Thursday, 10 January 2013

Watch this Dad!

Oh yeah, we are such a fishing family.  

This entreaty to watch goes out not to Mike from one of our kids, but to my Dad from me.  Grandjack as he was known. 

For not three days ago, Joshie managed to achieve one of life’s great milestones.   He caught his first fish. 

My Dad was a fisherman.  He was a boatie.  Fishing and boating were his favourite pastimes and as a kid I spent many days messing about with fishing rods and crab pots, taking the dogs to the beach in the tinnie, and pumping up live yabbies for bait on the sandbanks of Moreton Bay. 

These days I’m not so much of a fisherwoman, but it’s amazing how quickly it all comes back, when you take your kids out.  I can still drive that tinnie, even though it’s a rental from the boatshed.  And bait a hook, and take a tiddler off gently so he can swim another day. 

Most of the time, with three kids all clamouring for their hook to be baited, I don’t get much fishing done at all.  Neither does Mike.

A couple of days ago we hired a boat.  We fished for an hour and caught…nothing.  But later on the shores of the lake, something amazing occurred. 

Joshie caught a fish.  On the new rod we’d bought that morning, because he and Mike had gone fishing the day before and broken the $12.50 one from Big W. 

He had been inconsolable because he never got to catch a fish with it. 

As a parent, you spend most of your time just rebating and untangling.  As a child I never realised this. 
So, as we fished with our mates off the sandbank at Smith’s Lake, the incredible happened, and when it did, the smile on his face nearly cracked it open.  It was even bigger than his boogie board wave catching smile.   We all cheered and clapped like crazy.  And we texted Mike's folks and told my Mum and they were duly impressed, but of course, we couldn't tell Dad.  

Sheer unadulterated joy.
It was a bream, which some did say, when they saw the photo, was legally sized and could have been kept, but honestly, I have no idea how to scale, bait or fillet a fish, and I remember never liking the taste of bream anyway (too fishy).   I don’t think my Dad would have been too proud of me for that bit.  Sorry.

So we took about 850 photos and threw Mr Tiddler back to his mates, much to the disgust of the nearby pelican who thought he was up for a treat.

Within ten minutes, Josh had caught two more fish, both smaller than the first.  He was beside himself.  Our friend then caught a puffer fish.  Which was a bit of a downer.  Even the pelican got bored.

None of the rest of us caught a damn thing.  I spent most of the time unsnarling snarls and rebaiting bait, and making sure the two five year old lunatics didn’t drown themselves or get lost in the playground.  I’m not complaining, it was a hoot of a way to spend an afternoon. 

Today we hired another boat, and we tried again to catch a fish on the lake.  And this time it was Sarah’s turn.  Two fish she pulled out.  With no help from anyone, baited and cast herself. 

Yep, joy again.

Grandjack would have been totally proud.  I wish I could text him.