I was eager to go fishing with my neighbour, Joe, and his son-in-law, Len, both keen fishermen who know a thing or two about fishing. Myself, a novice, doesn't even own a fishing rod, but that's ok, Len had already picked one out of his collection of over 30! The truth is I'm in my 5th Decade and have never fished in my life.
There was just one some thing to take care of the previous day before my fishing expedition! Get a fishing licence! I trotted off to the bait shop in Tuncurry and for $7.00 I was a legal fisherwoman for three days! I told everyone who would listen that I was going to catch a big fish!
It was May, so the mornings were getting cool. Joe's wife Sharon came over in the early hours to check if I was ready to go and to her astonishment she saw I was wearing shorts. "That has to change", she said, "It's freezing on the boat going across the lake". So a quick change and and a gathering of additional supplies and I was off to 'hook up' with the two experienced fisherman down at the wharf on Wallis Lake. I was really prepared for the cold now, long tights, three jackets, a hot water bottle and a faux fox fur wrap. Once my fishing colleagues stopped laughing at me, they put the boat in the water and off we went. I was sitting on the seat next to Len with my hot water bottle clutched tightly because it was freezing!
We didn't go that far, in fact we moored up along one of the Oyster farms. Before I knew it I had my rod in my hand, baited up and line thrown in for me by Len. Remember this is my first try at fishing.
The boys were getting bites straight away and started to reel in some Bream. Some of them were too small so back they went.
Len continued to help me bait my hook and throw the line in. Then I asked Len to teach me how to throw the line, and I soon got the hang of it. I caught six fish that day! And lost a mighty big Flathead. Four of my Bream had to be thrown back as they were too small but two of them we kept. To be honest, the thrill of catching a fish was something else; the adrenalin and determination to reel it in was 100% aimed at not failing.
All up we caught 17 fish (16 Bream 1 Flathead) including one Toothfish that Len threw back after telling me crazy stories about how these fish can rip into human flesh! Apparently if you don't handle Bream properly you could end up with a nasty gash too. Our catch was actually much more than this number because of the amount of undersized fish we reeled in.
Once the fishing was over it was time for a whizz around the lake in the boat before heading back to shore for the boys to do their dirty work and clean the fish. Something I am intentionally taking a little longer to learn!
It goes to show that when you know where to fish and what you are doing you can haul in a good catch.