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admacdo

A hard lesson in the first outing of the year.

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The first foray of the year happened yesterday and it wasn't without some interesting occurrences. Our normal fishing choices in the lake have been slightly distroyed of potential by the amount of floating shrubbery. This was imported by that minor flooding of all the inlets a month or so ago.

 

In the quest to clean up the lake, a couple of guys in a boat spend their days removing the forest of driftwood and putting it in piles in the shallows. Other crews stack it up. I have chanced by one such stack piled as big as a greyhound bus.

 

Regardless, we decided that seeing our favourite spot had been turned into a subsurface shrubbery, we'd take our chances with Sullivans Creek near the University boathouse.

http://maps.google.com.au/?ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Canberra+Australian+Capital+Territory&ll=-35.28184,149.112349&spn=0.001629,0.003431&t=h&z=19

 

When you've not taken the extra steps of finding out what is on the bottom, we assumed that the best idea was to pepper some arcs with groundbait and try and fish those arcs.

 

Then of course, my spod rod reel sheared off the line clip on the second cast. So I managed to keep the spomb in a two metre line rather than a half metre line. We figured that it wouldn't be so critical as the area was significantly reduced and there was a slight movement in the water to leave a burley trail rather than a burley cloud.

 

Once that was achieved, we set up and proceeded to relax. Normally we don't expect much action until about 3pm, so starting at 12.30 gave us some time to sit around and fix the problems of the world.

Small turtles inhabit the lake, although you tend not to see them very often. One the size of a meat pie popped its head out of the water and looked at us for a second, but a move towards the landing net saw it turn around with a surprising amount of speed. It startled a large carp that looked silvery in the few moments that it revealed its presence.

 

Throughout the day, carp cruised unseen in the turgid brown water meer feet from our chairs. Only our movements spooked them and it was quite interesting to see the amount of activity that was so close.

 

After half an hour of not much happening, we had just decided that it was going to be a quiet day.

 

Then the detectors started cheeping enough to get us out of the chairs and taking up strike positions.

This of course, always means that nothing happens. In between the lights fading and our chairs once again taking the strain, our quiet time was punctuated by joggers, cyclists and pedestrians enjoying the humidity. The hotter it gets here, the less they wear. Being near a residential uni always has some benefits.

 

All of a sudden, the strikes started to happen. These were viscious. So hard and fast that my spools over ran and I had to dial in some baitrunner drag. I've NEVER had to do that before. We didn't have room to set up chairs behind our rods so each run was longer than it had to be.

 

Although I practice the action of knocking the baitrunner lever off as I set the hook, sometimes it doesn't come off quite as smoothly as I'd like. There were a few times there that I helped the over run along, to the amusement of my fishing buddy.

 

I've found that it is hard to get a feel for the size of a fish if you're constantly changing rod lengths and before we managed to bring these fish in, we had no idea of how big they were going to be.

All I can say is that even the little ones were putting up a hell of a fight. Zig zagging left and right at a surprising speed and heading for snags like hungry shoppers outside Bunnings during fundraising night. (Australians-only humour).

 

The extra two feet of rod length was handy for keeping the line out of low trees and putting sideways pressure on the fish near the reeds. I didn't have much trouble, mainly due to luck. My fishing buddy lost two in the weeds and one in the snags.

 

He also had one ferocious take which just straight snapped him off. This must have annoyed him no end as he popped the 6lb off without a word.

 

We have an unwritten rule that he who uses the strongest is the softest. I use this to renegotiate handicaps when comparing the days total weight.

 

I have stuck with braid and he's returned to mono. A fact which would prove to be unfortunate for me a bit later. I've gone to flurocarbon hook links despite the added stiffness. For some reason, I've been getting broken off at a similar place below the top loop knot with the mono that I used to use. I couldn't find an explanation for it other than just lame mono. The new stuff seems to have sorted it.

 

The inordinate amount of hard takes and escapes continued, much to our delight and frustration.

There's always a chance of interesting times when multiple lines are out. For the first time ever, I had two savage takes with solid hookups within seconds of each other. Scarcely had I set the hook on the first then the second line started screaming.

