How to

That sinking feeling

Like so many anglers before me I owe much of my passion for fishing to my father. I remember early years that focused on catching mullet and garfish in Patonga Creek, NSW, and bream expeditions in Paddys Channel in nearby Brisbane Waters.
My favorite memory is when, as an 11 or 12 year old, I caught 13 of our 16 bream one morning. I thought I was the “bream king” that day, although in truth it was probably a result of using a rod and reel and not the cork handline that Dad used.

Our bream trips would start on Friday nights after he got home from work. We’d drive across to Woy Woy and pick up fresh Hawkesbury River prawns from a guy who owned a trawler and we’d be loading the tinnie with our old 18hp Evinrude and gear as the sun rose next morning. Luckily, the boat was moored about 30m from our front door because it was often my job to wheel the motor down the street on our homemade trolley.

For us, fishing Paddys Channel involved loading a suicide hook with a peeled prawn and holding the channel sinker whilst pulling about 10m of line through the sinker before dropping the lead to the bottom. The idea was to present the bait on a very long trace that allowed plenty of movement … and it worked because I don’t remember fishless days, although maybe kids don’t ever do that! …

Dave Rae

This story was first published in the Fishing World March2013 issue.

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