about us

The Mob are a social group of dedicated fly fishers who are passionate about fly fishing in the tropical north of Australia and equally as passionate about the close camaraderie this sport brings. This passion and dedication led to the creation of the NT Fly Fishers Social Mob blog site; an interactive and creative outlet where everyone can share our wonderful fly fishing adventures and link into the “after fishing” social events we enjoy in this incredible part of the world.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

BIRTHDAY FLAT WITH DAVE AND THE S.A. CONNECTION.

Dave, Leo and Pete apparently understood all those location names from Bynoe and found 'Birthday Flat' and the fish...here is a report from Dave....

After the mob had cleared out on Monday, we had the opportunity to sneak out in the morning and fish a couple of spots that had boats on them on the weekend…I see why Lord Jim is on water by 4am during these weekends.

After my southern guests had been hearing me bang on about the addictive nature of sight casting to cruising fish on the Bynoe flats, they had the opportunity to see what it is all about and why we love it so much. We got to our preferred flat (Birthday Flat?) nice and early and within minutes had Barra showing interest in our offerings. While I stuck with my trusty collection of  'things', Leo and Pete were keen to use Gold Bombers that they had been talked into purchasing from enthusiastic tackle store owners. 

It's been such a long time since a hard body has been in my boat, I forgot how much of a pain in the arse trebles and environets are when mixed together. While I was busy getting Pete's lure out of the net, Leo would catch the next Barra and the process would start again. Somehow on the fourth Barra they both managed to catch the same fish on both of their lures. Although the Barra had been pinned by all six trebles involved, it released quickly and easily. The next 20min it took the boys to get their lures out of the net gave me a chance to have a fish. the Barra were playing the game, cruising around in small schools and while they weren't big fish (55-60cm), they were pretty aggressive and keen to eat. Overall the bite lasted about half an hour with half a dozen Barra caught and a few more dropped boatside side. Pete got his PB at 68cm.

Pete with a 'Birthday Flats' barra

Leo with another.

After all the talk of the Finnis firing on Sunday arvo we thought it would be a good opportunity to show the boys some more of the Territory. We quickly got off water before the tide dropped out, packed up camp and cruised down the Finnis to Three Ways by 12.30pm.

Sooties too

It wasn't hard to find the fish, but getting them to eat was a different story. Rat Barra would consistently come up from the snaggy depths to look, nose, nudge, sniff and do everything else a Barra can do to a fly …..but not eat. I tried a range of fly's, big ones, small ones, light, dark, shiny, plain, etc… for no luck. Leo and Pete were still on their Gold Bomber high and tied on the Stigs Gold Bomber Bendbacks and were in luck. They both caught some small Barra and Sooty's. I must remember to grab a couple of those Bombers off the Stig when I next see him, it's the only thing the fish were willing to eat. While it wasn't the 24 fish session that Cathie enjoyed the previous day, it was great to get back on the Finnis and be reminded how lucky we are up here. 

I can't recall ever sight casting flats Barra in the morning and then catching their freshwater mates in the afternoon. A big hats off to all who helped organise the sheep station stakes, it was a great weekend and it was certainly enjoyed by Leo and Pete who were made to feel very welcome by all the mobsters and of course the crew at 'The Shelter'.

Dave and the S.A. Connection.

NOTE: The 'Stig' is going to do up a post on his blog for his special 'Gold Bomber Bendback' you can see it and his reports on the blog at SWOFFINGNTWATERS    (A few fished the fresh after the presentation and its a good way to clean the salt off.)

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

FLORIDIAN ATLANTIC TARPON

I'll let the pictures do the majority of the talking but I do have this to add............

Steve Huff is a truely amazing guy, if you ever get the opporrtunity, get down to Everglades City and get out for a fish with him.  His skills are unsurpassed in my books.  You won't regret it. 

I will put together a short video at some stage and people can watch it at one of our gatherings. I took the photos from video frames so they are not really good quality, but the video fottage will be in HD. Atlantic Tarpon are an incredible fish that will leave you agast!

We saw a lot of Manatees and largetooth sawfish on this amazing day on the water.  I think I hooked 7 Tarpon, 4 stayed on for more than 5 seconds and 2, I got to the boat, though one was cut free when a Lemon shark got between me and the fish and the rough skin cut through the leader.  A truely amazing day. 

I should add that removing the fish from the water isnt allowed and under IGFA rules. Once your leader is on the rod the fish is considered landed.


