It’s sometimes hard to find the right people to go fishing with. For a long time I’ve been spoiled for choice, with the Dudds to call on whenever I feel the itch. That’s the itch to go fishing, not any other unsightly skin rash… not that I have any of those. But anyway Boobies on the Sunny Coast, Skipper in Central Queensland, Stuffer and Pommers out west and Doughers at the TAB have been there and more than likely ready to head off at a moment’s notice. However things change, as they do in life.
Probably the biggest of these changes is for the most unlikely reasons. No, Doughers hasn’t left the TAB. He’s still there unless he’s sleeping, or St George are going around, and come to think of it, even then. No I’m talking about Skipper.
For years I’ve been comforted by the thought that if I need to get out in a boat and throw a line in, I can head up to CQ with an assortment of rods and reels, a cast net and some pots, and Skip will be there, ready to head out with me. And I know that however much gear I bring with me, Skip will have at least as much. And that will just be the stuff that he has out ready to use because he found it in the shed underneath the newer equipment he bought last year that he also forgot that he had. He’s the only bloke I know that Mike and Sue close the shop for when he pulls up outside. For the month.
I’ve also been comforted by the fact that despite the plethora (what is a plethora El Guapo) of fancy gear that he finds in the shed I’ve always been able to outfish the bugger. Not so much anymore. That stick that used to catch his hook, sinker, cast net or his landing net on the very occasional times it was needed, is now catching my gear. And he’s also catching more fish than me too. At this point I’d like to point out that I haven’t said that he’s outfishing me. Oh no. It’s just that the fish that used to spit his hooks out are now spitting out my hooks. The dodgy braid (obviously from a bad batch because it snaps when smashed) that used to be on his reel has now found its way onto my reel. And worst of all, the leader that used to pull through his Albright knots is now pulling through my Albright knots. Sometimes even through my improved Albright knots. And my slightly better than average improved Albright knots too. Which is disconcerting.
So that little comfort zone that used to beckon me up to Skipper’s for a fishing trip has disappeared not only out the window, but also through the flyscreen, across the backyard, around the dog run, and into the paddock. I just can’t find that little comfort zone. My wife would not be surprised.
The worst thing is that I’m now in a position where if I can’t go to Skipper’s for the fear of being outfished, I can’t go to any of the others either, as they can still outfish Skipper. Even Doughers. In the TAB. Asleep.
So that leaves me with only one avenue. I have to fish on my own until I improve. Which is fine, except the only company I have is very boring, and slightly odd. But hey, that’s what going out and catching fish is all about. Or at least what going out fishing is all about. There’s a subtle difference. And going fishing on my own might help find that zone again. My wife certainly hopes so.Reads: 752