We were given a tip – if you like free camping and fishing, try Walkers Rock Campground. The turn off is signposted from the Flinders Highway and it is around 12 kilometres from the town of Elliston.
The campground has assorted sheltered sites to suit all size campers and caravans, as well as a new looking, unisex, flushing toilet and cold shower. Sites cost $20 per night (perhaps a bit rich for what you get) and you pay via an honour system at a self registration station as you enter.
Walkers Rock is part of the Lake Newland Conservation Park, but dogs are allowed on lead, in the campground and on the beach which is the main reason to camp here. The beach is very attractive, with white sand, shells and starfish on the beach, and you can swim, snorkel, surf and fish here, one of the longest beaches on the west coast.
You can also drive onto the beach with a 4WD if you are experienced. We were parked close enough to the beach that walking on was an easy option anyway and the wash was gentle enough that surf rods weren’t needed, just regular fishing rods.
We could see our van from where we were fishing on the beach and thought we would try for some whiting or whatever else was in the area really, when soon after we started, the rod was bending and whatever had taken the bait had escaped, but not before bending the hook. A good sign.
With bigger hooks then rigged onto the line we tried again and before too long husband Harry was onto something very weighty, which was leaping out of the water as it was being reeled in. After a bit of a fight, a huge Australian Salmon was landed. To us they don’t make a good eating fish, they need to be bled as soon as they are caught, so we were quite happy to have the sport of catching them and then releasing back into the sea.
It wasn’t too much longer before my line was also whizzing out and the rod bending so with a lot of effort (for me) I eventually wound it in and I too had caught a decent size salmon. Another release after photos and we were both pretty happy ourselves.
Other campers had also arrived in the campground and decided they too would have a go at fishing on the beach but they returned later with only seaweed caught. Perhaps we had caught the only 2 salmon in the water?
The next day, buoyed by our triumphs we decided to give it a go again. In roughly the same area as were the day before, and still with standard rods, it was on again. Harry had something big taking the bait out, so the game was on to land it again. Another day another salmon! Incredible! More photos, more high fives and another one released to carry on and grow more.
Speaking of which, in the excitement of the moment we neglected to so much as measure or weigh the fish, we were just happy to have caught them. It was about now though, that we realized that a salmon fishing competition was being held in the area, but you had to have pre-registered prior to catching the fish, so we couldn’t have entered anyway.
It was food for thought though, maybe Harry would enter and see how he would go. To be continued.