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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a conversation with a good mate the other day that put me on the spot and made me think philosophically about why I go fishing. I was in a quandary. Firstly he asked me to take him and his girlfriend out fishing and pay me for the adventure. Basically take him on a charter. Then he asked me if I would consider selling part of my catch to him on a regular basis. As they buy fish regularly, he reasoned he would rather see the financial benefit go to myself.

It made me think about how I was going to say no politely without offending him and the reasons why it made me feel so uncomfortable. I do alright in the fresh fish stakes but only ever take enough for the needs of my family. We nearly always have a feed or two in the freezer but nothing that wouldn't be cleaned out in the space of a couple of days should we choose to eat fish every day. The matter of selling my catch was abhorrent. I get a real kick out of giving a fresh slab of flesh to people who don't receive truly fresh fish very often. Legalities aside, there was no way I could justify it.

He's a rubbish fisherman and frankly a danger to have in some of the spots I fish regularly. He's been fishing with me plenty of times before and invariably i don't fish but spend my day untangling his line. It can be trying to say the least, but he's a good friend nonetheless. I tried to explain to him that taking a friend fishing isn't about the money, it's about spending time with a mate. There is no way I could take his money and still look him in the eye. He's acutely aware that I get precious little time on the water these days and he didn't want to take up my spare time where I could be doing things the way i wanted to.

While we were talking, I tried to explain the reasons why I fish the way I do. And it came to me that it was for purely selfish reasons. I suppose over the years my skill level has risen and not one of my general circle of friends is a fisherman. So to fish with a mate becomes an exercise in frustration. I seem to seek out anti-social, hard to fish places where the end prize is a large fish. No-one I know likes standing in 20kt winds with rain stinging their face while their fingers go numb and stiff from the cold. They just look at me weird when i start to talk about things that go bump in the night and my eyes start to glaze over. I've learnt from experience that it's just easier to fish alone these days. I long since stopped bothering to ask people to come with me. I don't have to worry about whether "Mick" is freezing his nuts off cursing my very existence because I'm not leaving until two hours after the tide... in five hours time. So it's become for selfish reasons that I don't have company. I just want to spend my precious fishing time doing things my way. Don't get me wrong, I like company, but people as silly as me are few and far between it seems and i like my company better. It takes a special breed of person to obsess over a fish.
 

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Mostly solo for me but I do enjoy the company of other yak fishers. That's the good thing about kayak fishing, even if you go out with someone or a group because you are in your own yak you can go wherever you want and paddle away from them if you feel like some serenity.
 

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WayneD said:
Mostly solo for me but I do enjoy the company of other yak fishers. That's the good thing about kayak fishing, even if you go out with someone or a group because you are in your own yak you can go wherever you want and paddle away from them if you feel like some serenity.
Wayne pretty much the way we fish mid week and can be hundreds of metres apart doing our own thing, and then about smoko time, call one another on the UHF and find a spot to have smoko and a yarn for half an hour, before separating again to gather at the ramp and/or pub after the outing is over.
 

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I'm with you 100%.

Is it selfish or is it just that you get so immersed in what you're doing that you don't want to waste someone else's time by inflicting your obsession on them?

I love taking people who've never fished before, especially kids, and getting them onto a fish. I tell them all about the surroundings and try to give them a bit of an appreciation of the bigger picture. I'll happily give spare fish to those who appreciate it but would find it offensive if someone approached me to sell the fish I catch....."go to a shop mate!" Happily given the odd fish to random backpackers who've seemed to be keen fisherman but are stuck at a boat ramp due to lack of knowledge or transport.
 

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Mostly solo, because the other compulsive fisho's I know:
- live too far away, or
-work different hours to me.

When I fish with a "group" we usualy tend to be individuals or pairs of 'yak fisho's on the same waterway. We socialise before and after the fishing, and at lunch-time, but not so much on the water.

When I fish wiith just one other mate we might stick close together for 6-8 hours, or might only be within yelling distance for an hour out of 6-8. it all depends.

I really enjoy the socialising around the campfire, but I enjoy the solitude out on the water.
Main exception is when I fish with someone who's generally a better fisherman than I am. Then I'll try to stay close enough to see what they are doing differently than I am, being careful not to get in their way.
 

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Usually solo, it's great being able to stay as long or leave as soon as I feel like, I really get what you're saying Jon. It's not been til the last year and a bit I've had people as keen as me to come with though, and that's been great. Solo you've got freedom and no distracting pressures (and no eyes boring into the back of my head while I take half an hour to set up a revo 11), in a party you get to share the event and there's the safety aspect.
 

