Whoever said, “A bad day fishing is still better than a good day at work,” has obviously never been fishing with me.
I’ve never participated in the Hookup, because years ago I spent two consecutive Queens’ Birthday weekends, huddled shivering over a rain soaked fishing line, while around me hundreds of others did the same thing. Apparently we were having fun.
The only person enjoying himself was some henpecked husband who had arrived at the boat ramp drunk, and stayed that way until we propped him up against his letterbox two days later.
We were fishing near the Jumpinpin Bar in Brisbane, and it was so crowded, that at midnight when a boat left the ‘Whiting Run’, three boats actually rammed into each other trying to claim the spot, starting a fight which momentarily took our minds off our numb fingers.
Before dawn, our captain shipped us back to camp where The Henpecked Drunk carried on like a dog off its’ leash. He got stuck into my rum and made a total nuisance of himself. As I lay shivering in my wet sleeping bag, listening to him rampage round the camp, I vowed ‘Never Again!’ A year later, the horror a distant memory, I did return; and it was actually worse.
Bigger crowds, heavier rain and freezing gales met us at the boat ramp, as did The Henpecked Drunk, who we’d deliberately not invited. He’d cadged a lift with a mate in order to hook up with our mob again; in spite of our threats to keelhaul him.
To sit, soaked to the skin in a freezing boat not catching fish is a truly miserable experience. But to return to camp to find that The Henpecked Drunk has once again gargled all your booze, stomped down your tent, and is now lying naked next to the fire, wearing your only dry beanie over his privates, is enough to make the most tolerant man want to bring back the lash.
So, while I heartily sympathise with last weekends’ Hookup competitors, I’d like to congratulate all of you for being very sensible with the booze during the comp, because nothing can ruin a fishing weekend faster than some idiot on the turps.
And I genuinely hope the weather is better for you next year, either way it won’t worry me, because with a bit of luck I’ll be at work; having fun.