There is a God
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2002
The place of call was to be Elliston, Eyre Peninsula. The date: October 2nd, 2002. It all started some months back, where the fishing itch was dying to be scratched, and I was looking for any excuse to get back over to Elliston.
Given that the troops, consisting of my son David, and the two nephews Simon Ward and Aidan Ricci, along with my wife Kerry, had never caught an Aussie Salmon, what better excuse was there to go fishing and visit Elliston during the October School Holidays.
Our place of stay, as is now the norm on the Big Eyre, was the Elliston Caravan Park, with Troy and Andrea Taylor, and the duration was to be 7 days.
The first day or so we used to simply settle down in our cabin, relax and do a spot of fishing off the jetty. A visit to Locks Well showed unfavourable conditions with the beach, it being washed away, and the gutter some 200m out from shore, well outside reasonable casting range.
Throughout the day, one would hear of comments or questions from the troops of "Will we get fish ?". You can only answer in the positive, so as to reaffirm their beliefs in striking it with a Salmon.
The locals had been saying at the time, that Sheringa Beach was producing reliable catches of Aussie Salmon, and to this end, we decided to simply explore and fish at Sheringa. This required on numerous occasions, an early 5.00am start, so as to be down at the beach at dawn.
My first cast produced a 4kg Salmon, after which I handed the rod over to the troops and unfortunately, the fish seemed to go off the bite.
The next several days however produced great results, especially for the troops, allowing them to play and learn about drag systems, fighting the fish, and more importantly landing them. David even had the dubious honour of bleeding them, and then burying them head first into the sand.
It was quite funny to see David, a young lad of 12 and about 5ft in height, trying to manage and work a 14ft Beach Rod, but perseverance held out and the rewards of a fish justified.
Surprisingly, the gutter was only some 50 metres offshore, within easy casting distance, and very little undercurrent present.
As can be seen on the left, David is now one of the initiated, in the Aussie Salmon Club, with his first catch ever of Aussie Salmon, weighing in at 4kg.
With the troops sharing the rods between them, each were able to land many Aussie Salmon. Aidan did extremely well, and was very receptive to coaching, hints and suggestions while bringing the fish in.
Most kids would tend to go gung-ho and reel the fish in so fast that they bounce on the surface on the way in. Giving credit where its due, all the troops did well, as can be seen from the smiles and catches.
Simon thoroughly enjoyed catching his prize, yet another 4kg Aussie Salmon. On one occasion, we spent close to 5 hours fishing a particular gutter.
This gutter was teaming with Salmon, and given the large numbers, bites were plentiful, especially when using Lures (and Yes, I was using Javelin Lazer Lures !).
It turns out that the waves beyond the reef held a pod of dolphins, patiently waiting for the Salmon to egress.
Being a realist, which effectively makes me a pessimist, a conscious thought that was always on my mind just before and during the trip, was the potential eventuality of everyone getting skunked.
The thought of three miserable kids coming back from a fishing holiday with nothing to show, was an unbearable concept to fathom.
However, once all had landed at least one Aussie Salmon, the phrase of "Thank God" came straight to mind. The smile says it all, and the memories and photos to be cherished for a long time.
That particular day produced many hours of fun and enjoyment. My wife even ran up to me and said "Can I have a try ?" - she did and was reward with several fish.
The end result for the day was 21 Aussie Salmon landed, numerous others released, with at least a quarter of the catch in around the 4kg mark.
Teaching the troops the valuable lesson of catch and release, and to still have fun, was an essential exercise to pass on as well.
The troops had the dubious job of having to gut and clean the catch, giving them the opportunity to learn about the anatomy of fish, and how to prepare and clean them. Three hours later, with all the fish filleted and skinned, produced a copious amount of food for everyone back home.
Another successfull trip, to a great location, and well worth the travel and expense. Consistency in catches is something that is sought after by practically every Fisher, to which I believe that Eyre Peninsula offers a high degree of certainty in realising your aspirations and expectations.
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