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Fishing (Part 2)

Phenomenon of Maggots Contd



This photo shows when the high tide takes away the big beds of seaweed and the following photo shows when the tide starts to subside and the grey blotchy shadows are the maggots. They will eventually cover the water that is trapped there the next photo's are close-ups.



You are looking at pure maggots and the next photo shows you a close-up.




The above photo shows the maggots at the base of the rock and climbing up to try and get out of the water.

The next photo shows you a miniature wave of pure maggots as it hits the shore-line.




I remember saying before, you can scoop up buckets of pure maggots. Again they have no smell. These photo's were taken on 3rd June 2012 and when you look at the photo below at how long the bed of weed is and it holds maggots like the photo's you've just seen. Plus there is hundreds maybe thousands of beds similar to this along our coast. You realise the importance to the food chain.


The photo below shows 4 weeks later.



Jumbo Cray and the Groper



This photo is of myself with a blue Groper and a reasonable cray and the following photo shows the Jumbo. I would say this is 1974 when I brought the brand new HQ Holden ute and destroyed it hunting in the bush, the same one they called the coka-cola bus. Spearfishing and diving for Crays was another habit.

I remember when the xmas holiday's were finished and we were going to pack up and head home. While the wife would be packing all the odds and sods into boxes. I would say I'm going up to have a dive, knowing it would be my last swim for awhile. This particular time there was no-one to go with me, so I went by myself. Which is something you should never do.

I remember when I pulled up at the spot that I chose to dive, there were three or four young fellas that had not long got out of the water. I walked over too them and started to talk. I noticed they had a little cray. I told them the Rangers patrol this area and I think your cray is just under-size. They said we thought it was pretty big. So no doubt this was their first cray and they were beginners. I told them how big the crays get.

Then I started to put my diving gear on. They asked me if there was any chance they could swim with me. I said yes. As we were swimming around and I was diving, they were messing around trying to shoot different fish with a hawaian sling. Every now and then I would duck down to one of my holes, take a cray and swim over to the boys, they were carrying my bag.

When I'd finished diving, I had five crays. The biggest was maybe 4 or 5 lb. As I was sorting them out at the ute. The young fellas couldn't believe the size. I told them there were crays out there that would double the biggest I had. The seas that day were exceptionally calm, something that doesn't happen too often at Augusta. So I told them I was going to drive to another spot up the coast. They asked me if they could follow me, which they did.

This time I swims out into some deeper water to a ledge I knew, because the seas have to be calm to dive it. I told the boys that this spot was known for jumbo's. Before we got there I dived to a cave I knew and there's 3 or 4 crays, I took one and went up too the young fellas and put it in the bag. When I dives back, as I come to the entry of the cave, there's a big Blue Groper coming out with a cray leg sticking out of his mouth. No doubt it had come off the cray I had just got from there. I could of all but touched him and it's a sight like that you never forget. I never had my spear gun with me and the boy's only had the hawaian sling.

When we gets out to the ledge, the young fellas are starting to get a bit edgy and frightened. They were no longer swimming around, they were sticking together. When I went down and had a look under the ledge, there's a big jumbo, maybe 9lb. I went straight back to the surface without having a go at him. I said to the young fellas, there's a big jumbo there and I told them, when you see me go under the ledge, you's dive down and have a look.

When I dives down the cray had gone back. There's enough clearance for me to go after him. When I got him I pulled him to my chest, which makes it easier to handle. Because they wrap their big legs around you and cling on. I've also got my left hand on his back, which also makes it easier to handle him. I done this intentionally knowing it would spook the boys. I rolled onto my back with the jumbo on my chest and when I came out, the young fellas weren't too sure if I had the cray or if he had me. When I got to the surface. We were all treading water and they said that was so scary.



This is a photo of Brett and it shows you how easily these jumbos can wrap their legs around you.

Scary Dive


Like I've said some experiences stay with you forever, hunting or diving. We'd gone down to the west coast chasing the whites, a smaller variety of the cray. I was with a friend who I dived with for many years, Daryl Fisher. This day the weather was unbearably hot. I remember as we were getting our gear out of the ute the sand was burning our feet, a mad dash for the waters edge.Apparently the swells had been up a couple of days earlier and the water was dirty. We were that keen for a dive. We decided to walk along the beach for a kilometre or two, hoping to walk onto clearer water, to no avail. We decided to turn back. I said to Daryl, "I'm going to go out behind the reef and swim back part of the way". Mainly because the sun was so hot. Daryl said "I'll walk".So I swam out maybe 2 or 3 hundred yards. As I was swimming I could barely see the bottom. I'd been swimming a long way, I think it might have been due to a gap in the reef I was following, which was maybe 50yrds closer to shore. The water seemed to clear enough for me to see the bottom and I could see the long feelers of a cray poking out from under a ledge. But I'd been swimming too far and maybe too fast. You can't hold your breath to go down when you're exhausted.So while I was laying there trying to get my breath back, a hell of a squeaking noise come into my ears. I held my nose and tried to blow air, thinking it would release the squeaking in my ears. All the time I was locked onto those feelers, not wanting to lose the spot. But the noise wouldn't go out of my head. I even pulled on my mask , thinking that might be the problem, but it wasn't. It went on for maybe 10 minutes.I remember turning my head to the right and when I turn to the left, all I could see was a big head and a big eye less than 2 feet from my face. I know you can jump sidewards in the water. Then I realize it was a dolphin or porpoise and he stayed that close and circled me. I lifted my hand slowly to see if I could touch him, but he wouldn't quite let me. I have no doubt, he thought I was in trouble and all that squeaking was to get my attention and to look at him. What was so scary at first was so nice. He swam away and I swam to shore. I told Daryl what had happened. Then he said there was a big school or pod of dolphins all around you.


Grandkids Spear-Fishing



The photo above shows myself on the left and two of the grandsons, Ricky also Daniel roughly 9 years old and a friend who done a lot of diving with us over the years Maurice. The young ones would swim with us for a while and then head back to shore, while Maurice and myself would head out a bit deeper.

The next photo shows when we come back to shore the boy's had got themselves a sea-cobbler. I remember another time I had taken the two little ones up for a dive and the wife was sitting on the beach. After about a half an hour swimming in the shallows with the boys. We swim back to shore, I said "you's stay here now I'm going to go out for a cray". Rick had had enough, being thin the cold water would catch up with him. Daniel having a bit more weight on him, didn't feel the cold so much and asked if he could swim back out with me and carry the bag, which he did.

The water was quite choppy and a fair bit of movement in the tide and it can be a bit of a battle even for an adult. He was carrying 3 crays in the bag and I could see he was battling. I remember as I was taking the 4th cray, I looked up and here's the cray bag coming down too me and Daniel was heading for shore. So I caught up to him and we both swam in. Not a bad effort for a 9 year old.




