Ode to Mine Enemy
  |  First Published: April 2011

The Dudds are very different people.

There are drinkers and non drinkers. Smokers and non smokers. Drinkers and smokers, non drinkers and smokers, drinkers and non smokers… anyway now I’m thoroughly confused but what I was trying to say was that despite the fact that we’re cast from different moulds, there is one thing we definitely all agree on. Apart from Jessica Alba. Or is it Jessica Biel? Or Jessica Watson because at least she’d get us back to shore when we inevitably get lost or break down? Jessica someone anyway. The thing we agree about apart from Jessica somebody is our favourite fish. Without a doubt we all, especially Skipper, agree our favourite is mangrove jack.

So to pay tribute to this magnificent ball of rippling muscle (no, that’s not Skipper - I mean the jack) I have composed this little ditty. I hope you enjoy it.

Ode to mINE enemy

Forget about your barramundi; give your coral trout a rest

Disregard your Murray cod, and let me tell you what’s the best.

Never leaves your jocks untainted, never takes a step back

Never goes without a bingle, king of all - the mangrove jack.

Shoulders like a Queensland forward, hits you like a Kenworth semi

Powers like a big Cat diesel, accel’rates like a Chrysler hemi

Gives no warning, gives no quarter, just a flash of red and black

Sometimes flares beneath some timber; then you’re busted … mangrove jack!

Once were known by some as dog bream, and watch them as they’re prone to bite;

Teeth that might make pig dogs skelter with their tails all tucked up tight.

And like an old red roan dog also, don’t you ever turn your crack.

Even on a tinny’s floor he’ll grab you, vengeance from a mangrove jack.

Strongest leader, highest braid strength, glue on all those Albright knots,

Shimano done up tight with pliers, strength enough to lift your pots,

Get a rod that bends like Kevin, like a pool cue from a rack

Don’t regret it, just forget it - it won’t land a mangrove jack.

Doesn’t matter night or morning, rocky hole with snags out front

Doesn’t matter what precautions you might take to land that fish

Doesn’t matter what you do to gird your loins for an attack.

Brute strength wins when you’re assaulted by a nasty mangrove jack.

Just remember you’ve been told then, warned about this feisty beast

Warned you’ll curse when you’re relaxing, hit when you expect it least.

Every time you try to rest now, in your mind it’s peace you lack.

Once you’re smashed you’ll not forget a mauling by a mangrove jack.

Relaxed I may be til my rod is hammered as if by a truck

Which busts my rod, unseats the holder? - I don’t give a flying fish

For nothing nowhere tunes me up like when I’m stretching, kicking back

Awaiting the arrival of a pugilistic mangrove jack.

So screw those drags down, test those knots, make sure your leaders pulled up right,

Clamp that holder on the bow rail, sure that transoms welded tight?

Never leaves your jocks untainted, never takes a step back

Never goes without a bingle, king of all - the mangrove jack.

Reads: 1433

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