Day 49 – Orleans Bay – I caught a Handle!

‘Twas the morning before the night, before the night before Christmas,
When all through the house (caravan). Not a creature was stirring, until Ava called out “I need a wee”. Maybe there will be one morning where I can wake up without Ava calling out! Once again Ava immediately noticed where Trixie had moved to from the previous day. Trixie had perched himself in Audrey’s Christmas stocking. When Audrey woke and noticed this, her immediate response was “Trixie is in there, how can presents get in there”.

The day was a little overcast, but we decided to still hit the beach. The girls played with Caroline on the sand, while I made my way to the same place I fished the previous day – hoping to catch a fish that I a) may be able to recognise and b) would be able to keep!

Using squid like I had previously done, another successful session on the rock. I caught approximately twelve fish (all of which I couldn’t immediately recognise) which reluctantly I let go again. My rod was still geared for whiting, meaning I had the weight at the bottom of the line, with two hooks suspended above. With this rig I managed to catch my first double! Two different species of fish on the same line – both were inedible or too small. After giving myself a little pat on the back, I re-cast my line and had another significant bite. I reeled the fish in and put my rod down on a nearby rock whilst attempting to unhook the fish (which I believe was a striped sweep) the handle came off my reel and fell into the ocean!

I looked down in an opening between the rocks. The hole was a little larger than the width of my bicep – so it was a reasonably sized. I took my sunnies off to see whether I could see my handle at the bottom of the hole – unsure if it was in there. Finally I saw a shape that I thought was the handle to the reel. I built up my courage, trying not to think of what may be lurking in the rock shelf. Maybe a fish with large teeth, an eel, crabs. Who knows! The shirt came off, I put my hand into the hole and couldn’t feel the bottom of the chasm. I lowered myself till my shoulder was in the hole now, my hand and arm extending some 90 centimetres into the water. Still nothing. Finally I put my torso and head underwater, trying to give me a few more centimetres advantage and rose to the surface triumphant. Handle in hand, I now had to work out whether my fishing rod would work again. In hindsight putting my arm into a hole surrounded by rocks, where I was unsure of what was lurking below was probably not the smartest thing I have ever done!

I inserted the handle into the rod and it worked. It seems that if the rod was tipped beyond 90 degrees, the the handle would once again fall out. Despite this upset, I continued to fish, learning a new technique of holding the handle in my mouth before casting – only returning the handle to the rod when I had a bite on the line. A little awkward, but manageable.

When out fishing, Caroline and I have used our handheld UHF radios to keep in touch. Caroline radioed me asking whether I could come back and play with the girls. Happy for the time I had fishing, despite not catching anything, I still really enjoy waiting for the right fish to come along. I returned to the beach and played with the girls for a while before heading back to the caravan for lunch.

While the girls had a lunch time sleep, I decided to have another go at fishing. After going to the small shop at the campsite and seeing a rod similar to mine, I realised that all I needed was the right sized screw. Amazingly I had a spare few screws in my car (that weren’t holding anything vital together) and used my pliers to alter the shape to suit the fishing rod. After a few attempts, it worked. Off to the beach I went.

Still remaining in radio contact, Ava woke and had requested I catch Whiting. Despite catching another three fish, all of which were some form of rock cod, I decided I couldn’t fulfil Ava’s wish for Whiting. It was time to hang up my rod and play with the girls.

In the afternoon we noticed new clientele coming into the campground. Hearing rumours that ‘bikies’ come here from Boxing day and the campsite becomes quite feral, we had our first taste of the bogans invading the campsite. Caroline, on a return trip from the playground with the girls used the UHF to advise me of a convoy of bogans entering the campsite. Huge 4WDs, spotless and carefully waxed with all the gear.Many with accompanying motor and quad bikes. I was making dinner and came out when the girls arrived back at the caravan to see a lady in her forties with a pink fringe doing burnouts outside the toilets. Doing burnouts in the toilets I can relate to, outside the toilets is just rude!

Dinner on the trusty Weber again, afterwards the girls went and played with the neighbouring kids. The girls have become quite friendly with a family that are camping near to us, Amy and Ryan, while we have enjoyed the company of their parents Mel and Tim. Tonight they have invited us for a wine when all children have gone to sleep – looking forward to it!

Please note. We have terrible internet connectivity at Orleans Bay so photos will be added at a later date!

3 responses to “Day 49 – Orleans Bay – I caught a Handle!

  1. Bogan – had to look up the meaning only to find it is an Aussie/kiwi word. Hope you are not disrupted too much throughout your stay as could get a bit noisy at night – hope not. Hope you enjoyed drinks with the neighbours, we are just off out for drinks with the locals then off to Williams tomorrow.
    L-You are becoming quite a fisherman you just need to learn the types of fish now. No doubt they vary from coast to coast so not straightforward.
    When you read this it will be Christmas Eve so who will be reading The Night before Christmas this evening?


  2. Glad to hear you are taking some risks in the rocks with your arm deep in a hole 🙂

    Is it time for a rod upgrade?? Mate you gotta teach me how to fish when you get back…


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