Brother-in-law Doug is on the phone, are you coming fishing?
There's only jobs to do at home, there's elbow slappers missing
If I remain here on my own, I'll only be reminiscing
Might hook a barra on the line, could do some Rex Hunt kissing

A good walk we'll get down the creek, then a stream to wade
Along a bank of sand so soft, ankle deep impressions made
It can be hard work to plough through, lifting high both knees
Beneath a sun of winter strength, south easterly is the breeze

Once the water has all gone, there is just a trickle flow
A wide expanse of sand for us, to choose anywhere we go
Check out muddy water holes where prawn may like to hide
Or try clear stream-flowing pools, where hungry whiting glide

Like most tidal creeks round here, seafood's here to treasure
In a gully set a pot, select it at your leisure
A big buck mud crab would be nice, one you hardly need to measure
After a pot of boiling water, the taste gives so much pleasure
 A big spring rain can bring a flush, of murky water flowing fresh
Select a bucket heavy duty, mend the cast-net mesh
Through mangrove mud you need negate then casting of the net
There should be prawn now in this creek, some you hope to get
 If you'd prefer to bend your back and pump lobbies from the sand
Then go search for winter whiting, you never know what you’ll land
Enjoy a walk in the great outdoors and look for the 'perfect spot'
Then make some casts both here and there, you don't require a lot
© Daryl Barnes 2016



Eight days eight blokes on holiday – a list of supplies obtained
Victoria Bitter beer and food – ample it contained
Our well-planned houseboat holiday – we now hoped would deliver
And provide us with good memories – when home from the Murray River

With nobody late we're out the gate – and heading north from town
With Pope and I at the steering wheels – we were Renmark S.A. bound
With two boat trailers on behind – both loaded to the max
A six-hour drive ahead for us – and all on bitumen tracks

It was early afternoon we arrived – safely and without mishap
Located the nearest access ramp – marked on the local map
Inspection  of our floating home – approved with both thumbs up
Our hosts provided a welcome cheer – we sipped champagne from a cup

Plans were discussed before depart – radio channel checked and contact
With everything then completed – the houseboat was slowly backed
We passed the town of Renmark – saw unfamiliar sights
Bypassed a water ski zone – where we turned on the driving lights

A sandy bend unanimously selected – so moored the craft in tight
 Sorted gear for the following day – then settled in for the night
We’d had a long day overall – so early we hit the sack
‘Fred’ was out like a candle light – snored loudly so deserved a whack

By first light were up and busy – the sun already warming
We were all keen to wet a line – best fishing time always morning
We’d garden worms and fresh river shrimp – to tempt a cod or yellowbelly
Looking forward to the first one caught – and getting my hands all smelly


© Daryl Barnes 2016


After the one hour drive the river and ramp were in view 
I had the place all to myself as there was no waiting queue 
So I backed the trailer down, first pull the motor was revving
Soon cruising down the river, now I was really living

Around each bend at full throttle, the tinny I smoothly steer
A cool wind that whistled, around each exposed ear
Then up ahead in a shady spot and half way down the straight
With canopy up and peering out sat Claude my good mate

I hit the switch of the Evinrude to drift up close to hear
“How ya goin’ Claude?” I said as from the esky I pulled a beer
A bit of chat then decision time on where to spend the night
Still no sign of other craft, not another sole in sight

Fishing rods were placed in holders, hooks baited and were set
Prawns pilchards and river crabs, bait requirements were all met
A sandwich eased the hunger pains as I waited for a bite
We kept our voices low and soft in the disappearing light

 Swamp Hens squabbled on the bend, in and out of reeds they darted
Until darkness descended upon us all and they too soon, departed
Now the mullet started to “flip-flop-flap” as the river sprung to life
Mulloway and bream now on the move, lookout, there could be strife

Some stars appeared high up above, half moon was on the rise
The esky lid came off again, making room to store a prize
A water rat dived beneath the boat, it was also on the hunt
A Boobook Owl’s familiar call was followed by a Koalas grunt

Annoying mozzies got in my ear, luckily I’d packed the spray
A peaceful night would be fulfilled if those pests would stay away
Then without a warning I heard that sound, of line peeling from a reel
The rod was bowed to water level as I picked it up to feel

 A brief pause and then it went again, that signalled time to sink the hook
Which didn’t please the hungry fish as away upstream, more line it took
Claude offered me sound advice, “Hang on mate and keep it tight”
One more run and this fish was done, I soon had within eyesight

I reached behind for the landing net being careful not to give it a fright
I guide it under the slender body, its silver shimmering in the light
On the floor between my feet, a Mulloway beaten and out of fight
I turned and looked towards my mate with a grin of great delight

It was the first one for the night!

© Daryl Barnes 2016




On a river bend up on a hill stood the hut in which we’d sleep
Double bunks lined two walls beside the famous Pannican Creek
Prickly back Crayfish made the creek their home
With predators none to fear so they were free to roam
Here stories were told of the good times of old
When catching scores of bream gave good reason for those to grin
After a dam got built away upstream, it changed everything
That seasonal river flush some years, now is often missing
Old mates Darkie and Donny, willing caretakers they were both
One a butcher one a barman, fair dinkum blokes my bloody oath
Always meat and always beer and plenty of hearty cheer
So pull up a stump and lend an ear, it all adds to the atmosphere
An outdoor stove fire burns both day and night
The smell of smoke always in the air with ample wood to keep alight
All river folk could now see that Pannican Creek was occupied
Call in to catch-up and discuss the fishing and the tide

Now you would certainly get a treat if Donny was around
Just lift the lid of the cooking pot, his signature dish could there be found
When the contents got too low more was simply added to the brew
You’d always be back for seconds, of Donny’s Pannican Creek stew

Pick a spot down on the jetty and lean your rod against a stick
Rest your eyes maybe read a book, but make sure close by you sit
Keep within a one arm’s reach in case your tackle takes a hit
As it could be a mighty mulloway, swimming off and really quick

Now today if you take a cruise there’s no dwellings left to seek
Like that of the hut that stood on the hill, beside the Pannican Creek
Only fading memories now remain, for many it was unique
For the generation of today, it’s now folklore and mystique

© Daryl Barnes 2016

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