Was in the middle of Backstairs Passage last week (no- it's not a night club in Darlinghurst!). Had just anchored over some promising looking shows on the sounder, burley going, lines in, when we noticed this boat heading straight towards us from the mainland.

The boat is steaming towards us, the only boat within visible sight. Hmm, fisheries I thought. The boat keeps bearing down on us and I thought -Bloody hell, I hope it is fisheries, not a boat on auto pilot with someone down below making a cuppa!

About 300 meters away now and the boat is still going full speed when a RIB with two guys on it peels off from the stern. The boat heads away now to take up a position off our port bow, while the RIB circles around and comes alongside starboard.

Yep fisheries alright. PIRSA Fisheries Patrol Vessel (FPV) Southern Ranger.

Had a nice chat with the officers. Let them know we hadn't caught anything and they didn't even ask to look in the fish tubs. After about 5 minutes, the guys left and headed back to the Southern Ranger. I was left wondering if they thought we were someone else, abalone divers or cray fishing perhaps? Seemed a bit of overkill.

The FPV Southern Ranger had an interesting write up in F&B Magazine a couple of years ago by their SA correspondents Di Ross and John Batty.


This was our second check by Fisheries Officers after only 6 outings in South Australia! We talked to a couple of local rec fishers who said they would be lucky to be checked twice a year.

Now if I can only get the boat to attract fish like it does the authorities!!