Two 15 year old boys and an excited father arrived in Renmark yesterday to spend 3 nights on a Riverland houseboat, swapping their Adelaide winter for some wintertime on the Murray River during the SA school holidays. On checking into their floating digs, the boys were excited by the spacious rooms on the houseboat and the doonas and the hot water and a gas heater, all the mod cons for a bit of “roughing it with dad” on the river, and then the attention turned to food. The “boys” turned to their hosts to see if a campfire would be OK on the riverbank, and if they could burn fallen timber. “Yes of course”, I said, “but don’t build a bonnie, go for a smaller version that you can cook on and keep warm by”.
Very excited, the crew issued invitations for us to join them for a lamb roast in the camp oven — tonight. I can’t wait. Next question, what about catching a fish. I provided lessons in tying a basic paternoster rig — sinker on the bottom and two size 5.0 hooks above the sinker — start using worms, when you catch a carp you can use it to bait the shrimp pot, and when you’ve got some shrimps, you will have a better chance of catching a callop, or you could be lucky and catch a callop on a worm, and remember the Callop must be 33cm or more to keep them. The young braves immediately referred to this process as the fishing food chain — worms catch carp, carp catch shrimps, shrimp catch callop. So, when I get down there after work today, I really hope the fishing food chain is working. And the roast will be perfect too I’m sure.
Houseboating on the River Murray is fantastic in winter, you can fish all hours of the day, off the back deck, and campfires are perfect on the riverbank.
Wintertime means rivertime, so time to plan a Riverland holiday now.