Beware of Boobies’ homemade rum
  |  First Published: May 2016

When I was younger, I thought I had all the answers to fishing, but now I know I don’t even have some of the answers. And that small amount of answers I have are only to some of the questions. Combine those two facts and it’s apparent that being on the water involves a state of constant learning if you don’t want things to go completely pear shaped.

This is especially true of my trips with fellow Dudds when my learning experience was accelerated. When I’m reading stuff in this mag and the occasional others I get insights, but it’s on field trips that I can really stash away some intellectual gold. For example, here are some of the things I learnt on my last trip.

Plenty of bait = bugger all bites. Bugger all bait = plenty of bites.
Crab pot bait comes out of the pot much more easily when you’re trying to shake a crab out compared to when you’re trying to pack up at the end of the trip. At that point, bait will become lodged like a fat dog in a cat cage, and require being torn into many pieces to get it out. These pieces fling juice into your face, then fall into the boat and lodge in inaccessible places, waiting to be found at the end of a trail of maggots in several days’ time.
The reason you have the old cast net in the boat is so you can throw into those areas you’re not familiar with. Use the old cast net.
Oysters are sharp. See above.
You always have less fuel than you think.
Keep a towrope in your boat, for when you need help getting back to the ramp.
It’s always rougher than it looks from the beach.
Fish shrink in the esky.
Small crabs still have strong claws.
Compare the quality of bait put on Skipper’s hooks with mine. Check under containers around his side where the fresher, meatier pieces tend to ‘get lost’ until Skipper needs to rebait.
The water is always shallower than you think.
The rocks are always higher than you think.
Shallow water and high rocks do not a propeller make.
Don’t agree to sample Boobies’ new smoky flavoured rum. Especially don’t do this just before going to sleep. Or the time you would have liked to go to sleep.
Fishing residences should have more than one toilet.
Always bring your own bog rolls. Gladwrap does not good toilet paper make.

For those who missed it, the last three points are all linked together. Ignore these lessons at your peril.

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