THERE is an old Chinese proverb: "Give a child a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” That could not be more truly said.
These days, children believe milk comes in a bottle and cheese in a wrapper. Our children are now too modernised in their upbringing. There is no more adventure but PC-driven in-house anti-social confinement. This sad say, is because adults are often too busy career-wise or too afraid to let children venture out alone as life today can be dangerous on the streets and surrounds.
Our children are educated yet cannot fend for themselves as they lack the basic instinct of life, which is to feed themselves. It is said, give a child a hero and they themselves become heroes.
There has been a lot of talk about releasing our fish after a picture has been taken. These days, with "mik and druk” digital cameras, you don’t need expensive equipment to take a good picture. Digital is cheap, so take as many photos as you can as the camera has many modes to choose from. This might allow you that special shot that makes the difference.
A picture is all you have at the end of the trip, so I thought it appropriate to mention a few tips about taking good photos.
Light is the most important part to a good photo. The subject, being the fish photographed, is the centre of the picture and many techniques are used here.
Always have the subject face the source of light and avoid photographing your own shadow while taking the photo.
Pay attention to shadows that caps and hats make over the angler’s eyes.
Also pay attention to getting as much of the frame filled as possible.
The subject can be enhanced by taking a pace backwards behind the fish, making it more life-sized, or holding it out in front a wee bit. Your background is also very important, and often shooting from as low as possible makes for a good shot.
Try to get blood and sand off the fish so it looks natural. If you hold a fish, place a hand under it, near the head, and hold the tail with the other hand to support it.
Always wet your hands before you handle a fish as this helps protect its coverage of scales and slime. Never lift it by its gills if you intend releasing it as this can be fatal. It results in damaged gills and spinal injury, especially with big fish.
Cameras are not waterproof, so care must be taken to protect them. Today, one does not have to look far for ideal waterproof protection as there are many options available. In my day, sex was safe and racing was dangerous and we did not know about these useful goods that have more than one use!
With all the heat we have had of late, the waters have warmed beyond realistic angling temperatures.
I have measured temperatures of 28°C in the upper reaches of Swartkops. At sea, temperatures have been at least 23°C, at times. These temperatures are not conducive to good angling, however, there is the exception to the rule.
The photo of the period is a pig-nose grunter, caught at Swartkops by Hannes Kleinhans on mud prawn. I personally witnessed the catch, and that being in terrible wind.
Well, it was said by Bruce Truter many years ago: "When the wind blows, go fishing”. I rest my case!