The photo above shows Daniel when he was maybe 12yrs old, holding a Groper. He was now capable of putting in the big swims. Sometimes there might be 8 of us in the water. Different people I befriended also their girlfriends and they were times you don't forget. A full bag of crays and half a bag of ab, add the groper too that and you wonder what the rich people are eating.

One of the young fellas with us was a fighter pilot, another one was a speed car driver in the big league and the others were not long out of university or still going.


Start Them Young




The above two photo's show our granddaughter Crystal and it's another one of those incidences you never forget. I was cleaning fish at the scaling board, Crystal was watching and she said "Grandad could I catch a fish", I don't think she was asking me to take her fishing, she was more so asking if she was capable of catching a fish. I said "you certainly could". So when I finished cleaning, I took Crystal and her cousin Thyme straight back up too where I'd caught them, because when I stopped fishing they were still biting. Many people have commented on her style. The following photo also shows Thyme catching what I think was her first fish.



Girls Day Out



The photo above shows another granddaughter Leah with a salmon on the line, her friend Jacki on her left watching her. It's quite a battle for a young lady and it may take ten minutes or so to land it, by that time their saying "my arms are hurting I can't do it", but they battle through every time. Then it was Jacki's turn. The little girl on the right is Crystal and Russell Jack all waiting patiently for it to be landed. The following photo shows you the result.



The next two photo's show another friend of Leah's, Jane and the two salmon she landed.




I remember another time I had gone up by myself and when I walked onto the beach where the above photo's were taken, I could see the school of salmon. I've said before these salmon are known as hospital fish. They have schooled up in behind the shallow reef and their too scared to go back out, the sharks and porpoise's have already hit this school and many of the fish are wounded and I've seen them stay here for five or six weeks.

When I looked up the beach to my right maybe 50yards I could see a family fishing. There was a man and his wife, who I think was a Phillipino, there son who was maybe 9 or 10 and daughter about 11 or 12. I left my gear and walked up to them. I said to the gentleman "would your boy like to catch a salmon". He said "he certainly would". So I said follow me back up to where I'd left my fishing gear and a twenty litre bucket with fresh bait that the salmon will not refuse. I told them if they looked deep in the water just inside the reef, they will see the salmon laying there, which they did.

I told the young boy how strong these fish are and he would be in for a hard battle. So I cast the rod and passed it to the boy, it wasn't ten seconds and the rod was buckled over and the reel was screaming. I would have dearly loved this on video, the young fellow was panicking a little and the family were all cheering him on, after maybe 10-15minutes he landed it and he was thrilled to bits.

Then it was his sisters turn, she said "I don't think I could handle that", I reassured her she could and the same thing takes place with the family cheering her along and she wins the battle. I said to the gentleman would you like to catch one, he said "yes please", which he did again with the family cheering. Then I said to the mother "you can catch one now". I forget what she said, but the look on her face was enough. I regret not having a photo of them.

I didn't bother catching one myself I think I had enough excitement watching them, also I had taken 27 salmon out of that school in the last week with the grandkids and the wife also pulling a few in.

That family would never forget the experience.


Unexpected


I remember saying to the wife this day, we'll go and visit a couple of friends at the time Graham and Jill, who were living on a farm that his father had just brought and they had not been long living there. I had a HQ Holden ute at the time and the road rules weren't like they are today. There was my wife our youngest boy Craig who was maybe one at the time also the second youngest Brett about 5 in the front and our oldest boy Dave about 11yrs and Jamie the second oldest 8 in the back of the ute with Rusty (pig dog). We had to travel roughly 50-60klms.

When we got there I said to Graham "we'll take the dog for a run and see if we can get a pig". So after we had a bit to eat, I said to the wife "Graham and myself are going for a run" I must have said it too loud for the boys started to perform saying we want to come too. We had intentions of going to the little bush pub. So I said to Graham have you got any small fishing lines, he said no but I've got a big beach rod with an Alvey reel hanging in the shed.

Again I was thinking back to when that old bushman told me (it's no good getting old if you don't get cunning) and knowing how much the boy's loved their fishing. I said to Graham "cut three length's off your Alvey about 20ft long and we'll make them three little hand-lines" because maybe 100yrds from the house I could see a gully dam that had thrown back maybe 50yrds of water. I told the boy's that there was fish in that dam. I also said to them pull up clumps of guildford grass or better known as onion grass and get worms for bait. As we were driving out of the farm we could see the boy's running down to the dam.

We finished up driving through a pine plantation, there was an old abandoned settlement from the early settlers and the road we were on was called Windmill Gully. I would imagine the road got it's name because it might have been one of the first wind-mills in the area in early times. Then comes that sound the pig-hunter longs to hear, the dog screaming on the back and spinning, he's got the scent of pigs. I can't remember I think we got two and then we headed straight for the pub and we put in a few hours there. Then it was back through the bush too the farm with a half a carton of cans on the seat between us.

When we pulled up at the house, I said "the boy's are still at the dam" and the next couple of photo's show you the result. Graham did not know what was in that dam.



The photo above shows the tuft's of grass the boy's pulled out for their bait, which was worms. Also Graham and young Brett showing some of the Perch. You can see Dave and Jamie are still keen. The following photo shows how close it was to the house. I think it was 19 they got.


Blue Manna Crab



 The photo above was taken on the 7th Feb 2013. The young man is our grandson Rick (19), Bretts oldest boy and as you can see there's a nice feed of crabs. It took maybe an hour to catch them, using a scoop net like you can see in the half tub. Which they drag through the water behind them.

It's a way of life that many Australians enjoy, because the blue-manna inhabits the entire coastline of Australia. I remember diving for these crabs in the late 60's-70's. The waters maybe 10ft deep in places and when you dive to the bottom and your swimming along the sand all you would see is their eye's and mouth and they were very hard to identify, they were camouflaged and submerged under the sand. When you got close enough to them they would throw their big claws up out of the sand and it would actually scare you.

I seen a sight one day, I was swimming along the top looking for a likely spot for a crab. I could see a fair size tree trunk laying on the bottom with some of the root system still attached. I dived down to it and I could see at the base of the log, quite a few cockles and shells of dead crabs. I knew straight away it was an octopus's den. When I put my face close enough and my eyes started to focus, I could see quite a large hole, also an empty stubby or glass bottle. Would you believe it moved and blocked the hole I was looking at. I grabbed the bottle and could not move it, it was wedged in tight. I called a couple of my mates over and we all dived together and we could handle the log, so we took it too shore. Even then it was a job to get that bottle with two hands. Its unreal the strength the octopus has got through the suckers on his tentacles.

