Thursday, October 13, 2011

'All for the Cast' by new FishMax contributor - Phil

It began like any other autumn fishing trip, the warmer mornings had signalled the start of the surface bassing season on my favourite dam on Queensland’s ‘Scenic Rim’.

After preparing the boat and the equipment, we settled in with a few beers whilst sorting and rigging our gear, discussing at length our intended tactics, comparing surface lures and tying knots before checking and then double checking them as the sun fell sleepily to the west. “Yeah… I recon we’ll be up at four and be on the water by six” I exclaimed to Justin, my equally eager angling partner, “five minutes from the boat ramp and we’ll be braining bass on the surface in the bay of plenty!” I muttered confidently.

With a squeeze of the fuel primer bulb and a few stern pulls of the starter cord my old Johnson outboard screamed into life, “Brrrring ding ding ding ding ding” the old seahorse snarled, no doubt waking the locals as she bellowed a cloud of two stroke smoke.
With a knowing smile and boundless expectation we set off across the slick smooth early morning waters, a magical mist rising from the surface as the sun peaked over the mountains framing the impoundment and illuminating the tell tale “swirls’ left by hungry bass as they dined on hapless mayflies.

With the ‘Bay of plenty’ in sight and our thoughts firmly locked onto a busy morning of top water Bass casting; Blat Blat, Burrrr…, the old water churner began to labour as she abruptly and without warning lost power, firing on only one cylinder instead of the intended two as the 25 year old technology had intended, “She’ll be right” I shouted to Justin, who was poised at the bow in anticipation of firing off the first cast. “There’s only 100 meters to shore, there we can take off the cowl and we’ll see what’s what”.
As the old Johnno pushed us forward through the brisk morning air, a perplexed and concerned expression fell over Justin’s youthful face, and before I could say “It’s probably just a fowled spark plug” - BOOM! a bright flash of orange flame leapt into the air, trailing behind it a plum of white smoke and launching the engine cowl skyward leaving the boat and its occupants reeling in a mixture of confusion and shock, “What the f@#& was that” I stammered, clutching at my head with both hands as I imagined the engine cowl plummeting back to earth with meteoric force from the heavens above.

It was a long row back to the boat ramp, long enough to recall the ‘maintenance checks’ made on the old outboard the previous afternoon, and upon inspection of the old “clip on” it became apparent to me that in spite of “meticulous” preparation, a spark plug, if left loose will wind itself free and provide adequate ignition for atomized fuel, leaving you with bleeding ear drums, blistered hands from rowing and a fishing expedition to remember!


  1. great story Phil, Looking forward to reading your future stories.