|Our expectations were high as Micky and I arrived at Karumba in the Gulf of Carpentaria for a brief 2 day stay before heading home inland.
This was to be our last coastal stop on our jaunt which had started from Sydney nearly 2 months ago.
We were picturing clear blue waters teeming full of giant trevally, mackerel, barramundi and other species we had only dreamed about one day catching, but were disappointed when we sighted the shallow, murky looking water stretching as far as the eye could see.
After setting up the tent in the local caravan park, we wondered off the find out some gossip about what was being caught and how it was being caught.
The news was not encouraging. We talked to several people in the caravan park and around the ramp, and no one had reported any catches to boast about.
My first ever javelin fish.
The next morning we were up early and were raring to go. We stopped at the local bait shop to stock up on some freshly caught prawns for bait. Bait? This is the bait? The things were almost the size of lobsters!
Any leftovers were destined for the barbie that night if we failed to catch a feed, they looked too good to use for bait.
The boat was launched and we ventured out to find a fishy looking spot. We motored around for a while trying to find some sort of sign of structure, and after finding none, decided to anchor just outside the channel.
The big tasty looking prawns were loaded onto a paternoster rig and the waiting began.
Fortunately, it wasn't too long a wait before I had a decent bite and I reeled in a fish neither of us recognised, but after a quick look in the handy dandy fish book, discovered it was a javelin fish.
Ok, says in the book they're good eating, so we'll give it a go.
Not long after that, Micky was also onto a nice sized javelin fish. Things started hotting up then and we were getting fish every 5 minutes or so.
In amongst the javelin fish, Micky also landed what we first thought was a small black jewfish, but after checking the fish bible, found it to be a silver teraglin.
Micky and his teraglin.
Things started to quieten down after about an hour, but during that time, we had landed around 15 javelin fish, of which we only kept 4, and the teraglin, which was also a keeper.
Although the fishing action went cold, the sun did not, so after a quick look around for any crocs or other bities, we risked a quick, and I mean quick, dip over the side to cool down.
We tried a few other spots, but no further luck was had, so we decided to call it a day and head back in.
We were greeted by several inquiring people at the ramp asking how we went and we were surprised to hear that we were the only ones so far who had caught any thing of note so far that day.
They were also shocked when we told them that we had released a further dozen or so fish.
We took our catch to the communal bbq held in the caravan park that night, much to the pleasure of those who attended, as they were an excellent eating fish, and were barraged with questions regarding where and how we managed our catch.
We also shook our heads with feigned concern and bewilderment when several people talked about the idiots they had seen swimming out there today.
A feed of delicious javelin fish destined for the bbq.
We went to bed that night knowing we were the heroes of the park that day.
We started out the next day by heading straight to our spot the served us so well the day before, only to find about a dozen boats already there ahead of us.
Our neighbours from the park were in the exact spot we had been in previously, but no one had had any luck as yet.
We dropped pick and stayed for about an hour, but did not get one bite, so took off to find greener pastures.
Unfortunately, we were then plagued by small foot long sharks that seemed to follow us around and were quicker to get into our bait than anything else that might be hungry.
As we were trawling back towards the ramp that afternoon, dejected and fishless, we noticed that our neighbour's boat was still in the same spot and they were waving for us to come over.
As we neared their boat they proudly smiled and held aloft a black jewfish at least 5 foot long!
Our short lived hero status had been passed on to those worthier that day, and we were saddened that this was our last day here, but it was soon forgotten about after a few coldies and fresh jewfish cutlets on the barbie that night.
On the road again. heading back to Sydney and reality.