Has fishing become the new surfing? Captain Blackbeard ponders while stroking his lush facial woodland.
“Not everyone can surf but anyone can fish”
Only a fisherman knows the feeling: man against the elements and creatures of the deep; the anticipation and the strike; the head shakes, the power, the unknown; fighting, conquering. Catching a fish is an adrenaline rush akin to surfing the perfect wave, getting barreled or making a radical turn. Both sports respect the ocean and its treasures but has fishing become the new surfing?
Growing up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, in what was primarily a surfing culture, meant that there were only a few old diehard, fishermen getting around the traps. So few, that you would know each and every one of them by name. ‘The Beaches’ lived and breathed surfing. Whether young or old, if you didn’t surf, you were an outcast. Although I loved, and still love, surfing, my true passion lay elsewhere. I remember being a young grom and checking the surf with my buddies. Whilst they ‘frothed out’ on the conditions, I often made my excuses, grabbed my rod and chased tail. When I caught up with them, I was grilled on how uncool fishing was. Choosing fishing over surfing was unheard of.
That was then but now fishing has gained the ‘cool’ reputation that it has long deserved. Not everyone can surf but anyone can fish. Since the introduction of social media and the ever-evolving technology of electronics, fishing has made its mark. New state of the art GPS and fish finders have made it easier to access information in order to put you onto fish. Unlike the old days where you were working off landmarks and pioneering new grounds, now you can simply punch in a GPS coordinate to get you to the sweet spot. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram give you the opportunity to showcase your catch to the world. Those same surfie mates who used to tease me about fishing now beg me to take them out to hook a beast.
So it seems that fishing has become the new surfing, although there is one thing that will never change: a stinky fisherman won’t hook the babes. Brrrrrrrrr!