Enjoying the great outdoors with David Irvine

5th May 2021 Jack O'Rourke

Born and raised in Nambucca heads, David Irvine has lived on the Mid North Coast all his life, working as a nurse for the last 13 years. 

He takes his fishing very seriously, spending most of his free time out with his partner Amy casting lures. From chasing bream throughout their local estuaries, to out west chasing cod and golden perch on their boat or kayaks, they have a passion for exploring new places and catching a variety of fish. 

David has been an active member and moderator of fishraider.com.au for a number of years, and chats with Deckee about the enjoyment he gets out of taking new members out on his local waters and how he ensures he stays safe on his fishing adventures.

What was your first experience out boating?

I have been out boating for as long as I can remember with my father. Before I even started school, we used to take out an old catamaran with a 4HP outboard motor, and we used to explore the local river and go fishing. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a rod or a reel in my hand.

What is the best part of being out on the water?

I work indoors most of the time, so it's good just to be able to get outside. Fresh air, sunshine, and no stress. I get a feeling of freedom whenever I am fishing. 

What is the number one safety tip all boaters should remember?

Know your limits. I do a lot of kayaking, and I see people getting into strife when they underestimate how far their trip is and often forget how hard it will be to paddle back. When it comes to boating, it’s the same thing. Every time I have seen someone come unstuck it is because they push the limits too far.

Is there a water activity you would like to try or do more of?

I do a lot of kayak fishing all around my local waterways. I can go everywhere in it; upriver, downriver, out west to the dams.

Describe your perfect day out on the water.

Nice calm weather, on a remote part of the river with no one else on it, and plenty of fish biting. I enjoy the peace and quiet. 

I love exploring a new piece of water. When Amy and I go out on a new piece of river and catch heaps of fish we have a cracking time. That's our top trip. There's no better feeling than coming up with a pan and having it pay off.

What's your tip when going through your safety checklist before heading out on the water?

I always check my lifejacket. I have an inflatable lifejacket, so I check that everything is working and there are no holes or leaks. On the boat make sure the bungs are in. I have been caught out with that before. Check and then double-check all your gear. Make sure you have everything you need for your next trip. If you don't have it, don't go out until you have it. 

When it comes to boating, which do you enjoy more: the journey or the destination?

I like the journey. The destination is great, but the journey makes the trip. I like taking in the sights and sounds as we are cruising along. Half the fun is getting there. 

What attracted you to the Deckee app? What features can boaters most utilise?

I like the live stream weather feature. Everything is on the one page and it's all graphed. I was out at Copeton Dam and I used Deckee to track the weather by following the live graph line. It is a brilliant feature, especially if you only have access to limited internet coverage. 

I was never much of an app user, but now I can't imagine going out fishing without the Deckee app.

What are some common mistakes first time boaters encounter regarding safety?

New boaters love to test the speed of their new boat. They run into sandbars going flat out because they don't understand the markers and they don't know how to read the water. 

What should experienced boaters do to ensure that they are not complacent?

Don't forget that river systems can change. We recently had a flood in my home waterway and a new sandbar emerged. I hit it at full throttle and we were lucky to make it out unscathed. It just serves as a reminder that no matter how experienced you are, you can have an accident at any time if you're not careful.