We were up bright and early to get prepared to go fishing with Kat and Angry at Shady Camp. We met them at their house at 7.30am as we were all going to go in Angry’s car together. The drive there was interesting as I think Angry sat on 180kmph most of the way. I have never been in a car going at that speed. He did slow down a bit for the dirt roads, certainly not to the speed that I usually drive on them. I tried not to watch the speedo. It is strange in the NT that everyone drives at speed anywhere. So different from SA.
We stopped at the Corroborree Park Tavern, which is a Roadhouse and Camping Ground, for a bit of a pit stop. They have a fresh water croc and a salt water croc kept in a cage there. I felt sad for the crocs, but it was interesting to see the saltie up close. He was a big fella!
Thanks to Angry’s speedy driving we made it to Shady Camp in record time. There is a barrage across the river that was covered when we arrived, but there is such big tidal movement that it looked like a completely different place at low tide. It was fairly nerve wracking to start off with as you are acutely aware of the number of salt water crocs surrounding you – those that you can see and many that you can’t. Scarily enough as the day wore on the fear lessened and I don’t think that is necessarily a good thing. You need stay very aware of your surroundings at all times and not stand too near the waters edge. I did relax more as the day wore on and no one was attacked. There was a really big salt water croc on the other side of the river initially, but he got a little curious and slowly came closer and closer. The scary thing was he would be there one minute and then sink into the water and you had no idea where he was for a while, then he would pop up a bit closer. Col estimated him at around 10 foot (3m). You can just make him out over Col’s right shoulder in this pic, he was quite far away.
He became more interested and would submerge and reappear as he edged closer and closer to us.
He ended up being only metres away as you can see in this photo with Angry.
Amazingly this is the same spot a few hours later at low tide. I was a bit freaked out that Angry and Col were walking around on the mud and still fishing. Apparently the last time Angry fished at Shady Camp he slipped and fell into the water up to his armpits!!! So, so glad that did not happen when we were there. This is not a place you want to fall into the water.
This is the view in the other direction and shows in the far distance an enclosed pontoon that sits on the edge of the water which was where we drove to eat lunch and watch the crocs.
After lunch we bumped into a guy who had just caught a decent Barra and we considered fighting him in the car park and stealing his fish. But decided against it and to continue to try to catch one ourselves. Nice fish though!
Col spotted a fish stranded on the Barrage after the tide had gone down. So he walked over and picked it up, and guess what, it was a Barra! Just not big enough to keep but caught by hand none the less.
Angry managed to catch an undersized Barra as well, but unfortunately nothing caught for dinner so I had to go to the shops on the way home. We decided on Rib Eye steaks, and I think we could have cooked one of the for the four of us! They were HUGE.
We forgot how loud we were being and had consumed large amounts of alcohol – you are meant to be quiet after 10pm here but our loud drunken conversation went on well into the night. I hope that our neighbours will still talk to us tomorrow. All in all a great day fishing at Shady Camp, even though we didn’t catch a keeper, there is always next time.