Island Fever

Fraser Island is a heritage-listed site and it deserves to be: 123 kilometres of beach on its East coast attract droves of campers and fishers and backpackers who zoom along the beach in 4×4 vehicles, delivered by barges or fly-ins who catch a bus. Freshwater lakes, creeks and natural woodlands add allure. The seas abound with shoal fish, sharks and whales often pass close by.

Our gang of old fogies, one in his 70’s, two in their 60’s and a mature son in law in his 40’s were joined by his 10 year old son on a boys fishing trip to the island.

We hired a tent at Cathedrals, about 70 k’s up the coast. The weather was good and most of us caught on the Friday evening fish.

Saturday proved to be a disaster: fair weather but hardly a bite let alone any fish.

The only amusing incident was a brash dingo that smiled and walked right up to me, wagging his tail. I had less confidence and stamped my foot and told it to Footsack!*

Then the Wallabies got walloped by the Poms and the AB’s humbled Ireland … and it rained.

Sunday was like a day in heaven! Beautiful calm sea and I caught a fish on my first cast. The youngster caught one too.

After that the fish went off the bite. Boredom set in so we decided to drive up the beach and see what we could see… which turned out to be miles of beautiful azure blue, flat sea with the occasional breaker.

Eagle-eyed Metroman said he saw a fin he thought was maybe a shark or a whale, maybe a dolphin.

Then we saw birds diving into a bait shoal very close to shore.

A bronzed fisherman was already in the surf spinning his lure.

Everybody grabbed a rod and cast in! This was a wonderful opportunity to catch one of the big tailor which prey on the bait fish.

There was much flailing but no result and the birds moved off. Alas!

It was hot and the sea was lovely, so we decided on a quick dip to catch a wave or two. Lo and Behold! As we got to the waves, we saw fish flashing through them and jumping out the water!

We ran back and got our rods with spinning lures and wading in up to chest height flailed at the water again and again.

Still no bites!

But the water was lovely, so we beached our rods and body surfed lovely waves. Crystal clear water and no rips, it was exhilirating!

We only remembered the fin and the horror stories of tiger sharks in three feet of water when we got out…!

That’s island fever for you and it gets worse with age as we clearly demonstrated!

*Footsack phonetic pronunciation of “voertsek”, Afrikaans for “go away