Fraser Island, there is certainly something very special about the largest sand island in the world. Some people call it Fraser, others stick to the indigenous Butchulla name for the island, being K’Gari. All I know, is that every time I step foot onto Fraser Island, I experience a complete feeling of relaxation.
After dropping in for a chinwag with the property owner, the four-wheel drive is pointed towards the river. A few paddocks and several internal gates later, the edge of floodplain country is reached. From here, it's a 5-minute walk across the currently tinder dry Fitzroy landscape.
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the Polycraft boats, and out of the six boats that I've owned, two of these have been Polycraft boats. My first was the 4.1 Challenger, and I enjoyed fishing this great rig from Weipa, Cairns, Townsville and Arnhemland without a single complaint about the boat. In fact, this very boat is still in the family and is now proudly owned by my brother-in-law who lives in Cairns.
It’s not too often that I get a visit from the water police, mainly because of their limited resources up here in the north, so I always feel a little privileged when their inflatable rib pulls up alongside my boat to do their mandatory checks.
It’s been a month since the opening of the barramundi season and whilst there are plenty of anglers out there with barra runs on the board, I’m sure there will be twice as many anglers scratching their heads wondering what they need to do to get off the mark. If this sounds like you, then its time to think about changing your game a little to help increase your chances of finding that elusive barramundi.
Following on from the water test on the Fusion 19, published in the January edition of this magazine, I had lined up another boat, also from Reef Marine in Mackay. Ironically, the next boat was also from KBL Marine, who imports these boats, along with the Fusion boats, directly from South Africa.
Anyone who follows my Fish That Snag fishing and boating adventures on Facebook or through YouTube will know that I absolutely love fishing the flats along the western side of Fraser Island. Sneaking right up into the shallows, sight casting at fish or slowly navigating my way through skinny drains to find a hidden watery hole which holds a fat hungry fish, is, without doubt, my favourite way to fish.
I love the run-off, it's that magic time of the year when you can catch lots of barramundi in the Top End of the Northern Territory. And I love catching barra, especially in an environment and setting which is so remarkably breathtaking and wild.
The highly sought-after Lutjanus johnii, aka fingermark carry a distinctive back spot the shape of a thumbprint just below their dorsal fin. The striking fish can take on copper, golden and silvery hues depending on the habitat, depth of water and time of day they are caught, which is the reason they often also go by the name of golden snapper.
It’s amazing the parallels you draw. As a fisherman and a father to a two-year-old, I found myself pondering the children’s classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears this week, a book I often read to my daughter.
There is no doubt that fishing is a bond. That inexplicable link between people of a like mind and thought process, which forms life-long friendships, fosters tolerance and broadens one’s horizons through the telling, and sharing, of stories of experiences. Most, if not all, of my mates are fishermen.