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 Post subject: Land Down Under .
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:54 am 
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Land down under

Madhur Hatiskar was the one who introduced me to a fishing documentary called, ‘IN SEARCH OF THE BIG BARRA’. Since then I have been eager to go to Australia. It seemed like a far fetched thought until I met Scot. One hell of a fishing guru.. and more so , a good guy at heart. I have my doubts about him being an Indian and not English, I’m still investigating. He loves fishing and more than that, his fish. Although I’m much older, I have learnt a lot from this mad English nomad ….

I remember one time when we were at my farm in Mumbai we watched the same Malcolm Douglas documentary. We started making plans and getting very excited about the prospects of the trip to Australia. But, the next morning I realized that the excitement was just from jack daniels and not the plan itself .
Some months later after having gone to England, Scot came back to India and we fished together in goa and Mumbai. He landed also a superb Barra in Mumbai. Whilst in goa, he told me about his plans of going to Australia in a few months. And to my luck my family was planning for our annual holiday (we have been doing this family trip for some time now). The entire family wanted to go to Greece or some place like that, and I had this huge task of making them change their mind somehow. Especially when it’s my wife and my sister doing most of the planning. But I did manage to change their plans by some thousand km. nice job abbey!!!. We were going to Australia!!!. With some extensive planning I managed to get my dates in accordance with Scots plan.

Finally I was in Australia and all geared … only I had forgotten to carry my rod which I left behind my door in Mumbai . . what a bummer. Australia is very strict when it comes to quarantine. No meat, wood, medicines and the list just goes on. I was a little worked up standing in line where they check all your bags inside out, ONLY ASIAN BAGS.. there were only Indians and Chinese in line all the whites were escorted in a different line which didn’t have a scanner. And they just walked out of the airport. Well I don’t blame them, we do carry a lot of rubbish. The lady in front of me had a bag full of masalas and there was a heated argument going on about how all her masalas were sealed and shouldn’t be a problem. Any ways just when I was about to reach the scanner I came across a stand with pamphlets that read in clear block letters ‘ARE YOU PUTTING AUSTRALIAS FUTURE IN DANGER’…….. damn! according to that pamphlet I had to declare all my reels and rods, any fishing gear and anything which had been used in water. Something about an algae called Didymo which was harming the waters in Australia or some shit like that. My mind instantly traveled 22000 km away, to the place my reels have been used. In the pristine waters of Madh Island, for those of you who do not know of Madh, it is a confluence of sewage water meeting an almost sewage like looking ocean. That is when I felt my stomach going week. Although I had put a tick mark in the fishing goods section in the declaration form I didn’t know what to expect. I had heard that there are huge fines for getting anything illegal into Australia. Anyways my bags went into the scan, before it came out on the other end I told the officer that I had reels and some other fishing gear, just to gain her confidence. She asked me if I had used it in fresh or salt water, damn I was stuck again. I didn’t know which one was banned. Anyways I thought I’d be honest and said, “salt” and she said, “that’s alright”. Phew!! what a relief. They seem to have a problem with the fresh water gear.
But, just as I thought I was through, she found my laser pointer inside my rug sack and asked me to get it out. Then she calls some senior officer, who asks me to follow him, f… now what?? It’s just a laser pointer, something you can get on the streets in colaba. What could be wrong with a laser pointer? I was taken to a room and he brought out some device which he carefully opened, I learnt later that it was a device to check the intensity of the laser pointer I had, damn I never knew something like that even existed. Anyways, he turned my laser pointer towards the machine and switched it on. “YOU TRYING TO KILL SOMEONE WITH THAT SON” he said aloud. My heart sank and I wondered if there was a special button on that pointer which I missed … it read “40” something. He immediately called his friends and they all stared at the reading and looked at me as if I were carrying a bomb or something, I was very confused, wondering if I am going to see Scot or my family back home. Anyways he made me sign some forms, stating I was ok with them confisticating my pointer. I was still waiting to hear if I was going to be fined. But all he said was, “have a good trip son without your pointer ofcourse … laser pointer”.
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The pamphlet.

We had a big laugh that evening when I narrated the whole incident to Scot and his German friends who I lived with for the next few days in Fremantle. Scot already had a plan of where we were going, and I just trusted his plans. The only thing he had asked me to carry was a lot of money, and a lot of money we did need. A LOT !!!!

