Lake Murray, one word "AWESOME"
Even the very best story teller or publication or TV production can't fully describe or convey the force in which these iconic fish hits the lure. Until you are there and literally have the rod in your hands as a mighty PNG Black Bass crunches your lure will you fully understand the thrill that my 5 clients and I experienced on our recent trip to Lake Murray.
The trip started with a flight from Brisbane airport with Air Nuigini to Port Moresby and then a connecting flight to Mt Hagen. Once we arrived at Mt Hagen we were met by the amazing staff from Trans Nuigini Tours to take us up the mountain to Rondon Lodge where we spent the night. Sitting at 7000 feet looking out over Mt Hagen is truly spectacular and with the quality of Rondon Lodge we all thought well what a way to start the trip. Next morning we were up early to head back down the mountain to catch our 1.5 hr charter flight to Lake Murray. Light planes won't fly around this region much after lunch due to the weather that rolls in in the afternoon hence the need to get away early which also brought the added bonus of an afternoon fish when we arrived. We had flown for only about an hr but felt like longer as we were so excited to get there, when all of a sudden we caught our first glimpse of Lake Murray and the word that came to mind was "massive". Lake Murray is huge, stretching as far as the eye can see on all sides and looks like something out of a Jurassic Park film its just so untouched and wild. After our pilot completed a text book landing on the grass air strip we were greeted by a huge crowd of smiling locals along with the guides and manager of the Lake Murray Lodge. Our bags were quickly unloaded and after a short boat ride we where at the beautiful Lake Murray Lodge.
Sitting on at Point with bays either side the Lake Murray lodge is just stunning. We quickly grabbed our bags and headed into our rooms to unpack. Each room has an en-suite, queen bed and balcony overlooking the lake. With rods rigged we all met in the main dining area for a quick lunch and drink. We all couldn't believe that such a quality high class lodge could be built in such a remote location. It was enough sight seeing though as we came here to fish and the time had finally came.
Arriving at the first spot we all eagerly threw out our choice of lure and the trolling began. You can cast for the Black Bass, but you'll learn very quickly that in tight snags without a boat ready to pull the fish away from the snags, landing the monster 90cm plus specimens are almost impossible. Also the bass will sit very deep on the snags at times and trolling to get the lures down deep enough are a necessity. It wasn't long before Pete's rod bucked to life and line screamed from his super tight drag. After fighting the fish it was finally in the net and we all good our first look at these ferocious fish. That afternoon we landed 18 bass and after a few serious fish destroyed my 50lb braid I knew heavier line was required so 80lb braid was wound on and 100lb leader tied on with the popular FG knot. All that could be heard at the dinner table on our first night was everyone explaining how in oar they were at the strength of these fish.
We all spent the next 4 days hooking, losing, being smoked and also landing some absolute cracking black bass. Many fish over the 90cm mark were landed and the biggest was a 94cm 40lb beast. While the large fish we landed was a huge highlight some of the fish that destroyed us will be memories Ill never forget. How a fish can snap 100lb leader tied to 80lb braid on the strike left us scratching our heads at just our large those fish may have been. The sound of that line snapping sounded like a whip cracking or a rifle going off it was insane. Over the 4.5 days fishing we landed 193 black bass and 9 barra and would have hooked and lost as many fish as we landed. The lures that were stand outs for us was the Rapala Magnum 20 in Qantas colour, silver and black and green and gold along with the Oargee lures IN colours PG and PR. Pink seemed to be a great colour to get the bass fired up. Ensure you change the trebles and rings on any lure other than the Oargee lures to 6X strong lures as we were even straightening 6x trebles and 90lb rings were starting to stretch.
If you have a bucket list of places you want to visit to fish then ensure that Lake Murray Lodge and the PNG Black Bass is right at the top as any angler that likes lure fishing will lose their mind at Lake Murray and be hooked forever as soon as that first Black Bass strikes your lure. The guides at Lake Murray Lodge were a pleasure to fish with and know their stuff and the staff at the lodge can't do enough for you they are great.
For any details on the location, fishing or upcoming trips please don't hesitate to drop me a message or call Angling Adventures you won't be disappointed.