases $30 per litre to sell you fish oil over the counter, Omega 3 at its best.Finatic
  33. 0 points
    yellow door 1

    Melbourne Hail Storm - 19/01/20

    Yeah little dents all over
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