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  1. #1

    The Abt Barra Tour ---

    Having just completed my second ABT Barra tour - its nice to sit back relax & recount what was a great time on the road …… though I’m a little unsure of the best way to share my experiences , so I’ll break it up into the impoundments fished.

    I picked Trev (Awoonga) & his boat to do a few days prefishing at Lake Proserpine prior to commencing the tour at Teemburra .

    Lake Proserpine :
    We checked into Camp Kanga & quickly had ourselves unpacked and on the water to deploy some pots for red claw….. plus a little look around.
    Word was that fishing was pretty tough with trolling the main basin / dam wall area the exception
    The first impression of the place is one of awe – so much water (up 10% on last year) the massive stand of timber is virtually out of view …. But its there as you drive over the tops of 60 foot + gum trees. Heading down the back of the dam the next morning we planned to look for the creek beds & find appropriate points / flats nearby which were holding fish. As we entered one of these little creeks – we were amazed at the magnificent sight of still growing eucalypts lining the creek , lilly pads & a flying fox colony …. It was just like a scene from the TerritoryAttachment 53878. It was here that I landed my first of the tripAttachment 53879.
    Over the next few days we found what we were looking for and landed a few fish from several locations Attachment 53882 - It was quite clear that targeting smaller fish was going to be the best way to get on the board with smaller presentations successful ……. We left these locations alone to avoid stinging fish & continued to look around this wonderland .
    As for the redclaw -Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Faust Red claw.jpg 
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ID:	53880 the place is loaded with them …… & we happily feasted each evening on them .

    Lake Teemburra :

    Moving on to Teemburra for the start of the tour …. I was getting pretty excited to be fishing my favourite impoundment & getting the serious stuff underway.. Like Faust we prefished well & identified quite a few locations that held mainly small fish though I did have an encounter with a meter fish which was lost close to the boat.
    We were confident enough that we decided to forgo our official prefish day & go to nearby Kinchant for a social fish. We managed a few barra & a sooty before heading back to camp.
    Day 1 - Trev and I were ecstatic that we arrived at our number 1 location with no one to contend with. I landed my first fish almost immediately & then we went fish for fish over the next 5 fish ( all on 100mm slick rigs in neon green). Avoiding the 8 knot sunset speed limit we relocated closer to the ramp to a previously successful bay that Trev liked – I nailed my forth fish on the very first castAttachment 53875 ….. but there was no other interest once the sun set. Our third move to a nearby basin point had me bag my fifth fish & my first 5/5 ABT bag - Amazingly we landed our 8 hook ups with 4 landed on the stinger only
    Day 2 we were back to our previous days location ……. However unlike the previous day the hooks did not stick ( we dropped 7 fish & I dropped my bag in the first 2 hours - we relocated to several locations where I dropped another before finally landing one. 9.00pm saw my second landed & the end of the comp.

    Lake Proserpine:

    After the disappointment of Teemburra & the tale of dropped fish we relocated back to Lake Proserpine & those wonderful redclaw.
    We had Minn kota problems & had to borrow one from a mate of Trevs
    Pots deployed we continued to look around other areas . Eventually we decided to see if we could entice a bigger fish by targeting creek beds in the timber.
    Swimming with barra Having located some big fish in around 20ft of water I made a long cast with a modified 5” storm suspending shad – counted it down & started a lift drop retrieve – when with no more than a tap the water erupted & an absolute horse left the water before running though a nearby tree …… by the time we got over there the fish was erupting 30M away around another tree . We worked out the line direction after we used the boat to pull the tree over & then followed the big girls path. She managed to make it to some significant structure & then appeared on the surface. With no net on the deck I went for a lip grip but she submerged just before I could ….. we then managed to get her back half into the net before she kicked away. Being such a beast of a fish – I did something that I have never done before …… I went for a swim & using the lure retriever I worked out that the fish had gone over & under several branches - exhausted I climbed back onto the boat & decided to try to find the line again & do a cut / rejoin …… unfortunately when we did, we cut & joined the wrong section & the fish was lost .
    As for the comp - I managed a small fish early on day 1 & lost a few (donut day 2 with 3 lost – including a much better fish) Trev managed a small fish both days.

    With the Northern tour over we then headed to Awoonga but not till after a magnificent feast of garlic /ginger & white wine redclaw cooked on the bbq.

