Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What ho, young flathead

In preparation for a fishing trip today, I spent about an hour last night up the hill practicing my casting. I chose a nice clear area, but I still had to retrieve my leader (like my fisho jargon?) from various bushes and shrubs. My casts always sliced to the right. Once I twigged that I had to watch the tip of my rod all the way over my head, I was casting straight out in front.

This morning I took the boys down to Margate Jetty to try our luck. Our lines hit the water before 10, and we were still at it at 12.30, so that's pretty good going. We did get some bites, honest we did, but the sole fish we got out of the water was an undersize flathead. Thank God we got something, though. We were operating under the steady and unimpressed gaze of about two dozen cray fishermen, and I felt moderately justified when I was able to unhook and throw back a flattie, albeit too small for a kitten's dinner.

I was very proud of Marcus, who had the rod most of the day, and was casting magnificently. He snagged 31 couta at his last outing, so this was a bit of a comedown for him, but he took it well. Linguistic note: after a not-so-good cast, Marcus used the term "epic fail".

Michael did not fall in, and was still amused by the whole "drop something in the water, pull it out again" routine 2 hours after we started. So, a big thumbs up there. He did a few pretty good casts with his handline. He talked and/or sang the entire time. (His repertoire includes a number of Christmas carols at the moment. Yesterday Elf gently suggested he might consider the school choir next year - this was met with towering scorn.) He spent a lot of time today arranging crayfish antennae and legs on the jetty, and trying to work out a way to use them as bait.

I had the big handline most of the day, and only did one of my famous homicidal mis-casts, where hooks and lead fly about at head height for 3 - 5 seconds. Mostly I was getting it out there OK, got loads of nibbles but couldn't hook the buggers.

The jetty mostly serves the crayfish fleet, who are doing it a bit tough at present. China unilaterally banned Australian and NZ crayfish, for reasons that have not been explained. Your average cray man is up to his neck in debt on his boat and license, so they are desperately trying to sell their catch to anyone. Your average Tasmanian (if they are anything like me) has forgotten what crayfish tastes like since they have been priced out of our reach. This boat was selling live crays - I couldn't imagine taking one home and boiling it alive. But they were doing a fair trade.

We wrapped up the session after I decided I had unsnagged my last snag, but we'll go again soon I hope.


Nobody said...

Yet another fishing trip remains unspoiled by fish. Choosing to spend my time at the Aquatic Centre (which btw is slowly falling apart) my day was also unsullied by the piscine experience. Success all round.

CAPTCH(A) of the Day:

Pical - A moment completely removed from any fish related event.

chris.dadness said...

We have just spent the morning at the TattHobAqCent too. (Tell me what are you are up to today, so I know what we should do tomorrow). We found it largely intact.