It's odd to think of how long a rod in a holder can peel line before it starts to sound like an eternity.

In all honesty, it was probably longer than a "Home and Away" Star's singing career, but shorter than Ricky Pontings defence of the Ashes.

 

I called my companion over to take the reigns on that one, while I watched my line ski up and down the other side of the creek. Barely had he taken over, when his rig lit up with a banshee wail. He handed my second rod back to me and ran over to sort things out.

 

His run was cut short with a spontaneous unhooking so he reaquired my second rod and we both bought our energetic carp in while doing the fishing maypole dance on the squelchy limited bank area.

 

He decided to elect that carp to my total, even though I maintained that it was actually his.

 

Minutes later, his lines went off again and as I stood by with the net, after a tremendous struggle we got to see a very nice mirror carp of about 2.5 kg roll in the water right under the rod tip, before it too shed the hook and disappeared.

 

At this point, we blamed the turtle for coaching the carp into tormenting us.

 

 

Things were quiet for a little while and then I was suddenly on net duty again as the carp that appeared to be on proton energy pills bent the wrapped carbon tapered rod into a nicely curved arch in the hands of my piscatorial activities companion.

 

Remember that he is using mono.

As he got the fish closer to the bank, I stepped in front and knelt down, submerging the big net which the fish duly swam over. I stepped up and back as I lifted the net and then something flashed into my cone of vision.

 

I hadn't even started to wonder what was going on before something smacked me hard in the face and things went blurry.

 

(I'm glad to report that although the carp was now unhooked, I managed to pull the top of the net forward before dropping it.)

 

I'm not sure if I beat it to the ground, but I couldn't speak for a bit as the pain subsided. At least localised pain lets you figure out what has been hit. Then I realised what had happened. Our netting procedure in close quarters had seen me enter the danger zone at precisely the wrong time. I had been smacked by a one ounce sinker. My action of lifting the net must have somehow unhooked the fish. A centimetre lower would have taken out one or two of my front teeth.

 

Lifting my head slightly, I proposed a new rule about rod tension when the fish is over the net. I had quite a bit of blood on my forearms and it had ended up on my sunglasses which explains why things went blurry.

 

After it stopped bleeding and swelled up, I decided that it was on the borderline of requiring stitches, but hell, the fishing was still good.

 

It might scar, but on the plus side, people won't hate me for being beautiful any more and Brad Pitt might get some more pinup work now.

 

 

Things settled down a bit after that anyway and after a while some people showed up and gathered around a car that had been there when we arrived. It appeared that their key had stopped opening their doors, which happens occasionally due to uneven wear.

 

I helped them open up with a bit of coathanger wire and a few years of experience which must have looked odd. Here am I with a swelled split lip and blood all over my face, forearm and shirt sleeves.

 

Once they were sorted, they inquired as to what we were doing, so I gave a quick lecture on the theory and practice of specialised carp fishing, showing the flashing lights and beeps of the bite detector. (That's always popular and novel around here.)

Baiting up with corn on a hair rig was demonstrated, along with the tendency of the knotless knots tendency to turn the hook toward anything it bends around.

 

That also is something which impresses people who don't know of it.

 

Much discussion was had as to this method of fishing and the trio then said that it's a pity that nothing was happening.

 

Barely had the words escaped their lips, than the rod at their feet tried to climb out of the pod as the line came out of the spool against the increased baitrunner drag. (no more birdnesting over-runs for THIS little black (and bloodstained) duck)

 

After twenty seconds of fight, this one also escaped the hook.

 

So for timing and putting on a show, it was quite a good day.

 

I still can't get over how hard these fish fought for their size. My total haul was 11.7 kg across six fish banked. I had at least four break offs. The biggest weighed of mine was 2.87 kg and 3.2 was the biggest between the two of us. I even managed to play one for a bit while back in my chair. The mirror that escaped looked to be bigger than any of the others, but that's always the way. At least we both saw it.

 

If this is any indication of the year ahead, I daresay that a lot of corn is going to be spent feeding the fish. I hope you guys have managed to stay out of the flood zones and have an even better start to the year than I have.

