Sunday, 20 May 2007

Father and son fishing expedition

If you have ever suffered an itch to catch a fish, the advice would be “don’t do it”. Instead, what you should do is to go down to Pacific Catch and buy yourself a nice sized blue cod or snapper. That way, you won’t need to put up with an eight year old whining, when one fine Saturday morning you decide to go fishing and spend time with your son. Shopping for fish is a lot easier and hassle free, to say the least.

Fishing has been a passion of mine for sometime but we lived in a land locked part of Malaysia for many years that the only fishing I could do was to walk down to the local fish market and feel, see and smell the fish. When we arrived in New Zealand, the sea was just a stone’s throw away and my interest in fishing was rekindled.

When I told Vera that I was going to take up fishing, she was a little sceptical and at the same time gave me “The Look”. A look that suggested “What do you think you are doing?”. Obviously she would not have known about my fishing as when I met her, I was already “land locked”.

So, how did I get hooked on fish?

My compulsion was probably inherited from my dad. He wasn’t a fisherman but he is one who loves his fish. It was my dad who taught me how to love fish. Penang, where I grew up, was surrounded by water and to find a fish was never too difficult, even if you can’t fish. My dad had a friend who was a fisherman and we used get all sorts of fish to try and often more than we can consume. Of course, being only my dad and I, who loved fish, didn’t help.

And the times I now recollect as the closest I ever came to my dad were when he would shake me awake at four a.m. on a Sunday morning, say in a whisper, so as not to disturb the whole household, “Hurry and get dressed before the fish gets sold out”. I would climb out of bed and get dressed quietly, then slip out of the house and hop on my dad’s motorcycle. It would still be dark but we would set off down to wholesale fish market, Chowrasta Market. We would pick the best catch of the day before it got sold, take it down to the corner restaurant, and turn the catch into a delicious pot of curry. We would then sit and have coffee and curry for breakfast. A weird combination but it worked for us.

These are the moments when everything that was unexpressed between father and son would fall into place and we would share all the love in our hearts without a word being said. This is the only time I had all of my dad as he was one who always worked long hours.

My son on the other hand, is not one who loves to eat fish, so the least I thought I can pass on to him is the love of catching fish. I am begging to find out even that is quite a daunting task, given his lack of patience.

Yesterday, we went on a fishing expedition at the Mana Wharf, complete with rods, reels and some fool proof power baits. Of we went, cast our rods, and “nada” not a single bite. After all of 5 minutes, Anil started checking to see if he had hooked a Barracuda. After about half an hour, it was stomach growling time. And an hour later, I was quite sure I did not want to continue to hear “I am hungry” like a broken record and neither did any of the fishermen in the area.

So much for our father and son bonding fishing expedition!

Next time, I will need to set a fish finder and find a spot in the sea with lots of fish. Then I need to find a super-duper bait that will find a fish to hook it (not the other way around). Failing which I will probably need to dive and hook the fish for him. Just to get him excited about fishing.

Imagine the things a dad needs to do to get his son to love fishing! Or shall I put it another way…the things a dad needs to do to spend time with his son!