After a lot of running around we managed to hire a camper van which we would drive around for the next 10 days or so. I was so excited about living in a van which had all the things we needed to camp, from bed to kitchen.. The only thing I was sad about is that we were going south instead of north, north is where the Kimberleys is, but Scot explained that it’s too far, not far by distance but too far from our budget. It’s really expensive to get there as u need to have a 4WD and really geared to go into the wilderness.. But he promised that we wouldn’t be disappointed, I just trusted the mad man, cause I know form all his adventures that he is, indeed a good planner. He told me we would be targeting sharks. Huh! Sharks?? why Sharks I said to myself why not Barras and GT. Then I learnt that the waters in western Australia were too cold for these species. Well sharks it is then. As long as I had some fish on the other end of my line.

We were once invited to a barbecue party once, by a friend of scot, Ben. A nice guy, we spoke a lot about the fishing scene in Australia over a lot of beers and some excellent sea food. He told us a lot about the fish and where to find them. It was then that he told us to go to beach roughly 500 km from Perth, he also vaguely said something about the Salmon running upwards north and stuff like that. Well we had a target destination.

We packed our bags and showed off our little van to the Germans. They wished they could come too. Nice guys really. It took us two days to reach our destination but not before stopping to see some of the best places the planet has to offer. I had a perfect unpaid guide; he had done his homework very well. I was really impressed. I guess u learn from so many years of travelling. I was the navigator, at least most of the times that I could read the map. Along the way we seen a lot of trees and superb beaches and some beautiful forests, actually I can’t even put them in words. Just some pictures for you guys to figure out yourselves
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Well we finally reached Shellys beach. It took some research and some help form locals to find it. It’s a rather secluded place. Man! one look at that beach and I felt extremely good and was sure something good was gonna happen here. It was a small cove with hills on either sides protecting us from the strong cold winds. There were people already fishing when we arrived. Some chatting with the guy who takes care of the beach, and we learnt that fishing was not so hot since some weeks, not too many people catching fish except for the occasional herring, but that didn’t dampen our spirits, I hadn’t seen my reels yet since I packed them in Mumbai and couldn’t wait to start fishing . We spent that night just gazing at this beautiful beach and planning how we should start fishing the next day.

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We decided we would camp here for a couple of days rather than hopping around other beaches. A wise move . Next day we went to the nearest market, got a lot of supplies, (lots of NOODLES AND BREAD) cause we were on a budget. When we arrived at the beach we found more people fishing than the previous day, looked really nice, but strangely all were using bait. I wondered why?

The beach was spread over a km and had a visible reef running parallel to it for most of its length. All the guys fishing with bait used the small gaps where the reef separated. We didn’t have any bait, so we decided to catch some herring on slices. It was afternoon, in spite of the bitter cold we decided we need to visit the small stream running down one of the hills, and take a bath. Ice cold water bath!!! We had just come back to the camper van when Scot yelled to me, ABBEY GET UR ROD MAN, THE SALMON ARE HERE.

I didn’t even cross check to see if they were there or not I just grabbed my rod, locked the van with most of our things lying around the van and ran behind Scot. We were running away from the guys who were bait fishing in one concentrated area. They all watched an English and an Indian make a mad dash towards the middle of the beach, but nobody bothered to follow us; Scot had seen some fish jumping and made a guess it was salmon.

I really didn’t know what to expect, I hadn’t even seen a salmon before, except for some fishing documentaries. Just knew that these were Australian salmon, and different to the ones I had seen. I was expecting them to be around I foot long or so. Anyways Scot made his first cast as he was still running. BANG, he had a hit I could see him fighting his fish I was so pumped up I made my cast too in the other direction. BANG I had a hit too, bloody hell we were both fighting two fish at the same time but not for long. In all the confusion I forgot to check my drag it was locked and the fish was over the reef I pulled hard and he cut me off. Shit! I had lost the fish. I looked over to Scot; his fish too, had managed to come off the hook. I made a madder dash to the car to get more plugs as we never realized we didn’t carry any.

It took some effort running in the sand but I didn’t know how long the fish would be around, so I just didn’t bother about the exertion. I came back with a bag full of lures, by then Scot was on the sand doing something with his pliers in his hand. Man!! he had landed a salmon. I was shocked to see it. It wasn’t small. That was a good sized fish. I immediately put one of Scots poppers and made my cast, BANG another hit. I couldn’t believe it the fish were going crazy they were going for anything that landed around them. Sadly I lost that one too, almost 15 minutes passed by with this exciting drama, Scot landed another one by this time. But, then as a true friend he left his rod came up to me and fixed my rig and my drag. I was surely doing something wrong. My next cast was longer that the previous ones, BANG another hit, I couldn’t stop smiling, just wondering what the chances were of getting three hits in three cast, this time I was not gonna let this fish go.

