New Year is Here
  |  First Published: February 2007

What a way to start the New Year!

The Dudds are set to head off on our first Big Jaunt of 2007.

You see we’re meeting in Maryborough for a few beers before mounting our trusty steeds but considering our track record, heading off the day after the afternoon and night before could be risky. Stuffer doesn’t think it’s risky. “F#&%$# * stupid” is actually how Stuffer summed it up recently when we met for a debriefing. Skipper’s words were a little harsher I think, but he wouldn’t take the bottle rim away from his lips to speak, so I’m just taking a punt there.

In reality it is risky, as the Dudds are a mob with a slightly below average safety record. Put it this way – we wouldn’t have been part of the nine that got sent off with Bilbo the Hobbit on his quest. Before he’d got out of the shire we wouldn’t have broken his pony, destroyed his walking stick, ruined his lunch and buggered his ring. And don’t take that the wrong way – cross out the Dudds. We are to accidents what Shane Warne is to texting, what Wayne Bennet is to mime, what Wendell Sailor is to… Wendell Sailor.

Anyway, we’re going to Awoonga, and then to Baffle. Awoonga has been pretty kind to us really. OK, so there was the time Leo Wenker, an honorary Dudd, T-boned Manboobs’ new Quinnie on its first trip off the trailer. Then there was the time we tied the houseboat up to a tree and managed to pull the tree down on top of the houseboat when the wind got up. Sorry Ross and Michelle. Then there was the time….

That was the sound of me slapping myself. I’ll never finish this if I get carried away and I’ll only get depressed. No, instead let me move on to Baffle, which is going to be the second leg of our trip. Sadly, the Dudds have been about as successful here as a bullbar on a motorbike.

To be fair though, when we last visited Baffle we were rank amateurs in the art of fishing estuaries. Now we can hold our heads up high. Now we’re experienced. We’re old hands. Rock wall, mud bank, sand bank, marker buoy, mangrove…you name it: we’ve hit it. Or in the case of Leo, pushed someone else into it.

But the beginning of the trip is only a matter of days away, and I won’t be diverted. I’m going to push through the pain barrier. I’m ready to rock and roll. We’re all ready and rearing to go. Except perhaps for Skipper. I can’t understand what he’s saying as his lips are locked around that bottle rim. But it sounds like he’s keen. Or perhaps he wants another beer.

Anyway, I’m sorted. I have the essential stuff: medical supplies, the vitamin B for Pommers, the spare rods, spare torches and batteries for when we get lost, UHF radios for when we tell each other how much we haven’t caught since we last spoke. I wish I could add spare boats and motors for Leo Wenka, but I do have a budget.

And after all that, even with the real threat of actual physical pain that lies ahead, I’m not willing to be distracted from the joy of planning our trip. Daydreaming about trying to cope with that metre plus barra that hits my lure just on the edge of Boof Bay. Planning how I’m going to handle that 10lb jack. Plotting how to perfectly pin that livey onto my newly tied tackle. Sounds painful to newcomers I know, but it isn’t usually. Although with Pommers around…

Anyway, enough said. I’m almost too excited to think, certainly too excited to sleep. Some people count the sleeps until Santa arrives.

I count the sleeps until the Dudds arrive.

Bring it on!

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