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Clayton Bay Annual Fishing Competition

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by Karen Ross (subscribe)
I love slow travel, slow food and discovering new adventures and delicious regional food in new locations. I'm on an indulgent quest and I'd love you to follow at
And the chance to try a different taste treat
Once each year the small town of Clayton Bay (population 240) hosts a fishing competition. Organisers Jeff and Anne Feast are keen fishers while most of the rest of the population are not. It seems that boating is a more popular sport here.

Undaunted by this, Anne and Jeff have hosted the Annual Fishing Competition for the past four years and encourage locals and visitors to join in the fun. This year it will take place on Saturday April 2, with registration between 7.30am-8.30am and final weigh in six and a half hours later.

There are four categories in the the competition with prizes including fishing rods and tackle boxes. Cost is $5 but children under 12 fish for free.

Clayton Bay Annual Fishing Competition Poster
Clayton Bay Annual Fishing Competition Poster

Now one reason that most Clayton Bay locals don't fish, might have something to do with the fact that there's not much to catch - apart from carp. Anne mentioned that someone caught a redfin last week, but they mostly just catch carp.

Now we all know that carp have had a lot of bad press. To start with they are considered a pest in Australia and must not be returned to the water when caught here. They do have lots of tiny bones and can taste muddy if not prepared properly.

However, carp are a delicacy in many Asian and European countries and if you know how to prepare them, carp can be quite a tasty morsel. Debbie Smith, a Cittaslow Goolwa member, will happily demonstrate this at the competition.

You see Debbie has a friend who loves to fish, and Debbie loves to smoke food (in a smoker, not a pipe). Debbie's friend catches lots of carp and has no use for them, so Debbie explained how he could take an esky full of icy water with him on fishing trips and put the carp straight into it as he caught them. This method stops the carp from releasing hormones resulting in them tasting muddy. It has the added benefit of a more humane death for the fish

There are benefits all round: our River Murray has less pesky carp, Debbie's friend unloads his unwanted fish, the fish die humanely and Debbie gets free food!

Having tasted Debbie's various carp sausages, patties and thai-style fishcakes before, I know their meat can taste delicious when combined with the right ingredients.

Carp Sausages
Carp Sausages

Honestly, smoked carp pâté tastes just like smoked salmon pâté and goes wonderfully with pumpernickel bread.

Carp Pate with Pumpernickel Bread
Carp Pate with Pumpernickel Bread

So do come along and try some tasty carp treats. If you're not so keen there'll be a barbecue (with no carp) from 2.30pm.
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Why? Fun for the kids and a chance to eat carp sausages
When: April 2 from 7.30am
Phone: 85370453
Where: Clayton Bay, South Australia
Cost: $5
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