I am writing this blog post from Adelaide, Australia. Last week I went on a boys camping trip to the River Murray not far from Mannum in South Australia. So it was 4 adults and a 10 year old boy who we will call Jack as I do not have the fathers permission to use his real name.
We found a picturesque sandy bay surrounded by willow trees next to a farmers allotment. Setting up our tent in the dark made for an interesting experience and a few jokes from the lads made it an enjoyable experience.
I woke up early to a sunny day with almost no wind, was really keen to get my rod set up and start fishing. It was my decision to spend the whole day fishing whilst the rest of the campers went kayaking.
So I threw in some Aniseed pellets which are supposed to be great for attracting freshwater fish. Within 10 minutes Jack caught a nice 3 pound carp which is by far the most common fish in the Murray. So this set the scene for a great day of fishing and the pressure was on me to catch a good number of fish whilst the lads were on their kayak trip. Also I wanted to catch the biggest fish as well seeing I am a competitive person.
Shortly after the 4 of them paddled out from the bay and disappeared into the distance I caught my first carp for the day. I find fishing in the sunny, beautiful environment without too much wind is almost like meditation. Your mind becomes clear and you can really appreciate why fishing is a wonderful hobby.
Over the course of the day I caught 10 carp mainly on corn and also two of the carp on tiger worms. Also I was fortunate enough to catch a small callop (golden perch) on a lure. The only problem with catching carp in Australia is that it is illegal to throw back carp as they are considered a pest in Australia. So I had to kill the carp even though we did not eat the carp.
Unfortunately we had a fire ban on the day, normally I would have gutted and cleaned the fish and put them in aluminium foil over the coals. I know from experience that fresh carp can be tasty when cooked this way. We did not have enough gas left to cook the fish so the dead fish went back into the river for the yabbies (almost like a small freshwater crayfish) and shrimps to eat.
I feel strongly that you should release fish if you do not intend on eating them. If you take the life off a fish there should be a valid reason to do so. Having to kill so many carp was difficult and the only downside to the day.
In Europe big carp are valuable for fisherman who want to catch a big carp and release it. In Hungary they love carp as they make beautiful fish soup with carp. I have joined the Hungarians on several occasions to eat delicious fish soup.
Over the day a few friendly strangers and a dog spent time with me in the bay.
Towards the end of the day the farmer who supposedly owns the land where we were fishing told us that it was private land and we could not camp there. My mate Andrew explained to them that in Australia in most cases 30 to 50 meters around the waters edge is public (crown) land which can be used by anyone. So I came up and befriended the farmer and tried to avoid a legal debate. The good news is that we were able to stay and continue to enjoy the camping trip.
In the end I caught the largest fish (another carp) and Jack ended up catching the last fish of the day.
So I have included a picture of the largest fish of the day which was around 4 pounds. Plus a picture of me and the strangers dog chilling out whilst fishing.
In the evening we had stimulating conversation among the 4 adults whilst inebriated. So allot of laughs and random comments were made by the lads. So the camping trip was one of the highlights of my South Australia trip. Please share your camping and fishing stories below:
Bay where we were fishing
Chilling with the dog whilst Fishing