Traditions prevail as Penguin fishing crew prepare for the start of Trout open season

Spud has been 'trembling with excitement' about the season starting. Photo: Brodie Weeding
Spud has been 'trembling with excitement' about the season starting. Photo: Brodie Weeding

For seasoned angler Dudley 'Spud' Corbett, the success of a fishing trip isn't measured in the number of trout caught.

It's in the quality of time spent with good friends.

For more than 30 years, Spud has marked the opening of trout fishing season with a group of old friends, in recent years beginning the morning with a toast to those lost along the years.

This year, he says, will be no different in Tasmania.

"We've had some cold and wet starts, but we're intrepid anglers so we're always there," Spud said. "Just a few of us at the Penguin Angling Club decided we should do something special for opening morning, so about half a dozen of us decided to head out.

"We've still got four out of the original seven. But we always toast our departed friends; we don't start the morning until we've said a few words in recognition and remembrance.

DECADES OF MEMORIES: Dudley 'Spud' Corbett with Peter Dutton, the son of one of the original group members, who go out every year for the first day of the season. Picture: Brodie Weeding

DECADES OF MEMORIES: Dudley 'Spud' Corbett with Peter Dutton, the son of one of the original group members, who go out every year for the first day of the season. Picture: Brodie Weeding

"We have the barbeque going, a big firepot, copious amounts of black pudding, a tot of rum, champagne and a thermos of coffee."

This year, the group will be headed to a new location, a secret dam, with the address being held close to their chest. A sacred tradition, they've only ever invited one new member into the fold - but are quick to share their catches with friends and family.

"It's a bonding session for good mates that we've had over the years, and we'd like to continue the tradition," he said. "Even if we don't catch a fish we'll have had the greatest morning ever.

"There's a fair bit of stirring that goes on around the campfire, but it's all in good fun. The fact is, you're there and joining in with fellow anglers and jolly good mates.

"And the biggest part of the trout is always the tale."

He said following all the rain of late, he was anticipating a "glorious" trout fishing season.

And a reminder, he said, make sure you're fully licenced before you head out: "Do the right thing."

Trout fishing open season opens for most waters in Tasmania on Saturday, August 7.

In July, Primary Industries and Water Minister Guy Barnett released 50 tagged brown trout into 15 waters around the state, with each tag worth $2000 to the angler who returns the tagged fish to the Inland Fisheries Services.

This is up from the five trout released last year worth $10,000 each, with only one caught ending up being caught.

This story No doubt about the trout: let the tradition condition first appeared on The Advocate.