I’ve been locked in a battle that is as old as humans stabbing water with a spear… the battle of Man v. Fish.
I’m not a fisherman by any stretch but give me a bucket of bait and put a rod in my hand and a hardwired need to catch it, kill it, eat it, takes over.
Fishing from the jetty and boat both day and night have seen me catch nothing more than an undersized bream, thrown back to grow an extra few centimetres that will see it stay in the bucket when we next meet.
My first fishing trip had caused a stir amongst the in-laws. My Huck Finn, dangle the rod in the water approach had seen the only proper catches of the day, much to the surprise of the assembled Australians. This time it seemed the fish had smartened up as they tug the bait from my line. I seem to spend my time rebaiting my hook after feeding another. Can fish laugh? I’m sure I heard some gurgled riverbed cackling. Maybe that was just too much sun.
Switching to crab nets saw no more success. As we dropped and raised the nets time after time it was like fishing for plastic ducks at the fair as I’d hook the buoy from the boat, hauling up an empty net, the bait untouched. Nice try, but no prize this time.
You may think that this all a demoralising fishy rout but trying to outwit the little creatures, dolphins darting through the water at a distance, black swans gliding in from above and pulling a cold Little Creatures Pale Ale from the esky isn’t a bad way to spend your time and there’s always tomorrow.