Omens or mishaps prior to fishing or boating trips, myths? and should we heed them or merrily continue on our journey for fear of missing out till "God knows when the weather will be as good as this again?".
Strange as it may seem or sheer coincidence but ill relate a few fishing trips that strangely enough each time ive had a bad fishing or boating experience its always been preceeded by some omen whether by coincidence or other one or more mishaps seemed to ocuur prior to the trip.
Back in the late eighties I was the proud owner of a 21ft Aluminium Starcraft named Seastar and for all those who happened to own a Starcraft or still do you will agree with me when I say they are a top boat which don't mind mixing it with a bit of rough water every now and again. Since I live in Gladstone which is situated on the Central Queensland Coast and which happens to be on the doorstep to the Great Barrier Reef with fishing and beauty which has to be experienced to be appreciated.
Most of my fishing then was done around places like Masthead , Erskine , Heron , Wistaree Reefs and places like Rockcod shoals with more fish to be caught than you could poke a stick at . To own the likes of a GPS or Radar for small boat owners was out of the question unless offcourse you had a pocket full of money which was continually replentishable. So most of your navigating to favourite fishing haunts was via the old Compass , General knowledge of area or simply by feel for a particular area once there .
Unless you fished close in areas like the Shoals landmarks were out of the question and even then you could be out some by the use of landmarks especially if you were trying to land on a particular Bommie or small scattered reef . Anyhow lets get back to the main issue shall we? . I remember a particular trip on one occasion when the forecast was supposed to be just right , word was floating around work that the predicted forecast was supposed to be winds in the 5-10 knot mark, variable or zilch swell, so I gave a regular mate "Bushy" and not Rex's Bushy either , a hoy , and he didn't take much arm twisting for a trip out that afternoon after work with the plan being "Round my place help hook and load the boat up" and off we were to go.
As soon as I got home that afternoon it was straight onto the Met Office and ask the weather plus if there were any foreseeable Storms for that afternoon or night about the local area as up this neck of the woods summertime can dish out some pretty mean storms believe you me . Forecast or reply was yes good weather and the only storms showing on their radar were two which were heading away from Gladstone in a sth Easterly or Westerly direction cant remember which but away from Gladstone anyhow so the spirits were heightened , Bushy turned up, we hooked the boat & trailer to the car, loaded bait ,food, and fishing gear and off we headed leaving only fuel and ice to buy at the local fuel servo.
Must say all went to plan this far, pulled up at the local servo fuelled up , payed for the fuel plus x-number of bags of ice and off we headed to the local boat ramp and on arrival I asked bushy which esky he put the ice in ? ice? Came the reply, "I thought you took care of the ice ? fist Omen? Paid for but left the ice back at the servo, never mind simple mistake and one that can easy happen if one is in a rush to get somewhere. "Never mind we'll pull up at the boat ramp Bushy and after we slip the boat you duck off to Pats Bait & Tackle, pick up a bag or two of ice and I"ll pick you up at the jetty," so off heads Bushy and all went fine except for Bushy heading back to the boat ramp instead of the jetty as soon as he picks up the ice , two bags slung over each shoulder so I just detoured back to the ramp & nudged up alongside the ramp and Bushy throws one bag of ice in the boat and then the other and this is when the fun starts I think?? For as soon as Bushy throws the ice in the boat he reaches up and grabs hold of one of the poles holding the boats canopy , "hold on a minute there bushy till the boat is steady then climb over the back via the little step ladder" too late , Bushy grabs the canopy support which I have to admit is made of what I term very thin Aluminium tubing and places one foot on the spare outboard support, gives a heave-ho and goes arse over back into the drink taking himself and part of my canopy with him, "good on ya mate good effort & waddayu do for an encore"?. Never mind cant let little things like that get in the way of a good fishing trip can one? Especially when one has heaps of insulasion tape onboard plus a little tubing which one can slip inside the frame, tape it all off and good as new again. Now where were we, yes, reaches out and heaves Bushy back onboard and heads off down the harbour trying to get out to the shoals , find our landmark, anchor up and settle in for the night.
September 26, 2001
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