Those of us who are fishing tragics generally started our weird fetish in the very early years of our lives. I can remember being fascinated by tiny guppies in the clear creeks on our block near the Sunshine Coast as a stumbling, bumbling and innocent youngster.
So I know what it is to be fishing mad from a very early age; you’ll forgive me if I sigh when someone talks about ‘so and so’ the 10-year-old and how he’s a ‘mad keen fisho’. I’ve heard it all before.
Mostly the ‘mad keen fisho’, according to his mum/girlfriend/sister – they’re not the same person by the way (well, maybe in some small country towns) – just won’t stop talking about fishing! He or she “…just goes on and on about it”. Then come the inevitable requests to take little Johnny/Joanny (they’re not the same person – except in some small country towns) out fishing.
What generally happens is that you take little J/J out fishing and all is fine until J/J begins to get bored. In some cases that can be as long as three minutes, but in most cases 90 seconds is enough time for boredom to set in. Then it’s a case of dropping the rod/reel/handline into the mud/dirt/grass/sand/boat and begin to throw rocks/food/sticks/insects/Shimanos/small land mammals into the water to keep him/her amused.
It’s about this stage that I understand I’ve once again been duped/hoodwinked. The mother/father/carer/keeper/kennel assistant of Johnny/Joanny never actually thought he/she was keen on fishing, but they did see a gullible boat owner/fisho (me) that would fall for the old ‘he/she has been begging to go out with Uncle Jimmy for weeks and weeks and it’s driving us mental.’
Yes, well, I know what’s driving them mental and it’s not the fishing/boating requests. It’s little Johnny/Joanny being a turd on a stick.
But, I’ll admit, I can be surprised. Very occasionally, I’ll find a little tacker that not only wants to learn how to tie on and bait a hook, but how to cast a line in and wait for the bite. And that little tacker will enjoy pulling in a fish almost as much as I do.
Take Raffy, who came out with me last week. Car was broken, boat was unavailable so we were fishing from the bank. Cast net got ripped on a log/mangrove/shopping trolley/rock/croc/block so we were reduced to Caltex prawns. And so it was a pleasant surprise when instead of the usual three minutes, it was at least 20 minutes before there was some shuffling of feet, then some whistling, and at last some rod dropping and rock throwing as boredom set in. But anyway, it wasn’t my fault. There was nothing biting. The rod fell over, on its own. The rock flew into the water on its own. The bucket of bait fell off the bank because one of the prawns or the squid must have still been alive. Nothing was happening. Raffy wouldn’t talk to me. I wanted to go hooommme… I was booorrreedd…Reads: 1208