Hawkesbury River 2020

As has been the custom for many years, I went for a camping/fishing trip with high-school friend Warren on the Hawkesbury River (here is a list of previous trips).

The forecast was for rain so packed all the normal stuff plus firewood. Although there is usually lots of boat traffic and people out fishing, this year was quiet because most people don’t want to go out in the rain.

Just after the entrance to the expressway, I noticed that the bimini was not right.

Turns out the rivets had failed.

A quick field repair and we were on our way.

Seems like every year we bring more stuff …

Due to bushfires, we could go last year. We came across an unexpected surprise. After years of camping here, we now need to book.

Fortunately, we could do it by mobile phone.

First cast, a school jew which was released.

Next, a yellowfin bream (acanthopagrus australis). They are a very slow growing fish. See the second last figure in this publication reproduced below, and the Ochwada paper cited within. Large ones should be released.

We kept them alive in the live bait tank. After the session we decided to eat one and release the remaining two. According to the table, since the bottom one is about 24cm to the fork of the tail, it is about 5 years old. A 27cm bream would be 10 years old.

Sunset at camp.

Fish done in foil as is the usual custom.

Used the bream gut as bait for eel fishing. We cast it out and put bells on the rod so we could fish while cooking. After two hours, it hadn’t been touched and I nearly gave up. Then, the bait was taken but no hookup. A few seconds after casting out with a new bait, caught a nice pike eel.

It looked like it was dead so I took my pliers and was going to unhook the eel. In a flash, it swung its head around and bit me on the thumb.

I was lucky to have a nice lip hook, it would have easily bit through my 6 kg monofilament trace. Anyway, I emerged as the victor!

Came across removalists for Bar Point.

Hearty breakfast.

Monitor lizards are becoming less and less wary of people.

Splitting firewood.

Warren with a personal best pufferfish.

To prepare steamed eel, you first cover it with salt and wash off the slime. Then you cut it like below.

Black bean sauce.


Unfortunately, the eel tasted terrible! Will try barbecuing the next one.