Every now and then you get to catch up with a couple of mates to go fi shing and it seems like it is going to be a lovely day on the ocean, plenty of friendly banter, everyone’s smiling, but the fi sh are not co-operating.
So it was last week when I managed to head out with Geoff Uhd and Craig Elliott on a day of light south easters. We had agreed on gentlemen’s hours for various reasons, one of which was the late bite time that day, so did not leave the ramp until around 830am. Th e trip out was pleasant enough, with the wind at our back and plenty of time to chat. We were only planning a short trip, but aft er seven or eight drift s over country that I knew should have held fi sh and was showing absolutely nothing on the sounder, I made the call for the last drift . Once again nothing was landed, but the odd small bite sucked me in. I have previously been nicknamed Mr One More, a bit like catching your last wave only to paddle out for another fi ve, so it was back for really just one last drift , if you get my drift ?
I decided to call on a rare strategy that I only use in extreme circumstances such as these and Craig and Uhdy were up for it. So I began bowing from the waist, with arms raised and started hailing for the fish gods to deliver to the persistent but failing fishermen. Ummm, real last resort stuff you say, but don’t be a doubting Thomas. A minute later I asked the guys to bring their lines up as I was onto a good fish. Early in the fight I thought I felt a hook pull, but managed to stay on and reeled extremely slowly as I did not want to pull it right through. When the 30lb Dhuie was safely landed, only just hooked on the lip and with the second rig snapped off , we were high fives and thinking our little routine had paid off. Then all of a sudden I dropped the fish back in the ocean and Uhdy was doing donuts to pick it up again. Fortunately, a fish that size had no chance of swimming back down with a full swim bladder and so it was safely retrieved by Craig who was proudly declaring he had now actually landed this fish.
Craig was getting into the swing of things and urged Mr One More to go again. Just before this drift commenced he began performing his own fish god dance, complete with pirouette, trying to outdo me. All of a sudden he was onto a good fish, but soon lost it, only for Uhdy to immediately hook up. I instantly commented that it was probably Craig’s fish really. We soon realised that this was a more serious hook up, Craig was armed with the boga grips and as the silver of a huge male Dhufish rose away from the fish, we know we had been blessed. Weighing in at 43lbs on the old scale easily made it Uhdy’s personal best, but then the debate over whose fish it really was began. Craig thought it was a bit unfair that he had hooked it first, but then when I extracted my snell rig from the bowels of the 42lber, it was obvious I had hooked it first, likely a double header with the 30lber. Craig then chipped in that it was actually his special dance that had delivered the goods. Either way, Uhdy was never going to get all the credit for landing the fish of a lifetime. To answer last week’s question, a hyrdrofoil is sometimes fitted to outboards to achieve planning at lower speeds. Th is week’s question is, ‘What does three blasts on a ship’s horn indicate?’