A nice snook on the flats









The next three shots were really cool, I cast to a boil, the fish hits and the line tightens and creates a rooster tail.  The 2nd shot shows the boil ahead of the line and indicates roughly about where the fish is and in the 3rd shot out she comes.  This fish was about 60 or 70 lb and as I was clearing the line a loop caught on the butt of the rod.  There was nothing I could do!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love this series of shots.  #1 hook up


#2 boil on the surface



#3 and out she comes

This next lot of photos gives you a good idea of the habitat and the size of these bloody things, this one was over 100lb and again spat the hook after about 5 seconds.



This one we managed to get boat side and a hold of the leader and the estimated weight was 90-100lb.



Thanks Steve for an amazing day!!!
 The rod I was using most of the time was a Sage Method 11wt with a WF Floating line and long leaders, at least 12-13ft.  The fish I did manage to get to the boat took about 20-25 minutes and I learned that you can really give them some serious stick with a fly rod by constantly changing the direction of the pull of the line and keeping the rod very low, and at times even straight.  Great fun and definitely a tick from the bucket list.

Cheers

Dion

Comments from the Podium


DAY 1
Saturday started a little fury.  American honey seemed to feature highly in the excuses, but an alarm set for 5:10........pm didn't help the situation either.  Kate and I left the docks at around 6:30, fueled on by a lovely bacon and egg toasty from the bar.  Early on, I realised I hadn't fished Bynoe since July last year when Kate came in runner following a glorious finish by Pete O to take out the stakes. The fact hit home when I finally decided to look at my GPS and realised that I was about 15 km from where I had planned to fish.  My motto for success is to have a plan before you go and stick to it, otherwise I spend far to much time boating and not enough time fishing.


Sunrises are always pretty good coming out of Milne

The shot above was actually Sunday when we were a little more organised. 
We found ourselves inadvertently at the top of Indian Is (Unjin Pt) which wasn't so bad considering the targets for the day, Bream, Queen fish, Javelin fish, Cod and Blue Salmon.  I know a gutter up there where I can usually get a couple of Blue Salmon and thought my error in navigation was a predetermined by the fishing gods, but alas the tide was just a bit too low, the 5:10 start might have helped.  Off the flat we went and headed for a rocky headland in search of, well whatever we could find. My plan was shot.  Fortunately we found small Bream, some cod and the odd Queenfish.


Pretty little wire netting cod (note the small blue and white clouser)

Kate largest queenfish to date
We didn't take any shots of the Bream I caught, both were pretty small. I had to drop down to a size 4 white and green clouser for them to look seriously at it, but they were a target species.
We went on to line out on small trevally and Russell's snapper, but also added Tusk fish, Monos and Stripey's to the list, but basically day one was mostly small fish with the exception of a couple of bigger Queenfish and Kate nailed a nice Estuary Cod around 40cm.  We did see some stonker GTs smashing diamond scale mullet up the top of Indian. They were horses in the 30-50 kg range, but seemed to be loners and trying to sneak up on them with the electric was a pointless exercise.

DAY 2

Day 2 dawned a little better, but the alarm failed me again because the battery in my phone went flat over night.  Again we were blessed with an early grease hit to kurb the ache from the previous evening's frivolity.  We were a little more confident with our navigation this time and as a consequence were able to stick with our plan.

We decided to hit a flat on the eastern side of Indian that Andy Congram use to fish and he would often regail me with tales of schools of Salmon and loads of Barra on the right wind and tide conditions, so that's where we started.

We had both lined out on Barra within about 1/2 and hour and then the Salmon moved in and we caught 3 before the tide was too low.

Kate's largest Barra on fly

And her largest Salmon
After the tide dropped out and even my little boat was bottoming out, we exited the flat and headed up to Unjin Pt again but the conditions had changed from the day before and the water was dirty. We managed to line out on Trevally first though, even under poor conditions.  From here we bolted for Turnbull Bay and a little rocky headland that shall remain nameless to protect the various inhabitants.

My little patch of rocky reef
This spot usually produces something on these tides and Sunday was no exception.  Kate managed her largest GT on fly and we caught several nice Queenfish and Golden Snapper.



They started out in the mid 30s and then ranged up to 46cm
I tried bigger flies including STS and Roggie Dodge Barra a Cast flies but the little blue and white clouser outfished them all.  We ended up with 3 species, Barra, Threadies and Trevally on day 2 plus numerous other bits and pieces.  All in all though we found the fishing on Sunday to be far better than on Saturday.