    Lake Awoonga ( Night Championships)

    We had a reasonable prefish with some nice fish landed – unfortunately starting way down the field we knew that our honey hole would be occupied by Jason Wilhelm – Attachment 53881so we headed way up the Boyne . It was pretty uneventful till Trev landed a 104 on a small frogAttachment 53876 - I missed the fish on a weedless rigged slick rig a couple of casts earlier. Unfortunately during the mayhem ( & it was mayhem) my spin combo was knocked off the deck – but we didn’t notice till I went to use the outfit after the capture …… I wasn’t happy.
    With all quiet we relocated to a little bay near the mouth of Futter Ck ….. cold & down I decided to have a little kip till I was awoken by Trev with an I’m on (unfortunately lost) soon after he lands his second - Motivated I upped to a 130mm enhanced slick rig & hook up – landing a 78 . within the hour I’m on again with a 85 . After retying another slick rig I’ve cast to what was a honey hole – BANG on - then off …. With a decent barra still going bonkers just meters from the back of the boat …… I saw the problem - I incorrectly tied my loop knot – bugger ( I guess that’s what happens when its dark & your tired at 1am)
    The remainder of the night was quiet with the exception of Trev landing his third right after moonset.
    Nearby Grechy & Crofty had what could only be described as a sensational session with over 5.8 M of barra in their 5/5 bags
    I guess we made the wrong decision with those fishing the main basin area bagging out during an incredible bite.
    Lake Awoonga (evening championship)

    Heading up to the Futter Creek area we fished a creek mouth weed edge ….. with a bite period that commenced after dark there was no activity . With not even a bump we moved around 100M away & fished the apex of a weed bed ……. & with less than an hours fishing remaining I manage 3 good fish including a really bulky 113 ( a new Awoonga PB) - Click image for larger version. 

Name:	My fat 113 Awoonga.jpg 
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ID:	53874 Lures used were X Raps & 130mm slick rigs
    Day 2 - back to the same location but conditions were changing right when the fish began to move into the shallows - fishing became difficult then in the last 45mins Trev lands 2 (including a nice 113) & I manage a 110 on the last cast.
    Immediately after the event …. We raced back with a couple of other crews & I smack a 105 on the first cast ( Jason Ehrlich & Tim Carter) land a couple too …. After an hour or so we called it quits

    Lake Monduran ( afternoon)

    Moving on to my home dam and getting a bit over it ……. We pretty well had in mind where we wanted to go - but with much cooler conditions anything could happen.
    We went for a look late in the afternoon with no rods taken ……. After seeing what we wanted to see we had a look in south B to sound out some locations provided by Gaz ….. we ran into a mate of Trevs who was struggling at Mondy & so we offered to show them some locations….. & on arrival they offered us a rod each to have a fish with them . We moved to the producer area on dark & proceeded to fish the shallows near the creek bed - Well it didn’t take long & I was hit hard ……. No jump – just a continued run …… leaning back on the rod & cranking up the drag I thought I was going to be ok with the fish running diagonally to the creek bed & the associated timber …….. unfortunately this fish knew exactly where she wanted to go & in that one run she made it to a spindly tree some 80M away - By the time we got over there she had me well and truly stitched up – though she did leave me my slick rig with greatly modified trebles in a branch.
    Trev managed to land a metery with some exceptional rod work to stop it before it made it to nearby timber along with another smaller fish.
    With a poor start position , cooler conditions ….. & a large field I wasn’t feeling too confident - After fishing our number 1 location for zip & a couple other spots things looked pretty sad ….. but with many boats relocating it was clear that it was a struggle out there.
    We moved off into South B & fished a weed bank on the old island - with winds increasing and blowing onto a bank that Trev identified - we tied off & I quickly got a thump & then another on a slick rig …… Trev throws in there & is slammed - unfortunately it goes straight through some branches & even with freespool she kept going – with the time lost all Trev ended up with was a worn leader.
    Right at the death I put the brakes on a 90 which took an olive X Rap 12 Attachment 53871

