WATCH OUT FOR THE ‘SHOT’
A few weeks ago I mentioned that while doing sea trials in my 5.7m Trailcraft out of Port Geographe Marina, I was surprised to see about thirty boats had launched, but after quizzing skippers on their return, it was revealed crabs and squid were being targeted in good numbers. So with the demersal season now closed, when my mate John Duthie, ‘Duths’ asked if I would like a leisurely squidding session out in his 3.7m Quintrex Dart, how could I refuse.
With some cloud cover early, it was a little difficult to locate the interface of sand and weed, where Duths assured me the squid would congregate, so with a light breeze we simply drifted around. Now these trips may not be as productive as bashing out to the continental shelf, bottom bouncing, gilling and gutting fish on the way back, cleaning the boat, cleaning the fish, burying the carcasses and then an afternoon snooze to recuperate, but gee it’s whole lot more relaxing. Men’s Sheds have made a huge impact in recent years, for all the right reasons and at some time in the future I may well get along to the one in Cowtown, but in the meantime, cruising around in a dinghy with a mate or two, having a good old yarn, is bloody good therapy too.
Duths and I go back a long way and have one of those relationships where we hug each other everyone time we meet and are comfortable sharing parts of our lives that we may not do with others. However, in amongst this, we are also competitive and certainly will give each other a ribbing at every opportunity. So, when Duths landed the first two squid, with me still not on the scoreboard, he was letting me have it bigtime. Duths was using his favorite fleuro yellow squid jig, so I immediately changed over to the only similar one in my kit, fleuro green. Before too long the score was 3-2 in my favour and he was now on the receiving end. Anyone who has done any serious squidding knows that things can get very messy at times and so when I grabbed one of Duths’ squid to place it in the bucket, I was sure to have it pointed in his direction. And of course, Duths’ face was soon dotted with black ink as he caught the remnants of the shot. I only laughed a little and immediately took a photo for posterity ( pictured ). Later on he was reminiscing about a similar trip with his 6 year old son Kelly when he was trying to encourage him to bring the squid in slowly, but to no avail. Kelly scull dragged the squid in, which brought it to the surface too quickly and, about a metre from the boat, it fired a shot straight into his stomach. Kelly was all tears at the time, but has since mastered the art of squidding. Very shortly after, as fate would have it, the drift was now a little faster and when I had my next squid on, it was coming to the surface quicker than I realised. When I sarcastically asked Duths if this was similar to what had happened to Kelly, he had no time to answer before the squid shot me straight in the guts, turning my red Stormy PFD into a gluggy, black, mess. Even with the score now well and truly in my favour at 5-2, John reckoned it was well worth losing the battle, because he had won the war!