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 Post subject: Story without pictures
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:52 pm 
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Fishaholic
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Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:39 pm
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Location: UAE
About a year ago Me and the boys booked into a trip to Papua New guinea to target the Papuan Bass.
Come October 8th we hopped on a plane to Jakarta from Abu Dhabi. After an 8 hour flight ,we landed in Jakarta were we were joined by two of our friends from New Caledonia ,with whom we had planned this trip .The following day got on another 8 hour flight to West Papua area controlled by Indonesia.
We were met at the Airport by our trip organizer who put us in a hotel overnight, and said we would leave at 4 Am in the morning. The trip was to be a two hour trip by car to a river, and then a boat ride of about four hours deeper into the territory.
When we reached the river jetty, we loaded all our stuff, tackle and bags on to the boat. We were surprised to see a very small open boat with two 40 Hp Engines and also noticed that there was no supplies for the supposedly wild camp on the Jungle river were we were expected to stay and fish 6 days. The organizer said he sent the supply boat and crew a day earlier who would have , by now ,put up the camp on the designated spot when we reach.
We left just as the day broke in light rain ,and were already soaked 15 minutes into the trip. The rain jackets we wore of little help . An hour into the ride ,we broke into the open sea and from then on down south along the coast for an endless period of time.. The wind was blowing and the sea a bit rough. We have seen many storms and rough seas but this was different since the boat we were on was not one that a sane person would take out to sea. No life jackets, no sat phone, no reception on the cell phone it was getting more and more interesting to say the least!
After about 4 hours, we entered another estuary mouth and headed towards a small Island we could see in the distance. As we got closer to the Island we noticed our organizer getting more and more agitated and nervous. We were like idiots not knowing what was happening. When we reached the shore of the Island we were asked to unload our tackle and luggage on to the sands and the news was announced that it looks like the supply boat did not make it as expected, and hold on … that we did not have any more fuel , the supply boat was carrying all the fuel, the camp tent, food for six days, drinking water , camp beds.. So on and so forth.
We were also told that we were now on very hostile tribal area and that one of the crew members who was on the supply boat was from the same tribe and he was to talk to the tribal chief and get the permission for us to fish that area and camp there… . Now without any communication and means to know the whereabouts of the supply boat we were left in limbo , silence all around except one Papuan native mumbling continuously about us being in danger and to expect an attack from the hostiles!!
We were now already eight hours into the trip , no food , very little water… The boys solved the food with a few Barramundis they caught casting among the fallen trees along the beach and the Papuan climbed a coconut tree and fell a few to substitute for drinking water. The day was spent gazing up river and down river expecting the supply boat to materialize.. Sun set came and we had a few shots of good spirits to wash away the despair. To sleep we cut a few coconut fronds spread them on the sand closer to the back of the beach where the jungle starts. I had earlier gone a few meters into the jungle to pee and saw lots of Wild boar activity around. We also decided that we will not shine a torch or head lamp and also keep a low profile fire going closer to the bush, so that we do not attract any attention from the hostile tribe. The night was insane with bugs eating us alive and all kinds of creepy crawlies taking a tour around our body.
Day break saw us huddled again and the organizer decided to make a run for a nearby “assumed” friendly village which was about two hours back on the route we came. It was also understood that he had just enough fuel to make this attempt. Once in the village, He hoped to get some help along with some fuel ,food and water.
Thus ,we waved him goodbye, and focused on more food and proceeded to cast around the island mangroves … more Barramundis went on the fire and everybody hogged up . The day dragged on with no sign of either boat. Now we were looking for two boats instead of one. The Papuan told us that we were very lucky to have made it through the night.
Around three in the afternoon we see a boat limping onto our beach a rather dilapidated sorry excuse of a boat loaded to the brim with stuff … our camp stuff and here goes…
It seems this boat left a day before us , got stranded on a sand bank , had to wait overnight for the high tide to pull it out and to make matters worse , the tribal who was to get the permission from the hostiles became very sick. So instead of making the rendezvous with us the guys took the tribal to his village . There at the village the elders went berserk saying the outsiders took their guy and made him sick.. Matters got worse and the two guys on the boat left the sick guy in the village and ran out of the place with the tribals chasing them with knives and spear.

