I went away for a fishing and crabbing trip with a couple of friends over the Easter weekend. I probably should say that we caught no fish nor crabs. Although one of us did catch several baby fish that we had to toss back into the sea. To be honest, before this trip, i envisioned myself lazing on the boat with the dog, enjoying the sun, reading a couple of magazines, and having some beer with my friends. It was a few days prior to leaving did i discover that my friends actually had the intention of cooking the fish and crabs we catch. Somehow i was under the impression that we were releasing everything we catch. I had a massive discussion with my friends about what catch to keep and what not to. Anything below a certain size or over a certain size should be released i felt. The former is self-explanatory, and the latter, well, we should credit the fish/crab for having managed to survive to such a mega size, and that warrants enough respect to release it, shouldn’t it? Apparently not. I got called the world’s greatest poser. Thanks.
Anyway it was pointless having the discussion because we soon realized that it was neither fishing nor crabbing season. We did however, catch one tiny crab. There was plenty of drama, and i can only say that the three days whizzed past so fast; i was more exhausted than excited. We rented a boat and really i was appalled that we were allowed to operate the boat without a license. Clearly, the regulations here are more lax. We had plenty of drama, the worst was probably when our crabbing net got entangled with the propeller and we ran aground. I am very wary of propellers because in my stint with the trauma department, i met two patients who got injured by propellers. One was torn apart and met his demise (traumatic even for the surgeons) and the other was a bit more fortunate, and got away with a fractured mandible. We called the boat company and they told us they needed to hire a diver. A diver on a public holiday would probably cost us a bomb, so the males of our group were forced to disembark (there was also plenty of jellyfish around, another point of contention) and manually try to disengage the lines. By a stroke of good luck, we managed. But that was also the end point of our trip. We headed back.
Anyway, i have decided to return during crabbing season with friends. This time, i am not going to hire a boat. I think juggling a boat when we don’t know how, and especially when we are trying to figure out how to fish and crab, is just too much of a hassle. We are just going to stay on the jetty. There were at least two occasions when one of us cast the line, and the line went awry and caught the others round the head/neck regions. I was horrified because i know what kind of injuries can be sustained when the hook gets caught in an orifice (i.e. eye, ear etc). Not good outcomes. So yes. A good learning experience, this trip was.