|Courtesy of Telegraph.co.uk and Matt|
Like Y2K a bit over a decade ago, 11.11 GMT, 21 12 2012 was a bit of a damp squib.
The roll over to the Year 2000 was supposed to be lethal because chips lacked digits. I was more concerned because EU legislation left chips lacking lashings of salt and vinegar and us Brits were no longer allowed to wrap them, along with a generous portion of cod caught in our waters and battered in the greasy vats of an honest chippie, in the unread pages of Socialist Worker.
As we all know, Y2K was an exercise in screwing the gullible, fortunes were made by consultancy firms and all they truly succeeded in achieving was buggering up a lot of people’s Millennium celebration including mine. Instead of partying like mad with my family in Cape Town, I spent my night alone in the server room of BHP Petroleum in Angola. Fearing disaster, management had refused permission for my family, who were Angolan, to come back to Angola for Christmas and New Year as they ‘could not be responsible for them’.
I did not make any special preparations for the end of the world this time. I neither stocked up on supplies or dug a shelter in which to secure them. I didn’t mutter ancient Mayan incantations or sit in a group hug with my family. The only thing I did was to bring forward the inauguration of my pond. I dug that months ago and have been stocking it ever since. Some of the local fishermen have been kind enough (in exchange for the odd bottle of wine) to bring back live river fish and dump them in the pond. They haven’t just survived, they have thrived. All I did in response to imminent immolation was to go fishing. After all, if the world was going to end, it would be a shame to waste all those fish and all the effort that had gone into creating their new home and putting them there.
I like sport fishing. I like thundering out to sea, twenty miles or more at over twenty knots in a boat powered by 500 horse power, crashing over the waves hanging on for dear life until we get to the fishing grounds and then start trolling. But it is hardly an activity that can include the whole family, especially if one has a phobia for boats (Marcia tells me not even to think about trying to get her in one) and a four year old non-swimmer who could hardly be expected to be strong enough to hold on tight enough to avoid being rattled among the Tuna tower stanchions like a fragile ball in a pin ball machine. It is an exhilarating sport but it can be a bit rough and, occasionally dangerous. Only last month a boat capsized making its way through the breakers that mark the mouth of the river spilling its unfortunate South African occupants into the sea.
A pond, however, is benign. Unless you fall in, lake fishing presents little to concern the aquaphobic, especially if there are nice firm banks to stand on. And, if I was forced to choose between sport fishing without the family and lake fishing with the family, guess which I would settle for? It is certainly cheaper; one decent second hand sportfisher, $150K and then depreciation; one pond, $3K and appreciation.
Yesterday, doomsday, Rico’s wife Theresa came over with their two children Vincent and Salena with their rods and tackle box and, since I was doing everything a few days early, I brought out the new rods and reels I had bought as Christmas presents for my boys and I rigged them up for float fishing. In comparison to the size hooks we use for sport fishing, the ones I was tying on now were miniscule. In fact the eyes were so small I had to ask Dominic to thread the lines for me so that I could tie them on. When beach casting, the weights are heavy enough to knock a man out if he were hit by one, these weights were no bigger than small pearls and just as light. I had a Dourado in the freezer so I cut a chunk of that off to cut up for bait.
|Waiting for the End|
|A little boy, his first time fishing|
‘Alex! I think you have caught a fish!’
And he had. It’s a magnificent specimen, isn’t it? (study the photo carefully and you might spot it) Just look at the grin on his face, his delight. Alex at four years old had caught his very first fish, the very first fish ever to come out of his pond.
|Look closely now...|
I think he is hooked.
PS. I have to thank George who, through his blog The Flee & Float, inspired me to dig the lake in the first place. George, I will tidy up the banks, plant lots of nice plants and smooth out the surrounding terrain. It will be nice.