    As predicted it was a tough bite with only 32 barra landed - so day 2 we planned to go straight to the same location with the prediction of similar wind conditions.
    On arrival we found benign conditions with little water movement - we moved within a 50 M area & then I hooked up & put the stoppers on an 87…… shortly after I nail an 88 Attachment 53873 both on the olive X rap
    With plenty of structure both visible & not - we had already donated several plastics as we were not willing to disturb the area by moving into the shallows to retrieve them.
    My favourite Rapala X Rap had once again proved successful with a couple of fish landed when my worst fears were realised .... SNAGGED . The dilemma was do we donate it or retrieve it & contaminate the location ........ Anyway we threw the rope & began to drift toward the offending piece of structure when all the sudden there is a jolt through the braid & the lure was off.
    Unbelievably - a catfish had taken the snagged lure off the stump & hooking itself in the process . :no:Shocked Trev just shook his head & said "In all my years of fishing .... I have never seen that happen before - you are blessed !" ..... as I carefully removed the hooks and released the "good catfish"
    We then had an uneventful hour or so till Trev hooks a nice fish in the timber ….. this time after knocking over a couple of trees & passing the rod around a few we manage to land the 100cm fish Attachment 53877 ( & Trev is happy... cant you tell ) … We then had another lull but as soon as I resumed use of the X Rap …… I was on …… After an incredible first jump off it went ( free spool time) till we got around the trees ……. Some 50M away - I managed to turn it & she hit the mat at 104cm. Attachment 53872
    With less than an hour to go we move back to our location & trev drops another one after what appeared to be a solid hook up .
    With around 10 mins before we had to head off I hook up again & turn it quickly – a feisty 90cm fish that spent more time in the air than in the water …..with a couple of lunges near the motor – I felt the braid drag over the prop & with no time to react - the fish somersaulted – and the line parted ……. A extremely valuable fish as we were to find out later.
    Last cast ……. & I catch Trev on the back cast ripping his cap off – thankfully it was just a hard knock to Trevs head & the worst birds nest for me.
    We headed back & the tour was done.

    A big congratulations go to Cy Taylor ….. What can you say about a guy that wins 3 out of 5 events. Also congratulations to all the other winners & competitors.
    On a personal note ……. I had a great time & learnt much more about barra fishing.
    A big thanks go to Trevor .His knowledge & ability to read the water played a massive part in the success that I had ……I have great admiration for him.
    Give a man a fish & he will eat for a day !
    Teach him how to fish
    & he will sit in a boat - & drink beer all day!
    TEAM MOJIKO

  2. #2

    Re: The Abt Barra Tour ---

    Give a man a fish & he will eat for a day !
    Teach him how to fish
    & he will sit in a boat - & drink beer all day!
    TEAM MOJIKO

  3. #3

    Re: The Abt Barra Tour ---

    Great work guys and well done on your efforts. Nice to read a full report of your experiences. - RC

  4. #4

    Re: The Abt Barra Tour ---

    Thanks for a great, informative read.

    Cheers,
    Steve.

  5. #5

    Re: The Abt Barra Tour ---

    Well done Chris and thanks for the read. Not bad for a Sydney bream fisho!

    Congratulation to all the others that competed. Good to see Trev kept a happy demeanor during a obviously tough run
    of dropped fish. Can be a bit tough when someone sticks them on a boat and the other drops them. Tests ones friendship at times, but next time it will be the other way around.

    Must admit that I would never thought I would see you type the words 'getting a bit over it ' but I guess it would be like working at a chocolate factory.

    Well done

    Steve

  6. #6

    Re: The Abt Barra Tour ---

    Hi Chris great report mate well done to you and trev on the tour sounds like you had a ball and how did the elbow stand up to the punishment

    shane

  7. #7

    Re: The Abt Barra Tour ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo View Post
    Well done Chris and thanks for the read. Not bad for a Sydney bream fisho!

    Congratulation to all the others that competed. Good to see Trev kept a happy demeanor during a obviously tough run of dropped fish. Can be a bit tough when someone sticks them on a boat and the other drops them. Tests ones friendship at times, but next time it will be the other way around.

    Must admit that I would never thought I would see you type the words 'getting a bit over it ' but I guess it would be like working at a chocolate factory.

    Well done

    Steve
    Hi Steve

    Old Trev ..... cool head , very little emotion shown .....Though I did manage to corrupt him ( I heard him curse & swear for the second / third time ever ) ....... we had a great laugh during the tour though .

    As for getting a "bit over it" Yes mate , sometimes you can too much of a good thing ....... In the end , I was a bit motivated by wanting to do well on what is my home dam.

    Chris
    Give a man a fish & he will eat for a day !
    Teach him how to fish
    & he will sit in a boat - & drink beer all day!
    TEAM MOJIKO

  8. #8

    Re: The Abt Barra Tour ---

    thanks for the read chris, and congrats to you and trev.. ..

    and congrats again for making the top ten, a well earned result...

    deano...
    God put me on earth to accomplish
    a certain number of things,
    right now i am so far behind
    i will never die.

