Newton’s laws of fishing

Things were looking a little bleak aboard Barraddiction early last Sunday morning on the back side of Cox Peninsula 35 km out from Darwin Harbour. We were out on a two-pronged mission to chase big barra early on before heading out wide on the bluewater for some serious deepwater jigging action targeting Spaniards and the like.

However, as we exited the confines of the harbour in the darkness we started to feel the building north-easterly breeze in our faces and knew in our hearts that heading out to North Gutter for some metal jig action was probably out of the question…

The ABC’s Tales from the Tinny radio host and producer, Morgan “Splasher” Hartney, was aboard. While a fearsome fast bowling all-rounder on the cricket field – and just a week or so ago the touring under 19 Sri Lankan Cricket side felt the “Hartney Heat” when he knocked over two top order batsmen in his second over – Morgan has a well earned reputation as a chucker while at sea – particularly when aboard my boat.
Also, Morgan isn’t the most organised individual I’ve met; when he arrived at the ramp at 0500 hours for the trip the first words out of his mouth were: “Pete I haven’t got any fishing gear with me as it’s still locked in the shed at home.”

Funnily enough I wasn’t really surprised. Luckily he is much more organised when it comes to producing a highly successful radio program. Lucky too that also aboard for the trip was Phil Newton, Fishing and Outdoor World’s young gun, who has a well earned reputation for catching just about anything that swims.

inline_591_ scenery ms.jpgTerrible scenery…

Anyway back to the fishing…

So there we were, tucked up in a creek out of the wind and trolling a rock bar for what seemed like freaking hours. Things were becoming so bleak in fact that Morgan and I started to come up with potential titles for the story to go on the Tinny website to describe the lack of build-up barra being hauled aboard.
Boredom had completely taken over and pretty sordid stories from the past were being raised in an effort to stay awake while trolling Coonawarra Creek. Not even the odd goldie, jack or cod taken on our 15 foot Classics bumping the rock bar below could lift our spirits – we were chasing barra!

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When the barra blinkers are on these guys don’t count… 

Not being the most patient troller going around, I called for a change of location and tactics and we headed south down the coast (in the lee of the wind) to hit some foreshore rocks and mangrove strands that often hold barra and salmon. Before too long Morgan and I saw first hand the force of Newton’s Fourth Law in action…

With his little noodle outfit in hand and armed with a plastic lure, Phil (an ex-Queenslander) put on a barra clinic in front of a couple of born and bred Darwinians. All we could do was sit back in awe as the little master (apologies Sachin but there’s two of you now – one with a cricket bat and the other with a spin rod), skilfully hooked, played and landed a vibrant 85cm chromie… extracting it from between a couple of trees in three foot of water – awesome stuff that!

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Newton’s barra formula: 1 x smelly soft plastic + 1 x spin rod + 1 x skilful angler = 85cm barra!

Morgan and I did play our part, he on the tape recorder and net and myself on the helm and camera, so that Tinny listeners all could experience what we had just seen. If physics at school was never your cup of tea… don’t despair as Newton’s Fourth Law is well and truly worth studying!

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Birdsnest – caused as the laws of inertia, motion and gravity surpass angler thumbing ability.
Result: much frustration.    





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