FISHING WITH KIDS REQUIRES PATIENCE (AND BEER)
There’s plenty of fish in the sea…none of which I can catch.
Hi and welcome to PakMag’s new segment where I (Jenna) have been given free range to write about my life as a mum. I am pretty much your average Cairns mum – I have two kids (a three-year-old daughter and five-year-old son) and two pets (the world’s greatest dog, Koah, and the world’s stupidest cat, Moki) and we do average things like swim, bike, hike, camp and fish.
And lately, in our household, it’s all about the fish.
My five year old son received a fishing rod and tackle box for Christmas from Santa so pretty much every single day since the 25th we have been going fishing. Today is the 20th. This means we’ve been fishing for 25 days straight. More accurately, I’ve been sitting in a camping chair at various waterfront locations drinking beer and untangling my son’s line.
The number of fish we have caught can be summed up on one hand.
One thumb even.
We’ve been everywhere – the Pier, the Barron, the beach, even Tinaroo. We’ve been north, south and west. And our grand tally is impressive.
- My son: one dinky pike that was about the same size as his bait
- Me: one old fishing line and a pile of seaweed
- My dad (who, FYI, just looks at a fishing rod and manages to tangle the thing): a turtle and a boot.
Not even joking.
So, in spirit of these statistics, I’ve decided to relay my disdain for fishing that you may or may not be able to relate to, depending on your fishing ability. Clearly, mine is awesome.
First of all, when fishing, you smell like fish – even when you catch nothing. Because bait stinks. And I always get the lovely task of re-baiting the hook every time my son snags his rod. Which is every second cast. And bait smell lingers on you long after you wash your hands.
Secondly, the sinkers sink too much. Then you’re on the bottom. And you’re snagged. And you have to go through the struggle to try and unsnag which means you have to put down your beer and most likely rehook the line.
Third, if you happen to bring along a toddler or preschooler, you get the fun task of trying to keep them busy. My daughter has her own fishing rod, which she holds…for about seven seconds. Then she drops it. And it ends up floating away. And I end up in the river with the fish, who are happy to swim past my legs…but won’t go near our bait.
Fourth, that one time you do catch a fish, you have to actually touch it. And this often requires opening their ugly mouths and holding onto their slimy bodies all the while trying to pry the hook out of the back of their throats. It’s awful, really.
I’m thinking maybe we need a new family activity.
But, on the upside, fishing with kids means you can sit back, unplug from technology, enjoy a cold beverage (with fishy hands) and relax in between snags. And, best of all, you get to enjoy the pure delight in your child’s eyes when he catches something, even if it’s a boot.
So at least there’s that, right?
Stay tuned for next week… we’ve got a big move from our current house to a new place ahead of us… and I’m sure that will end well. It always does with kids.