I don’t really enjoy fishing. I want to; the sport appeals in so many ways. It is portrayed as relaxing, the setting can be beautiful, catching something would be both exciting and rewarding, and then you get to eat fish. I really like fish.
The first time I went fishing I baited a hook, dropped a hand-line over the side of a dock on Dunk Island (Far North Queensland) and caught a jewfish. Took about five minutes. I had just spread eagled myself on a towel, angled toward the sun, and closed my eyes, ready to experience the joy of fishing, when the line tugged against my wrist and I had to roll over, scramble to the end of the dock and pull in the fish. The boat ride to the island had been more relaxing.
We were camping at the time, on a backpack tour of FNQ, which meant our only cooking implement was a billy that lost its shine the second day out. Much to our delight. So, I stuck a stick down the poor fish’s throat and propped it over the fire. No, I didn’t scale it, clean it or gut it. I was twenty and high on the fact I’d caught my first fish. After it cooked, we peeled away the skin and ate the flesh away from the skeleton. Was pretty good! (I don’t remember choking on any bones and I’m still here, right?)
Buoyed by my success, we went on a deep sea fishing cruise the next day, which involved getting up before dawn, shambling to the larger dock and boarding a smelly boat. Assisted by professional fisherman, we both did pretty well with our borrowed rods.
They didn’t laugh at our hand-lines, we were backpackers. They were used to the type.