Converting the uninitiated
  |  First Published: November 2004

Like most kids who are into fishing, I’m dead keen – but a lot of my mates don’t understand the attraction and obsession with fishing.

My father, grandfather and great grandfather were all keen fishos so maybe it’s in the blood, although my twin sister, Elspeth, isn’t really interested. My younger sister, Rebecca, loves coming out in the boat to fish for squid and snapper. She’s only nine but has caught bonito, salmon, squid and even a snapper.

She’s also seen dolphins, whales and seals when she’s been out with us and loves it.

Some of my mates from Greenwell Point like fishing and we go out on weekends and during school holidays. I’ve got other mates whose parents don’t fish and some whose parents are separated and who don’t see their fathers much, so they don’t get taken fishing.

It’s not that they don’t like fishing, it’s just that they’ve never been or never caught a decent fish. When they get taken, it doesn’t take long to have them converted and loving it !

My mate James has only ever been fishing a few times and never caught much, so he thought it was boring compared to surfing or riding his bike or skateboard.

James stayed at our place the other weekend and Dad took us out in the boat. I think it was the first time that he’d been outside in a boat so he got a look at where he lives from the ocean for a change.

It was a nice, flat day with only a light breeze so it was a good introduction to boat fishing. We didn’t catch a lot but we did manage a few morwong and trevally and James caught a couple on light line.

I lent him my 4kg threadline stick and showed him how to bait up with a piece of cuttlefish, while Dad explained how he used the sounder to find fish and then anchor up-current of them so the berley drifted back to the right spot.

James hooked a few fish and I taught him to pump and wind the reel, which makes fighting any fish easier. Within 10 minutes he was baiting up himself, drifting floaters back down the berley and hooking fish, so he a great time.

Now he understands what I like about fishing and after he took a feed of fish home for his family, he knew it was all worthwhile and not boring at all. We’re going to get him out again this Summer and see if we can catch and release a marlin. That should blow him away and have him converted completely !

If you are keen on fishing then don’t be afraid to tell your friends and don’t be embarrassed if they tell you it’s boring compared with surfing or bike riding.

Instead, take them with you next time you go and let them find out what a great sport fishing is. Who knows – you may have a new fishing buddy.

Just remember to teach them about the environment and how to catch release what you don’t need to take home.

With flathead like this around, kids who say fishing is boring obviously haven’t really been trying.

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