Tropical Tenkara Downunder

Trip reports, findings, events, and general experiences with tenkara fishing. Tell other tenkara enthusiasts about your tenkara experience

Tropical Tenkara Downunder

Postby Starlo » Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:33 am

Well, I'm a Tenkara virgin no more! Had my first successful outing on the ocean rock ledges here in Darwin, Australia this morning. Chummed with bread and then fished relatively small (#10 and #12) bread-imitating flies (spun white deer hair) to catch six small balao (we call them garfish in Australia). Also hooked three LARGE diamond-scale mullet. I lost the first two mullet (both well over 20 inches in length) after torrid four or five minute tussles. One broke the tippet on a sustained run, the other straightened the fly hook. But I managed to stay connected to the third (and smallest) mullet long enough to land it. It measured 19.5 inches and weighed 2.5 pounds.

I must say, fighting larger, powerful fish like these on Tenkara is a VERY interesting and illuminating experience. I'm particularly impressed with the way the slow and progressive "load up" of this tackle reduces the panic factor on the part of the fish and reduces its inclination to bolt. The experience taught me a great deal.

I'm about to try posting some photos of my morning's efforts, including the rock ledge I had to run across (or try to!) while chasing those rampaging mullet...

Cheers & bent poles,
Starlo
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Starlo
 
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Re: Tropical Tenkara Downunder

Postby Starlo » Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:37 am

I seem to be having a bit of trouble attaching the balao (garfish) image. I'll try again here...
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Re: Tropical Tenkara Downunder

Postby Starlo » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:31 am

By the way, if you're interested in following my Aussie Tenkara exploits, or seeing how the Australian fishing community is responding to the Tenkara phenomenon, please visit my Facebook page at: StarloFishing. I'd love to see some Tenkara Community members there. Tom Sadler (who got me hooked on Tenkara!) is already a fan...
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Re: Tropical Tenkara Downunder

Postby blatt1970 » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:34 pm

:D
Starlo, well done!
We have lots of mullets here in Brazil
but they are very difficult to catch on fly...
Believe me, I've tried to tease them them with bread, shrimp, algae
in natural and artificial ways with no result at all.
This is why i respect so much your realization!
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Re: Tropical Tenkara Downunder

Postby Starlo » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:46 pm

Thanks for that, Blatt! Our mullet are also very tricky customers, although some species are a little easier to fool than others. I found the best approach with these diamond scales was to get them actively feeding on bread, then repeatedly present a small, rather sparsely-tied and slow-sinking white fly into their "site window" again and again. Tenkara is ideal for this as I can make numerous fairly accurate presentations in a very short period of time. If the mullet has too long to examine the fly, it almost always rejects it, but if the fly arrives delicately within inches of the fish's nose while it is actually feeding, it will occasionally be taken, almost as if by instinct... Quite fascinating!
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Re: Tropical Tenkara Downunder

Postby Jay K » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:44 pm

Nice photos and thanks for sharing. Those "gar" look sorta like what Japanese call sanma... although there IS another fish that looks similar and the top "beak" is typically shorter than the bottom "beak." Is that the case in your "gar" fish?
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Re: Tropical Tenkara Downunder

Postby Starlo » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:59 pm

Yes, our garfish (we have half a dozen species) all have the bottom jaw extended into a bill or beak, nearly always with a red tip. I'm pretty sure the same family of fish exists in US waters, where they are known as halfbeaks, balao or ballyhoo and are a popular bait for sailfish and marlin when rigged and trolled (as they are here). They also happen to be rather tasty and my six provided a delicious pre-dinner "starter" last night with a chilled glass of New Zealand sauvignon blanc! :D
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Re: Tropical Tenkara Downunder

Postby fajars3977 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:56 am

nice catch starlo, mullet is a tough customer, I know because I tried them in Cairns for the whole day and no luck at all :) archerfish should be high on the next list me think, you guys have some serious sized archerfish down there ( I caught a huge one on fly popper in Cairns) ....
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