Intro to the Dudds
  |  First Published: December 2006

I’ve been on some fishing trips where I’ve caught a lot of fish but ended up with a sour taste in my mouth. I’ve also been on some dudd trips that have been great experiences. Actually, I’ve been on many dudd trips that have been great experiences.

Take last weekend for example. A three hour drive to Awoonga became six hours when one of the cars broke down. Saturday night we were expecting a warm one as it’s October and instead it was colder than a Tenterfield nun’s elbow. We fished for double digit hours and caught two catfish. But it was a great trip.

So much of fishing depends on the company you keep. About ten years ago, my brother Stuffer and I went to the Boondooma Dam fishing comp. We caught nothing. The year after, Stuffer’s mate Manboobs turned up. We caught nothing. The year after, Pommers joined the group. We caught nothing.

Oh actually, I tell a lie. Pommers caught a yellowbelly on a $5 lure he’d bought in the bargain bin at Tara Hardware. He was asleep at the time, and the lure was dragging on the bottom as I tried to untangle a bird’s nest on my reel. Otherwise we caught nothing.

From there, things went downhill. Not only did we catch nothing (apart from one memorable morning at Boondooma when we snagged fourteen in one hour) we started to break things. Well, to be truthful, I started to break things. I think it was the change in my anti-depressants that made me clumsy. About that time, we began to refer to ourselves as The Dudds.

I’ll describe the team, including the latest addition, Skipper, who, through sheer hard work and persistence, has left us no choice but to include him in the team. It’s not easy to become a Dudd, but Skipper’s attention to detail has been staggering. No line has been left untangled, no lure left unsnagged, no beer undrunk. His case is becoming irresistible.

To give you an idea of the people involved, I’ll describe the boys in detail, and let you make up your own picture of the Dudds.

Stuffer: The large boy of the team, at least in height. Think Mr T of the A Team without the chains. Or the Mohawk. Not very smart, but can lift heavy things, and put them down hard. Has featured heavily in some of the great Dudds adventures; most notably in the Great Barra Bash Fiasco which he still refuses to talk about.

Pommers: The class clown. Think Murdoch of the A Team. Pommers is the soul of the Dudds. Has been voted Most Likely to Fall Overboard for the last six tours. Catches at least as many fish as every other member despite spending less on fishing gear than Stuffer spends on reel oil.

Manboobs: The Mr Smooth of the team. Think Face from the A Team. Boobs has mixed in some startlingly good performances over the years (most notably the biggest barra at 112 cm) with some appalling shockers, like losing a reel full of braid by leaving his lure hanging in the water and taking off. Began fishing with a 2 metre tinny with the seaworthiness of a bathtub. In fact, it may have been a bathtub.

Skipper: Think Gilligan of the A team. His membership is still pending, given that the Dudds have been a team of four for many years, but is making an overwhelming case for inclusion with a mountain of runs. At the end of a trip, his reel looks like he wound a cast net onto it. Fond of the occasional drink, excluding water.

Sheik: That’s me. The brains of the team. Think George Peppard of the A team. Also the oldest of the group, and with age comes wisdom. At least, that’s what I’m hoping. The non drinker, but I generally manage to break more gear, lose more fish and smash more boats than everyone else despite this.

So that’s the Dudds. Think of those blokes on the fourex ads multiplied by a factor of four. Our greatest achievement so far has been surviving. In coming editions of QFM, you’re going to feel a lot better about yourselves. Trust me. That’s what the Dudds do best. Make others look good.

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