There is certain things a fisherman doesn’t want to talk about and definitely doesn’t want to hear when fishing. With the below list I’m attempting to give you some do’s and dont’s, lay down some rules and generally just help you to better understand the species that is… the fisherman, of course with a humorous pinch. Fishing is serious business and we don’t like snotty comments and remarks 😉
“Why is it that you lie wide awake at 2:00 in the morning for leaving on a fishing trip at 5:00, yet you struggle to get up at 7:00 to go to work?” is a frowned upon question and shouldn’t be asked. We don’t know why, that’s just the way it is!
When joining your man on a trip, comments like the following is unacceptable: “When are we going home… or, the fish aren’t biting let’s go home… or, can we leave now that you have caught one…?” Rather approach the man of your dreams with something like: “You know we can have a lot more fun at home!” And if you’re not up for “that”… Remember, you wanted to tag along, so keep quiet and enjoy the view.
“Shame the poor thing!” Is the number 1 thing to NEVER EVER say when referring to a fish that just came out of the water, or a worm being hooked as bait. They are cold-blooded and therefore can’t feel a thing, so stop making stupid comments. It is in a man’s genes to be a hunter and therefore we have to kill something from time to time. And, if you make one of those comments again… it might be you…
When your man goes bait collecting, tag along. You’ll enjoy the fresh air and mud between your toes. Offer to hold the bucket and don’t squirm every time you have to pick up a prawn. You’re only allowed to complain when you have to pick up a tapeworm… those snotty slimy buggers will make the even the most hardy manly man wriggle! O, and please, pumping prawns is bloody hard work, don’t go feeding them to every second seagull that comes along.
Don’t scratch in our fishing bags and when you find something “suspicious”, jump to conclusions. Hair curlers, ear buds, toothpicks and condoms are part of any normal fishing bag. Explaining what they are for is just too much of a hassle right now, but I will explain the condoms. They are for pleasure, fishing pleasure! They are “mostly” used to float your mullet into the deep…
Don’t ever ask, how much a reel or rod or any equipment regarding fishing was? It’s expensive, that’s all you need to know. We don’t ask how much you hair cost, do we? Or, how much you squandered on that G3 hair straightener? Boys will be boys, and boys want bigger and better toys than other boys… You get the picture?
“When will you be home?” is a very, very difficult question to answer… There is so much that can influence the outcome and time spend next to the water… If the fish bite, it will be later than usual. If the fish don’t bite, we might stop at Hangklip hotel and then it might be even later… We don’t know. “You will see me when you see me”, is the most appropriate answer.
Only one form of communication per day is allowed. That means only 1 SMS, WhatsApp or quick call of less than 30 seconds. And, inquiring about anything other than “how much fish we’ve caught”, is seriously frown upon and not allowed! We fish to get away from reality (and you… “did I say that out loud”) for a while. We don’t want to be reminded of the “dik bek baber” (grappie julle) that awaits us when we get home!
When your man comes home after a long day, sunburnt, dehydrated and tired… Anything in the line of “Nothing again?” is totally unasked for. Why kick a man when he’s already down? Be more inspirational, say something like: “Don’t worry next time you’ll get them…Big Boy!” That is the type of thing we want to hear and will soothe our dented ego’s.
Fishing is smelly business. Get used to it! Please don’t look like a traffic cop at a load shedded robot when we come through the front door, directing us to the shower as if we have some terminal disease. Take in a few whiffs and say something like: “Hmmm… you smell so manly. Why don’t you go jump in the shower, while I heat up some food for you… Champ!” There is 1 exception to this rule, if we worked with any form of decomposed redbait… any behaviour, sounds or hand signs is acceptable. You may even shoot a cat (directly translated from Afrikaans)!
Don’t ever suggest that we go and have a weekend away in the Karoo, or any place not close to water. Without water there is no fishing and without fishing there is no holiday. End of discussion! Holidays and weekends will be planned around water, get used to it. Just goooo with the flooooow!
Know the lingo. A bimini twist is not something out of the Kamasutra! It’s a knot, it’s also one of the more difficult ones to… never mind! Shimmy is short for SHIMANO, the best reel manufacturer in the world! Daiwa is what all the uncool kids use!
Presents should be anything fishy. A voucher at the local store, a weekend away in Witsand, or maybe even a fishing boat… that will do just fine! We are a simple species, and a question like: “Can I get you a new Shimmy for Valentines/ Fathers/Birth- day?” will make our eyes well up with tears of joy!
It is rather possible that in your lifetime there will be braais and even dates that will have to be moved or even cancelled because of fishing. Accept it now, it will make your life easier. You see, if the weather is right, its right. We can’t order it! And if the fish is biting, they are biting. We can’t help it. “As dit pap reen moet jy skep!” is our philosophy and we have to make most of the fishy hand that we have been dealt. Don’t worry though, we will make up for the disappointments later (usually when the weather is to crap to go fishing)!
A fisherman is a“the glass is half full” person. It doesn’t matter how clean or cold the water is, If he wants to go fishing, he will go. And he will always be hoping, praying almost, that with the next cast the “big one” will come along and jerk the rod out of his hands. “One last cast…” Is his way of life! Every fisherman will make one last cast for the rest of his life! Learn to live with it. You see we are very enthusiastic people. If we were pessimistic we would argue, “a small little bait, in that big piece of water… What’s the chance of a fish having a nibble?” But we are positive and we believe we will get that bite… eventually!
Learn to appreciate Mother Nature at a very intimate level. Fishing isn’t all about catching fish. It’s also about majestic sunrises and tranquil sunsets all with a fresh sea breeze running through your hair! Join your man a couple of times to experience this. Also, learn how to work the camera. It will keep you from boring yourself to sleep, by taking a few naturistic pictures. And, when you eventually get a chance to photograph your man with a fish… please don’t cut his head out of the photo, or any part of the fish for that matter. Take enough pics so he can later choose which one makes him and his fish look the best. Let him have his moment, alone, with his prize… before demanding a selfie! Please, no pictures may be taken from behind while bending over to rebait a hook. We might “crack” you up, but that’s for your eyes only!
Don’t question Catch and Release by asking silly things like “what’s the point then?”. In fact, practice and encourage it. Say intelligent things like “the big ones is breeding stock” and “let him free to fight another day”. Buy your man a tag and release kit, it will inspire him to release more fish and this will in return also make you feel better, like you’re also doing your part in conserving the planet.
Fishermen tend to overestimate and over elaborate. It’s a fact! Whatever he says the size of the fish was that got away… its half that minus 10 kg’s. Just nod your head and smile as if you are listening and say sympathetic things. Don’t make jokes about lost fish… Ever! It will only inspire him to get the one that got away, and he will spend even less time at home.
Last but not least… Don’t ever make a man choose between you and fishing… “Why?” you might ask, and the answer is simple: “You know why!”
Have a good one ladies!