We had changed our minds a few times over the last few weeks in regards to where we will fish, but we finally agreed on some high Northern New South Wales hills and we made the drive towards some access I had secured the year before.
When we arrived there was a local fixing up something by the gate so I jumped out of the car for a quick chat and things escalated quickly. He was aggressive and in my face within seconds and it looked like we were about to have a dust-up. After some short words and when he accepted the fact that I was not going to back down or was not there to rob his house, he softened just like Jackal and Hyde. He was all smiles and now giving me advice as to where I can drive in and what to look out for.
Some odd people live in those hills.
Laughing this off we unloaded the Canoes and said our goodbyes to poor old Joanne who had to make the drive home past our new friend’s place (Mr. Hyde).
We got to camp in a few hours with no sign of a fish and made ourselves comfy for the night around a small fire and a couple of cold beers.
The next morning Frank was up like a shot and paddled out to a small hole not far from camp.
Twenty minutes later he was back and he shouted: “get the camera”.
Now with high expectations, we set off around 9am and fished hard but with the massive Moon, I didn’t expect to see much till late morning.
Around 11am the fish started to show and we started to clock up some good numbers.
Just around Midday, I hooked a fish with my Mazzy Popper that had some weight. It took me straight into a snag and I was bricked. I instantly jumped into the water like some lunatic and swam towards the snag leaving my canoe and paddle to start to float down the river.
I managed to untangle the line from the snag and to my amazement the fish was still on. Soon as she broke the surface I could see it was a big Bass and in the excitement, I was shouting all kinds of nonsense at Frank (he has this on Video and may hold me to ransom one day).
By the time we finished up at camp we had 20 or so fish. We set up camp and went back out straight away. We fished from a single canoe, walked the banks for a few hours just picking off Bass and Cod until we had over 30 fish in total. That night around the fire we talked about the crazy wind we had been competing with and of course the amazing Bass & Cod we had landed.
The next day we were up early and as keen as Mustard.
We picked our way down the river and targetted pools with the Mazzy Poppers, Alive Chatter Baits and anything else we could use. Frank used a spinnerbait in the deep holes to upset the Bass that thought they were safe. With this type of fishing, Eastern Cod are a bycatch but as they are actually a protected species so you need a quick photo and return them to the water to go about their day.
In the late afternoon, Frank hooked onto a really big Cod that had him in all sorts of trouble. His reel was given a run for its money but he landed the 80cm chunk and it was not till later when we stripped it we noticed he had totally melted his Clutch.
The fishing on this trip was as good as it ever gets and even with the wind and the giant Moon, the fish played the game.
The final score was 114 fish and by the time we got to the car (on Franks 40th Birthday) we had both had enough.