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I prefer the solo thing but do enjoy the company of others when on the water in my yak, particularly some of the good people I've met through this forum. Wayne nailed it though, because if you are in a group with other yak fishos you are all still individuals and no one is relying on anyone else, so it's easy to just separate and do your own thing.

I've tried fishing with a few mates in stinkers at times, mostly offshore stuff. It can be frustrating as they are really good blokes etc, but total numpties on fishing or boating matters and rely on whatever knowledge they think I might have to get them a feed. But sometimes, as much as I try to politely educate them, they just don't get it. I only really have one mate that is on a very similar wave length to me in regards to fishing. Since we fish so similarly, there is a certain degree of comfort which makes the trips very enjoyable and usually ends in a comp to see who can get the most or biggest. We don't spend any other time together except for fishing really, when I think of it.
 

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Read between the lines, you say he is your good mate, so he already knows what type of bloke you are, so he knows you like fishing alone or at least not with him, all he's after is some fresh fish and feels embarrassed to ask without offering compensation to you. Probably wondering why you haven't slung him a couple of fillets each time you come back from fishing. So take the hint.
I regularly go fishing by myself in a tinny and there is nearly always someone fishing off the bank at launch, It is fun to ask if they would like to come out, though most times they say no thanks (I guess I'm a bit dodgy looking) but it has really made some of their days, especially if we get onto a few. Mind you I'm a bit of a tight arse so they can use my plastics but they're not using any of my Hardbodies. :lol:
I prefer to fish alone in my Outfitter though, can set my position up better for casting, but it is great to share in the experience of what happens out there.
 

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There is no one up here with a kayak for me to fish with so it's always solo for me. If there was someone else here to fish with I'd probably be motivated enough to put the carry rack back in my ute and load up for tomorrow. Seeing as there's no one to push me, I think I'll just go flick a lure off the bank instead....probably won't do worse than if I wet the kayak anyway.
 

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All my fishing is kayak based, so hard to share with friends. Off shore I stress hooking up and heading out together... There is responsibility in buddying up and I'm not sure my skills go that far. Really happy to say hi and have a chat out there though. Estuarine fishing is different, love heading out with mates.

Would not sell the fish though. Rec fishing means providing for family and C&R from there. For me anyway.
 

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great thread jon and well thought out.

again , we evolve with time, we are ever changing (look at a picture of yourself when you were 15, are you the same person, is that even jon in the photo?) these are the sorts of questions you can ponder in your mind if you fish alone.

re evolving, my attitudes have changed a lot on fish . from returning everything, to keeping most things legal to give away, to just keeping what i could eat, to partners who hate stinky fish in the sink, to partners who love fish and know how to cook it, to me learning how to cook it. so there simply are no rules (a good thing).

a couple of insights

dont feel bad about keeping fish or giving them away. the long liners and netters that feed most of the non fishing population, do infinitely more damage to fish stocks than jon in a kayak.

i , for some reason , always release bream, flathead , parrot, sharks and trevally.
i keep most whiting and tailor as i think they seem abundant.
i keep snapper for friends and rellies but dont eat them much myself.

i nearly always go alone kayak fishing, i just dont find it social. if you are close enough to have a conversation, you will end up casting at each others heads :D
i do take kids out a lot and tow them on a bcf daylite paddler , but thats just more a muck around morning.

boats are the way to go if you want to be social as the whole catching a fish experience is communal. someone gets a good bite and you can really share the experience, take photos etc. its so much easier in a boat to do the bonding stuff.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's kind of odd. Although I haven't been in it for months, I find I actually fish with more people when in the yak. The most recent trips I've had in the yak have nearly all been with the Noosa Yakkers and I invariably end up socialising a fair bit while on the water. The camaraderie is something I'd not experienced on the water before. Rather than being secretive and hiding from other water users, information on what is biting where is freely given so that hopefully everyone goes home with a fish. It's fantastic.

dont feel bad about keeping fish or giving them away.
Certainly not! I really enjoy sharing my catch. It's the money aspect that made me feel weird.

I guess it was the realisation that a lot of the time when I go fishing, I've started looking for reasons to fish alone as I can then be totally selfish and not concern myself with the needs or wants of someone else.
 

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As Ive gotten older I find I dont enjoy doing dangerous things alone anymore. I almost never ride my mtb alone and I prefer to launch w at least one other person just so there is someone around as a safety net for he or I. Once launched it makes sense to seperate to check different areas but kep in touch via VHF. Im not too social so I wont paddle into a strangers space and dont appreciate those that paddle into mine. I figure more than twice ones longest cast is about as close as I want to get to a friend or stranger on the water.
 
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