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REPORT: Wild times in PNG

Three hours by plane, four hours by car, and another three by boat. We were officially in the wild.

I was part of a group last week to explore new fishing locations along Papua New Guinea’s Gulf Province, west of Port Moresby. Our targets: PNG black bass and big barra.

The rivers were big, fast flowing and dotted with timber – a hazard for props and a safe haven for bass. We stayed two nights in the lodge before heading upriver to camp with the local villagers. The camp was based opposite a clear flowing river mouth. The main river ran dirty. A few miles upstream was another river, crystal clear, and choked with snags. Perfect bass water.

Japanese-based Kazz shared my boat. Kazz is a Japanese fishing travel agent – a super keen and experienced fisho. Attached to his state-of-the-art heavy duty baitcaster was a modified bodyboard leash. An insurance policy for dirty fighting fish and locked up drags. On the other boat was South Australian-based Pete and Sportfishing PNG’s Kori Chan. We fished upriver until a monstrous storm changed our plans. Before the storm Kori and Pete landed two bass while our boat suffered a few memorable bust-offs.

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Despite the rain, the Gulf Province offered heaps of opportunities. There were more rivers upstream and while one system rans dirty, another remained clear. We also fished a river mouth close to the main lodge where I caught my personal best barra and Pete trolled up a monster bass nudging 40lb!

Local Port Moresby guide Jason Yip, and GM of Sportfishing PNG Kori Chan, have teamed up and are offering trips to this unique fishing destination. It’s only early days yet. The boys have big plans ahead to improve lodge facilities and open up more remote rivers. Stay tuned!

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Check out the full feature story in an upcoming issue of Fishing World.

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