I saw another incidence with an octopus when I was diving for crays. I dived down and I was looking under a big rock, as I put my head inside a hole and my eyes started to climatise I could see a fighter cray. I missed him with my first attempt with the gaffe, so I went back up for air. I know this hole and I knew he couldn't beat me. When I go back down and I put my head in the hole again and my eyes focus, I cant see the cray. I was looking on the walls of the cave also the roof. I returned to the top to get more air. When I gets back the third time looking for the cray, I was looking at about two inches of the crays feelers which are normally 18 inches or two feet long. Then I realized a big octopus had engulfed the cray.

Now I'm thinking two for the price of one. I put the gaffe into him, but I cant move him, the suckers have got a grip of the rock. I started to pull back and jerk the gaffe, but he wasn't going to let go. I pulled that hard one of his big legs come off. I'd over stayed my time and I was desperate for air. I remember spitting my snorkel out as I broke the surface so I'd get air quicker. It takes you 5 or 6 minutes to get over that so I was just laying there looking at the hole. When all of a sudden the big octopus comes out and I'm watching him walk across the ocean floor. He's still got the cray. This time he's got nothing to hang onto. I went down and gaffed him and put both into my bag.

I had another incident with an octopus that nearly drowned me. I was swimming with another mate at the time and I spot a big octopus on the floor. I dived down and put the gaffe into him and I swim back to the top, his big legs are reaching out for something to grab hold of. I look at my mate and I point to the bag, he knows I want to put it in there. He shook his head violently indicating no and I shook my head indicating yes. He reaches out as far as he possibly could with the bag open, as I was trying to manoeuvre the ocky into the bag. One of his legs grabbed hold of my mates arm, it happened so quick the ocky's got him with all his legs now. I've got him by the head and I was jerking as hard as I could and my mate was screaming as loud as he could. It got up under his armpit and the screaming got a bit louder and I went into a fit of laughter and I all but drowned. You had to be there to see the funny side, but I assure you it's not a place you want to lose control. Sorry Doug.

I remember another time that was even more dangerous than this. I was diving with another friend in maybe 50feet of water. We were on air hoses or hooker. Again we were swimming along the ocean floor when we spot a Dew fish, the most sought after fish on the divers menu. I was carrying the cray bag and the gaffe, my friend had the spear gun. I watched him go into the gun-fighters crouch, also some little bubbles came out of the back of his wet-suit. I knew he was excited.

We were following the Dew-fish for quite a while before my friend got within range. I was swimming maybe 15-20 feet behind him and I could also look down the barrel of the spear-gun. This is something you don't do, the fish is a little bit side on but still swimming along. He cant resist it and pulls the trigger. The fish will automatically straighten up to dart off and its a clean miss. Embarassed he turns to see if I had witnessed it, he knew I had because I was laying on my back with my hand up indicating to him that he was a wanker. I could see the big burst of bubbles come out of his mouth-piece and I started laughing as well. Then you realise and come to your senses, your in 50 feet of water.

Sorry Neil Fraser (but your father did electrocute me).

A Night To Remember



The photo above shows myself on the left and brother-inlaw Pete after a night fishing for taylor. The three biggest are 8lb each, one is six lb, five lb, three lb and two lb. There's and old saying with fishermen !this is my last cast! and it's very rarely it is. This particular night we must have said it ten times. It's a quarter past nine at night and we'd been fishing for maybe 4 hours, for not a fish. The little stuff were picking the muelies off in pretty short time. The clouds are banking up and we knew there was rain coming at us and that old saying !wet arse and no fish! was looking ominous.

Then the words you long to hear. Pete say's "I've got something good and it hit hard" Taylor are notorious for this, it's generally a double hit. He gets it to the beach and I was ready with the gaff. I said Pete "it's a f!!king big taylor". remember this is a true story and that is exactly what I said. He baits up and re-casts, I've done the same. Then Pete say's "I've got something else and it's big", the same deal when he gets it to the beach it's another 8 pounder. Again we both bait up and cast . Normally we get on pretty well but this is straining the friendship. Then I'm hooked up, another 8 pounder and I really cant remember who got what after that. Or maybe it's time that has made me forget it was 5 to 2 Peter's way.

Then the rain came, we packed up and headed over the sand-dunes to the dinghy. I knew we were in for a scary trip. The big tide had lifted the dinghy up onto the reeds. Now we had to cut across the mouth of the river as we come out of the estuary. When we hit the incoming water, we likened it to being inside a washing machine. We were in a 12ft dinghy and not a lot of free-board and looking back it was a silly thing to do. We should have continued fishing in the rain and waited until the end of the tide, unnecessary risk and a bit of dumb thinking.

So all you young fishermen take heed and eliminate a risk when it's possible.


Sunset



It's a sight like this that makes fishing easy, also the following photo. It was unexpected the sun had gone down and it was quite dark. I said to Brett it was as though someone had turned the lights on and if you get a feed of fish it's a bonus.



Dave and Kids



The photo above shows our oldest son Dave with a fiddle shark he caught. I've seen a lot of these over the years fishing with my father but nothing to match this one. We used to release all the fiddle sharks we caught. Mainly because of their size, but this one being so big, I thought we'd give it a try. Also I've been told the professionals had a market for them. To be honest with you, it tasted a little bit like sh!! gone bad. I shouldn't have to tell you that, we wont take another one.

The next photo shows Dave his oldest boy Scott holding a hammer-head shark and Cherie holding a pike (1998).



Surprise



There's not too many fishermen that can say they've caught one of these on a big hand-line, I'm refering to the jumbo cray not the fish. The two young fellas in the photo are my boys Dave and Brett.

I remember we were fishing off a big rock and the fella that was with me said "I've got something on" also he said "It's not too big". It was night-time and when I shone the torch I said "you've got seaweed on". He said "no its not I can feel it tugging". We couldn't believe it when he got it to the top of the rock, which was maybe 15ft from the water. The big line had put a half hitch on the end of one of his big legs. When we're diving for crays you cannot hold onto their legs, they will reject them every-time.

I remember my father would get annoyed when crays would get on his line when fishing for dewy. He was telling me one time he pulled a big cray in to the base of a rock he was standing on. He said he tried to shake the cray off, but the hook had penetrated him. He said he decided to keep it and put it in the bag.

Later on when he got back to his car there was a gentleman and his wife, he asked dad if he'd done any good. He pulled the big cray out of the bag and showed him. He said "I'm not too keen on cray but someone will want him". The fella said "I'll give you ten dollars for it". Dad said that was more than enough to fill his fuel tank, so the both of them were more than happy.

If the authorities had have seen this they would have booked my father. But I will bet you 100 dollars to a pinch of sh!!, if one of these fellas with authority was fishing and done the same he would do the same, but maybe charge a bit more. My father was a generous generous man.

One of his hobbies or interests was on a Saturday mornings, he would go down to the TAB and place two or three bets. Then he'd go home and listen to them on the radio in his shed, while he made many types of sinkers, which he stored in various size plastic containers. He would give them to my oldest brother Tom when he visited also my brothers Bob, Reg and myself. Also my sister Phyllis ( she used to take her husband Neil fishing). The same one that laughed when the fox had my thumb in his mouth.

