Saturday 4 December 2004 – I woke up at 5am in my house in Prospect and couldn’t get back to sleep. I was too excited at the chance of catching some whiting at Farm Beach over on EP.
I’d had a call from my brother in law on Wednesday who was keen to get up some flying time in his plane. I said “I had the perfect spot to fly too. Take me to Cummins and my boat will be available for a days fishing”.
A quick call to my dad confirmed that the boat would be available if we could get across.
I was watching the forecast closely for the last few days and it didn’t sound promising with “Gale Force winds” predicted on the West Coast but I was so desperate to get out after going cold turkey for the last few months I thought it was worth the risk.
The Brother in law turned up at 6am – we were at Parafield by 6.30 and after a few pre-flight checks were all set for take off at 7am. There was not a soul around and we taxied up the runway ready for an exciting day’s fishing. The weather looked beautiful, surely it was going to be a perfect fishing day.
Here we are loading up the plane.
Flying over Outer Harbour – looking beautiful and calm, not many boats out.
Flying over Yorke Peninsula (Wardang Island in view) with Cold Chisel playing as in-flight entertainment.
Approaching Tumby Bay on Eyre Peninsula.
Here's a photo coming into Cummins and preparing to land at the airport.
Like a precision Commando raid, Dad was there with the boat as we landed and we jumped out of the plane and into the ute. He had the rods and the bait and we were fired up ready to get out on the water.
After 45 minutes dodging the farmer’s trucks we finally got to Farm Beach. There were only a couple of boats out. There was a pretty strong SW blowing and it wasn’t going to be pleasant but there was no stopping us now. Fortunately we were in a good size boat (Quintrex 560 Coast Runner) otherwise it wouldn’t have been any good.
We headed north up towards the Fenceline and dropped anchor on one of the regular spots, there were plenty of bites but only about every third fish was a whiting. A few red mullet, a couple of snappery things and we were dragging the anchor fast. This was no good.
We decided to brave the storm and head for Point Sir Isaacs on the Western Side of the bay hoping for a bit of shelter, but the conditions weren’t much better. We got over there to see two cray boats sheltering from the storm, so we knew the weather was pretty bad.
After floundering around there for an hour (and a couple of whiting) and being visited by a seal which ended any hope of catching any fish, we headed back to the eastern side of the bay near the Fenceline again.
In about 60 ft of water (GPS spot 34 I think!) we dropped anchor and let out all the rope we had in the hope it would hold the boat. The anchor managed to hold for the first time for the day and immediately we were onto the KG’s.
I don’t think I missed a bite for about 10 casts straight. Let the bait hit the bottom, tighten the line and “bang” another whiting.
Within about an hour we had a couple of dozen whiting up to 36 cm. We were probably throwing back every 4th whiting being undersized but the action certainly kept us fired up.
It was about 2.30 by this time and if we were going to be back in Adelaide by dinner time we had to get going. So we had to leave them on the bite.
Here's the brother in law hooking another one.
We headed back to the beach – we were the only one’s left out at this time and here is a shot of dad getting his tractor ready to pull the boat out.
We left Cummins airport at about 4pm – here is the precious cargo being loaded on board (it looks a bit like a South American drug deal but I can assure you it was only fish in the esky).
And just to assure you all here is a shot of the contents of the esky.
We got back to Adelaide at about 5pm, back to Prospect to clean the fish and have a delicious well earned Coopers. And fresh whiting for tea.
The end of an amazing day. I hope we can do it again sometime.