Tag: australian salmon

Free Food Salmon Camp

spotting salmon

Not happy with our $15 food spend from a salmon fishing trip of a couple years ago, this time we decided to go completely free. For this camping mission all food was supplied by work!

camp food supplies

On the menu was peanut paste, long life milk, coffee, vegemite, butter, honey, mustard, vinegar, tomato sauce and 2 minute noodles. We were also forced to steal lemons from a neighbour’s tree based on medical advice that our special camp diet may have us contracting scurvy should we not include a source of vitamin C.

My favourite dish was peanut paste, straight from the cup. It was delicious and easy to prepare.

peanut paste for breakfast

Of course we also ate salmon, either smoked or ceviche, drizzled in lemon juice. To supplement our tight vitamin C rations we collected a load of pigface fruit and sauteed them in a honey and butter mix. We bait fished each afternoon and night hoping to land something more palatable than salmon but unfortunately didn’t have much luck. One herring was all we could muster, and it really tasted great after a couple of days of mostly salmon and 2 minute noodles.

We cheated slightly and did fork out a bundle of cash for a block of highly nutritious red tin beer. It kept us fit, strong and satisfied over the several day camp. Thank you beer!

spotting salmon with help from beer

Anzac Day Salmon Mission

mal with salmon

Wow it’s been over a year already since our last long weekend salmon hunt. This year, instead of Easter, we headed down for the Anzac Day long weekend.

There are many things different between this camp and our camp from a year ago. A big change is that this time we took quite a varied supply of food rather than just potatoes, carrots and onions. But perhaps the most significant change is the addition of a little mini miss outbackjoe!

joe with baby

baby in the dunes

We’re training her up nice and early to become an expert salmon spotter just like her dad.

teaching baby to spot salmon

On this camp we experienced an amazing salmon feeding frenzy. Salmon arrived in plague proportions and were jumping around everywhere right in front of our camp. The salmon were chasing herring into the shallows and were swimming right around us, even bumping into our feet. The herring were jumping out of the water and beaching themselves on the sand in an effort to escape the pursuing salmon.

We caught a butt load of salmon. More salmon than I’ve ever seen. And as a bonus we had a free feed of beached herring that even the staunchest animal activist would be happy with, since the herring died of natural causes. We chucked back most of the salmon we caught but cruelly slaughtered a couple.

Catching so much salmon is extremely tiring.

salmon fishing is tiring

We tried something different with our salmon preparation this time – salmon civeche. Civiche is marinading raw fish in vinegar and citrus juice (plus whatever extra flavours you want, we used onions and chilli). The flesh goes white like it’s been cooked and remains mild flavoured and relatively tender. Sharni even described it as tasting “nice”, which is tremendous for Australian salmon. Last time she said it tasted like shit. There is a risk of getting food poisoning by eating salmon this way, but fortunately we have the finest sashimi chef skills so that we can safely prepare the raw salmon for marinading.

We also smoked some of the salmon. Last time we smoked salmon it was over cooked and pungently fishy. This time we were extra careful not to over cook it and it actually turned out pretty good. Also it helped that we discarded the darker coloured meat which minimizes the strong fishy flavours.

We had a great camp and improved our salmon preparation skills with some good civeche and smoked salmon. Bring on next salmon season! Maybe we’ll revert back to bringing bugger all food and living off fresh salmon and beer.

Easter Camp Deepdene Beach

easter australian salmon deepdene

For Easter I teamed up with Hongo (again) for a traditional Easter salmon hunting mission in southwest WA. Our location of choice – Deepdene Beach, near Augusta – the place where both Hong and I landed our first salmon many years ago.

For this camp, for food, we decided to take only potatoes, carrots, onions and flour. The idea was spawned from Spudshed’s 9 cents per kilo sale on potatoes, carrots and onions and the desire to do away with the old wussy excuse of “Wah Wah Australian Salmon aren’t very nice eating fish I’m a big fussy baby” and actually eat the salmon we catch, along with any other fish we managed to land. This would be a good motivator to actually get off our ass and do some fishing. And maybe, when we’re hungry, Australian Salmon might actually taste good. That’s what we hoped.

food for easter camp

The food we took for a six day camp for two people.

Despite not being on the 9 cents / kilo list and being quite expensive (at a cost of several dollars), we included flour in our menu so we could cook up some beer damper to add some variation to our diets. So armed with Hong’s fish smoker and less than $15 worth of food, we set off on our six day adventure (we also had condiments like salt, oil, chilli powder, garlic and tomato sauce and of course a couple of cartons of beer).

