Fishing Hazards The Untold Story

When I married a fisherman there were a few things my mother didn’t tell me. Not having a fisherman in her family she had no way of knowing the horrible truth. Women are from Venus and men are from the oceans deep.

I should have rumbled when we set the wedding date. “No it can’t be that weekend it’s a shore fishing competition, no not that weekend either, its a boat comp. Well it could be that weekend but it would clash with the sounds fishing trip and I really would like to go for a good snapper bash”. We finally found the three weekends out of fifty two that didn’t have a fishing commitment and set a date. I didn’t mind that our wedding cake had silver snapper around each of the tiers; after all I was in love.

On our honeymoon to the Coromandel the fact that the fishing rods were jammed between us in the car was ok too. Love at that stage was blind, otherwise I would have been suspicious about the bait rod, the two surf casting rods, the 4 kg, and 8 kg line weight spinning rods (for kingies off the rocks, he says, his face lighting up at the thought) and let’s not forget the fly fishing rod for use when passing the Tongagriro River on the way up north. Thank goodness we didn’t have a boat! That special treat was to come later. The years since then have flown past and boy, do I know a lot now.

Hazard One. The laundry. Hooks sinkers and jig flie packets in the bottom of the washing machine, all nice and clean. When the washing machine washed its last sinker then gave up and died, the repair man gleefully said “Hair clip, bloody women”. “I beg to differ” I said holding up the offending Dacron threading needle. On one memorable occasion while I was hanging out the washing a friend turned up and helped. She picked up the fishing jeans (washed twice!) pegged one leg on the line then screamed as the cleanest pilchard in New Zealand fell out of the pocket and landed on her foot.

Hazard Two. The kitchen. The use of the kitchen whiz shall be out of bounds for the making of berley. The fact that black paua gut was stuck in the rim tipped me off to that one. Kitchen knives are for the kitchen not for bait. I retrieved the last scale encrusted one out of the bait bucket. With two bait freezers and one household freezer I felt it was fair to make the ‘food for humans’ freezer out of bounds for fish food. Carefully defrosting a well packaged chicken breast for tea and upon unwrapping the chicken breasts only to find squid, “fresh”, hubby assured me, so much for that idea. So now the pilchard overflows sit next to the Sunday Roasts, and mussel bait nestles next to sausages.

It amazes me just how far fish scales can travel in a kitchen, the floor, windows, fridge, sink, walls and even floating on the surface of a good hot cuppa. I have lost count of the amount of chopping boards that have disappeared from the kitchen that have resurfaced as you guessed it, bait boards. The tea towel population suffers terrible deprivations from thefts to be used as hand wiping rags both on the boat and for shore fishing.

Hazard three. The Bedroom. Berley encrusted jeans shall not be dropped on the bedroom floor and left to perfume the room with a scent of pure paradise, if you’re a fish that is. I mean, what can you say when having hopped into bed you have to hop out even faster to remove the 3/0 hook from the calf muscle it had embedded itself into. Even worse is the look of pure innocence my frenzied squawk met, “Gosh darling I wonder how on earth that got between the sheets?” I wonder indeed, NOT! Standing on ball sinkers in bare feet and picking trout flies out of the duvet are just the norm. Scattered over the floor just to add to the chaos is a good assortment of fishing magazines, fishing club newsletter and boat magazines.

Hazard Four. The Car. Pilchard flies and silk suits do not go together. Only a man would put his assembled pilli rod complete with tiny sharp flies in the car so he could check on the slimy mackerel situation on his way home from the ball. After hooking his irate wife he has the nerve to complain about having his $3.95 flies clipped off to save the $500.00 silk suit. Fact, once the berley bucket tips over in the back of the Land Cruiser its value drops ten thousand, unless the buyer has no sense of smell. Hooks stuck in the upholstery, sinkers rattling in the air vents, swivels and rigs in the tackle (ash) tray and smelly sheepskin seat covers from wet fish encrusted persons fishing all nighter fishing comps in the rain. Oh well, at least we can always smell our way to the Cruiser at night in a power cut.

Then there’s the saga of the boats but that’s another story.....

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