Duo dressed for success turns heads on Fraser Island
WADERS, bait bucket, smelly hat, suit . . . pick the odd one out.
On this fishing trip to Fraser Island, the clear outsider was a suit and bow-tie. Two of each to be precise.
Keen Ipswich fishos Wade Qualischefski and Rick Hyde enjoyed few trips more than an escape to the Great Sandy Island wonderland.
For me, being invited to tag along was one of the most privileged fishing joys for three main reasons.
The first was receiving such an opportunity was rare given the long line of would-be anglers queuing up. Surrender your spot and you may never get another Fraser Island call-up.
The second reason was the prospect of catching decent fish - and not just tailor. Beach and offshore fishing is a magnificent lure in the fish-rich waters.
The third appeal was the unpredictability of Qualischefski-led expeditions. Like this wonderful tale that left onlookers amused and in disbelief.
Wade worked for many years at the former Bob Dowse Sports Store at North Ipswich with his parents Bunny and Laraine.
The Qualischefski family provided a fantastic fishing service, with Laraine a skilled rod builder among other talents.
Bunny led the region in freshwater fish-stocking ventures during the 1990s and Wade was a wealth of knowledge about everything from lures and bait to four-wheel drives and eskies.
So the offer of precious time on Fraser Island was always going to be snagged faster than I could rig up a hook and swivel trace.
But what happened this Wednesday morning on the island paradise will take some beating.
As the regular groups of morning anglers positioned their four-wheel drives up the beach overlooking a decent tailor gutter, Wade and Rick became an instant centre of attention.
With anglers jumping into their traditional waders, Wade and Rick donned suits and grabbed their fishing rods before joining those already at the water's edge.
The immaculately dressed Ipswich larrikins wandered down the beach and began fishing to everyone's surprise.
They even had some pilchards in their pockets ready to reload in the tailor gutter.
Thankfully the white suits were from a second hand op shop and "tailor'' made for this quirky display.
The carefully planned fishing antics provided some welcome entertainment.
Former newsagent owner Rick was renowned for his daring attributes, in addition to being somewhat of a jew catching specialist.
Though wearing a suit fishing around the rocky headlands is something even Rick wouldn't try.
However, this morning session chasing tailor caught everyone out. It will take some beating.
This story is part of a Fishy Tales series reliving quirky and some would say unbelievable adventures.