Go with what you know
  |  First Published: February 2013

I’d say that almost all of my fishing is done with one, two or all of the Dudds on board. Very rarely I get out with other people on their boats and each time it happens I remind myself to stay away from other fishos. It just reinforces to me why we are the Dudds. I know I’ve written on this topic before but the differences were really highlighted on my most recent journey with Dr Dan.

It’s ridiculous how well run his trips are. For a start, people arrive on time at the meeting place, and everything is ready to go. If Dr Dan says, “We’re leaving at 5am,” then that’s when you get there. You snooze, you lose. Compare this with the Dudds where we say something like… “OK, we’ll meet at Skipper’s at around 5am and go on from there.” This is secret Dudds code for ‘sometime AFTER 5am and can be adjusted according to the previous night’s beverage intake, nocturnal activity, travel time or all of the above’. If anyone questions the time, the classic Dudd’s quote is spoken: “Sort it out later”.

The trip there is always different too. While Dr Dan drives to the beat of some techno stuff that has me ready to pull the top of my head off by ramp time, Dudd trips are usually taken up discussing how much we’re going to catch and what we’re going to do when we reach the bag limit of red emperor. This is done no matter where we are fishing. Last trip out to the Condamine, Stuffer wanted to discuss whether the 55cm legal red limit was going to be a problem. For those who don’t know, the Condamine where we fish is about 10m wide, 1m deep and the colour of McDonalds coffee, but tastes better.

Also discussed are previous trips, how much more successful this one is going to be, and what gear has been purchased since last time. With Doughers this will be covered either in the space of travelling less than the width of a racing bike tyre or in the time it takes for him to open a can (he never drives). There is no particle of time small enough to measure this. But with Boobs, even the stretch from Gin Gin to Rocky is not enough time.

If talking about fishing, next year’s Crate of Oranges team, and why there are no Queenslanders in the test team runs out, we turn on the music. No techno stuff. Actually, Boobs is the DJ with all this modern music. That is, music recorded after 1975. We go ok with Pink Floyd (Pommers), Sabs (Stuffer), and Zep (me) although these will change. Doughers likes anything as long as it’s not country or western, and Skipper prefers the Wiggles. (Even though Frenzy, his 6yo, has outgrown them.)

Dr Dan’s arrival at the ramp is a smooth combination of skills: unrigging, reversing, offloading, parking, moving. With the Dudds it’s more like parking, unrigging, unloading, loading, rerigging, unrigging, unloading, parking, unrigging, rerigging, unloading and unrigging, at which point we discover we’ve left either the bungs, Pommers or the rods at home, at Skipper’s, in the car or all of the above.

SO with Dr Dan, there is no weak link. You’re on a well oiled machine that delivers you to the fishing grounds with little stress and with all gear present and accounted for.

With the Dudds, there is no weak link. That’s because there is no chain. Just getting on the water on the same day you leave home is a major achievement. And as for catching fish, with Dr Dan it’s a scientific pursuit. With the Dudds it’s a case of getting back to the ramp without losing rods, reels, Pommers or all of the above.

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