Monday, March 23, 2015

Oh my poor paws...

Everyone has to whinge about something. As I'm no longer a full time farmer, I get let off whinging the weather non-stop - which has it's downsides. I mean, it's an easy call, like wearing a uniform for work liberating me of my hard decision of what to wear (OK I lie. Jeans, a t-shirt (top of the pile) and blue tartan flannel shirt if it is cool. On dress occasions green tartan flannel shirt.) But I do believe some people who have closets full of clothes struggle with this, and don't have a thing to wear either. Go naked. Trust me, if you don't have a thing to wear, that's the obvious choice.

My whinge today - I can already see the deep sympathy in the fishermen among you's little beery brown eyes - is that my poor little paddy paws are too raw to squeeze tea-bags. Normally my hands - from years of cooking and treating my hands like delicate flowers, climbing, crayfishing, digging holes etc... are not even aware that a teabag is hot.(Yes, I know. I'm a teabag squeezer. A sin, a stain on my character, and life-time ban from the tea-snob society.) but we had a good session fishing on Saturday, and my little paws are somewhat abraided by that nasty rough cord. Can't they make it extra-soft?

I fish, for Flathead mostly with a hand-line. 2.5 mm braided cord, 3 7/0 hooks and half pound sinker. Not exactly or precisely IGFA competition rig, but quick and effective for a guy who fishes for food. Cheap too, and not hard to maintain or repair (my fishing buddy on the day has enormously expensive carbon fiber rods, and $500 dollar reels and fire-wire line. And he uses teeny-tiny hooks to catch more. On days when the fish are shy we tend to catch about the same. On days when they're not... I catch twice what he does.) Small hooks catch more fish, but big hooks don't break and don't really catch many small fish. When there are lots of fish about, I go big hook sizes.

The downside (for my whinge) is that pulling up line/fish is just you and gripping that somewhat abrasive wet line -wet with nice skin-softening seawater. And drift fishing in 30-40 meter water, means you typically have 50 meters of line out. Now we had a good day, and a lot of folk who don't get to sea or are getting on the elderly side for fishing got fish teas... but that was 60 fish, all between 1-2 kg. I caught more than 40 of those, and a few gurnard-perch (nasty toxic spines) we didn't get spiked by, and a gummy shark that was let go as too small. So 40 X 50 - that's two kilometers of abrasion, with more than 1kg being pinch gripped. That's without the times you haul in and lose the fish or re-bait.

So maybe there is something in these newfangled 'reels'. But it was a great day's fishing. We've had lousy conditions for a while, and the freezer was getting low on flatty fillets. And I've now paid back or paid forward a lot of our chain of produce gifts.


  1. I'd expect that the cheap leather gloves from China wouldn't help, but are there specialized gloves that can make things easier?

    1. The problem really is that any gloves mean you have to grip harder. That's fine for a while... I am going cut a finger out of some ex-diving neoprene gloves and try that -as it just the index and next finger that get abraided.