There’s plenty of fishing tribes out there. The Captain has even dipped in and out of a few. Do they remind you of anyone?
The Tradie never buys new boats, all because he can make his 37-year-old Haines go faster than a 300hp jet boat with just a tube of Sikaflex, a hammer and six Nyloc nuts. The Tradie often fishes at night, but never on weekends, and bag limits are considered minimum quotas. Favourite accessories are stainless-steel rod holders and oversized bait boards, but seating is optional. His tackle consists of 25 Baitrunners all loaded with 30lb mono – and “suicide hooks are the only hooks for big snapper”. You won’t find any soft plastics in his Jim Beam-powered ute, either.
SIGNATURE MOVE: DIY Boat accessories
BADGE OF HONOUR: Stainless fit-out
THE YOUNG DAD
The Young Dad has more than 167 poppers and a rod-and-reel combination worth more than a new Hyundai Getz. He doesn’t own a boat, but his wife has a fast pram. The Young Dad hangs around blokes with fast boats and often whips up hearty treats on his 18-burner BBQ to justify his presence on big trips, which he attends every two years with all his poppers. The Young Dad knows every knot ever invented, but is yet to tie one. He often does well at fishing competitions – a testament to the amount of time he spends following the gravitational pull of the moon once his kids have gone to sleep.
SIGNATURE MOVE: Hearty treats
BADGE OF HONOUR: 167 poppers – 165 still in original packaging
THE SPONSORED PRO
The Pro has a lot of shirts and hats. His mates have the same shirts and hats, and his best mate gets a free rod and reel every year. The Sponsored Pro has the mobile number of every charter operator on the coast, and they always ring when the fish are on. Despite this, most people think the Sponsored Pro has supernatural fishing powers. His greatest power is that he always avoids paying the fuel bill. The Sponsored Pro has a huge camera lens designed to take 10 photos of the same fish, but with the angler wearing 10 different hats. He always sends the publisher a photo of his biggest fish, just to remind him of his supernatural powers. He loves #freeproduct, which he privately bags to industry insiders while he lines up his next big sponsorship deal.
SIGNATURE MOVE: Magazine covers
BADGE OF HONOUR: Hats
THE FORMER COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN
Famous for saying things such as “the tuna used to be stacked up like fire wood” and “we used to walk to the shelf on the back of marlin”, the Former Commercial Fisho always has a good yarn about killing an Olympic pool worth of jewfish during a morning session in the ’80s. He fishes the least, but catches the most, cleverly elbowing younger anglers out of the hot corner of the boat. He can catch live bait just by staring at them and prefers a cord handline to any gold-plated Saltiga. He only comes out four times a year, but they’ll be your four best fishing trips.
SIGNATURE MOVE: Elbowing naive young anglers out of the hot corner
BADGE OF HONOUR: Weathered hands
The fittest of the fishing species, the Surfy is not that good a fisherman – but he looks like a really good fisherman thanks to better-than-average photo-posing ability perfected on Indo surfing trips. Surfies thrive on rebellion but, ironically, all look the same. They have strange initiation ceremonies, which involve drinking beer out of random receptacles. Luckily, they skull so fast, no beer actually makes it into their mouths. They’re rarely found more than five miles offshore because a full day’s game-fishing would be considered unfaithful to shore-break barrels.
SIGNATURE MOVE: “Yew” battle-cry
BADGE OF HONOUR: Flat caps. Bending of hat peaks is outlawed and shirts are optional
THE WANNABE SPONSORED PRO
The Wannabe Sponsored Pro is a cross between a V8 Supercar fan and a teenage skateboarder. They’re seeking affiliation and affection. The Wannabe wants to be known but unfortunately it’s hard to recognise them behind the white sunnies, branded hats, patterned buffs and garish boat wraps. He’s never read a book, but immerses himself in Facebook, which he treats likes sacred scriptures. Particularly his own. The Wannabe releases every fish. Unfortunately, it’s dead by the time he’s finished with the photoshoot. He claims to be sponsored, but has never got anything for free other than a BCF membership card.
SIGNATURE MOVE: Stickers
BADGE OF HONOUR: Stickers
THE FORUM FISHERMAN
The Forum Fisherman knows where they’re biting and what they’re biting on, but he’s never actually seen one. He has the complete set of The Fishing DVD, but gets seasick watching them. His favourite tackle was the nibble tip rod, until the electric fish scaler came along. He stays up to the wee hours surfing the net for tidbits of trivia that only he and other sleep-deprived zombies will ever want to read about. He knows the specific atomic weight of the latest carbon flick stick that wields more magical power than Harry Potter’s wand and clutches his hard drive feverishly whenever rumours circulate about the pre-release of the latest nano-micro-semi salted braid formulation to never hit the shelves. The Forum Fisherman was saving for a big trip out to the 18-metre mark off Port Phillip Bay – until Mum found out he had been using her credit card.
SIGNATURE MOVE: Using Mum’s credit card
BADGE OF HONOUR: Owns the complete collection of The Fishing DVD
THE WEEKEND WARRIOR
The Weekend Warrior loves his fishing. He often considers throwing in his cushy office job to become a charter operator, but never will. The Weekend Warrior has a fairly nice boat with what is usually a fairly average name – Reel Catch, Hooked Up, Billfisher and Game Changer are common choices. He’s quick to butt in with his two cents when you’re taking too long at the boat ramp, but he’ll always get you out of a jam if you get bogged. The Weekend Warrior has just the one branded fishing shirt he got on special at BCF – but he wears it with pride every week.
SIGNATURE MOVE: High-speed trailer reversing
BADGE OF HONOUR: One fishing shirt, which he wears all the time
THE TOURNAMENT BREAM ANGLER (BREAMOSEXUALIS AUSTRALIS)
Kissing cousin of the Sponsored Pro, the Breamosexual is the genetically engineered fashion icon of the fishing fraternity. Meticulously manicured and decked out in all this season’s bream couture, the Tournament Bream Angler would die or (worse) chase snapper on pillies before stepping into another Australian-made boat. His ride is 21 feet of good ‘ol resin-infused nano-glass with a minimum of 300 two-stroked horses hanging off its semi-submerged arse. The boat is colour-coordinated to complement his fishing shirt, that’s wrapped to match his four-door ute, that’s colour-keyed to his 5000 rods with reels that cost more than a house. Oh, and he also believes God really made sandworms in those green GULP tubs.
SIGNATURE MOVE: Get to the fishing grounds Motorkhana style
BADGE OF HONOUR: Colour-coded combinations