On Wednesday I found myself in Port Augusta. The estuary was right in front of my motel so I could not resist another attempt at catching a fish in South Australia. Landangler does not get to fish much when he is working but sometimes you just have to go for it.
I had read the stories of massive Kingfish being caught on live baits, down by the Power Station cooling water outlets. I had about an hour free and a light spin rod, so Kingfish were off the agenda. I decided to fish along the rock walls on the eastern side of the estuary, beside the old wharf.
Summer is hanging on in South Australia and the sunrise was instant and bright. The water was clear with a bit of strap weed floating around on the rising tide. I cast around along the rockwall and very soon felt a few bites.
I was fishing with 10lb fluorocarbon leader, a 1/8th 1/0 jighead and a GULP Shrimp in the Banana Prawn colour. After a few casts a fish grabbed the lure at the base of the rocks. My first fish caught in South Australia, was a humble Flathead. They look a little different to the ones I am used to in Queensland but I expect they taste just as good. It looked like it was a little under 40cm and after a few pictures I threw it back.
The sun was well over the horizon now and the flies were already buzzing. I felt a solid bite then hooked a fish which took off like a rocket. I could see it was small but it was really pulling hard. It leapt clear of the water a few times and I could see it was a small Australian Salmon. I got it up to the rocks – photographed and released it.
A local fisherman explained they taste quite good when they are small and they are a common catch here. I carried on fishing for another 30 minutes and caught another tiny Flathead.
I came back the next morning for another try. I started on the rockwall just before dawn and again the first fish was a small Flathead followed by an even smaller Salmon.
I moved down to the end of the wharf, where I could see a few fish feeding. Every now and then the bait would go flying in all directions. I put on a GULP 3” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour on a 1/12th 1 jighead. The water was clear and still and the tide was very slowly running in. The lighter jighead would let the plastic fall slowly through the water column.
After a few casts there was a solid attack and I was on again. It was another Salmon. As I pulled it in it was followed by the whole school. It was only around 25cm long but again it fought like a fish double the size. I took a few snaps and then threw it back.
I caught about five more as the school moved around the wharf, but at by 8.30am I had to finish my session. It was good to catch something in South Australia.