Something else my father used to do was put his small change in a plastic container. I'm not too sure maybe once a month a gentleman from the Red-Cross would call in and dad would give him the container. Another thing, there was a betting ticket on the wall above the wireless with the words (I love you Gog) I think from his oldest granddaughter Julie(Doolie as he called her).


Fishing from the Rocks



The photo above shows two fellas I used to have a bit to do with, Tom on the left holding a dewy in his left hand, a sambo in his right and Mal with his sambo. We'd gone down to a section of the coast that I have fished off most of my life and also dived it. We'd planned to stay over-night. When we first got there we were fishing off a big rock. Looking out to the horizon we could see all the birds feeding no doubt on a school of bait fish. Which also tells you that there was big fish under them. The fishing started off a bit quiet, we were catching herring, but no luck with the big lines.

The next morning the seas had calmed. The birds were still feeding on whatever was out there, but they had come in a bit closer. We'd landed a carpet-shark also a pike and I think about ten or twelve dozen herring. It was mid-afternoon now the sun was out, blue skies and calm seas and it was time to start thinking about going home. It's hard to leave when the conditions are like they are. I suggested to Tom and Mal we might be leaving a day too early and I said what ever is under those birds might be in range tomorrow. I didn't have to say any more. They suggested we go into the closest town and ring the women and tell them we were going to stay another night.

We were a bit lucky, there was a pub there. So after a session on the darts we filled the esky back up with cold cans and back out to our camp. They're good times sitting around a fire, cooking fresh herring and having a few cold cans.

The next morning we waited for the sun to come up to dry the rocks, other-wise they are too slippery and dangerous to walk on. I've seen many people slip and hit those rocks and it hurts. Also there's been lives lost along our coast with people slipping and falling into the water. It's not necessary to fish before the sun dries the rocks. I've seen the best results mid-morning to mid-afternoon. You do not fish these rocks if it is raining, also if the wind is up and the spray from the sea can dampen the rocks, it's treacherous. There's many quiet bays with safe rocks you can fish, so travel a bit further and fish them.

I remember that last morning with Tom and Mal. We had some breakfast then went out onto the rock. The wind was coming from our back and out to sea. I said to Mal to put a balloon on the big Alvey and send out a live herring, which he did. I pulled in another fresh herring and turned it into a flapper by cutting the backbone out and leaving the two fillets hanging from the head. Tom put it on his big rod and was fishing on the bottom. We hadn't been there long and Tom said to me "somethings having a go at my line". Next thing his reel was screaming, he jerked the rod back trying to hook whatever was there. But he didn't hook up so whatever was there dropped it.

He started to wind in, I said "Tom leave it there, because you'll still have your bait on, they can't get the flapper off". Next thing Tom said "it's back again" and the reel starts to scream . This time he hooks it good and it runs a lot of line off his reel, then it starts to slow up. He starts pulling the rod back and winding forward, each time regaining some line. Then the reel screams again, but not for long and he's got it coming in. It does a big arc to the left then turns and does an arc to the right. I said "Tom my money says it's a Dew-fish". There's no better sight fishing from shore, the waters calm and crystal clear. We can see the big silver and black bands. The tell-tale signs of a Dew fish. After I gaffed him, we were standing back on the rocks admiring him. I knew Tom's adrenalin would be pumping, mine was and I didn't catch it.

Then we hear Mals balloon go off. He ran over and grabbed his Alvey and it's on again. This things running a lot of line off, arcing to the left and to the right. I've seen this happen quite a few times in this area and you can just about bet it's a shark or samson kingy, even when it gets in range it's hard to tell all you can see is a big dark figure down deep. Then it comes to the surface and we could tell it's a sambo. I gaffed this one also and we've got it over the back of the rocks laying along side of the dewy. Tommy's got his big rod back in the water and fishing on the bottom.

Mal said "I'll take the fish back to the camp and start cleaning them on the edge of the water." I yelled out to Tommy and said "wind your rod in and we'll go give Mal a hand to clean the fish". He said "no I'm going to try catch one like he got". So I went back over to him and said "pull your line in and cut your sinker off", which he did while I caught another herring, put it straight on Toms hook and he throws it back out as far as he can. The live herring will stay on top for awhile. I don't think it was there five minutes and the rod was buckled over and the reel was screaming again.

It was a days fishing a lot of fishermen never get to experience, their techniques are not right. Maybe the reason for this is they never had someone to point them in the right direction, like my dad did for me.

The next photo shows myself with a sambo, photo was taken in the mid 70's. As you can see they're shaped like a torpedo and he earns the name of Samson for his strength. Like in Samson and Delilah.

I remember he hit that hard the big hand-spool went over the side of the rock and into the sea. I've still got the line in my hands. I said to my mate Graham, you grab the other end of the line and try to pull the hand-spool back up. It's got 3 or 400yards of 120 lb breaking strain and it's fairly zinging through my hands. I've got as much pressure as I can hold without cutting my fingers, hoping to wear out or stop whatever it was. Then Graham said "we've got troubles, we're at the end of the line, the spool is coming up to us". I remember when he had the spool in his hand, thinking we'd lost the fight. When all of a sudden the line stopped running and I slowly started to retrieve line back onto the spool.

If you look at the fish just above my left hand, you can see where the big hand-line was cutting into him when he put that run in.( I'm not going to tell you where the rock is ha ha) maybe if you ask me in the guest-book I will tell you.


Smee again many years later.



No cut fingers or sore hands this time. We've advanced to the rod and reel and there's no better than the Alvey for handling the big ones.

Coonac or Swamp Gilgie



The photo above shows three of my boys, Craig on the left then Jamie and Brett. They're about to have a feed of what I've always known as Swamp Gilgy and in later years Coonac and I would say this has been a tradition with country people or people from the bush since time and they are as nice as eating as any of our fresh water crustaceans. I picked this habit up as a young fella thanks to my father. I remember wading in the creeks with him and he would turn over small logs and rocks and tell me to pick up the little gilgies, which he used for bait to catch the fresh-water red-fin perch.

I also remember when I was first old enough to wander from home, I used to walk maybe a kilometre to some fresh water creeks with a couple of mates. I'd have lumps of kangaroo meat for bait and I'd place them amongst the rocks in shallow waters and you could pick the little gilgies up off the baits with your hand. We'd do this until we had a sunshine milk tin full, which was about two litres. Dad had made a handle for the tin with fencing wire, which made it easier for us to lift on and off the fire.

We also sometimes had potatoes that we would put in the hot coals of the fire and they would burn black and we would roll them out with a stick. When they cooled down we would take the black crust off and if you haven't tried this with your grandkids you should, they are very tasty. There's no excuse for not doing it because they will enjoy it, you can do it in the back-yard. Even some of you city people that want a little bush life.