 

Just watch your lines of force with those damn sinkers on mono lines!

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What an interesting post.You reminded us that there are hazards when fishing and excitment takes over.You caght a few fish however so was still good .Interesting about your drag set up, as i set my drags open bail arm,and use the Dick Walker method finger on the spool.It can rebound and i have burnt my finger when one of those fish that dont fight takes off..Good luck to you in you future endevours in that mucky old lake cheers Macbilly

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Interesting I was approached by Filipino bloke and his wife when I was fishing LBG once he related a fishing tale to me in which he'd hooked a Carp and decided to lock his drag up in an effort to stop it - not a good tactic on a Carps initial run - he snapped the hooklength and the lead came flying out of the water and took his eye out, then a few months later a friend of his lost his rod to a Carp and decided to go in after it, he drowned, unsurprisingly it was enough for him to jack in fishing for Carp after that!

 

Sullivans Creek is a good spot it has some nice Carp, but it is shallow and snaggy the snags being mainly tree branches but it was getting quite weedy when I left, its only about chest deep in the middle and a couple of feet of that is mud and plastic bags! Due to its shallowness spodding on their heads when you know Carp are around is probably not good and might spook them for hours, I used to tackle up pretty heavy but still lost a lot of terminal tackle to the bits of trees that are in there, take it from me you can't even drag them out with a grappling iron. :shock:

 

This one from there was my PB for a while, but I've seen one bigger than this one in there. (24lb)

 

SullivansCreek24lber004.jpg

 

atb,

 

Chris

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Hmm. Mighty looking is that piscatorial porker there, Chris.

 

I was incredibly lucky in not breaking anything on snags although some weed strands and a low branch did provide some entertainment for a while.

 

It is odd to pull on your line and see a carp head pop out of the water so far away as a branch reaches down to grab it.. Luckily, it headed in the right direction when I gave it some slack.

 

As it turns out, six days after wondering if I'd need stitches, my mouth had healed to the point where the scab came off. This could only be because last Saturday was my birthday and we've apparently evolved to prioritise being able to eat birthday cake without any pain.

I've had mosquito bites for three weeks that have done virtually nothing.

Makes you wonder.....

 

I've always been a bit wary of sinkers under line tension. Nylon line itself under stress has caused some nasty injuries. When I used to fish under the Port Bridge in Adelaide, some guy got caught on something and decided to pull his snag free.

He grabbed the spool and walked backwards. Someone yelled at him to hold it to the side and he must have figured it was a good idea as he instantly did so. He disappeared behind a bit of bridge and I looked away. A few seconds after that, I heard a loud metallic hollow bang come from his direction. . Then I heard the swearing from someone else. From what I gather, the hook link let go and the sinker missed him, but didn't miss someone elses car. They appeared to be less than amused by it all.

 

Since then, I've pulled my snags out with arm 90 degrees to the side.

Oddly, I've never had anything happen since.

 

Losing an eye would be much worse than losing teeth. I can happily think of a few people who I'd be glad to see diving in after their rod though. Maybe I should introduce some more people to fishing....

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Mosquitoes, yes if you have an all nighter on Sullivans Creek you'll soon find out about them they are a nightmare there got bitten to death despite Bushmans Tropical strength repellent, never caught very much despite having lots of liners they just seemed to be moving about but not feeding with any gusto at night.

 

How about this for a flying lead incident? See link.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/north_east/4315748.stm

 

atb,

 

Chris

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Hmm.

 

Yes. I got off easily.

 

Would you believe that some people would use pictures such as that as an argument that fishing was dangerous and needs to be regulated with laws and such.

 

I tend to have much sport stirring them up.

Regardless, I don't think I'd be down at the creek when it got dark. In terms of things you'd need to watch out for, it doesn't enthuse me.

 

My other night fishing spot has far less potential to cause issues..

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Being an expert on catching some of the biggest snags in Australia,sorry no photos,i give this advice.P ut the rod down,take the line in your hand,turn your back and walk away.Glasses are a safe feature that should always be worn.Common sense i know but?I wear a life jacket in case i hook a really big one. cheers macbilly

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