Holy Shit Batman…… by wpr1947


									Holy Shit Batman…….
“Come on Phil hurry up and finish that cup of coffee. I need some berley out
back here”……. The hulking skipper of “Tropic Paradise” downed what was
remaining in his coffee cup and then sauntered his way into the toilet do his
usual morning thing…..provide me with a berley trail. Yes, you read this
right. I was standing on the back deck enjoying the coolness of the morning
before the fierce Australian sun would rise above the mangroves and be
upon us. Ronald the fourteen foot croc swam leisurely by on his way out to
sea as he does every morning. Queenfish and small trevally were busting
baitfish along the edges of the beach. The massive Queensland Groupers that
hang at the back of the boat were eyeing me like dogs waiting for a free
meal. Right at this moment I heard the toilet flush and a couple of clients
came out of the galley to see what I was up too on the back deck.” Hey Al,
what are you trying to hook now?” “ A Batfish” “What!!!? Aren’t those
those fish that eat poo and everything else that gets thrown over board? ”
“Yup…..and they are super hard to fool with the fly…..they have excellent
eyesight and a wicked sense of smell.” I replied. At that moment movement
caught my eye in the water as three large brown and yellow finned fish were
swimming leisurely up to the back of the boat. I unhooked the small brown
yarn fly, stripped off some line and made the cast. I could see that the
Batfish where now feeding on Phil’s offerings as my fly drifted toward them.
The first fish saw the fly and raced forward, mouth open, only to turn away
at the last instant. I cast again, letting the fly drift naturally amongst the
berley. Again, same response. One could say that these fish know their shit
(no pun intend). Phil came out of the toilet as I was frantically making cast
after cast and asked “ So you hook one yet?” “ No” “Well, that’s all I have to
offer till tomorrow” “ Ok, cheers Phil”. I continued casting at the Batfish till
they had enough and slowly cruised off into the depths. I can see you asking
“ What the F#*ck?” Why would you want to hook something that eats poo?
Well, they are super cool looking, are really, really selective and pull like the
devil. All the right elements in a fish worthy of targeting. This species of
Batfish are found in the tropical waters of Australia. Typically you will find
them hanging around the back of moored boats, feeding on most bio-
degradable things that get tossed overboard. From bread, vegies, fruit and as
you already know, poo. Occasionally I see them on the flats or on off shore
reefs and rubble patches. Again, very hard to fool even away from their
usual food source. They are very timid and weary of anything they eat,
usually inspecting it several times before committing to eat it. Most of my
flies are tied to represent the food that they eat at the back of the boat. I have
flies that represent pancake pieces, banana chips, cereal, poo, and toilet
paper. It’s kind of like matching the hatch to an extreme degree. The batfish
that we catch average around six to fifteen pounds. Though off shore on the
Barrier reef they grow much larger. It took three seasons of trial and lots of
error before finally hooking and landing one. Many were hooked, but
between getting sharked, eaten by a groupers, or just tackle failure it took us
this long. We have it pretty dialled in now, but they are still a very hard fish
to fool with a fly. Last season I managed to land several of these hard pulling
fish and we now have clients that request that they would like to try and
catch one during their week stay on the boat. So, if you ever think that you
will find yourself on the back of a boat in northern Australia, tie up some
poo flies and put on a strong brew of coffee……

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