The waves were crashing hard into the sand, almost like u could ride one of them. That was what the fish were using in their favour .Every time the water receded the fish got stronger, we learnt a technique we also walked into the bloody cold water after the waves. It was like doing a waltz with the fish. With every wave crashing into the sand we would run up on the beach and run down again when it receded. This technique really worked. I finally landed my first Salmon. The waltz had finally washed him dry on the sand and I punched my fist in the air. Scot ran up to help me unhook it and the most deserved handshake followed … damn!! it was a good feeling. This is what I was there for. But that was just the beginning; every cast for the next hour and a half was well received by the hungry crazy salmons. I could see Scot in a distance doing the waltz and I couldn’t stop smiling cause I was doing it too we only stopped dancing on the beach to unhook the fish, release it, make another cast and start dancing again, finally I realized we were not documenting this crazy event. I made another mad dash to the van and bought the camera. On my way I seen the guys who were bait fishing also fighting fish, the salmon were all over the cove. I reached Scot and made some pictures of him fighting the fish. He made better ones of me fighting them.

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My arms started to ache now, but I wasn’t going to stop. It’s every anglers dream to be in a crazy situation like this. I have only heard of these moments from experienced anglers, and today was my day. I was not going to stop. One after the other we kept landing salmons one bigger than the other, all around 6 to 7 kgs. Beautiful looking fish with yellow eyes and every one of them tail walking as soon as they got hooked. I was on the seventh heaven, just punching the air every time I landed a fish. We lost count of the fish we landed. It was only when we were really fagged out that we stopped to make some pics with the two fish we saved for the night .

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We sat down lit a cigarette and watched the salmons still crazily chasing the herring in the shallow parts of the water. What a sight that was. I was still smiling and my hands still trembling from the excitement. I reached out my hand and shook Scots hand and thanked him for this crazy drama … couldn’t have come to this corner of the planet and had a ball of a time like this if it were not for him.

We walked to the van, and all the other anglers got together with their trophies in their hands. Looked like everyone had landed at least one. But little did they know how many we got our hands on…. We later learnt from local anglers that they hadn’t seen such big salmons in some time now. We were really lucky to be there at the right time. We spent that night eating our fish and just constantly talking about the fish ….. at least, I, who was doing most of the talking … he he he..
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We stayed there for a couple of days more, but just caught one more salmon, and loads of herring. It was time to head back and we bid our farewell to Shellys beach. Its sad knowing u might never see that place again ... but we will always have the fondest memories of that place…. the awesome fight with the salmon.
We did some more sightseeing on our way back to Perth. I had to meet my family in the next few days and couldn’t wait to show off my catch to them. With a heavy heart I said bye to Scot, knowing he was going to be fishing in the Australian waters for another year. Bloody gora!!!!

I spent the next 20 days travelling Australia with my family. Came across some huge snappers and some massive GT’S while scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef.
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But nothing would compare to the memorable time I have had fishing in the initial ten days of my visit to Australia.
I guess it’s the angler in me …. Nothing would make me happier than landing some good fish.


Last edited by abbey on Fri May 27, 2011 12:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: aMAZING
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:24 am 
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It just awesome....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:50 am 
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Awesome photos and report !! :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:59 am 
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Awesome Abbey..
Keep on doing it.

-Inder


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 12:00 pm 
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felt good reading a nice report after a long time .. congrats for those catches and god bless you with many more fantastic catches ..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 12:24 pm 
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Awesome report! Too bad I'm at work and cant view the pics for some reason they are blocked! Truly awesome! I can imagine what it would be like to be waltzing around the beach with a rod and reel in hand and a SALMON on the other! seriously lucky! Most people need a boat et all to go into deeper waters to catch those!

Happy for you mate!

Cheers!

P:S: Its such a good "new post" after a very long time! I must've read it and the replies for the tenth or maybe nth time today! Didn't want to make a new reply! But seriously mate! Nice wordings and as usual your superb with the camera!

@ Fredfish! thanks for the correction and the knowledge! I would be guessing which fish it is forever otherwise!
Thanks for confirming its a Wrasse!


Last edited by Omesh.Moorjani on Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 12:56 pm 
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nice report and photos.these are not salmon from the salmonidae family.what species are they?look familiar to threadfin salmon which are also not true salmon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 1:51 pm 
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Great report . And like always Abbey's beautiful Photography. Congrats on the catches. Its realy rare to find oneself in a feeding frenze zone and my friend you are one lucky chap to not only witness it but also make the best of it. May You be blessed with many more Fish, Trips And Awsome moments of life .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 2:16 pm 
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Awesome mate...

Some nice photographs,

Thanks for sharing,

Saiki


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 Post subject: Re: Land Down Under .
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 2:59 pm 
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I can imagine that joy which you felt ..... i know you were not able to put it in words .....congrats from my end too


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 3:28 pm 
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Abbey,

Thoroughly enjoyed the story.
That's what you call "Being in the right place at the right time".
Thanks for the lovely read and congrats to you and Scott.

