Success on a fishing trip doesn’t have to mean that you caught fish

There is little chance of someone confusing me with Rex Hunt, Jeremy Wade or Matt Hayes.  I have learned that I am not a very good fisherman.  If I was the Old Man from Hemingway’s famous novel, I would have starved long ago.  My younger son and I went out on the weekend to test the water with our fishing rods, intending to spend an hour on the jetty in the morning and see if we could bring anything to the table.  First hiccup in my plan was shortly after we arrived… I realised I left the bait at home.  So, we turned around to pick that up.

Before long we were back at the jetty and I was setting the bait on my hook.  We were the only people fishing, possibly as it was a terrible time to try, yet I decided that I would get some practice in, and my son and I could spend the time chatting.  I decided it would make sense if I cast first,  which would allow me to bait my son’s hook, so I let loose with my rod then placed it down and let it sit (which was something I had seen experienced fishermen do).   I set up the second rod, then my son and I sat back to talk.

I should say that when I cast my hook I felt the reel was a little stiff, yet I didn’t pay it much attention until I noticed I had a nibble… as I tried to wind the reel I found I was unable to turn the handle… it was almost stuck solid.  I suspect it might have rusted from when I went surf fishing a few months ago and I (stupidly) didn’t maintain it after I came home.  I spent 5 minutes wrestling with the handle, slowly bringing it in, until the handle on the reel snapped.  I brought the hook and sinker back to the jetty, yet I was unable to use the rod.  So my son and I shared the remaining rod.

We had a nice time fishing, chatting about things.  We had many nibbles on the line, and lost plenty of bait, yet nothing was caught.  I did witness a commercial fisherman nearby (he was part of the crew off a crabbing boat), he seemed to be catching fish with every cast.  Still, the experience was enjoyable and it was nice to be outdoors.  We spent nearly three hours on the jetty, as every time I had decided it was time to go home I had a fish nibble on my bait.  This encouraged me to keep with it a little longer.

After the time fishing my son and I took a walk on the rocks by the jetty.  It was a chance to explore areas that are usually under water and for me to share some knowledge.  We found all manner of sea creatures, such as abalone, muscles, oysters, sea snails, and hundreds of crabs.  The noise the crabs made on mass was surprising, it sounded like rocks crawling on sandy ground.  Many of the animals we found were edible and some were also legal to take, yet we decided to leave them all for another day.



I did learn something from this day.  I took special note of the bite marks on the bait which I brought back up after a nibble.  I noticed that they would usually start biting at the stomach of the blue bait I was using.  My hook was usually set through the eyes of the bait, or through the backbone (if using a lower portion).  I believe that my hook placement was wrong, as it was not in the ideal position to hook the fish when it nibbled.  I have decided to try out some different configurations next time I go fishing… trying to keep the hook near the most desirable portion of the bait and make it so that they will be eating parts closer, so when I try to set my hook into the fish it might bite at the ideal location.  So despite nothing caught, I did learn something.  I also realise that even without bringing fish home for a meal I can still have a successful day fishing if I enoy my time.  That said, I hope that it will be soon when I bring home some delicious fish for my family’s dinner.

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