  9. #9

    Re: The Abt Barra Tour ---

    Quote Originally Posted by robersl View Post
    Hi Chris great report mate well done to you and trev on the tour sounds like you had a ball and how did the elbow stand up to the punishment

    shane
    Hi Shane

    I tried to look after the elbow by alternating between spin & baitcast ( till I lost my spin outfit ) plus liberal use of some biofreeze & voltarin creams + sometimes a heatpack - I reckon the elbow is no worst now than when I started the tour.

    Chris
    Give a man a fish & he will eat for a day !
    Teach him how to fish
    & he will sit in a boat - & drink beer all day!
    TEAM MOJIKO

  10. #10

    Thumbs up Re: The Abt Barra Tour ---

    Whoo, goin off Chris, well done. I guess all trips of that magnitude will have ups n downs but all in all u guys have done a super job.

    Pete,

  11. #11

    Re: The Abt Barra Tour ---

    Superb results Chris....You have to be very proud of that mate. I reckon the doctor could still read water even if you blind folded him

    What was the spin combo you lost......how did it actually happen?

    Gaz and I are planning on fishing the whole tour in about five years.....we should have accumulated enough brownie points at home by then.

    Cheers
    Paul
    Ranger 188VX - "Sweet Chariot"

  12. #12

    Re: The Abt Barra Tour ---

    Top report and pics Chris.

    You guys must be buggered after doing the whole tour. The nine days of the Southern tour certainly took it out of me. But what a great trip. I'll put my report up later when I catch my breath.

    Obviously some mixed results for you and Trev, but it sounds like you still had plenty of fun along the way. Spewing about the Certate, its a pain having those big nets on the deck, but at the same time, if you don't have it at the ready, you can pay the price... and its sounds like you did at Faust.

    I'm with you on alternating spin and baitcast to alleviate the repetitive casting disorder.

    Massive congrats on your 3rd at Mondy, and making it into the top ten in the rankings. Well done!! you've got to be happy with finishing the tour off like that.

    Cheers,

    Matt

  13. #13

    Re: The Abt Barra Tour ---

    yet another great report mate!

    Like I said, Well done again. you certainly deserved the good result with the effort you put in, and big effort for Trev to put up with you too!! I have no doubt you will do better next year!!! Congrats to Trev for being a good guide!!.

    Now sort out when we are finally going to get a chance to put in a session together!!

    Cheers Steve

  14. #14

    Re: The Abt Barra Tour ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B View Post
    yet another great report mate!

    Like I said, Well done again. you certainly deserved the good result with the effort you put in, and big effort for Trev to put up with you too!! I have no doubt you will do better next year!!! Congrats to Trev for being a good guide!!.

    Now sort out when we are finally going to get a chance to put in a session together!!

    Cheers Steve
    Thanks Steve

    Yeh ..... Trev was very tolerant of me ( till I smacked him in the head with an X Rap)
    We will get a chance to fish together one day mate ( maybe the Feb gathering)

    Chris
    Give a man a fish & he will eat for a day !
    Teach him how to fish
    & he will sit in a boat - & drink beer all day!
    TEAM MOJIKO

  15. #15

    Re: The Abt Barra Tour ---

    Quote Originally Posted by matt fraser View Post
    Top report and pics Chris.

    You guys must be buggered after doing the whole tour. The nine days of the Southern tour certainly took it out of me. But what a great trip. I'll put my report up later when I catch my breath.

    Obviously some mixed results for you and Trev, but it sounds like you still had plenty of fun along the way. Spewing about the Certate, its a pain having those big nets on the deck, but at the same time, if you don't have it at the ready, you can pay the price... and its sounds like you did at Faust.

    I'm with you on alternating spin and baitcast to alleviate the repetitive casting disorder.

    Massive congrats on your 3rd at Mondy, and making it into the top ten in the rankings. Well done!! you've got to be happy with finishing the tour off like that.

    Cheers,

    Matt
    Thanks Matt

    Yeh a mixed result for us ...... but fair bit of bad luck along the way which affected our overall results - Though that seemed to be commonplace

    Well done to you too Matt ....... you fished well & had some good results.

    Certate I hope Trev (with help) can recover it .

    Alternating between spin & baitcast was a necessity for me - ( It shows the value of Ausfish ...... I think Scott suggested it & was confimed by another physio)

    Chris
    Give a man a fish & he will eat for a day !
    Teach him how to fish
    & he will sit in a boat - & drink beer all day!
    TEAM MOJIKO

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