Many thanks must go to Rog, Cathy and Jim for the effort of organising the Stakes, Pete O and the Stig for their generous and wonderful donations of prizes, Julie and Tommy of Sand Palms for their hospitality and the great perpetual carved Barra.  I think it was a fantastic weekend and best of all it was FUN, even though we were playing for sheep stations!!

Remember the Peanut theory.  It works.  For those that don't know it, the peanut theory is based on the likelihood of fish feeding on small tid bits even after they are full and have fed to sufficiency.  I'll guarantee if you've just pigged out on a huge 3 course meal and someone places a bowl of peanuts in from of you, you'll probably still grab a couple (unless you are allergic to peanuts, but you get the idea).

Dion



DION WINS A SHEEP STATION.....2014 BSSS


The track was light in the morning, and the wind didn't come up until late, but some of the runners were a bit the worse for wear because of a late night (early morning?).  It's hard to set the odds on the stakes because the scoring system puts a lot of runners in contention on the finish line, but in the end Dion managed to stay off a late charge from  a dozen others to take out the stakes and win the sheep station.....

Dion with his flock and some "Stig' flies to help keep the Station stocked.
.....it was close though, Kate was only just behind him, followed by Richard  and there were another ten or twelve right on their heels.  By only having five species, picked from a hat, and only five of each special allowed to be scored it keeps everyone very close in the race.

The top three runners
The Show Ponies
Jack, Hayden and Chris.












A couple who had good odds and were considered possible favourites were the Show Ponies and young Jack and Hayden, who but for another species may have had the closeted award.

They all got close .......but not close enough...

Crusty's trophy fish and the trophy..he also got a flathead!

Crusty (Show Ponies) managed to beat Lord Jim's 71 cm Golden Trevally with a 73 Giant Trevally to take out the Sand Palms perpetual trophy.   There were some monster GTs' out there too.

Peter Cooke (String Slingers) hooked onto one monster and fought it back and forward off the backing before it spat the hook. There were some that looked to be around 50kg, no kidding, chopping up big diamond mullet.  You would never have the time to pull them in?

Lord Jim with his 'Tuna'
Lord Jim (Jim's Boat) tried to pull a swifty with the Tuna species, he tried to claim a 6cm one with the fly attached.....John West's best tuna too.  Petey O ( Barbless) tried a shonky with a mackerel too, the fish jumped into the boat.

Mitchell ( Sand Palms 2) had the best story of a catch though, he caught a 74cm barra by hand! He was pulling up onto a shallow sand bar and apparently woke the fish up while it was sleeping in the shallows.  Instead of jumping out into the water the fish jumped onto the bank, followed by Mitchell who caught it by hand before it could slide back into the water.
The winning pair, in the smallest boat with a 2 stroke!
There was around fifty one barra caught, Wayne (Show Ponies) got three 68cms ( The biggest size landed) in a row and Jim had a similar size on the first day, there were probably more caught in the one and a half days, but only five were allowed to be scored,  however you could upgrade and a lot were not put on the sheets, but fifty one is the closest we could get from the sheets.  Crusty had an opportunity on a whopper but it wasn't to be his day, he had to be happy with a flathead.

There were big schools of barra around on the first day but they were either blind and deaf or just not interested.  Some of us cast flies into the perfect position and they would not take them.  It may have been that the flies were too big.  Dion and Kate used a small garfish pattern on a No. 2 hook and got a heap of fish.

Another boat fishing on one snag, where the barra seemed to be stacked up, coming out at times to follow a bigger fly, changed to a smaller clouser with a lot of success. You could 'dab' the fly up and down in the the snag and nearly every time have a 50cm or so barra, hit the fly or hook up.  So the smaller flies worked for most.  Now and then though we had bigger fish hit the fly only to lose them in the snag.  That's fishing, but it was fun.

Wayne and Cathie with some fof the barra caught
A lot of boats got some good numbers of golden snapper and threadies, as well. The snapper were up to 52 cm and taking clousers right on the low tide.

Fifteen boats launched at Milne ramp and we had two launching from Crab Claw so there was a good mob fishing out there, and some of the boats had three on board.

