East Nusa Tengara exploration

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East Nusa Tengara exploration

Postby Ikan Hunter » November 7th, 2016, 12:43 am

I've actually been back home for nearly month since our last trip to Indo but since it wasn't that eventful I couldn't be bothered mentioning much about it...but when ever you go and try some new ground there is always going to be a fairly steep learning curve especially when trying to find any spearing info about it which was near non existent!
Anyway I will try not to bore you too much about it...
We,as in my long suffering wife and I ,landed in Bali and spent a couple of days there then escaped the madness of the Kuta/Legian strip for a one hour forty minute flight to East Nusa Tengara.
We landed at the outer extremities of Indo then caught a 20 minute flight to our home for the next week.
The drive from the um ahh 'airport' to our accomadation took about an hour and I felt like I was in a time warp,they reckon this place was like Bali 30 or 40 years ago and they're not far wrong but for better or worse it's changing rapidly...
We arrived at our treehouse,that's pretty much what it was,which overlooked a great surf break and off out to the Indian Ocean ...my mind was running overtime thinking of all the fish that had to be out in this remote spot of Indo.
Next morning courtesy of the lady who owned the homestay we were staying at sorted out a guy to take me out..a Brazilian guy known locally as Crazy Chris who kept his boat close to another guy called Sleepy Dave,everyone seemed to have a knickname here,..the boat was a real old long boat style with pvc tubes for its outriggers and a motor which had it flying along at 5 knots at best!
He didn't say a word for the hour trip to our dive spot until we got there and then with a big smile said lots of good fish here,bloody sounded good to me ..I mean middle of nowhere how could you go wrong?
Well if there is one thing you can guarantee spearing in Indo is that there are no guarantees and after 3 hours of not pulling the trigger and getting outsmarted by the occasional Mu I came back to earth with a thump..Chris did get a gold spot trevally tho.
Next day he convinced me to go with him again this time to a spot that had doggies Spanish mackerel etc etc all over the show..ok sweet lets do it so the next morning we raced over flat calm seas at 5 knots until we got to our hot spot and as soon as I jumped in I knew this was not dogtooth country but I saw Chris dive and start tracking a nice Spanish but he couldn't close the gap and it drifted off.A few minutes later I caught sight of a 25lb Spanish and put a good shot in it and as it screamed off my floatline was running across my back creating a lot of drag on the soft fleshed Spanish causing the shaft to tear out..not ideal! Next chance was on a nice Maori sea perch which I got within 5 or 6ft of and then pretty much cleaned missed...a stream of bubbles flew out of my mouth as every swear word I knew exited between my lips.
That was the last chance I had for the day and Chris got nothing either...time to find another skipper.
I met up with Maxi a part German part Balinese guy who was a mad keen fisherman and was more than willing to take me out in his modern 12 foot Ali dinghy with a 40hp on the back so the next day we did actually fly out ,my back is still recovering from the pounding,to a seamount 10 mile offshore which he then couldn't find as it wasn't where his navionics chart on his phone said it was...it was looking like this would be my third day in a row with no fish but in the distance there was a local fisherman trolling around so we shot over and asked him if he had the marks to which he said follow me and off he went with no electronic gear ten miles from the nearest bit of land so we followed him as he looked over the side of his boat then stopped and said here...I jumped in to see baitfish with a nice Spanish down below and the reef at around 60ft deep, how he found it was beyond me but I'm sure glad he did!
I grabbed my gear and got back in for my first drift and I quickly stoned a nice barracuda and had a few whaler sharks on if pretty quick but I got it in fast so they missed there chance.I looked up to give the fish to Maxi and his mate who were fishing only to see they had drifted several hundred metres away,I finally got there attention and jumped back in he boat explaining that as I'm diving by myself out in the middle of nowhere and it's a bit sharky it might be good to stay a bit closer..yeah yeah no problem
I jumped back in and got a nice Spanish of 30lb then another similar size,this was more like it...next drift I got a smaller one and then as I pulled it up I had 30 plus reef sharks follow it up and right around me..no worries the boats nice and close..not..the boys must of got caught up in the excitement of fishing and had drifted 500 metres away so I'd yell then put my head back in the water to check on my friendly mates cruising around me then yell again,eventually they heard and picked me up....I calked it a day!
Next couple of days were uneventful as the moon phase was past its best but I found another guy who reckons he knew where the doggies hung out so thought sure let's do it so on my second to last day we did the 45 minute run to his spot and on my first drop I saw a small Spanish around 10lb and lined up on it but decided to have a quick look around before pulling the trigger but nothing else doing so went to shoot the Spanish which had now wised up and drifted out of range..I turned to head back up then saw a nice dogtooth below so dropped back down on it and put a solid shot thru it and after the usual brutal run they make I finally put a nice doggy of 80lb in the boat.
The current stepped up and the viz really dropped and after a couple more drifts over dead ground i got the skipper to drop me right up to the head of the current....much better with rainbow runners zipping around it looked real good,as I was loading my gun I looked up to see a large whaler flying in on me on the surface and then another one from my left and one other to my right ,the wetsuit would need a scrub,I yelled for the boat but once I'd made eye contact with them they drifted off so I carried on diving but I'd drifted off the spot and the viz had dropped to 10 feet maybe so I turned a bit yellow and got out..I will get back there for sure though and with another diver instead of diving solo there as there is plenty of potential there.
It was then back to Bali to dive my regular spots but it just didn't fire at all and I ended up with nothing great but got a mixture of small GTs,some jobfish,midnight snapper plus a PB longnose emperor that went 13.2lb so was pretty happy with that.
Can't wait to get back to the more remote areas of Indo and I'm lucky to have a wife that's prepared to come along with me and my mountain of gear I cart around and very rarely complain!! Though next year she will get a reprieve as we will be heading over to the Yukon to visit our son who is heading back over there again gold mining...But I will take my gear and head down California way after Canada and hopefully get a few dives in there..
Cheers
Attachments
Hope it all fits
Perfect conditions for flying along at 5 knots
Company for wifey...
Tengiri aka Spanish
Finally tracked down the doggies
Sashimi delivery
Old mate Nengah
Tasty emperor
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Ikan Hunter
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Re: East Nusa Tengara exploration

