Here are some classic snaps I found of my mum and dad back in the 1970s. Our family has always been a keen fishing family. Dad was President of the NSW Rod Fishers Society and I remember these classic family picnics with “The Society” held in parks that had ponds. The woman would do the woman thing whilst the men talked fishing, cast flies into the ponds and smoked pipes. My father then took me to Alaska in 2001 on a 6 week Arctic Circle fly fishing odyssey and I then took to fishing with religious fervor .
At about 30 yrs old I bought a 14ft tinny with a 30hp which I kept in the back yard of my rented house in Rose Bay and every afternoon after work in Summer I would rush home and launch it and then fish Sydney Harbor. Weekends I would tow it up to our farm and fish the rivers and backwaters of The Great Lakes region and I have to say I got pretty good. I became a lure specialist and the main fish I chased were Flathead. They taste awesome on the BBQ and hit hard. My second tinny was purchased when I actually left Sydney and moved up the coast. I called it PURA VIDA ( Pure Life) and spent every hour outside work on the lakes. One afternoon I was on the way back to the ramp and heading up the main channel in front of the town where I lived . It was overcast and cold and the wind was blowing a bunker. All the wrong conditions for fishing. Plus I had the girlfriend at the time with me and she was whingeing so I basically just wanted to get off the water. I was in the 4 knot zone and not wanting to waste any opportunities for a feed, had a hot pink diving lure trailing out the back. The rod was in the rod holder and luckily i was keeping an eye on it because about 400m out form the ramp the lure got absolutely SMASHED by what I was pretty sure was a large fish. I cut the motor and started reeling in the line ( luckily I had 20lb breaking strain firewire loaded up ) and whatever it was on the end started to feel suspiciously like a clump of weed. Dead weight. Then I caught a glimpse of something large and felt a shake on the line and thought “fuck me dead it’s a stingray”. A few minutes later I got a full look at my catch and it weren’t no stinger !! Luckily I had a mini gaffhook on the boat and a camera. For those of you not in the know – that is getting to the absolute top end of size for this species of fish.