Coffin Bay May 2016 – Report 2

Overloaded vehicles bogged on the beach, trailers absconding from vehicles, injuries in the night, lots of rain, flat tyres and lots of fish caught! Yep – it must be the annual Overland 4 Wheel Drive Club Coffin Bay Fishing Trip.

We all met at the Coffin Bay Caravan Park on the Saturday night for a planned departure into the National Park first thing Sunday morning. We woke to blustery and squally conditions, and lined up at 08:30 outside the local café ready to go into the park. We were down to six vehicles as Peter and Lynn were unable to join us due to Lynn feeling unwell.

As usual, a quick stop at Yangie Bay to let down tyre pressures and then we were off. All went well until we ventured on to the  notorious 7 Mile Beach. There was lots of seaweed on the beach due to the storms and king tides the previous week, and it didn’t take long before trouble struck.

Les and Eileen in their Prado, with camper trailer in tow, became bogged. Due to the distance to solid ground in front of them, it was decided that a tow from behind was required. So Steve unhitched his own trailer, while other members were joining together the 4 snatch
straps required to cover the distance and after several goes Les and Eileen were back on firm ground.

It wasn’t long after this that Wal, who was travelling quite slowly at the time, got bogged as well. A quick snatch from John Battle and he was mobile again. But Wal wasn’t quite finished as shortly after he decided to do some ploughing on the beach when he lost the hitch
pin from his tow bar and was pulling the camper along by its chains.

After a search of vehicles a replacement pin was found and we were all mobile again. Not for long though! Les and Eileen became bogged on another section of soft sand. By this time 3 vehicles had rounded the last point and were nearly off the beach.

As the tide was coming in quickly, John gave Les a tow and with the aid of Les’s max trax and Steve’s rubber mats, Les was able to get through the soft patch. Unfortunately, his max  trax were well and truly buried somewhere in the sand and we had to abandon the search for them.

By this time, the water was lapping at the point and the beach was fast disappearing. There was nothing for it except to nose the vehicles up as far as possible and wait for the tide to turn.

Thank goodness the small wall of seaweed managed to keep most of the water at bay, and no damage was done. After a few hours the tide turned and we were able to join the other 3 vehicles at the camp site with no further incident – nearly 8 hours after leaving Coffin Bay.

Monday was a lovely day and after Grant explained the competition rules the fishing was on in earnest. Andrew and Liam went off to the point to fish off the rocks and came back with a mixed bag of tommies, salmon trout and mullet.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, whilst answering a call of nature, Steve had the misfortune of tripping over and lacerating his finger on a tree branch.

Luckily he had his own private nurse on call to administer first aid. Once the wound was examined in daylight, it was determined stitches were required and so Steve and Deb set off for Port Lincoln. We got within cooee of the exit from the beach, but could not find a way through the huge amounts of seaweed and so had to return to camp minus the stitches. Fortunately we didn’t need to amputate.

Fishing highlight for Tuesday was a decent 54cm flathead caught by Andrew. Wednesday was blustery with high seas, so we decided to head to Point Sir Isaac to try for some salmon. Both Andrew and Liam managed to catch their personal best size salmon – Liam’s weighing in at 2.2kg, and Andrew’s at a whopping 3.8kg. It was fish for tea that night!

Thursday – lots of rain and a few lakes forming in the campsite. Another trip to Point Sir Isaac to see if another nice salmon could be caught – no salmon but a few Tommies in the bucket. Due to the anticipated weather conditions and tides, it was decided to delay our departure to Saturday.

The boys made a last ditch effort Friday morning and rounded off the competition with a few more mullet. At 1400, Grant called everyone to muster for the competition wrap up. The competition categories were all put into the hat, with Eileen pulling out “the largest salmon” as the winner of the competition prize.

As no-one had beaten the size of salmon caught by Andrew on the Wednesday, he was the proud recipient of a fantastic rod and reel kindly donated by Kym White from Brinks Marine at West Beach.

It was a clean sweep for the Dalton clan, as Steve and Deb were joint winners of the booby prize for weighing in one mullet each with identical weights! The mounted fish trophy now has pride of place in the pool room!

After a cold and windy Friday night, it was up before dawn to pack up the wet tents and be mobile early enough to catch favourable tide conditions. It was a bit of a different trip back along the beach, with the only incident being a flat tyre on John’s vehicle which was able to
be reinflated so we could continue on.

We all were safely off the beach within an hour! There were large tracts of water to be negotiated on the way back through the park due to the earlier heavy rain, but we all made it into Coffin Bay for a welcome cup of hot coffee before making our separate ways back

The winning salmon!

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Where’s the track?

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Men at work                                     Steve’s magic fire

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The 1.675 flat head                    Another flat head

Steve prepared for sun or rain

– 304 fish went over the scales for a total of 62.075kg fish caught
– Mullet, Flat head, whiting, garfish, salmon trout, salmon and John a stingray

Thanks Grant for another eventful trip.
By Deb