Whiting 1 - Coho 0
This is a story about a fish that did get away, in most unusual circumstances.
In early December '96, Coho, Chinook and I went to Marion Bay, on the Yorke Peninsula. This trip was 5 days in duration, and our objective was to catch as many king george whiting and snapper we could. We had been planning this trip for months, and for several weeks prior to the trip, all we could do was talk fish, sleep fish, eat fish, crap fish ... you get the picture. We drove our spouses crazy. We drove each other crazy with our excitement. It had been at least 5 months since our last muskateering fishing adventure together, and a fishing fix was badly needed.
Finally, the day came, where three tonnes of heavily laden, long wheel base four wheel drive truck, and a hired boat called "Rover" with a freezer in it set off to Marion Bay Caravan Park.
We arrived at Marion Bay on a Monday around noon, and the weather was hot, the flies were keeping us company and we were looking forward to cracking open a cold tinny while we set up camp. We were met at the caravan site by Coho's Father in Law, Eugene and his nephew Daniel, and Eugene's boat the Sea Skunked ..... or Sea Master, something like that anyway.
Setting up the camp site was in itself a big order. The 4 man tent needed to be erected, air mattresses blown up and bedding made, table and deck chairs strategically placed under trees, barbecue and tilly lights setup, weber barbie assembled, perishable food stored in Big Bertha , designated eskies filled with bait and food, rods rigged up, stubbie holders refilled and refreshments stocked up and stored on ice.
With the camp site looking like a home away from home, we finally hit the boat ramp around 2.00pm, and were out on the water, intently looking at the echo sounder displaying a very broken bottom, ideal for all sorts of fish to lay about in. The unfortunate thing was that it was an hour after we hit the sea that we realized we were in fact looking at the demo screen that the echo sounder displays when not in its proper active mode !! What color is red ?
During the first three days, both Rover (Coho, Chinook and I) and Sea Master (Eugene and Daniel) weighed anchor at numerous spots several kilometres offshore from Rhino Head and Stenhouse Bay, also near Haystacks and Seal Island. Sea Master did quite well landing several snapper, king george whiting and a huge sweep. All Rover could achieve was catching countless numbers of leatherjackets, rock cod, puffer fish and parrot fish. In fact it became a habit, every time we hooked a fish, it was guaranteed to be a fish we weren't interested in, and subsequently thrown back. Coho did manage to land a 5ft bronze whaler, which was also released. We all had a couple of runs on fish which were either snapper or king george whiting, but unfortunately they never broke the surface.
The prognostic weather forecast on Wednesday night for the next two days stated that a change was moving in late Thursday evening, or Friday morning. This meant that we only had Thursday to redeem ourselves, and catch the elusive king george whiting and snapper. Eugene and Daniel left Wednesday night to head back to Adelaide, and we were to be on our own the next two days.
A different strategy was required. Instead of trying all the places we had already been to again, we decided to travel to a new location in the opposite direction, towards Hillocks Point. This bold decision hit pay dirt. We were in about 11m of water, and we started to catch undersized sand whiting and the annoying leatherjackets, all of which were released. We set anchor and came across a nice gradual drop to about 18m of water, and the king george whiting let themselves be known. Yours truly caught the first king george for the trip, and congratulations and tinnies went all round. I then proceed to catch another 4 king george whiting before Coho and Chinook landed theirs. The unfortunate but humorous tale to this trip is that after catching and releasing countless rock cod and leatherjackets during the previous three days, habit takes over, so when Coho landed his first whiting, congrats went around again, and he subconsciously threw his nice sized whiting back into the water. Both Chinook and I heard the splash of fish into the water, but we were too busy reeling fish in to realize what had happened until Coho yelled with disbelief "I threw my fish back !" Whiting one - Coho none !
At the end of the day, a final tally showed that we all caught around 32 king george whiting of 42cm+, several good sized flatheads, and a couple of nice red mullet. That night, we had for tea, a webered a 57cm king george whiting (which Coho caught and wont let us forget) and two red mullet, roasted spuds and pumpkin, and a bottle of vodka. We all felt satisfied in our efforts for the day, and it made up for the disappointment we felt initially earlier in the week. But we will never forget how the whiting won, and Coho lost ! (but only temporarily).
| Fishing Tip :
|Why not contact fishSA.com about your Fishing Tip|