It had been a tough trip. The sort that makes you wonder why you don’t drop the addiction, seek therapy and take up knitting instead. I mean what’s all the excitment about being on the water anyway? It’s likely to leave you sunburnt, or with varying degrees of hypothermia, even both. It will certainly bring you closer to the poverty line and where there are boats you can rest assured that disaster is stalking in the shadows just waiting to sneak hundreds of litres of water into your bilge, put water in your fuel or crack the arse out of your hull.
We were just four days into a ten day easter epic targetting the Northern Territory’s barra population. Already we’d had to ditch one boat and a hilux due to mechanical jinx’s and the river had gone from ideal runoff conditions to an angry, flooded, mess that really didn’t want us around. Hamish sums up our woes nicely in his post: Cursed on the Daly
We sought refuge at Dundee where like moths to a stadium the call of the bluewater was just too strong to resist. Who can blame us? We hated barra and their riverine habits by this stage and if the fishing didn’t pick up it was only a matter of time untill we hated each other as well!
We’d gone from three barra boats to just one that we felt confident taking out on the deep blue yonder. It’s big water out there and mirror conditions can quickly shatter into a confused chop that has you thinking longingly about the overhand cast off knitting manouver your grandma patiently showed you when you were five years old. Big boats with big donks really earn their keep in these conditions and our only option was to search out a hire boat.
As with most problems, we resolved the boat drama at the bar with cold beers in hand. Dundee Lodge is one of those places where it’s hard to be angry and we quickly forgave fishing and lined up a vessel. What followed was a epic trip that had many of us calling it the best fishing of our lives. Big call that!
When I think hire boats I get visions of underpowered bathtubs suitable for building artificial reefs and little else. What we scored was something different. It was a GS Marine Xtreme plate boat with a big, quiet Suzuki on the back. This is the sort of boat that would have you consider selling your kids to a labratory for if it meant you could own one. Sleek, well set out and with a space for eveything the GS boats are one of the most favoured among territory anglers. They are quick, comfy and able to handle being bashed into mangroves and rockbars which is a constant threat up here where boat licences don’t exist and you can drive as drunk as you like (though I certainly wouldn’t recomend hitting the turps too hard as the cops leave it to the reptillian breath testers that can grow to over 5m and will be on hand to lend a few puncture wounds and crush injuies if you go astray).
So the crux of this post is really to thank Dundee Boat Hire for helping us out in our time of need. Bob and his crew sorted us out with no fuss and even took pity on us when told of our dramas and provided a sizable discount off what was already a good price so we could get back out on the water. Give Bob a call on o411 417 364 or phone the Lodge of Dundee to line up an adventure. Word on the water is they have a big half cab Polycraft on the way too which would make for a soft ride if it turns nasty offshore.
Be warned though, after taking the GS out you’re knitting therapy will go backwards and you’ll spend the time tying bimini twists and crimping sailfish leaders instead!
Thanks for reading folks!
PS – the list of species we caught from the hire boat was epic. Sailfish to spainiards, trout and trevally, tuna and well read Lee’s post: NT Adventures Part 2 – One Perfect Day for more on what really was a trip saving experience.
PPS – Traffic Jam at Sail City is another post on Dundee fishing madness if you are interested in the area.