It’s not how many fish you catch that matters, it’s how you look doin’ it, right? Check out The Captain’s cheat sheet on how to get that setting-the-hook look.
What you wear says a lot about the fish you chase, the gear you use and how many sponsors you bend over for. Apparently, clothing also serves another useful purpose — to separate the sun from your skin and ensure your foreskin doesn’t get tangled with the trebles. Important stuff. So we decided to dive deep enough to, er, uncover the secrets of fishing fashion.
THE BCF BLOKE
The goal to achieving this look is to attach as many accessories to your body as possible. Soft plastic satchels are essential items. It doesn’t matter how stupid you look, the key is to rack up as many BCF reward points as possible while telling the world, you’re a Swiss Army dick.
Signature look/move: Oversized baggy shirt, sandals and bucket hats with head-mounted GoPro. Gold card members often carry a portable bait tank.
Maui Jims to match: Shave Ice
THE FLYFISHING HIPSTER
If you find yourself sipping from a Yeti tumbler and taking photos of your Land Rover Defender nestled up against a scenic babbling brook, you’re probably a flyfishing hipster. Although you’ve never caught a trout longer than your pecker, it’s important to dress to impress with a flyfishing vest that has more pocket pouches than a paddock full of pregnant kangaroos. Make sure you Instagram all your adventures and #catchandrelease, even though the only thing you’ll catch is a cold from the leaking waders your mum bought from BCF. If you’re a male flyfishing hipster, beards are essential; for the ladies, a face full of makeup and an Akubra-style hat. Other fashion accessories include a $1000 reel to go with your $1000 rod, which you’ll never even see the backing on. If a fish is ever dumb enough to eat your homemade fly, make sure you lay the rod across your shoulders for the photos like you’re debuting a new Burberry scarf at Paris Fashion Week.
Signature look/move: Flyfishing vest, shitty waders, Land Rover Defender, $2000 fly rod/reel combo and an Instagram account with more than 1000 followers.
Maui Jims to match: Koko Head
THE BADGED BOGAN
The badged bogan is torn between revealing as much bare, bronzed muscle as possible while still wearing enough thread to stitch a sponsor’s logo to. Often found on Cape York adventures in camper trailer convoys that could service a small army, the badged bogan specialises in an accentuated Aussie twang. He’s known to intentionally bog the 4WD in order to clog up an hour of TV with shitty sponsorship deals.
Signature look/move: Big guns, armour-plated gas cookers on wheels, sleeveless shirts and branded thongs.
Maui Jims to match: Local Kine
THE MEDIA MOGUL
If you’ve ever caught a fish on a popper and filmed video in slow motion, you’re on your way to becoming a media mogul. The next step is to upload your shit to YouTube. After you’ve published a few cool videos that people like, start integrating your own merch into the story — including buffs, hats, jigs, gloves and a monochrome range of long-sleeved shirts. Fill the garage with Chinese-made crap, bombard your Facebook feed and YouTube fans with videos showing how cool your own-brand gear is, then head to the bank and make a large withdrawal to fund your next island adventure.
Signature look/move: Slow-motion promos with svelte blokes in silky black shirts featuring logos stolen from craft beers.
Maui Jims to match: Tail Slide
Females fishing used to be the domain of NAFA Magazine — you know, the mag that features bikini babes who wouldn’t know a uni knot from a unicycle. But times are changing. Today’s ladies can back a Formula down the ramp with an F-Truck and leader a psycho striped marlin. Strangely, they also have issues wearing the same bloodstained Shimano shirt as their fishing partners — their friends don’t like seeing blood on Instagram. Instead, boat babes prefer branded activewear that can double/triple as gym and/or cafe gear.
Signature look/move: Peaked caps, pony tails, activewear and hair shiny enough to star in a shampoo commercial.
Maui Jims to match: Taro
THE YEW CREW
The fastest-growing fishing fashion segment is the “yew crew” — identifiable by their high-pitched battle cries after drawing blood on the water. You’ll recognise one by his flat peaked cap, sleeveless Salty Crew muscle tee and the latest polarised sunnies. Older yew crew members prefer Mad Hueys branded T-shirts because they come in XXXL, but also have smaller sizes for their kids that they wear on flathead missions on the shallows. Eeyew!!
Signature look/move: Surfie brands, muscle tees and flat peaked caps.
Maui Jims to match: Flat Island
THE JIGGING NINJA
The jigging ninja is the human equivalent of Google Chrome’s Incognito mode function. Nobody will ever know who you are or where you’ve been, mainly because you’ve covered your face and body with more SPF-rated clothing than Pauline Hanson at a burqa swap meet. Long-sleeve shirts, gloves, buffs, sunnies and hats are essential accessories when preparing to drop your jigs onto a kingfish mark, much like a SWAT team about to breach a roomful of terrorists with flash grenades.
Signature look/move: SPF-rated shirts, buffs and gloves with sunnies and hats to match.
Maui Jims to match: Onshore
THE LOGO LEGEND
If you want to cover yourself head-to-toe in sponsor’s logos, we won’t judge you… much. It takes a special kind of legend to pay full retail and wear a company badge with pride. When challenged by your mates, just tell ‘em you actually are sponsored, honest. Committed logo legends love shirts with giant cartoon bream or snapper — considerably bigger than the 25cm model they just landed on a pilchard off the boat ramp wharf. Note to future logo legends: remember to secretly switch the 3/0 suicide wedged halfway down its throat for a three-inch Nuclear Chicken soft plastic before you take the photo and upload to Insta.
Signature look/move: Synthetic shirts adorned with bream and snapper in garish colours. Another option is to steal a photo from The Captain’s website and strap it across the back.
Maui Jims to match: Red Sands
SAFETY VEST SALTIES
Safety vests are the perfect answer for these blue-collar boaties who hate shopping and think the yew crew mob are marine metrosexuals. Monday to Sunday, they can be found in the same bright-orange garb, which has the added advantage of emanating an ominous glow, which warns off other boaties who venture too close to their well-worn alloy half-cabin when drifting for makos.
Signature look/move: Safety vests, wrap-around sunnies, Hang Ten boardies and a straw hat.
Maui Jims to match: Talk Story