Field Trips · Gardening and Nature

Family Fun: Fishing

If you are of the vegetarian or vegan persuasion you may prefer to move on to tomorrow’s post without stopping here.  The title should be the giveaway.

Mr Oh Waily has been wanting to take the little Oh Wailys fishing for some time now.  He is finally home, mostly, and the weather is improving, mostly.  It is not possible for this to be a solo Dad and Son or Dad and Daughter trip because as the old saying goes, “there’s no show without Punch” in this household.
To that end the entire Oh Waily clan headed out to one of our small local wharves.  Ostensibly Ms Oh Waily’s role in all this was to keep small hands from fiddling with hooks and falling over the side.  A role I can definitely get my teeth into.

The day was windy and wild, the waves were whipping up and I spent a great deal of mental energy seeing us all being blown over the side*.  So I was vigilant with wind and children while Mr Oh Waily set up the rods one by one.  Miss Oh Waily was the first to get her hands on one and with my help we started the patience teaching lesson that is fishing.   Lots of nibbles and bites but no one wanted to hang on.

A few minutes later Master Oh Waily got his hands on a rod and I absolutely kid you not, his Dad had only just lowered the line out and the little fella had put his hands on the rod when they got a bite.  A proper bite.  The sort that sticks.
With only some instruction about winding the line in, and a bit of a steadying hand, Master Oh Waily landed his first fish with his first cast on his first day of fishing.   Can you say “beginner’s luck”?

When the line was wound in, it was in fact two fish.  A little one and a larger one.  Mr Oh Waily released the littlest one before it occurred to either of us that we should be taking photographs of this, so here is the Little Fisherman with his one “large” fish.  It would have been as long as his forearm at least, so not so small for a small person.

Little Fisherman

By my non-fisherman reckoning this might have been a female Spotty (original name, I know) or Paketi. Any real fishermen out there, feel free to correct my identification.  Before unhooking and releasing said Spotty back to whence she came, Mr Oh Waily held her long enough to show the kids some of her interesting features – especially the little needle teeth.  Small but vicious I’m sure.

The only other fish caught that day was by myself while I held one rod after children had grown bored and Mr Oh Waily reeled in the other and removed its array of hooks for storage.  Roughly the size, or slightly smaller than Master Oh Waily’s fish.  Score one for Mother and Son.

We then went out a few days later, to another of our local wharves, in the hopes of letting Miss Oh Waily catch herself a fish.  For this event Mr Oh Waily went and invested in a rod just for her.  Can you guess what colour?  Hmmm.  Yes.

So, off to Petone wharf we toddled.  And the roles were reversed on this trip.  Master Oh went fishless while Miss Oh caught her first fish.  Again it was a duo – the very first was tiny and thrown back straight away, followed up with a reasonable sized second.

Miss Fisher

Again, the fish was probably as long as her forearm, perhaps a little longer.  And as you can probably work out from the photograph, she was happy to catch it but not so happy to hold it close, hence I’m holding the line and she’s holding me.  The flicking and wriggling was quite off-putting to her.  So no kiss for this fish before it headed back to the sea below.

Despite the wriggling and floundering of the fish both kids seem keen to go again, so this may turn into a semi-regular, weather permitting, family fun trip out.

Have you taken your kids on a family adventure lately?  If so, what did you do?


*  yes, I know I have a thing about falling from heights.  Live with it.  But in my defence, I’ve lived in Wellington for two years now and on at least one occasion I have thought that I was going to be blown onto the road in front of oncoming traffic (and was only saved by the fact that I had stood some feet back from the curb).   Yes.  The wind gusts here.  I mean GUSTS.  Not some nancy gust but a full, throaty, intentional GUST.

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