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The fish whisperer

03 December 2012, 11:46
THE  FISH  WHISPERER.Fishing Wikipedia, is the activity of trying to catch fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling.  Besides all the techniques it should be remembered to install a hook that is attached to the bait and a sinker made out of lead, in most cases,   Spearing fish is a bit more difficult because fish tend to swim away when disturbed.  It is easy to catch fish, not very much to learn so teaching others to fish is merely another scam.     

One day I went fishing in style.  I was invited to attend a pilchard tagging session. The only equipment I took along was a few hand lines. because I was fishing off the bows of the boat. The boat was a research vessel that is mainly concerned with the amount of fish in the area and the school growth patterns. A small numbered sliver of steel plate was inserted under the skin of the fish and then released into the sea again. When fish are caught and processed in a factory the tag is released and attracted by large magnets and its habitat can be traced to where it was tagged and caught. The work is usually done at the stern of the boat while we were fishing from the bows. The fish to be tagged was held in a net and scooped out as required then placed into an open tank with water in to prevent them drowning.   

We, up at the bow, were lucky to catch a few Steen bras although a snoek would have been more welcome.  I hereby refuse to disclose the number of  Galjoen caught for personal and security reasons. There were several seals in the area trying to gain access to the nets from where they dine on the pilchards. The research boat was equipped with a .303 rifle but we resorted to a more humane  method of driving them away:  We used our vocal cord to sound the words: Voetsek, scram, skoert, f*k*f, get lost etc and they actually went away. Somebody actually used the word “Cull off” It seemed to put outboard  motors in the hind quarters of the seals.     

Eventually the tagging was done and course set for land. It was noted, on the way out, that several large sharks became interested, attracted by the pilchards. It would have been no big deal to hook them but we had no reason to do so.    

THE  MAESTRO:   The fishing community tends to keep to their own and certain secrets are retained and never disclosed. Those secrets relate to where and when the fish are “running”, what fish are “running” and school density. The Maestro was always kept up-to-date  and seldom handed out info due to conservation issues. Every man-for- himself tended to extend the fishing beach-front  as a consequence of the best spots  not being divulged.      

On this particular Saturday the Maestro and family chose to fish close to Henties Bay. The weather, tide and wind speed were just right. Right for the killing as some would say. The lines were hardly wet when the rush began: The fish: Steen Bras, Dassies, small cob, (G*l*O*N ) were literally asking to be caught. The waves in the shallow water seemed alive with the fish and one wondered if they would bite even without bait on the hook.    

Overall, on that day, we caught 71 fish of a mixed variety. There was about a dozen (G*L*O*N)  Yes very small ones and the date was 1962.     

When we got back home the fish was cleaned, again, and sorted. Many were donated to the Railway Hostel  while others went to the domestic, some were given to the neighbours and the rest frozen. A multitude of requests were made as to the fishing location but the Maestro remained mum.. 

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