I remember leaving home very early in the morning and getting home a little bit too late in the evening. But by staying late I got to know the coonac, we would get one occasionally coming out of his hole in the bank of the creek. They don't like permanent water, they're mostly found in creeks that dry up early in the summer and they burrow down to the water table. They're mostly found in the big winter flats that feed our rivers and creeks. No doubt when you add up the big picture they're in their millions. Or were.



The photo above shows Brett on the right and his son Rick and tells you it's been a way of life with our family and a lot of different country people. I remember one time a friend of mine was putting on a party for his son, I'm not too sure if it was his 21st or engagement. He asked me if I could get him a pig to make some sausages. So I took my second oldest son Jamie out, who was maybe 15 or 16 at the time. The dogs got a couple of nice pigs. So I headed and gutted them, knowing they were going to bone the meat out and it made it a bit easier.

It had just got dark, I said to Jamie there's a creek out here that I think would be good for coonac but I've never tried it. So we took the heart and liver and Jamie put them in the creek. I also had a couple of drop-nets and there was a bush dam I wanted to try for yabbies a couple of kilometres away. There wasn't many in the dam, we got 11 big ones and many small ones which we didn't take.

After about an hour we went back to the creek. You could not see the heart and liver, it was blacked out with coonac. Jamie couldn't believe what he was looking at, there was also a big circle of them five or six feet out trying to get to the bait. He picked up 120 with his hands.

But it is fast becoming a thing of the past, due to the blue-gums preventing the good winter waters from the hills, trickle feeding the flats and creeks and the water goes bad before it's time. I've watched this taking place in many areas. The coonac have gone. Also the mines are taking out many of the main water flats and creeks where the coonacs live and stops the water that feed our rivers.


Clints Fish



The photo above shows one of our grandsons Clint (2 years old)and you can see he's pretty happy showing off the catch. Photo taken 14th August 2013. As we were puting the photo of Clint on the web-page, the door opens and he walks in. When he sees himself standing there holding the fish up. He said "Clint (heaby fish)".

The photo below is his father Brett at about the age of roughly 10 or 11 also showing off a couple of nice perch he caught.





The reason the perch above are hanging on a fence is I made the mistake one day of leaving them on the ground, maybe 15-20 ft from the river. There were 5 or 6 of them on a stick and I'd poked it into the ground and I walked off trying different pools further on. They were all big perch and they can get quite heavy after awhile. I remember one time I had two sticks and thirty something big perch on them. I had to leave the river and make my way up to the road where I left them on top of some bushes and picked them up later in the car.

When I said I left those ones on the ground and went off trying to find more. When I came back, the stick had been pulled over and only one perch was left. I found one on the edge of the water, it's stomach and gills had all been eaten and the rest of the perch were gone. I know it was water rats. They had no doubt smelt where I had pulled the perch out of the water and up the bank. They have a deadly nose.

I remember one time I used to go out to a spot where a farmer had built a platform over the edge of the river. He'd set up a big pump that irrigated 22acres of lucern used to feed race-horses. I used to sit on this platform many times by myself. I'd have a drop-net in the water on either side, a bucket of minnows which are live-bait and I'd throw two hand-lines in the water with live-bait on.

This day I'd been there for maybe an hour or so and the bait I'd had in the drop-nets for marron were a couple of fatty chops. They'd caused an oil slick that I could see go across the river to the other bank. I was looking back up the river on the other side and I could see ripples, maybe 80-100yards away. At first I thought it was a duck coming along the bank, but as it got opposite me, I could see it was a big water-rat with his head out the water. I watched him hit the line of the oil-slick, turn and come straight across the river to my drop-nets and I'm sitting maybe 4or5 feet above him, he was none the wiser. Then I watched another one do the exact same thing.

I've seen some sights over the years, when sitting on the bank with a couple of hand-lines in the water. Some times I'd have my fathers double barrel shot-gun. This day I'm sitting there and I watched a fox walking along the edge of the water on the opposite side, he didn't know I was there until I pulled the trigger. I hit him with duck-shot. He cartwheeled and bolted. I watched him zigzag not knowing where the shot come from. It was maybe 40 years ago. I think the charge was too light to kill him, so maybe he survived. But I'll bet you he's still running.

I've said before, there still should be a bounty on the fox or better still a market for their skin. Because there must be many many thousands in the South-west of Western Australia alone and they are Australia wide. Back in the early days and even in my time, the Government put a bounty on the Wedge-tail Eagle. I think it was two and sixpence a beak or 25cents in todays currency. The same was paid for the beak of an emu. They were native animals. Yet there's no reward or bounty that I know of for the feral fox and cat. The damage these two do to our fauna will shock you. I know this is the fishing page, but I will show you 2 photo's of a feral cats den.

The first one you can see a couple of them quite clearly and the second photo shows you the destruction they cause with our fauna. If you look closely at the foreground you can see the carcasses of little dead animals, also many bones of whatever they've killed in the past.




Clints Perch



A picture says a thousand words and you'd have to agree with that when you see the look on his face. It's the 3rd of September and this photo was taken yesterday and I think it will stay in his mind forever. He was sitting on his nannas knee and he watched the fish splashing as they came out of the water and onto the bank, 4 or 5ft from where he was sitting. I deliberately lifted them into the air and they flicked water onto his face. Then he watched me take the lure out of their mouth and throw them up on the clear bank short of the high water level. The photo's will make sure he doesn't forget it.

I told a story one time when I was a little fella and my father took me by the hand and walked me over to an abandoned bridge. Where he had a long pole or bamboo stick, with a piece of fishing line maybe 10ft long tied to the end. He would have known the marron was hooked and he told me to watch the water as he lifted it up. I believe I was no older than Clint and it's never left me.

The next couple of photo's will show you what the perch prey on.


The big one on the left is a marron and the other two are gilgies. I took these out of the perchs feed bag. I remember a lot of old bushmen. Who also chased the perch telling me, that they prefered to use the biggest of the gilgies. They seemed to think they caught bigger perch. I can't dispute that because I very rarely used them for bait, it was mainly worms in the early times also minnows, which are small fish.

The reason for this was the rod and reel was non-existant and we used 20-30yrds of fishing line, wrapped around a jam tin. I've said before, my father would also use a small length of pine, maybe 4" round and 6" long, which he put inside a sock that was cut to the right length and nailed to the end to make it neat.

I remember when we'd be fishing on the bank of the river. We'd have a hessian spud-bag laid out and we'd feed the line off the jam tin onto it, so when we cast it wouldn't get tangled in the small sticks and reeds on the bank.

