OUTBACK FISHING WITH GRAVEL
My wife and I were privileged to work at schools in Queensland remote communities. In one of the hottest places in outback Queensland, so hot in summer we had to trickle water over our van during the day to help our caravan airconditioner keep the van cool, a local indigenous brother took me out to a local river fishing spot. He told me that in all his years, through droughts, he has never seen this dry up. There was so much bird life there and a two metre crocodile across from where we were fishing. Not bad for over a thousand km from the coast!
Having been introduced to live bait fishing in the Torres Strait I tried my hand and caught some small fish that we could see swimming in the shallows. Then hooking a live one up through the flesh below its dorsal fin, having a small running sinker above the hook, I fixed a balloon to the line and cast it out. Within three minutes the balloon went under and I brought the catfish in.
My mate caught four of these River Perch. I was interested in how he caught them. He had baited his size 2/0 hook with a small piece of some ox heart he had brought along. Nothing was biting for some time. He took a handful of small sized gravel from beside where he was sitting and threw it onto the water. Within minutes he had landed this.
Over the hour or so we had a nice bag of the Perch. Ever since, whenever river fishing inland, if the fish aren’t biting I try the ‘gravel throw’. Has anyone a theory why this works? My mate told me they always do it and it works!
I then caught another catfish, just smaller than the first.
The Perch was magnificent eating. The catfish, after cleaning and soaking the fillets in milk overnight in the fridge, fried up ok and not as muddy tasting as I thought it would be. In Australia, we have a beautiful outback with plenty to eat in the rivers.
Is there anything you would like to add? How do you do it? I would like to know!