Fishing the Finniss

Got a bit of a story for you. No pictures it was one of those days a bloke should have stayed at home and mowed the lawns as exercise was not on the agenda for the day.

A mate of mine an I was having a bit of a natter about the brand new 25 horse Marina he just brought from a boat shop in Darwin and we decided to go up the Finniss River which is only a few k’s from where we both live out at Dundee Beach.

We pick 6.00am as a good departure time and with boat in tow we headed down the back tracks to launch his 13 foot tinnie in the mouth of the river. On arriving at the river we launched the boat and were in time to witness a average size croc finishing of breakfast in the form of a heron. We travelled up river to the top and out into the flood plains thinking it would be a good run for the motor and we could catch a and release a boat load of Barra. We slowed and trawled for Barra a few times on the way up the river to no avail and when we got up to the top we slowed and I noticed a bit more than normal smoke coming from the two stroke motor. I queered my mate as to why it was blowing so much smoke as was informed the dealer told him to run twice the oil in the fuel while running it in.

This I had never heard of and it just didn’t make sense to me because as soon as we slowed down while travelling through the rice grass up the top of the river the plugs fowled with to much oil and that was it folks. From then on it was pull the plugs, clean the plugs, and refit the plugs. I started rowing us back out of the flood plains to the river proper at about 9.00am with the thought that the tide would be going out soon we would be able to drift down the river. At this time of the year we have what is called the run off which is the flooding from the wet season emptying out of all the billabongs bringing with it all the big Barra that are still muddy tasting from swimming around in the land lock water of the billabong. Not taking a lot of notice of the speed of the current while we were travelling up stream turned out to be a bit of a problem as we tried and negotiate through the trees coming down stream. With the motor no running we were paddling like mad under the pushing of the run off current to manoeuvre between the trees to get back into the river proper. If you get side on to a tree in the water the current will tip the boat very quickly and believe me you don’t want to be treading water in the Finniss River which as produced some of the biggest crocs in Australia e.g. Sweetheart a 25 foot monster.

Just as we make it to the river and the current begins to slow as the river opens up wider Jeff Corey a local charter operator turns up with a couple of clients from Adelaide and stops to see what the problem is. Thank God for locals. We drain all the fuel out of our tank and into an empty spare 25 litre that Jeff has and then Jeff gives us a full 25 litre with the right mix in it. We filled the tank and thought we had better empty the fuel bowl as well then we should be right to go. Even Jeff raised an eyebrow at the double mix we emptied out of the fuel tank. So new fuel a clean carbie bowl primed up and that’s as far as we got she would still no start. Now I own a little river tinnie myself and it has a 30 Marina on it and I would have told the whole world how good and reliable these motors are but by this stage we had pushed off again I was rowing and my mate was trying to do the fixing and the air was fairly silent in fact you could have cut it with a knife. My old mate had rewritten the perigee book on the bloke who sold him the motor and the word marina took on a whole new meaning.

It was getting on to 2pm and the tide was starting to change so unless I rowed we were going no where fast so I decided to toss a lure. What a spot to stop, two 7oo long and a 890 Barra later the mood swing was dramatic. My mate picked up 4 good size barra as well. We kept a couple to eat and released the rest including the 890cm one as the rest were still dark in colour which meant they had not long come down from the billabongs and were still in the process of cleaning themselves out and turning silver.

My mate Gavin turned around to me after pulling the spark plugs out for the hundredth time and said @#$% me now the bloody thins are as dry as a bone what the @#$% is going on.

Process of elimination trace the fuel line back to where it comes out of the fuel filter and goes to the card had a kink in it. This must have happened when we cleaned out the fuel filter and replaced it not in the correct position thus kinking the fuel line. Idiots I hear you say well let me tell you, you are right have we been a bit calmer during the repairing stage we would have been up and going hours earlier. Had we not used the double oil mix we would never have broken down in the first place. A lot of had we did this and that we would have had a completely different day but the fact remains we were on the water, despite all we found a couple of new hot spots for Barra, we reinforced what I have always said a local will always help out another local and we learnt that if you breakdown be a bit more patient in problem solving. Buy the way Jeff Corey left us to it so he could take his clients to catch a few more Barra but was coming back to get us so we shared the hot spot with him.

A good day out all in all.



Posts: 2318

Date Joined: 03/05/06

good reading kiwi

Thu, 2010-03-25 10:01

at least it all turned out well.  A coupla barra and a good story.   lol

Auslobster's picture

Posts: 1901

Date Joined: 03/05/08

Great story...

Thu, 2010-03-25 17:38

...a few lessons learnt there and some valuable info for all us mugs in this fishing/boating game!

 Also well written...I see too many long stories on this forum (and others) which are in the form of one massive block of words rather than broken up into paragraphs. I know it's not "" but it sure makes it easier to read when done properly!

Posts: 1535

Date Joined: 30/12/08

Good stuff kiwi

Thu, 2010-03-25 19:29

Memories, i use to fish the Finnis out of Sweets Lookout years ago, love that river. Was imo the best in the top end. Cheers for now.

grayzeee's picture

Posts: 2283

Date Joined: 09/07/09

yeah.a good read mate i

Thu, 2010-04-01 05:56

yeah.a good read mate

i bought a new yammy 60 and was told to run that double rich for a tank or two.

no probs with that tho


If I spent half as long fishing , as I do reading this bloody forum , I'd be twice the fisherman I am. 

Pete D's picture

Posts: 1681

Date Joined: 07/06/07

Great read Kiwi.  I too

Thu, 2010-04-01 06:20

Great read Kiwi.  I too miss being up there and as said would not like to be paddling around in the Finnis for too long.

Cheers Pete

Paul G's picture

Posts: 5215

Date Joined: 12/12/07

Great read,i bought a 75hp

Thu, 2010-04-01 17:52

Great read,i bought a 75hp mariner and got told the same thing run twenty liters of double mix while running her in .I did not have the problems you guys had though.


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