So in short, when this boat eventually reached our camp they had or they presumed that the hostiles were just behind them in hot pursuit. Things began to happen very fast here onwards.. They said we have to shift immediately before they reached us .. While this commotion was going on, the other boat with our organizer limped into our camp and then it was a mad rush to pack everything into the two boats and make a dash for some other sheltered beach or river.
Now it so transpires that our organizer the “Guide “ has never been to this area before and he brought us along to explore this area !!
Now that was a new one for us .. a paid , charter taking us on an exploratory trip to unchartered hostile territory in Papua !!??
Well we did find a sheltered beach with a friendly tribal village in the neighborhood and ended up fishing 3 days instead of the planned 6 days.. in short 3 days fishing and 3 days dodging arrows 
The fishing was phenomenal inspite of not seeing any Papuan Bass . There were Barras in plenty but all of them were in the mangrove snags. It was very exciting surface “walk the dog “ stick baits only, very accurate casts and tough short fights on near locked drags.
We caught so many fish I would say like average 30 fish a day ranging from 3 Kg to 10 Kg , a few big ones jumped inside the trees. Other species included 4 finger threadfins ( rawas) 5 fingered threadfins, breams, huge catfish, all on top water stick baits our favorite mode of fishing. Much like snakehead fishing in the snags.
Now comes the icing on the cake, by the second day, our cameras refused to switch on and when we got back to civilization, we realize that it was completely destroyed with not a single bit of data on it.
As a consolation our friend who was fishing along with us took one or two pictures and that’s all we have to show.
Lessons learned … If you are into extreme fishing like us … double check before booking with a charter and ask for all details about location and logistics.
We were into this trip for tough jungle camp fishing in remote areas.. . We were also well aware of the risks and tough conditions to expect on such a trip but were not prepared for the organizers lack of safety awareness and logistics required for something like this.
Well ,all said and done ,these experiences are what makes you better equipped for future trips like these … that is if you get back in one piece 

Attachment:
papua resize 5.jpg


Attachment:
papua 1.jpg


Attachment:
papua resize 2.jpg


Tackle used
Rods: FC Labo, Tenruyu, Graphite leader
Reels : Stella , : 5000, 4000, 3000, Certate 3000
Line Braid 30lb
Lures:- very simple ..Only floating stick baits


Cheers,

Jeen


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:31 pm 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 10:28 pm
Posts: 1044
Location: Bangalore, India
That was a great read Jeen! Thanks for sharing!

The detailed report definitely make up for all the pics you have shared :-)

Looking forward for more reports from you!

Cheers, Maruthu


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:17 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 1:53 pm
Posts: 1169
Location: Sydney, Australia
What an adventure,Jeen!

The Australians who have been to Papua New Guinea for black bass have also reported about some very aggressive tribes who do not take kindly to strangers fishing their areas without permission.

I am glad that you got out of the situation safe and sound and had some lovely Barra to show for it.

I am also interested to learn that you used stick baits exclusively for the Barra which were in the snags.... we have fished with suspending XRap 10 lures to attain the same results.

Could it be that the black bass were suspended in deeper water and not interested in surface lures?
The angling reports that I have read mention catching these bass by using some really deep running lures such as the Halco Poltergeist.

Kind regards,
Kingfish


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:48 am 
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Fishaholic
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Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:39 pm
Posts: 755
Location: UAE
KinG fish,

Yes we did try intially with specialist deep diviing crank baits for black bass. But later resorted to top water for other species. We were carrying pictures of Black bass and none of the tribals in the region we fished identified the species. We were in Timika which is about 600 kms south of the Papua region famous for Black Bass. Lately a lot of Black bass are caught on stick baits and poppers by operaters running out of port morseby.
The stick baits on top water were working so well as the fish were prowling the mangrove forest fringes hunting mud skippers. The mud skippers flee from the hunting barras skipping across from one clump of mangrove roots to the next. So your stick baits are a perfect lure to have in the water at this time. Also this type of action lasts for about 2 hours maximum at a rising tide , peaking when the waterline is at the edge of the mangroves and getting slower as the the tide gets higher and the barras hunt deeper into the mangrove forest.

more later..

Jeen


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:35 pm 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 1:53 pm
Posts: 1169
Location: Sydney, Australia
Thanks for the information,Jeen.

Will keep it in mind on my next foray for barra and thread fin.

Kingfish


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:54 pm 
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Fishaholic
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Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:20 pm
Posts: 523
Location: Bangalore, Kanyakumari
Jeen, you had a very great adventure. I am happy that you got out of the situation safely.
The place look awesome. I am sure you will be carrying at least 2 cameras now.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:48 pm 
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Fishaholic
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Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:39 pm
Posts: 755
Location: UAE
yes venkatesh 2 cameras for sure :D


Jeen


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:37 pm
Posts: 1952
Location: Bangalore
Spectacular stuff Jeen.....what a trip it must have been.

Bops


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