2015 Big Trip 6

Monday, May 25, 2015 at 11:42

Member - Phil_T

Cape Leveque

1) Fishing charter off Kooljaman.
Fishing off CL was interesting. Initially we all got snagged on the rocky bottom and lost hook, line & sinker! So Freddy, the aboriginal deck hand, was kept busy re-rigging our rods - after he gave us a 'spare' one - he had plenty of spares!
We then started catching fish - Freddy had nothing to do - until the BIG catches. They just took our bait and ran!!! Eventually we got one near the boat - black tipped sharks, white tipped sharks &/or bronze sharks - all about 1.5m. Freddy was busy again.

So we moved to another spot and caught more fish, until the sharks arrived - Freddy was busy again. So we moved again - and the pattern repeated itself - Freddy had nothing to do (except bait Caroline's hook) then he was very busy again! This happened almost at all the places we fished.

About 43 fish were caught - most were released - we kept about 5 fish. We didn't count the number of sharks - over a dozen!

2) Tag-a-long with Brian Lee
Brian has been on the Kooljaman board for 16 years & chairman for 12 of them - a local aboriginal.
An interesting 'tour'. We drove into the 'prohibited' area along the beach where he stopped occasionally to tell us tall tales & true about the history of the area, including the lighthouse, boat building & farming (pearl farming that is), which tree his mother was born under etc. He has 17 brothers & sisters - with different fathers & mothers. Still moving along the beach we suddenly stopped and Brian produced a dozen fishing rods. Fish were caught immediately - he had spotted a school of fish which none of us had seen. After the school moved on we went swimming in the crystal clear azurite ocean.

We came across a car that had been caught by the big tides (~8-9m), about 2m under water. Just the roof. The rest was under the sand! It was still sinking & moving with each spring tide!

We then walked over some mud flats - looking for mud crabs that live in water. Before long the mud was being covered with water as the tide came in, Before we could say 'crocodile' the water was up to our knees. We only saw 2 crabs & could only catch 1, a female, which we let go. By the time we left the mud flats we were up to our 'bits' in water, - about 1m in an hour!!

Brian then made a fire, using modern fire sticks, & cooked the fish. He particularly wanted us to try the cheeks, eyes, belly & brains. Only one person tried them all - and she was only 7 years old!!

After another another swim in the crystal clear water, near the mangrove mud flats, we returned tired but really enjoyed the day. Brian did say that he has only seen 2 'salties' amongst the mangroves.

3) Broome - on return from CL

Fishing from a kayak - yak fishn
What else can I say...

See photo !!!!!! :-)

4) BBO - 24/25 May 2015
After leaving Broome and before the GRR we stayed at the Broome Bird Observatory. From here many birds fly to the Arctic with only one stopover - China's Yellow Sea, to breed. A recent sighting of one tagged bird had it flying nonstop for 5,976km!

Caught a small Barra this morning! - Only fish caught! :-)

After this, we'll refuel & restock in Derby before hitting the Gibb River Road - GRR

till next time. ...
Too busy photographing, fishing & travelling to retire!
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