Benaraby's fishing icon is back on the banks of the Boyne
FOR seventeen years Nigel the fisherman has been welcoming visitors passing through Benaraby.
Seated in his boat high on the banks of the Boyne River, the hi-viz wearing scarecrow hasn't had much luck snagging one of Gladstone's big barramundi.
But he has hooked a lot of smiles and waves from passing traffic.
So when he went missing a month ago his creator Damon de Roode was peppered with calls from concerned locals.
"While he was out of action everyone was asking me where Nigel was," he said.
"Quite a few people have got used to seeing him when they're driving over the bridge.
"I'd taken him up to the shed for a bit of a revamp because the weather had gotten to him.
"His clothes had faded and he was falling apart."
Last week, Nigel returned to his favourite fishing spot in the bottom paddock sporting a new hat, shirt, jeans and bottle of rum.
He even had a new boat.
"I bought the 'The Rough Cut Punt' off my mum," Mr de Roode said.
"It's got a swag and an esky in there but he really needs a crab pot as well.
"I think I'll make a little barra out of corrugated iron too."
Mr de Roode is hoping to make a few more changes soon that should make Nigel much happier.
"He was nicknamed Nigel 'No Friends' because he was sitting on his own in the bottom paddock," he said.
"He could he do with a girlfriend, so if I can get onto a mannequin or two he'll have some company.
"A missus and maybe a couple of kids ski-ing behind the punt."
Mr de Roode admitted he was glad to have Nigel back in his favourite fishing spot greeting the passing traffic.
"I don't get down the river enough and I often look at him and think, 'Well at least Nigel's down there having fun'," he said.
"He does a good job, plus he keeps an eye on my place as well.
"He's pretty happy here."