Fishing ‘Emmes Reef’ for Sweep

5.54pm, Friday 28th December, Marion Bay, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

Still down the bottom end of the Yorke Peninsula folks…….gone fishing! Now firstly, let me explain what we went out looking for this morning. Yesterday the sea down here around the ‘shipwreck coast’ was quite angry, nasty big hollow waves and whitecaps, not a nice place to be at all! It didn’t take much imagination to see why this part of the coastline got it’s name! Today……different story. So we headed for the Sweep Spot – actually formally identified as ‘Emmes Reef’ – a set of rocks that pop up about a mile and a half off West Cape – the bottom left hand corner of the Yorke Peninsula. If you check it out on Google Earth you’ll see exactly where we were. Pretty much on our way south from the Mainland towards Kangaroo Island, and in view of a major shipping lane – we watched a bulk tanker tracking for points west as we fished!

And why were we out at this reef, with the engines always idling, swinging in slow circles back in to the ‘white water’ wash and out again? Because that’s where the sweep lurk, feeding. Basically the idea is to cast into the froth, sit your hook 3 or 4 feet below the surface, then get ready! They strike once – quick and sharp – and if you don’t grab em……your baits gone! They’re good! And why do we chase Sweep…….species Scorpis Aequipinniss? Because it’s the best kept sweet eating fish secret in Australia! A lot of folks rave about King George Whiting, or garfish, or snapper done 70 different ways……but trust me folks…..it’s Sweep for mine!

The fish basically looks like a dinner plate with a tiny mouth and tail attached, and they strike the hook and fight horizontally to the surface. Here’s our catch of Sweep from this morning before being filleted. (don’t worry, our 25 fish are well inside the boat limit of 60, and the minimum legal length to keep a sweep is 24cm and we kept just the 35+cm fish. It’s always a good idea to leave some behind to grow……for later on.)

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After being filleted and dipped into a light tempura style batter made with Coopers Pale Ale, then flash deep fried, here’s the end result! These critters were swimming this morning! It doesn’t get fresher than this! **try these with lemon juice and fresh coriander

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Oh, and if you wondered what happened to those crayfish from yesterday’s boil……here’s one of them broken up for dinner last night. With Bev’s home made egg mayo laced with mustard in that jar back right of the photo. And yes…..perfect match for another bottle of Yalumba Y Series 2011 Sangiovese Rose

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