The next photo shows that the perch will eat whatever moves in the water. The little fish on the left is known as a pygmy perch, I always knew them as a shelly. What the old fellas used to call them, they were heavy scaled for their size, maybe an inch long and they had all the colours of the rainbow in them. Next to him is a fresh-water shrimp and when the conditions are right, they breed by the millions. The last one on the right, I don't know his name, We've always said they are a water beetle.


The photo below shows some of the types of small fish that we used as live bait to catch perch. The lighter one in the centre of the photo is a minnow and you can see he's quite a bit longer than the others, which I've always known to be black fish or mud fish.



Below shows you looking into a bucket of water and if you look close at the edge of the bucket you will see a few little shrimp that were accidently scooped up while scooping the little fish. I released all of these into a different section of river, where I knew they would survive because the mines had stopped the water getting to their pool. I went back a couple of days later and I was too late. They died in their countless thousands.

I will show you photo's in time that shows you this is the truth. I said that the shrimps breed by the millions and why I know this is in 1983, 12mnths after the January floods of 82, I dived these pools and all the root systems and vegetation on the edge of the pools in the water, was a crawling mass of shrimps.

Another incident that gives you an idea of how many shrimp there were. Bobby Carroll and myself used to drag a hessian spud-bag through the reeds and trap the minnows. We'd tip maybe 3 or 4 dozen into an esky and release what was left, which was maybe 100 or 2. Then we'd go out perching. The minnows that were left over when we'd finished, I'd take home and put them into a pool that I'd built out of bricks and cement. It was maybe 6ftx6ft square and 2-3ft high. I even had reeds growing in there.

I was sitting at the table one night and I was telling whoever I can't remember. He said I'd like to have a look at it. So we went out with the torch. I didn't know myself at the time, but there must have been a half a dozen shrimp in amongst the minnows, when I last tipped them into the pool. When I shone the torch into the water. There was countless hundreds of little eyes. The shrimp that I tipped in must have had eggs. The pool was covered, the floor, the walls.

So you can imagine what the river looked like and it was all because the big winter floods had flushed the river out. I believe everything else that lived in this water would have benefited as well. It tells us how important the big water flats and water-ways are that contribute to the heads of our rivers and keeps the quality of the water up. Check it out because when they're gone they're gone forever.


Family Tradition



The photo above shows our oldest son Dave with a Samson Kingy or Deep-sea Kingy. He hooked this one in shallow water on a big hand-line and they take a bit of handling in conditions like that. He had been throwing some burly in and was catching a few herring and no doubt the Samson came in chasing the herring and it took his big hand-line that he had in for a Wobby, that's better known as a Carpet Shark. There's a lot of meat on both these and it's a way you can keep the tucker bill down. Also like I've said before we like to give different families a feed, especially the older ones that no longer fished.


I've seen times when we would catch maybe 20 dozen herring or more. The best I counted was 32 dozen. It was before the day of the freezer, we could only keep our self maybe 3 or 4 dozen, which would fit in a little freezer in the fridge. The rest we give away to different families. One German fella I knew would take what-ever I give him and he would smoke them and give me half.


Some people might think it's wrong to take that many fish or we were greedy. But I don't agree, because we give three quarters away. Greedy people don't give things away and my idea of wrong is when you see certain people run a net around 10 ton and take the lot, with permission from the Authorities. Then it's repeated the next day and there used to be many nets along our coast. I don't know if it takes place today. But I know it was not that long ago. It's a season that runs for maybe 2-3 months. This also takes place with the Salmon. I'm not smart enough to add this up, but I would guess it would be thousands of tons and more.


Whatever their excuse for this is I will never accept. All these fish that they are taking are travelling north along our coast for 100's of klms. They are all full of eggs and at the end of their journey they will spawn. So to take them before they have spawned, to me seems so wrong. Especially if these fish can be taken on their return trip after they've released their eggs.


I remember in the 50's, fishing with my father on the beach and he'd say "look out the back in the swells" and when it lifted all you could see was a wall of herring that was hundreds of yards long. Then a little bit later there would be the same amount of Salmon following. Sometimes they would run like that in intervals of maybe every half hour.

I remember another place I've fished all my life. It was off of a big rock, which was maybe 15-20ft high and I've seen times when we'd throw burley in, which was pollard mixed with a bit of water also canola cooking oil. If the wind was in our back and the seas were calm, I've seen oil slicks from our burley that went towards the horizon as far as the eye could see. The herring would be that thick in front of us, you couldn't put a figure on it and every so often a big school of Salmon would come in and get stuck into the herring.


There's no better sight if your looking into clear water watching this. Many times they would grab the herring on our lines and break it. I've even seen when they're in a frenzy, they'd grab the wooden blob that we used to keep the bait on top for the herring. One time I looked out to the horizon and there was a massive school of herring coming in on the oil-slick and the waters bubbling.


When you think that there were different parties of fishermen doing the same as what we were over 100's of klms on our coast, it's hard to put a figure on them. They're no longer like that. Mind you there's still a lot out there and still some good fishing. I don't believe it's people throwing a single hook into the water that's done the damage.



The photo above shows Dave with a Mulloway he caught and he's about to put him on the operating table. He's been hanging on the clothes-line all night in the cool winter air and it firms the meat and makes it easier to fillet. Then the wife will take it inside and slice the meat into feed size fillets, stack them onto meat trays, wrap it with glad-wrap and it's put away into the freezer.


We also grow our own vegetables. So between wild rabbit, wild pigs and fish it all helps to keep the tucker bill down. Also we know what we're eating and I believe it is a lot more healthier than a lot of the tucker that is brought from the big stores, which is imported from other countries. I've seen some Documentaries on this and I wouldn't feed it to my dog. Then there's the insecticides they spray on their vegetables. Then there's all the preservatives that are in our food today.


Look out Australia!!  


Busselton Jetty



I remember the day I caught the mulloway in the photo above. It was a sunny day in winter and I said to the wife. "I think we'll go down to the jetty and put in a few hours fishing". We headed off about 10o'clock in the morning, just the two of us and our little Jack-Russell when he was a pup, maybe 8 weeks old. When we walked out to the start of the jetty where they'd set up a kiosk. There's a toll you have to pay to fish the jetty. It applies to the tourists also. It's very cheap $2 or $2.50. There's an observatory at the end where you can go beneath the water, maybe 15ft-20ft. There's a cover charge. I'm not too sure of the price again I think it's worth it.


As I went to pay, the gentleman said "who's the little dog belong to". The wife had him on a lead. I said "mine". He said "I'm sorry mate there's no dogs allowed". We'd travelled about 80klms from home. I had my back-pack on with the big hand-lines in it also the running-gaff also other bits and pieces. A small flick-rod for catching my bait, a 20ltr bucket. So I was all revved up for a bit of fishing. I said to the wife, "what if you go back to the ute with Russell-Jack". Which was the name my father used to call him. The wife had a puzzle magazine and she didn't mind putting in a couple of hours with it, (or a couple of days).


