Preparation is the key
  |  First Published: April 2014

So here we go again, off on our Dudds annual trip.

Planning of trip optional, or if it is done then it must be 48 hours or less before departure time. This is easy for me Doughers, Stuffer and Pommers (sort it out later) but causes a few problems for Manboobs (who has a job) and Skipper.

Skipper needs at least two weeks to go through rod selection, a further two weeks to identify possible reels, and then another month to sort out what reel is married to what rod. That’s even before we start on hooks, sinkers and braid. What it comes down to is that Skipper begins planning for next year’s trip about three weeks before this year’s trip. And when we turn up at his place there is more tackle lying about than at Sexpo. If we’re lucky, the boat and the motor will be attached to each other, and the trailer attached to the car. Lucky he doesn’t work, or we’d never get going. I mean, he’s employed (he’s a high school teacher), but he doesn’t work.

For me, it generally goes like this. One day before departure: Rods. Check. Reels. Check. Tackle. check. Life insurance. Check. Argument with significant other. Check.

For Boobs and Stuffer it’s more like this. Rods. Check. Reels. Check. Tackle. Check. Life insurance. Check. Argument with significant other. Optional. Food. Check. Beer. Check.

For Doughers and Pommers I’d estimate it’s closer to this: Beer. Check.

For Skipper… well, let’s not go there. Apparently I’m limited to five thousand words per article. A summary of his planning would make a Harry Potter book look like a windscreen leaflet.

Then there’s the subsets of things that need to be checked. Like for me: which reels am I able to get repaired given they’re mostly from last century? Hang on, I mean the century before. For Stuffer, which combos has Jacky not used to lasso a chook? For Boobies, which butcher will we get the steak from? For Skipper, which avenue in the shed has he left the gear in, and does he have a GPS to find his way back out again? For Pommers and Doughers, what cans, what bottles, and what proportion of one to the other, how to get them cold, how to keep them cold and how to make sure they are ready to go within 60 seconds of arrival?

And of course, preparation time has no relevance to what happens when you arrive at your isolated fishing spot. Sometimes you’re irritated the whole road trip because you’ve remembered you’ve forgotten something and it’s too much hassle to go back to pick it up. Whether you go back to get it then depends on who the person is, what has been forgotten and how far back it is to pick up the forgotten thing. For example, anything over about 200miles and I won't go back, unless I've forgotten Stuffer, but Doughers would travel back from Oman if he’s forgotten his Jack D.

Then, there’s the situation where you remember you've forgotten something only as you get out of the truck at Turkey/ Baffle/Awoonga/Lang Park. You then slap yourself hard on the forehead because you know that the only thing you really needed on the trip was the ‘pissoff/gaff/local anaesthetic’ that’s sitting in the bucket back home. And forgetting things is a Dudd specialty. We're well practised at it. We have been known to leave entire rod collections. One time we forgot the boat. The next year we forgot the car! Well alright, that hasn’t happened yet but with our track record I swear it’s just a matter of time.

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