Ravi


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 4:11 pm 
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Awesome!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 1:10 am 
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just amazing !!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 10:02 am 
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Great write-up and great pics too. Congrats gor the catch.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 10:38 am 
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Great trip you guys had, the beach looks perfect for camping and fishing.. :)).

Damn, I am missing fishing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 12:36 pm 
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Now that is some experience. Although i had heard the story from your mouth, the report is more thrilling than your narration. :lol:

The photographs are awesome. Diving beside the monsters of great barrier reef must have been an experience. I do not know that our next generation will be luck enough to have the same joy and experience.

Congratulations. :D

Regards,

Ali.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 9:56 pm 
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Some real good fun you had. Happy for you. Thanks for sharing.


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 12:30 am 
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awesome report abbey.

Thanks for sharing

DeZZ


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 1:11 am 
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Your narrative is full of rhythm and very beautifuly written. It look like i myself was the third hidden person in the story, silently watching as the drama unfolds! Congratulation for your once in a lifetime experience in Australia!

Regards
Arish!


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 4:37 am 
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"Great catch buddy" :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sorry, I couldn't resist.......
Sounds like you're having a great time mate.
Hope you had a decent soundtrack to your travels..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 11:40 am 
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awesome writeup. thoroughly enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures.


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 Post subject: Fantastic
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 1:56 pm 
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Fantastic Abbey, I remember you mentioning about your plan for this trip.. Finally you made it..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 9:51 am 
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Awesome write up and a superb trip.


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 1:32 pm 
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fantastic ... some cool stuff there mate !

thanks for sharing.


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 3:39 pm 
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splendid pictures. Diving the great barrier reef must be a lifetime experience. Congrats for the fish caught and happy fishing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 1:53 pm 
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oh boy oh boy i know its not good to feel so jealous but could not help it you buggers ***^&*^&%$%^$^%$%#%$**)(_) :evil: :evil: :evil: well one can only wish*&(&*^*&^%&%&%&^$%^$^%$ :evil: :evil: excellent pictures and report mate cheers [smilie=coolup.gif] [smilie=coolup.gif] [smilie=coolup.gif]


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 6:48 pm 
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fantastic report with some very nice fishes.....congrats!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 11:08 pm 
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Location: Ashok Vashisht, Panchkula, Haryana, India.
Great place & fishing!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:01 am 
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Bhagwan .... Only 1 crore pls ... So I can go be wanderlust!!!!

"What beautiful pictures" and wow what fun you guys must have had!!!! Congrats man!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:36 pm 
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Hey Abbey!!

Finally i got an internet stick for my net book and got to read the report!! I'm in my tent in the middle of the outback..nothing around apart from croaking frogs and the odd spider! and possibly a roo or two! isn't technology superb!!! only problem is it's just started raining! hope my tent holds up to it otherwise its going to be a very long night! :)

Great report mate..what a great time we had and fantastic memories!! can't wait until next time.

been out on the boat a couple of more times..the dude, lloyd is fully sponsored by shimano and so is a trove of info. got some great fish! but of course I lost the mother of the day..a 10-15kg dhu fish! shit..oh well good excuse to come back here one day.

will be stopping in a couple of days for a hunt for the elusive mulloway. we caught 150 the other day on small rubber lures but alas they were all the babies and not the monster i have in mind!

all the best mate, Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Land Down Under .
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:18 pm 
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Hearty Congrats Abbey & Scott, nice catches, nice report, beautiful pictures and the one which shows you guys tickling the Snapper is SIMPLY THE BEST PIC of 2011 on this Forum [smilie=coolup.gif]
abbey wrote:
Land down under

In the pristine waters of Madh Island, for those of you who do not know of Madh, it is a confluence of sewage water meeting an almost sewage like looking ocean. That is when I felt my stomach going week.
[smilie=nod.gif] Yup I agree with you there , thats the reason I don't fish there any more [smilie=lol.gif]

I spent the next 20 days travelling Australia with my family. Came across some huge snappers while scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef.
Image


Last edited by lionheart on Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:22 am 
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That a large Wrasse not a grouper


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:16 pm
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Mate... That's one really neat report...!!!
Must rethink moa French holiday...!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:40 pm 
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Really an Aweinspiring report and Great Pictures! What an experience it must be!

Hearty Congratulations Abbey and scot.

Best Regards,

Arun


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:53 pm 
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Hey guys , thanks for your support and good wishes . . Means alot coming from some of you pro's . Thanks again .....


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