How to catch a feed in the middle of the desert
Whether you're on the coast or in the middle of the desert, if you find water, you will find life. Take our trip to the desert as an example.
The Finke River very rarely flows, and if it does it's usually only underground. We'd heard that the heavens had opened out in the desert so we decided to pack the trucks, head out and have a look.
I threw a few yabbie traps in the back of the ute and when I pulled them out, the boys thought it was a joke. But, I knew, if I found a decent hole it would be holding some kind of life.
John was cooking some crazy stuff in the camp oven that had spicy chorizo sausage in it. I had no bait, so I asked John if I could borrow some of the chorizo. He obliged, but thought I was wasting good sausage.
I loaded the sausage into the bait bag in the trap, threw it in while John and Glen watched and laughed. An hour or so later I found that I had caught a lot of small fish. So, it turned out that fish enjoy chorizo more than yabbies do.
I decided to use these small fish as bait keeping in mind that if there was anything else out here, this is what they would be eating. We settled into camp, had a great fire and a great feed which would come back to haunt us in the morning.
The good thing about setting traps is that you're likely to catch something while you sleep. The whole night I dreamt about yabbies and how good they would taste on top of a beautiful rib fillet. The possibility of that actually happening was quite slim seeing I was in the middle of Australia, but you don't know if you don't give it a go.
When I rose in the morning, Gleno and myself walked down to the waterhole while Gleno still taunted me about my inability to catch something edible. When we got down to the river, John was sitting on the bank, not far from the trap. I asked Roothy if he'd checked the trap yet. He replied, "No, I thought I would leave that up to you" and laughed.
I pulled the trap in, expecting to have nothing and get laughed at yet again but I found 20-25 good sized blue claw yabbies in the trap. Now, I don't know if John had just wandered down there early in the morning, flicked out his jocks and that's where the bush crabs came from, but either way I was having garlic yabbie tails as an entrée that night.
Of course the boys are more than happy to have a go at me but when they smelt that garlic butter and yabbie tails cooking up in the pan they hovered around like seagulls when you're eating fish and chips.
All things aside, I was happy to share the spoils. The look on someone's face when they're eating freshly cooked bush crabs in the middle of Australia is just as rewarding as the catch itself.
Moral of the story is: Always have a go. Where there's water, there is life.