Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Not My Favourite Popper?

No fisherman likes loosing a lure, even a cheapy. But when you're fishing top line lures, even Steve "Starlo" Starling doesn't want to to see his lure, or his catch, disappear. Checkout this great vision of a "lure thief" that Steve and his wife encountered in NT.

Here's what they have to say about the encounter:

It was a typical November day. The temperature monitor tripped 39 degrees on "The Bong" before noon... Sunday night's terrific thunderstorm seemed to have dumped most of its payload square on the wetlands surrounding our chosen fishing spot and by 9am, the resulting humidity had our eyes streaming as sunscreen melted into them. Yep... it was going to be a traditional build-up fishing day.

As we pushed through the fast advancing frontline of lilies, tarpon tailed and swirled everywhere. The early signs promised more activity than we'd seen on Corroboree all year. As we lowered the electric at a likely spot, pulled out the fly rods and started working the surface for 'toga and barra, the sun started punching through the trees.

We hadn't been fishing for more than twenty minutes before we noticed a large saltwater croc approaching us from well upstream. Being breeding season, we were on high alert. When the beast was not twenty metres away, Steve hooked up to a tarpon.

"Not my popper!" he started muttering as he quickly stripped to get the fish in before the croc (which had dramatically changed direction and made a beeline for the hapless fish) could crunch it. He succeeded, but only the once.

Two casts later and Steve hooked up again. This time, the croc left nothing to chance. I was videoing the magnificent creature at the time and managed to capture the attack on film. Whilst the recorded soundtrack is a very repetitive "Oh My God" and not much more from me, it is punctuated by Steve's "Not my popper... NOT MY POPPER!"

We did get the popper back, but in that short exchange I managed to pick up a stalker. The croc became quite obviously fixated on my position (I'd sat down where I'd been fishing on the back casting deck so that I was more stable when the croc got close). His gaze was piercing and I could feel myself being sized up for dinner. When he stopped being interested in Steve's hooked fish, I got really worried. That's when I asked to move spots. You never can be too careful, especially with the recent rise in attacks on anglers!

As we started the motor and engaged the throttle, the crocodile's body rose in the water and turned towards the back of the boat. When we accelerated, he moved to full speed! I don't think I've been so scared in a long time... I dropped the camera and dived forward to the middle of the boat.

Whilst this croc didn't have things go his way, it's a timely warning to all fishos to be even more vigilant than we are throughout the rest of the year. The crocs at this time are not shy, they are not retiring and they have a burning appetite.

(from Youtube - to follow the Starling's youtube channel, click here ).

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