Captain Chris and the boys, Hayden and Jack

Later cooling off in the pool, with Leo and Pete (The SA connection)
The M & M boat, Amanda and Darren.
Richard and Peter on the rough water
The 'Brokenflagens', Jus and Marty
and of course...the 'Show Ponies'
Cliffy who has been camped at Sand Palms since around April ( has done this for the past few years) was fishing with Gary and some of the boys from NSW.  He was telling us that this year he had not seen the numbers of threadies around that we normally see, which some others have observed as well, instead of schools there is only one or two.  It appears however, the weather or seasonally change has kicked in somehow and there were a lot more threadies around.

The boys got quiet a few on Cliff's flat, and some saw them in Jim's creek ( which is every creek that Lord Jim fishes in) and Flog 'em Flat as well.   Apparently there were a heap of them on 'Birthday Flat' with schools of small barra too.  Dave, Pete and Leo were going to fish on this flat but couldn't find it in the directory.  They did have trouble finding the way home too, but that's another story.

Dont ask me where all these places actually are, because they wont tell me!!! and generally just wave their arms around in a sweeping arc saying...."out there" when I ask. I did hear that there were also schools of barra around 'The Bay of Big Mothers'!!!! 

I really dont think they know the actual names anyway!!

Sand Palms was, as usual, outstanding, Julie looked after us with a 'special' squatters meal of corned beef, white sauce and mashed potato.  Yum! Yum! Yum!!!!!... especially so with the corned beef being cooked with 'Cajun Swamp Dust'.

Julie and Tommy from Sand Palms (The shelter for the Homeless Mob) also donated a carved wooden barra for a perpetual trophy (won this year by Crusty).  Here is a photo of it, but originally it had a Rodgie Dodgie pink fly in its mouth, however Wayne (Show ponies) put a WW Dawn til' Dusk fly there and put the pink fly where he thought it was appropriate when Crusty won it!!!! (Boys will be boys).

Shaun the Sheep got out of the pen too....


Julie and her wonderful food

Some of the Mob arriving for the presentation

now the big question is, can you find the sheep dog?????


The 'sheep station' intrigued half a dozen kids down there, from all around eight yrs old, who poked and proded it, but it stayed together.  The kids of course got a heap of stuff from Cathie the softie, from the swags, pictures, hats, torches, coolers and binoculars etc, all courtesy of 'Coopers', the M & M boat, The Foam and Rubber Shop, Barefoot Safaris, and of course, "The Stig".

Can guess who stayed here......



Just a bit on the Stakes, next year the 26th and 27th September  (Full moon 27th)  or 10th and 11th October, 2015 looks the best (new moon on 11th) for the Sunday tides.   These dates also keep us out of conflict with other groups.

ENTRY IS FREE

The whole idea of the stakes is to allow everyone a reasonable level playing field by having five (5) species drawn out of a group of around twenty(at this stage) that is made up as much as possible of five of the most usual fish from the three different areas, that is, flats, rock bars and blue water.
The five species drawn out would be the main target species for that particular day. Another five would be drawn that evening for the next day.  Species to be chosen from are, at this stage, golden trevally, all other trevally, queenfish, golden snapper (fingermark), mangrove jack, black bream, catfish, cod, mackerel (all), blue salmon, tarpon, threadfin salmon, ock ock or javelin fish, spanish flag, barramundi and tuna (and more). 
Each selected species is measured per cm and  the sum of the measurements is then multiplied by the number of the selected species caught,  for example..
If you got one of each of the selected species (five species) and all were 50cm, the sum of the measurements ie 250cm is multiplied by the number of species, ie five, giving you a score of 1250.
All other fish caught (limit five of each) are scored per cm and the sum of these fish is added to the sum of the selected species. A copy of the scoring is this link.
Confusing, thats why Jim is the scorer, but it is clearer on the tally sheet.



Thursday, 18 September 2014

THEY'RE OFF AT THE STAKES....WELL NEARLY

The 2014 Bynoe Sheep Station Stakes are about to begin, some are already camped out and others will be filling what is left of the rooms at Sand Palms from to night and tomorrow ( a couple of boats are at Crab Claw too).  Remember it is for a sheep station!!!!

Link for score sheet etc. 

Here is the wind forecast at 10am for Saturday and Sunday


if BOM is correct then it will be very still of a morning, but be warned the sea breeze always comes up of an afternoon this time of year, at least for an hour or so.

The sheep are being loaded ....


The fridge is nearly full..thanks to COOPERS



and the lamb shanks (sorry shaun) are being prepared.... and the STIG has tied the flies...



I suppose now that all is left is to go fishing, and remember  HAVE FUN and..