When reality TV is too unreal
  |  First Published: September 2011

I think sometimes those blokes that do fishing shows have lost touch with the real world.

I was watching one the other day and old mate was taking his 7m centre console out into open water. He cuts the engine, not sure why cause you couldn’t hear it over the telltale anyway, and turns toward the camera. Cue the ever-present guitar music. “When you go out on the water,” he says without irony, “it’s a good idea to go out with another boat so that if there are any problems you’ve got someone on hand to get you out of trouble.”

Easier said than done, big fella. It’s hard enough for the Dudds to beg, borrow or steal one boat let alone two to take out to the reef. Take me and Boobs last week for example. We went out in the little 4.5 off Mooloolaba to try and get a snapper. When we pulled up, a wave four times higher than the boat tried to wipe us out. So we headed back inshore without even throwing a line over. Wet as a shag. Cold as a witches elbow.

“I’m not going back out there in an open boat… it’s bloody ridiculous,” I said to Blossom.

“You’re not getting another boat,” she snapped back. “We’re broke.”

“That’s not what I meant,” I said, lying through my teeth. “I just meant I wasn’t going out fishing again on the reef. Huh, as if I wanted a boat. Why don’t you give me some credit?”

She threw a look at me that said “you’re an idiot”, which was appropriate.

Now do fishing show hosts have to cope with their wives chucking dirty looks at them and calling them names? I think not. They just hop into their Kenworth sized fourbees, and wave as they pull out of the driveway towing their cruise liners behind them. Then they ring up their mates, who also tend to be either internet site moguls or something else that means they can go out fishing any day of the week while still making millions of dollars to outfit THEIR 7m boats, and they meet down at the boat ramp. Probably a private ramp at some ritzy yacht club, too.

Does old mate know how hard it is to find someone to go fishing with you when you don’t have a good boat, and most of the people you know can barely buy pilchards at the moment? Does he? Well? Does he?

Get the feeling I’m a bit cranky at fishing tv shows?

And then he says (getting back to the fishing show) “It’s a good idea to use a boat with two motors. You can see that I’ve got twin four strokes so that if one conks out, I can make it back to shore safely.”

I mean, really! Two motors! Wouldn’t it be nice to have a boat with two motors so that if one conks out you can make it back with the other? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a boat with one motor? Wouldn’t it be nice to have one motor? Or the deposit for one?

Then of course when they get out there, they start dribbling on about how they use this reel or that reel “because it’s great value for money.” Well considering they pay nothing for them, that doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence. And it’s value for money for us if 25cm snapper are worth $500.

No, I think it’s about time these chaps fished like the rest of us fish. Just because they can catch fish with their fancy boats and $2000 reels doesn’t make them legends. Let’s see how they go fishing with a handline and a 4.5m tinnie with no cover on a rough and rainy day off Mooloolaba. See if they smile like a constipated cat for 30 minutes in those conditions. Or when they get home and start talking about buying a new boat. Good luck with that one, fellas.

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