A Hazy Proposition
  |  First Published: August 2011

I’ve hit on a great way to boost my bank balance. It’s super clever because not only does it prevent me from wasting money but it also earns me cold hard coin. It’s an old ploy that’s used in plenty of old movies with sneering gangster types. They like to call it insurance. I like to call it blackmail.

I hit on this idea just recently after yet another failed fishing competition. Not sure why I ever enter the dang things. I’d have more success selling condom ads to a Vatican City newspaper. But I keep going back, time after time. Why? I’m not sure. Stubborn maybe. Stupid probably.

If I think back over years past, certain fishing trips corresponding to fishing comps spring to mind. Images of me and Stuffer cowering under one square metre of tarp in the middle of a violent thunderstorm. Of chucking more plastic than Imelda Marcos in a Williams the Shoeman shop for, again, another giant blob. Of towing a lure across Boondoomba Dam in a row boat after a motor breakdown. Of spending more weekend time on Cressbrook Dam than Tony Abbott spends in the confessional, and all for a giant blob on the catchcard. That’s me, not Tony. The list of failures at fishing comps is longer than a really, really long list.

On the other hand, some intelligent bottom once said: “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ll always get” but I reckon that’s a heap of bovine faecal material. Sooner or later if you’re persistent you’ll have to turn things around. And I thought this was going to be the turning point, the one that changed everything. The comp that I smashed through.

Yeah, I know. What was I thinking? Personally, I could think of better names than “hook-up”. Perhaps “f#%%-up” would be closer to the truth for me. I mean Boobs stayed in the house while Skipper and I spent the middle day of the comp watching for icebergs as we splashed our way around the coral coast. It’s meant to be semi tropical up there at Tannum, no one told the weather unfortunately. I’m certain we saw some reindeer through the sleet at Bustard Head.

But then on the drive home, as my brain slowly unfroze I got to thinking. Maybe I can just give up on the whole trying to win something at a comp scenario and accept that I’m a Dudd. And that being the case, perhaps I can turn the situation to my advantage. What would the organising committee of the hook-up pay to keep me away?

I mean, this comp was seriously well organised. Things ran smoother than a politician’s trousers. Things happened exactly when they were supposed to happen. These people are good, damn good. Raffles drawn on time. Food and drink from all sorts of places scattered around to support local charities and organisations. Good viewing area. Some people telling you how to catch more fish. (I ignored them – how can they help me?) The only thing they couldn’t organise was… the weather.

And given my track record, it’s very probable that the biggest influence on wind, rain and in this case, snow, during a comp is not high pressure systems, upper lows and troughs… it’s the Dudds. Burtie, Livio and the rest of those weather predictors on TV should have a Dudds icon featured on the weather map every weekend, so they could go something like this…

“There’s a high in the Bight, with light south easterlies forecast for the entire eastern Queensland coast, except for the Turkey Creek area, where the Dudds are fishing. An intense low is expected to form 200 metres from the entrance to Rodds Bay and bring high winds, monsoonal rain and occasional snow drifts to the region.”

So what about it organisers? What are you willing to put up to keep me and the other Dudds away? Can’t say for sure that your comp will then be wind and rain free, but there’s a much greater chance. And don’t be shy, we’ll accept anything. Fibreglass or plate allie is fine, and we’re cheaper in bulk. And there’s a fair amount of bulk there, believe me, so please make it over six metres.

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