First day on camp saw a salmon caught and immediately filleted and put into the smoker. It’s been a few years since last eating Australian Salmon so I had forgotten it’s unique smell and flavour. As soon as that smoker cranked up I was reminded like a swift punch to the face. Damn that stuff stinks like sh!t when cooking! A pungent, asphyxiating fishy bouquet that permeates far and wide. The taste is similar. We struggled through eating most of what we cooked and I suffered the rest of the day with a rotten fish taste in my mouth. How much more salmon did we eat for the remainder of the camp? ZERO.

smoking australian salmon

Lift the lid and the campsite is engulfed in the pungent aroma of Australian Salmon.

smoked australian salmon The occasional, rawer chunk of salmon tasted not too bad. We made a mistake with the smoker, putting it on the fire instead of using the little metho burner. This turned it into an oven and overcooked the salmon. The more cooked, the worse it tastes. We planned to try again but were somewhat disillusioned by the experience and managed to catch plenty of better stuff to keep us fed (mulloway, wobbegong shark, silver brim, herring and whiting).

Check out these dudes who rocked up in their V8 powered four wheel drives and set up shop right in front of our camp. Out of several kilometers of empty beach! And proceeded to fish and make noise into the early hours of the morning and then pack up and leave. Nice one. That’s our tent in the left foreground.

friendly fishermen at deepdene

Did we make it on the news? Whilst Hong was battling to land a large salmon this helicopter hovered above us for a bit. It was a pretty big salmon, I’d say yes it was newsworthy. I hope my hair looked ok in the shoot.

salmon season news helicopter

Some friends joined us for a few nights. I reluctantly admit we did steal some of their sausages, baked beans and Easter eggs to supplement our diet. Some other noteworthy events include assisting a four wheel drive recovery for some dude who thought it was a good idea to do a u-turn into the water, a trip to Augusta for beer and lunch at the pub on Easter Sunday and an Easter egg hunt around our camp site.

Simple food was fun. Easy to pack, no lengthy food prep, no washing up. Plus it’s super cheap. Next year I think we need to toughen up and eat a bit more salmon!

Yeagerup, Lost Camera and Work

driving along yeagerup beach

Salmon fishing on a beach in South West Western Australia is an important tradition for West Australian’s over Easter. Salmon are a member of the Holy Trinity after all. We cultivated that tradition with a few days camp over Easter at Yeagerup Beach south of Pemberton. Joe caught hundreds of salmon, possibly more, but unfortunately has no photographic evidence as the camera was lost. The old faithful Panasonic waterproof (and sandproof) camera which has come around Australia and overseas with us for the last few years is gone. Lost in the sand we believe.

To add insult to injury, Sharni and Joe have just locked in permanent jobs in Perth. We headed back to Perth for what was supposed to be a few months work but it’s now become ongoing. But the Hilux is stuck in Brisbane and we were only half way through our trip across Australia! How are we going to finish our trip? No one knows. I suppose we shouldn’t have taken 2 years to do only half of Australia.

So what becomes of this blog during our hiatus? The Hilux is going to somehow make it’s way back to Perth and we are going to try to make good use of it. We hope to knock off a fair bit of travel around WA whilst working. We’ll continue to document our ongoing missions into the outback through this blog.

Yeagerup is a good spot for camping and fishing and the huge sand dune system encroaching into the forest is an impressive sight and good fun for dune bashing in a 4WD. We camped right on the beach since all the camping spots behind the dunes were taken. There’s also some proper camping with facilities back inland at Lake Yeagerup but that’s too far from the beach.

We nabbed some photos off some of the chaps that came camping with us.  No salmon shots were found. If you find a camera on Yeagerup beach please let me know. Our camera can be identified by the millions of salmon photos contained within.

 

Seal Creek Campsite, Cape Arid National Park, Western Australia

Poison Creek checking the steaks

After a couple of hours driving from Condingup we reached the Seal Creek Campsite that backs onto Poison Creek Beach in Cape Arid National Park. The track is in reasonable condition but is recommended for 4WDs only. We arrived on Good Friday morning just in time before all the camping spots were filled up. It has nice well protected private campsites with a decent gas bbq, rain water tank and a clean pit toilet. The campsite was a 2.4 km drive from the Poison Creek Beach. The creek had flooded onto the track to the beach, but it wasn’t deep and the ground below was firm so it was an easy drive to get onto the beach. We camped at seal creek for three nights. We explored the Thomas Fishery Campsite which is accessed via a rough, rocky and slow going 4WD track. Thomas fishery is a small, over grown camp area with a pit toilet that requires maintenance.  We also had a look at the ruins of the old Hill Springs homestead which is just off the track on the way to Thomas Fishery. It’s amazing that early settlers lived there in such isolation. We spent a couple evenings fishing and having a bbq on the beach at poison creek where Joe landed some salmon.

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