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Jungle Perch Adventure


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This fishing trip goes back to April 2019, but being new here, and being what this is, it is too special not to share in my opinion.

I went for a family holiday to Fiji in April with some friends and their kids for 8 days. Knowing Fiji is famed for its salt water game fishing, but not really having the money to go on a charter, I started looking into what freshwater options there were. Anyway, got onto a video on youtube showing "mountain trout" in a clear freshwater stream. Well, bugger me, they look like Jungle Perch I thought, and a quick google confirmed that they are not only native to Australia but most of the islands around here. Being well into bass fishing in small creeks, I have always dreamt of targeting JPs in crystal clear jungle streams, but never thought I would get up north to have a crack.

So, being that we were staying at the same resort I stayed at last time, I remembered going for a horseback ride up to a waterfall in the jungle. the whole way we followed this beautiful jungle stream, which ends up dumping out into the ocean right next to the resort. I figured if I were to find any, then this creek was as good as any. So I packed my little travel rod, a 1000 size reel and some 4lb leader and a small box of bass lures. Took most of the trip before I ventured out, as we had rain on and off the whole time, and I was concerned the creek was gonna be pumping and dirty. Well, I started running out of days and bit the bullet and headed out about 6am. Took some snacks from the breakfast buffet for my bumbag and a bottle of water, and headed off up stream. Followed the creek for quite some time and it was very sandy, clean bottom. Flicking lures in likely spots saw no attention. After doing this for a few kms, I was starting to wonder if I was gonna find anything, but I pushed on, and the sandy bottom started giving way to some rocks as well. At this point, my lures were starting to get follows from little fish about 2" long. I am not 100 percent sure, but they looked like juvenile JP's to me. So the further I pushed upstream, the rockier it got.

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Finally after a nice little cast into some overhanging shrubbery, I had a swipe at my lure just as it landed, just like a bass would. This had me excited, as I was nearly ready to give up. Few more casts to the same spot and I was on! Landed my first ever JP, no big guy at all, but I didn't care, it was a bucketlist item ticked off. 

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After he swum off, confidence restored now I knew they were here, I pressed on further upstream, with the creek getting rockier and fishing better and better. In fact, it really turned into my most satisfying days fishing ever. The remoteness of the heavy jungle around me, the absolutely pristine creek and aggressive fish that have probably never seen a lure before made for something special. You could do no wrong, put a lure into a pool and if there was a JP, it would come out. If it didn't crack the lure first time, it would the next cast. Follows from multiple fish were common, even when you hooked one, other fish would follow it in headbutting it. Every cast had about a dozen or so little babies following the lure having a peck. It was bloody magic. A couple of fish were even foul hooked, that's how hard they would attack the lure.

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After wading up the creek bed for a few kms, scrambling through rapids, climbing over boulders etc, and trying not to get my phone wet, I finally reached the waterfall. I was pretty hot by this stage, and there is a beautiful deep pool under the falls, I was stinging for a swim, but not before I fished the best water yet. This pool got me 5 perch before it started shutting down. Couple of small fish, and then I caught this guy, the best so far.

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Only to be upsized by the resident king of the pool, and from what i read a trophy JP, or at least it is for me, easily 400mm and nearly 2 inch across the shoulders, he was a beast and put up a great fight

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I let the big guy swim off and joined him for a swim, which was extremely refreshing. Trekked the 6 or so kms back to the resort to some beers that tasted extra good that day.

Thanks for looking

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Nice work James!

With a bit of detective work and exploration Fiji has some good but lesser known DIY light tackle fishing options.

I have had some fun chasing creeks jacks and been absolutely destroyed in some landlocked ponds!

You may inspire me to do a Fiji post from a year or so back.

Cheers,

Gus

 

 

 

Edited by Lizardboy
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