Fishing - Girls can fish too!

Many girls have watched the boys go off for their big weekend of fishing. And hey, were you invited? Maybe you wanted to see what it's all about. After all who said it was a boy's thing?

Fishing can be a wonderful activity. And you don't always need a guy around to help you out, (and hey, if they can do it, it can't be that hard, can it?). If you're the sort who loves to be in the outdoors and near the water, you may actually want to try fishing out. Many people think that fishing is a solitary activity, but it doesn't have to be. And as for being quiet, unless you decide to go bush bashing up a stream to go trout fishing, you don't really have to sneak around. Anyway, can you imagine a bunch of guys being quiet?

The good thing about fishing is that it can be a social thing or a solitary activity. Fishing can be something you do for the peace and quiet, in fact if the fish are not biting it's a great place to meditate. On the other hand, it can also be a girl's day out. You can catch up, socialise, and experience some pretty funny things (especially if you catch a squid - yes, calamari when it's on your plate!). Make sure you take a camera if you go with the girls, sometimes when you're fishing words just aren't enough. Fishing can actually be hilarious, especially in a group.

I have to admit that there's a bit of technique and knowledge needed to fishing. So it's highly advisable to take someone along with you who has fished before (and knows what they are doing). Once you learn, you should be fine.

Before I go any further, I have to be honest and let you girls know that fishing is not for the faint hearted (or vegetarian). Although fishing can be a relaxing and fun activity, there is a bit of smelliness to the whole thing. It start's with the bait, it usually smells just like fish because that's just what it is. But hey what can you expect? It is fishing. You have to expect to smell fish.

Depending on where you fish, the type of bait you'll use will vary. To find out which bait to use, ask at the shop that sells it for that area. If you get an area that recommends prawns and squid, along with other varieties of small fish, go for the prawns or squid. They are easier to put on the hook, and are not as messy as the other types. And if you are worried about the smell, try my technique. Bring a bucket, filled with normal tap water, two towels and some soap. When your hands start to smell, dunk your hands in the water you are fishing in, rinse them about a bit. Dry them, rinse again, then soap them, and rinse the soap in the bucket of water (Please Do Not pour the water from this bucket into the water you are fishing in!) Dry your hands on the second towel.

Now I have alleviated your fears about the smell, there are a few more things you need. These include a fishing rod or hand line, a packet of sinkers (ask for the correct size when buying them for the area you are fishing in), a packet of hooks (again, ask for the right size for the area you are fishing in), two buckets (as I mentioned before, one is for washing your hands in, the other is to put your fish in), two towels, a pair of pliers (these will help you get the hook out of the fish mouth), a knife (this is to cut fishing line with, or if you intend to eat your fish, to kill them with), sunscreen (even in winter), a waterproof jacket (if you have one), lip balm and fluids.

Before you go, you do need to be shown how to tie the sinker and hook on, as there is a special way to do this, but this can be done by the person who is serving you when you buy your gear from. If they don't help you with this, shop somewhere else. If you are planning to eat your fish, ask at the shop about the correct way to kill a fish, so that the fish do not suffer. You also need to know if it's edible fish. So if you have no idea about this, and want to eat 'your catch', buy a book with clear and accurate pictures of fish that you may catch in that area. As I said before, if it's your first time, it's better if you go with someone who knows how to fish, you'll find the experience much more enjoyable.

Now if you don't like the idea of killing, that's ok, you don't have to. When you catch a fish just use the pliers to get the hook out of it's mouth, and gently put it back in the water.

Fishing is a great sport; it can be very stress relieving and relaxing, or a complete ball of fun, depending on whom you take. And for those who are there to just enjoy being outdoors, it usually doesn't matter if you don't catch anything at all!

- Louise Ganey


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