Fishing and camping: Two passions often combined to create the ultimate weekend getaway. Overnight fishing trips require a little more planning than a few hours out in the tinny. Here are six important things to consider.
Research the waterway
Know where you are fishing and what you are fishing for. Find out what species are common and pack the gear to match. This is essential for success.
Camping in the Snowies and fishing for trout, you’ll want a light rod and line. If you’re hunting barramundi in estuaries up north, pack the heavier rods and plenty of big hard lures. Do your research.
Also, keep in mind some waterways have different rules seasonally, so check with your host for guidance. Local fisherman’s knowledge is hard to beat!
Fish cleaning setup
For a basic kit, you’ll need a sharp filleting knife, a bucket, and a fish scaler. If you don’t have camp kitchen with bench space, sink, and running water, a makeshift cleaning area by the water or back at camp will do. But this process gets messy, so come prepared.
Pack newspaper to lay down for the dirty work, otherwise, paper towels or rags to wipe down your cleaning area are handy. Also, check if you’ll have access to freshwater to wash down your tools and yourself when you’re done. If not, pack plenty of extra water for the job.
If you’re camping out for a few days, be optimistic, and plan to need storage for all that fish. Fingers crossed you’ll have fish to take home!
If you don’t have a fridge, an esky will do the trick. Keep this esky separate to your other camping food so it’s not being opened too often. Ice bricks will keep frozen longer than crushed, but crushed ice works well to pack into all spaces, so use both. You can easily DIY ice bricks. Pack sealable storage bags too, so the fish can be kept on ice without getting wet.
Ilovefishing.com has more some great tips for storing your catch.
Fish never tastes better than when it’s freshly caught and cooked on location, but you can really up your flavour game with a few additional ingredients.
Your essentials are salt, coarse ground pepper, butter, and lemon – all-time classic fish seasonings. Herbs go beautifully with fish too, either on/in the fish or infusing flavours over the coals like this guy.
The Internet is teeming with great campfire fish recipes so be as fancy as you want. You’ve done your research as to the fish you hope to catch, now you can plan the feast accordingly.
Pack the right cooking tools to get the job done. Here are some of our favourite campfire tools for when cooking fish.
A cast Iron skillet is perfect for a campfire beer-battered fish fry. Foil is a must-have. Parcels made of foil, popped straight on the grill are such an easy way to cook fish and keep all those flavoursome juices in. And for the uninitiated, a campfire fish grill may seem like a novelty, but serious camp cooking folk will tell you just how handy they are!
A peaceful spot
If you don’t want to be competing with other fishermen, book a campsite where you’ll have your own spot by the water without another fishing soul in sight.
Also, fishing can be hard yakka. When rods are down, you’ll want to kick back, enjoy the peace, and savour your catch of the day. With good planning and some luck on the water, you’ll be doing just that.
Camping spots with fishing nearby
At Youcamp, we have many campsites where you can cast straight off from the comfort of camp, or launch a boat nearby, including these great options:
Muddy Waters, Walgett, NSW
Bollygum Dell, Porongurup, WA
Baffle Creek Retreat, Baffle Creek, QLD