So once again I'd worked it out in my favour. I said "after a couple of hours, wind the windows down a little bit and leave Jack in the car and walk out to where I'm fishing". I was on the very end of the jetty, which is 2klms long. When I first got there, I threw a couple of handfuls of burly in the water. Then I placed 4 big hand-lines about 10yards apart. I cast my little flick-rod in, the waters filthy dirty and a big herring grabbed it instantly. I'm standing there with it in my hand thinking, it's a bit too big to put on one of the hand-lines alive.


I was real keen to get a big hand-line in the water, so I decided to put it on and threw it straight back in. I place the big spool up on a piece of timber about 15-20 inches off the jetty. I done that, so that if I wasn't looking, when something took it, I would hear the spool hit the jetty. I quickly threw the little rod back in for some more live bait for the other 3 big hand-lines. Then I heard the clunk of the hand-line hitting the jetty. It was slowly moving and I thought the big herring was doing it. Then it moved too quick for a herring. I didn't have time to wind my little rod in. So I dropped it on the jetty, grabbed the big spool that was spinning, turned it side-ways so there was no give. At the same time giving it a jerk, making sure the big hook has penetrated.


Because like I've said before the mulloway has a hard mouth. After a couple of runs the line starts to go sidewards. Then those distinct head shakes and you can bet two of whatever you've got, it's a mulloway. When I get him to the surface and the base of the jetty. I'm looking down at the big silver body of a mulloway. I held him there letting him wear himself out just below the surface, with his head sticking out. If you let his body go beneath the water, the weight will release on the line and if the hook is in his jaw, there's a good chance it will come out. I've lost them like this myself and it takes some getting over.


The hardest is still to come, there's not a soul on the jetty to give me a hand. I have to walk backwards maybe 15-20 yards to where I'd left the running- gaff. All the time thinking if the hooks in his jaw and he goes below the surface, I'm going to lose him. Now I've got the running-gaff in my hand, also the big hand-spool and I'm slowly winding the line back on as I cautiously walked forward. When I get to the edge and look down, he's sitting there pretty much perfect with his head out the water. I clipped the running-gaff onto the line and run it down and over the mulloways head. I'd let go of the big hand-line and started to pull the mulloway up.


The running-gaff has got a thick rope on it and it allows you to get a grip to pull him to the top of the jetty. As I get him to the top and lean out a little bit so he doesn't hook up on the side of the jetty, I can see the big hooks haven't got him right and when I tried to snig him over the side, the big hooks give way. I'm standing there with the running-gaff in my hand and I watched him hit the water with a hell of a splash and disappear. Shock sets in and before I've got time to start crying, the big hand-line spool starts to spin. So I grabbed it and I've still got him on, pulls him back into the right position, runs the gaff down again.


This time I make sure the three big hooks have gone over his head like they're supposed to and pulls him up and over onto the jetty. The reason he stayed on my hand-line was he'd swallowed the big herring and I'd hooked him deep in his stomach in the feed-bag. As I was sorting things out I looked up and the wife was standing there. She told me she had rang the ex-daughter in-law Claire, who lived in Busselton. She said she would come out and take Jack to her place. Which allowed the wife to walk out not long after I had got there. The mulloway was still flapping on the jetty when she arrived. So it was a short fishing session but very exciting.


This photo shows the running-gaff. 



Ronnie Tyler



The photo above shows Ron holding a python I think. He was the brother of my old mate Lofty and a good friend of mine. He hunted the bush all his life and fished the rivers. He also loved his darts and was part of the pub scene before my time and that's how I got to know him when I first come on the scene. Quite often I came onto Ronnie when I was hunting pigs. One of his favourite spots was the head of the Harris River where the Edward Formation railway bridge crossed over. There was a narrow pool maybe 20-30 yards long and 7-8 yards wide. One side was lined with iron-stone rocks. The opposite side was lined with reeds that covered the water maybe 2-3 yards from the bank. The water was only roughly 2 metres deep and crystal clear.


I dived it one day with big Boof Johnson and I could see big perch go back under the reeds that lined the bank for protection. Ronnie used to sit on one of the rocks with a hand-line with live minnow for bait. He'd have 3 or 4 meat baits along the bank in different spots and every half an hour or so he'd go along with a snare on a stick and he'd come home with a feed of marron also a feed of perch, also he'd have a couple of big bottles with him. I reckon Ronnie kept this spot to himself, because I never seen another man with him.


I was talking to him one day and he asked me how I caught my minnows, the little fish for live bait. I said I either drag the narrow creeks with a hessian bag or catch them with cotton tied on a stick with a bent pin as a hook, with a bit of worm on it. That was how all the old bush-men caught their bait. He said "I'll show you something that I've made up." He had rolled up a piece of fly-wire netting roughly 2 foot long and shaped like an ice-cream cone. With a big opening at one end tapering down to nothing at the other end. He had a bit of rope tied to the big end and he showed me how he lowered it into the water. He had bits of worm and some pellets inside it to attract the little fish. Then he'd pull it up as quick as he could. Quite a few would beat him, but after a few goes he'd have enough for a session of fishing. Maybe 2-3 dozen.


I went down one day and borrowed it and I took my father out to show him. He said "it's a good idea, it beats standing there for an hour or two trying to catch your live bait one at a time". This was in the mid sixties. I've said before my father was quick to work out if there was a better method to do something. He said "I think the same principal we use for a marron trap would work on catching the live bait".


The marron trap was made out of 3 push-bike wheels. They'd stand them on their edge about 2 foot apart and brace them with fencing wire, tied from one end to the other, maybe 4 lengths. Then wrap it with chook wire and when you stood it on it's end it looked like a 44 gallon drum. Actually some fellas were known to use a 44 gallon drum, with the ends cut out and then cover it with chook wire. Which had a hole in the middle and a short funnel about 6 inches long that went inside the trap. The marron would go through the funnel to get whatever bait they had inside.


The old fellas mainly used kangaroo or rabbit. They'd go out to where ever they decided to go, somewhere secluded and throw it in the pool. Two or three days later, they'd go out and pull it. The results varied. They could have a half a dozen or maybe 2 and a half dozen if they were lucky. Again this was before my time. I don't think there was a season or limit.


So dad made the minnow trap the same style as the marron, only a smaller version. He had a thin piece of wire tied to the rim of the hole at one end and ran it through the middle of the trap and out the hole at the other end. We'd thread maybe a half a dozen worms along it. I remember when we first tried it, we threw it into a small pool in a creek. There was maybe 4-5 dozen minnows in the school. They came straight to the trap and they could see the worms dangling through the fly-wire netting and they went absolutely silly banging the wire trying to get in. When the school went to the end of the trap and a couple went through, the rest followed. We had the lot in maybe 5 minutes.


