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Great expectations
  |  First Published: August 2013



One of the great advantages of being a Dudd is that you can’t be disappointed with a fishing trip. Long experience as a Dudds has dropped our expectations so low that doing worse than we expect to really takes some doing.

It is especially the case when Skipper and I get together.

Boobies and I generally pick up a few fish here and there. Granted, we break things, lose things and forget things but overall we’re like your average fisho. Stuffer and I manage to break something less than half of the time, which is good considering we’re generally driving around in the bush with all the fishing gear that isn’t good enough to take on a proper Dudd’s trip, threatened by flat tyres, kangaroos on the road or the occasional wild pig. We also take Stuffer’s two kids out and so far we’ve brought them back to their mum in similar condition to what we took them out in.

But with Skip, it seems to bring out the worst in me, and in him. Luckily in this case we don’t take Skipper’s young fella, Nutter, with us when we take the boat out, because there’s no certainty he wouldn’t be a bit shop soiled on his return. And if you knew his mum, you wouldn’t be looking forward to that happening. Skipper would lose at least a stone if that happened and I’m not talking about weight loss. Well, actually, it would involve a little weight loss. Or in Skipper’s case a little, little weight loss. Not that I’d know. Ooh, bad image. Sorry.

Anyway, Skip and I tend to accentuate the negatives when we’re in a boat together. Many of my more memorable stuff ups have been in his boat, or with him in my boat. Engine failure, being knocked off the front while cast netting, knife cuts, line cuts, paper cuts, hook accidents, car breakdown, the list goes on. And each thing can happen more than once per trip, and sometimes before we even hook the boat up.

So you can imagine the carnage we expected to suffer on our most recent trip. BOM was suggesting winds over 25 knots and everyone knows that if the bureau says 25, it’s more likely to be at least 200 knots. Scuds of rain were also predicted and temperatures lower than a Stanthorpe chillybin. The last time Skip and I went out with a forecast like this was at Turkey a couple of years ago. It rained on us all day, the brass monkeys sounded like Ervin the chipmunk, and we couldn’t even anchor on a sandbank.

So, while we were expecting conditions to be absolutely horrendous and to not catch a single scale, we were pleasantly surprised to spend the day in conditions that were absolutely horrendous and not catch a single scale. How good is that? OK, so we broke the odd rod and lost the odd cast net overboard, anything underneath a 4 ball sinker was held up in the wind and didn’t make it past horizontal and into the water. But overall we headed home with a generally light heart, an empty esky and despite the ice on the anchor rope, all extremities present and accounted for and exactly where they should be. Ooh, bad image. Sorry.

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