A weekend at Edithburgh

Edithburgh, Yorke Peninsula

March 2020

Over the march long weekend Viv and I got together with Steve, Deb and Andrew D. For what you may ask? A fish of course. Edithburgh managed to turn on a windy weekend. They didn’t put those dirty great fans here for nothing I guess.

On the Saturday arvo Steve, Andrew and I headed down to the first beach in the Troubridge area. I wasn’t expecting too much success as the area is a bit between seasons at the moment. However within 20 minutes or so I caught a small Flathead on a lure aimed at Salmon Trout. Things were looking up; back in he went. Next up was a Mullet for Steve, quite a nice size Mullet. But alas, while we got more bites, it was the only Mulley we caught. April often sees the start of the annual Mullet run down here; maybe this year they are early.

The afternoon was rounded out by a few small Salmon Trout, I hooked a shark, which probably grabbed a small Salmon on my line, which ended in a bust off. We also saw a much larger shark cruising the beach only 40m out in the waves; maybe not a good spot to body surf.

As I hadn’t fished the beach for 15 years or so, I felt it was a good sign. A return trip a week later resulted in a keeper Flathead and half a dozen big Mullet that were turned into roll mops (pickled fish). The Mullet certainly seem to be around now. The fish were right at my feet in the surf break, no need to cast too far.

The following day we headed out in the boat. “We’ll be fine. It’s only blowing 20 knots. I just saw a dog and piece of chain fly by”. Edithburgh does have some quite sheltered spots in the shallows and that is where I headed.

The first stop turned out to be a bit toooo shallow as the boat ground to a halt. Luckily the bottom was only weed. After a bit of rocking and wind we were on the move again, albeit carefully. Once clear, we headed for a spot I had not fished for a while (15yrs) but it was protected. Very shallow sand banks and weed beds greeted us. And, while maneuvering the boat in the wind, and fast current runs was awkward at times, we eventually managed a reasonable feed for the BBQ that night.

Who doesn’t love lemon peppered Whiting, Tommy Rough, Cevici, pickled crab and BBQ Flathead washed down by a good wine? The company/conversation topped off a trying day as a skipper, but was well worth the effort.

In the end we made the best of an awkward weather day for boating. The fishing, while challenging, made me try some different things which produced a result and can now go in the bag for another windy day.

A fishing roundup is probably not much good to anyone right now, but most years are roughly the same, give or take a few weeks. This time of year sees the Mullet run around the bottom of the Yorke Peninsula. These fish school up for breeding around the new moon and do not bite well for a few days on the moon, however they soon get back in action. Predators often stalk them at night during this cycle. The Garfish numbers thin out, unless you know the secret spots. Whiting, another draw card at Edithburgh, also start to think about breeding this time of year. They start to school up and great fishing can be on tap in quite shallow water before they move off to deeper water in Backstairs Passage to spawn around May. Squid numbers increase through autumn into winter and they are already showing quite well now. I have stumbled over good numbers in shallow water while Whiting fishing in recent weeks, a good sign. The Flathead also seem to be around, so the beaches around the lower Peninsulas (Yorke and Eyre) should be worth a look once we can move around freely again.

What I have found interesting lately is that even having fished here, at the “Burgh”, for many years there is always something to learn. Fishing is definitely a lifetime learning experience.

Those of us who fish can use the time laid up to check and pre tie rigs. Service those reels and maybe fix an eye or two on a rod. And online tackle shops are a great way to spend some stimulus money if you have it, ready for spring.

Mark W