The photo above shows the minnow trap also Rebel.


I was telling another old fella that I worked with in the Shire about the trap and he asked me if I'd take him out and show him. His name was Dick Cole. I remember when we got out to the creek and baited the trap. We could see again maybe 3-4 dozen minnows in a school. So I chucked the net in and watched it settle on the bottom, it was only about 3-4 feet deep. I had about 10 feet of rope tied to the trap, so I could retrieve it. I said to Dick "we'll sit on a log and have a smoke". About ten minutes later we pulled the trap out and we had the lot. He said "it doesn't take long to catch them does it". I told him I've stood there at different times and watched them go inside the trap within a minute. He said "it beats getting in the water with a hessian bag, especially in winter when it's cold".


A few days later at work, he came up to me and said "I was telling my old friend that I go perching with about the trap and he asked me to put it to you, if we could have a lend of it". I said "you certainly can". Dick told me later that his mate couldn't believe the result. His name was Ed Riley Snr. Also another gentleman that used to go out with them. His name was Bowers. All three of these fellas are no longer with us and some of the stories that Dick told me, I would have liked to have been around in their time. He said 100 perch in a session of fishing was common.


The rivers they fished are now dead. The likes of the Hillman and West Arthur, maybe 80-90 klms east to south-east of Collie. There were many other old bushmen that used to catch the red-fin perch around Collie. The likes of Bill Barber, who I bumped into many times in the 60-70's also later when he was getting old. He was always keen to know what the perch were like. It's a shame they never had a camera.


The next photo shows an old bushie that liked his perching, Harry Flynn.



As you can see, time has caught up with Harry, but he still liked to sit on the bank of the river with a tub of minnows. He also done a lot of kangaroo hunting with my father and another old bushman by the name of Skin Laurie. Who I've told previous stories on. Harry always had kangaroo dogs.


Amanda



The little girl in the photo above Amanda used to live next door and I remember this day like it was yesterday, but it was maybe close to 30 years ago. Her father Trevor was a fitter in the under-ground coal mines where I also worked. I was telling him one day that my old Toyota 4 wheel-drive was on it's last legs, blowing smoke real bad. He said to me "I can do that motor up for you, over a few days". He said "I'll work on it after we knock off from the mines". Which he did, free of charge. I said to Trevor this day "I'll take you out onto private property and you can cut some fire-wood for the winter". We were going to fill the trailer and the ute.


After he fell the tree and started to cut it up into foot lengths. I said to Amanda "would you like to see a fish?" She said "yes please". So I grabbed my little flick-rod which I always had behind the seat. We only had to walk about 50 yards to the river. There was a small narrow pool, which I'd taken a lot of perch out over the years. I stood Amanda in front of me about 2 feet from the water. I told her to look at the log that was submerged in the water. I said "when I throw the spinner and start to wind it, you keep your eyes on it until it comes to the edge by your feet" and what I was hoping would happen, did.


The big perch she is holding come out from under the log and grabbed the spinner on top of the water. I knew she'd seen the lot because she jumped back-wards and that vision would stay with her, I think forever. Like when my father pulled that big marron out of the water. I would have been about the same age.


The next photo taken in 2009 shows you Amanda when she's grown up.



A Night to Remember



The photo above shows myself on the right and the brother-in law Pete. Many fishermen will never get to experience a fishing session like the photo shows. It was quarter past nine at night and we'd been fishing for a few hours with not a bite. There was another gentleman fishing, who we knew, Joey Ingram. He decided to give it a miss. He told us he'd had enough as he walked passed. I told him the next day he hadn't gone ten minutes when my line started to move and I landed the first Mulloway. A bit later another one started to play with my bait. At times they can be a bit picky. This one started to take the line, but he dropped it. He done this two or three times.


I passed the big hand-line to Peter and said "feel this". He done the same a couple of more times. I said "put pressure on the line so he can't take it". Peter said "there's a lot of weight here". I said "well pull the trigger". But he didn't. Then he said "he's gone there's no weight". He's still got the line in his hand, then he say's "he's back again". Again I said "well pull the trigger." For whatever reason, he wouldn't. Maybe because it was my line. But I've always thought it's a better fishing trip if we catch the same.


He passed the line back to me. Before I took it I said "I'll pull the trigger if you don't". Which I did instantly. It's an adrenalin rush that equals having a big boar in your sights or wrestling with a big jumbo cray under a ledge or in a cave. So we've got two mulloway. Next minute Peter say's "there's something messing around with my line" and it's on again. When he gets him to the edge, I runs the gaffe down and over his head. We've got three. Not long later, I'm on again. This time Peter runs the gaffe down.


Now we've got to get four of them back to the car. Pete put a rope through one of the mulloways mouth and tied it around his waist. Then he had a mulloway in each hand and he's dragging all three along the jetty like a pack-horse. I've got the other one and all the fishing gear. It's the only time this has happened. To some people this may seem to be the wrong thing to do, as far as over fishing. But with mulloway you might go another 10-15 times before you catch another one. 


Peters got three boys and his wife. Then I've got the wife and four boys also my mother and father who were too old to catch their own and they liked to have fish every day for dinner. I kept them supplied for many years also my older brother Bob would have dinner with them every day. (so I fed you to Bink). Also I gave old people many feeds.


Red-fin Perch



The photo above shows our second eldest son Jamie on the right with brother-inlaw Pete. I would imagine Jamie has told his mates he caught all of these and if you look at his finger on his right hand it's meant for me. I'm taking the photo, roughly 25 years ago. Another thing Peter has still got some hair with a bit of colour.


The next photo was taken on the 9th of April 2014 and you can see what time has done to us all, look at his head. But there's some nice perch. I've said before I've chased perch all my life, thanks to my Father. Peter and myself have chased them since 1966.


Pete's a boiler-maker by trade and he done his apprenticeship in the city, which is about a 2 and a half hour drive from our home town Collie. I used to leave certain pools in the river at different times of the year for when he came home. One of the pools was quite shallow at one end, maybe 20-30ft before you ran out of water. So we used to wind the spinner fast enough so it stayed on the top and many times we would see the swell or the bow-wave of a big perch coming in behind the spinner and the next time I see that, will be just as exciting as the first time. 



The following photo was taken 2 days before on the 7th April. I remember when I was cleaning these fish, I said to the wife I should ring Peter. But I wasn't too sure if it was a jag, so I decided not to ring him. I said I will go out to a different location that's similar to where I got these and the photo below shows you the result.



Never Too Young



The photo above shows our youngest grandson Clint Peter James which he prefers to be called and if you don't he will recite it until you do. He's still short of being 3 years of age and he looks a little pro. The following photo shows him sitting on an Engel holding up a perch that weighed 3lb 8oz. We entered this photo into a competition that was promoting Engel which we won and we recieved $500 worth of Engel products.



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