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“Good on the chew”

The marvel of the Endeavour River has seduced many a man before him.  Garry too has been lured by her great beauty, whiling away the hours, fishing the great wharf.  The wharf is the heartbeat of the town, where locals and tourists alike, take up challenge to catch that big barra.  A barra caught on the wharf is the envy of fellow fisherman and the news travels quickly on the bush telegraph.  A myriad of fish can be soured from the river and the reef; Barramundi, Coral Trout, Golden Trevally, Spanish Mackerel, Spangled Emperor, Mangrove Jack, Fingermark Bream, to name a few. 

It’s Garry’s first day on the wharf, and he has come prepared.  Carefully, and intently he executes a rig that has more tackle than Puff Daddy has bling.  He prepares himself for the big cast with a huge surf fishing rod.  The audience of hand-line bearing fisherman, watch on as Garry casts.  Forgetting to release the bale, the weight of the rig snaps his line, and we all watch the big Puff Daddy sail out to the channel.   Later that day, a local stops me to say “That was a pearler of a cast!”  This was the first of many, what we like to call, ‘Ace’ moments.  ‘Ace’ is Garry’s alter ego, a character reserved for these special moments.
           
After six days at sea a prawn trawler moors at the wharf.  They’re a rugged looking crew, with dogs aboard and all.  We call them the ‘pirates’.  Garry buys some Leader prawns off them; eight to the kilo – they’re huge.  Larger fishing boats arrive from time to time, with live Coral Trout destined for Japan.  We have been lucky enough to buy some on the side.  The protected Groper are a magnificent sight, measuring up to a couple of meters.  Harrison was delighted to see the riverfront café owner feed a resident Groper, large strips of fish - the size of your arm.

Paul Hogan arrived in the caravan park today.  His real name is Brian, a retired 60yr old with a lean physique, dressed in short shorts, singlet and thongs.  Hoges is the quintessential Aussie bloke.   He’s a keen fisherman with a sophisticated rig to match - 4wd with a tinny strapped to the roof, large freezer to store the catch, deluxe caravan, satellite dish for his Foxtel, and a young leggy missus.  Hoges tells us “I’m not after the big game fish, just those good on the chew!”