Postby Schwaman » November 7th, 2016, 1:31 am

Some awesome fish! Congrats on a big doggie and all the other hard to get species!
that third last picture is a real Indo-classic, everything can fit on a motorbike
Oh man, those stories of non-caring skippers in indo is bringing back memories from very similar experiences I had in Bali- not hardly as remote, but if you're alone in the ocean and the skipper is out of sight, it's remote enough
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Re: East Nusa Tengara exploration

Postby Behslayer » November 7th, 2016, 6:54 am

Man I really love that place. One thing that did give me the heebie-jeebies was the idea of Salt Water Crocs... I was doing a very unsafe dive in current at one of those distant islands alone with nobody aware of where I was.. and I got overwhelmed by this very strong feeling that there was something big in the water.. and there was. A Huge Spanish Mackerel.. but I gave it a pass and swam back to my ride and later speaking with some local captains they said there might be big Crocs..

One thing I loved about that place was the way the local guys fished. They brought out a 100kilos of rocks and 200pcs of coconut frond. They take the frond and tie it through a hole in the coral rock. Then they take their lure, which is a bunch of thread or feather lashed to a hook, on a simple mono handling wrapped around a water bottle, and they put the hook into the frond. With one good tug they can rip the hook out of the frond. So they lower the rock and lure down 100' to the bottom and then give a tug.. lure comes free, looks like a shrimp. Whack. The coolest part about it is that they fish the same areas every day and create a structure with their rocks.

Kind of too bad about the airport there now. I was lucky to be able to stay there for several long visits many years ago when it was still a long boat ride. As with anywhere, there are seasons.. Sometimes, the water is quite Cool there. Different fish come in.. Glad you got the chance to see the place. Nice Fish Toooooo!
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Re: East Nusa Tengara exploration

Postby Ikan Hunter » November 7th, 2016, 9:50 pm

Jon it was real hot when we were there as the regular winds had come to an end pretty much but they did say a few weeks earlier it was real cool at night...I wish that was the case when we stayed as at night it was HOT with only a fan to help out.
You wouldn't believe the place now...tar sealed roads,well sort of,fairly regular power and even very limited internet!
Nothing to have 50 guys lined up on the main surf break now....not that I surf.
We came back on the ferry and then missed our flight back to Bali ..but talking to some long term expats there it's all becoming to easy to get there,as you would know a few years ago it was a couple of days each way IF the ferry was running!
They reckon the crocs aren't on that island but the 20 minute flight back to the island you head back to Bali from most certainly does.
Meant to say the people are super nice there and there multi coloured homes are pretty sweet and jeez there's some fat pigs hanging out on the beach...four legged ones of course

Schwaman the skippers I use on Bali are a bit more schooled up in dealing with spearos mainly because of the large numbers going there these days......though a few guys spearfish where I went it's way more low key...at least for now.
We had a bit of rain in Bali this time which flushed out some of the rivers and at a place I've dived every year for the last 16 years I have never ever seen so much rubbish and shit in the water..honestly it was the closest thing to swimming through a rubbish dump you could imagine,at first I was real angry about it all then I realised I was actually really sad that the environment we all love so much could be in such a state!!

Anyway added a few more pics
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Spanish getting chopped..nothing wasted
Mad Captain Maxi
Beach babes
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Re: East Nusa Tengara exploration

Postby kathy » November 12th, 2016, 11:06 am

Wow!!! That's more adventure in one trip than I think I have had in my entire life. Very cool. Great read and pictures, and fabulous motorbike pic.

You mentioned you will travel to California soon? If you pass through northern cal, definitely give a holler, my family has a spare kayak and I am sure we could round up a group to take you out here and show you around our section of coast! Happy travels. Kathy
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Re: East Nusa Tengara exploration

Postby Ikan Hunter » November 13th, 2016, 12:45 pm

Thanks Kathy,we might take you up on that offer!
I will be coming through your way as I have a good friend that lives in that area who I've had diving out here in NZ with me so will be catching up with him as well
Cheers
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Re: East Nusa Tengara exploration

Postby Schwaman » November 14th, 2016, 3:52 am

Pm'd
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