Sunday, 15 May 2011

May 13 Kun – Barra fishing at The Keep River

One shallow crossing

Driving back into NT (Oh No – I thought I was heading home???) Stu had taken the day off work and was treating us to his favourite barramundi fishing spots on the Keep River.

The drive was about 70 km from Kun however most of it was on dirt roads.  After a fairly slow start because Cherise and I had prepared and packed enough food for 1 weeks travel, we all piled aboard their Land Cruiser for the day’s adventure.

Passing through station gates and seeing boab trees, hundreds of beautiful white or brown Brahman cattle with calves we also had to cross some deep crossings.  I was so glad Stu was checking the depth - not me.  Finally arriving safely at one of Stu's favourite fishing sites for a family.
What's that behind you??

Whilst Stu and Kev went off to catch live bait fish, Cherise, Taylor and I unloaded the chairs and bags to set up camp.

All 4 fishing rods were baited up with the live (bait) fish and we cast our lines in to wait to hear the whirrrr.  We were astounded that you didn’t hold the rod to feel the bite but left it alone for the barra to take the bait.  The trick was then to reef the reel above your head hoping to hook the fish in the mouth.  The barra’s party trick is to spit out the bait if it feels the line before it’s hooked properly – a sight I was to witness later that day.

We watched a middle sized croc (salty) watching us from a sand bank on the opposite shore.  He kept getting closer and closer and just disappeared under water without a ripple.  Lucky for us he decided to climb out on the opposite bank to bake for a while.  But how many were in the river – that we didn’t see at all???

Kevin’s rod was the first to bend and whirr into action.  He kept the fish on the line and pulled in ……… a catfish - quite big and bright yellow – but inedible.  So we removed it from the hook and threw the line back in.  The next catch by Cherise was a large salmon – a lovely dinner – I thought – but no, they don’t eat them up here (not good enough) and it was thrown back too. L

We waited and ate lunch, and waited and ate and waited and ate. We watched lovely hawks and eagles flying around and enjoyed the view and ambience of the area - a very relaxing time.  As the bites grew less we packed up camp and headed back down the river.  Quite a large salty was on the opposite bank – we guessed it to be over 3m long. Quite a distance from him we picked a rocky outcrop down quite a steep bank and put out lines again.

We immediately got bites and quite a few snags where we lost both hooks and bait.  A barra took a bait and leapt out of the river dancing and fighting and whilst in the air I saw him spit out the bait fish!  The bait he had taken was one of the snagged lines we had previously cut free!! Amazing! What bad luck.

Dinner - thanks Stu

Then Stu got a good bite and it stuck.  His experienced skill brought the barra to the rocks in style.  It was about 60+ cms long and very fat and healthy.  Mmmmm tonight’s dinner.

I had quite a few strikes on my bait and lots of following and tries but no luck.  It was getting dark so we had to head home.

Driving back through the dusk many wallabies were out feeding and lots of cattle were on the road.

Empty handed but happy fisher people

Arriving back at Kun we dropped into Bruno and Lyn Fulcher’s property ‘Mango Manor’ to catch up.  We had met them at Edward and Colleen Broad’s place and they had offered us accommodation in Kun even though they were heading out to Brisbane the next day.  We enjoyed a wine and nibbles whilst enjoying their company and lovely new home.

Cherise collected us some time later and we arrived back home to beautifully bbq’d fresh barra served with vegetables. Mmmm spoilt again.

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Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL

Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL
over Perth city (Photo: Greg Hill)

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Flying farming couple who live on 135 acres. Kev is obsessed by aeroplanes. Vicki is devoted to horses and White Swiss Shepherds.