Well, the last couple of days at Baffle Creek have been a really wonderful experience. We have had some lucky and some unlucky things happen but all in all we have really loved this spot. We got to enjoy one of the absolute best meals we have ever eaten. It was so good in fact… that I need to tell you all about it. So, Ben caught a fairly big mud crab the night we arrived here. We also caught a small mulloway and a small diamond travelley that night… but back to the mud crab story. He was feisty and we kept him in a bucket overnight. After some research on YouTube we learned that putting a feisty mud crab in the freezer for an hour or so will subdue him and send him peacefully into a death bringing sleep. This method is the most humane and also keeps the crab from getting stressed so their meat stays tender and they don’t drop their legs. We also learnt how to clean and gill the crab.
Once prepared we made a sweet chili sauce by adding a tablespoon or so of hot chili sauce to two or three tablespoons of honey and shook a little cajun spice over the crab. We then added the chili sauce and marinated him in the fridge for a couple of hours. I say ‘him’ because we know it was a male, YouTube also taught us how to tell the difference between a male crab and a female crab.
We then melted a large knob of butter in a pan, added sliced onion, frozen peas and corn and a small amount of cooked rice. Once cooked through, Ben added the sweet spiced smelling crab with all of the sauce.
The rice took on the flavour of the crab, the chili, and the honey. It had a gentle burn but the sweetness was enough to make it very pleasant. The crab meat was sensational, soft and sweet and cooked to perfection. All of this we enjoyed on the bank of Baffle, with a nice cold glass of Bundy Banana and Toffee on ice to take it a step higher. Most perfect lunch EVER!
Yesterday we had some good luck and some bad luck. We spent most of the day concentrating on fishing. The tides here are fast and the current gets quite strong so there were a few trials with rigs that Ben tried.
Ben caught some fresh bait (small fish and a prawn in the opera house and cast net)… good luck.
We got a few bites on out frozen baits and fresh baits but no fish… bad luck.
As it got later it started to get windy and there was some light rain… bad luck.
The people camped next to us left and we were able to take the opportunity to use the wood they left behind to make a lovely warm fire… good luck.
We are in need of warmth now when the nights drop below 20 degrees. The weather waxed and waned but we stuck it out and it turned out to be a pretty good night.
On dark, a man approached the bank in his tinny and asked if we wanted some fresh bass yabbies as he had finished finishing for the night… good luck.
He nudged into the bank to give us the yabbies and as he took off in his boat again, his motor grabbed the line of my pink fishing rod, making it fly out of the rod holder and pulling it into the murky Baffle creek waters… bad luck.
It wrapped around Ben’s little Diawa rod too but thankfully we saved this one before it fell into the drink… good luck.
Ben caught some more bait sized fish with the bass yabbies… good luck. This gave him the ability to set up some good live bait rigs on his big rod.
We were sitting by our toasty warm fire with Ben’s big rod and big bait about 50 meters away in the water. It was dark, so we had a lamp on the bank lighting the rod and had three sets of bells on it, we were still a bit nervous about losing another rod after seeing the last one fly into the water. Ben started saying that he was considering leaving the warm fire so he could sit right next to his rod as he did not trust the rod holder and his bait and rig was big enough that if he was going to hook up, the fish was going to be of a decent size. As he spoke, and as if the fish had been listening to our conversation, we heard the bells ringing frantically and saw in the light of the lamp a large bow in the rod. In less that a second Ben had left his chair, dogded the hot coals on the ground and sprinted toward his rod, doing a plugger in one thong on the way he abandoned it halfway an effort to get to his rod as rapidly as possible. The fish ran downstream with strength and determination but when Ben turned him the bait slipped from his mouth and away he swam, free to fight another day. Ben got three big bites and two good runs on the big rod but was unable to pull in the big fish he had been hoping for… bad luck. When you are fishing from the bank here you are pulling hooked fishing towards a stump and towards mangroves and sharp rocks, so landing them is a challenge, to say the least. He got one large fish almost right to the bank but it anchored itself against a big stump and was able to break off the hooks and the bait before we could get him up. We would have loved to have seen what was on the end of that line, a mangrove jack or a mulloway or something angrier perhaps? A swarm of biting midges came through and attacked us… bad luck. One of the last times Ben reeled his line in he bought with it another fishing line that was coming out of the water. He grabbed a hold of it and pulled, and pulled, and pulled, the line just kept coming out of the water.
Eventually, we could see that the line was attached to my pink rod and reel that we had lost earlier that night in the water, he pulled it back onto the bank and we regained the lost rod and reel… good luck.
At the end of the day, we found ourselves standing by the warm open fire pit, in our waterproof jackets and pants, in 19.7 degrees, talking about the monsters that could have been on the end of Ben’s fishing line. With our bellies full of Continental Sidedish and Nutella sandwiches. What a day and what a time we have had at Baffle Creek. Today we move to Agnes Waters and are very excited to spend the next couple of weeks with Jay, Tracy, Jasmine, Mum and Dad! See you soon.