The author and Mark with their 92 and 98cm snapper, respectively.

Fishing for your mental health

THERE are days when things just don’t seem to go to plan, and I’m not talking about losing a big fish. Sometimes you’re simply feeling a bit down and out. Sometimes there are periods when things just seem too much, and you want to spend a bit of time out to let your worries slip away.  We all experience times like this at some stage and wonder how best to deal with it. mental health

For many of us fishing is simply the best way to relax our minds, and a time to let go of the weight of the world that we feel we’re carrying on our shoulders. Fishing for many of us is more than just recreation, it’s a way of looking after our mental health and in so many cases it’s one of the most useful tools for people to be able to deal with the hurdles life puts in front of them. mental health

The author found this cobia floatlining a pilchard at the 36-Fathom line off Surfers Paradise.

It was a hurdle I recently had to deal with along with some of my close mates, but in particular my best friend. After a short but heartbreaking phone conversation we knew that a day off work was what both of us needed, and a morning in the boat fishing the Seaway was going to be our way of dealing with things during an unexpected time of grief. mental health

Our plan was not to have a plan, and so we ended up putting the boat in the water about 8.30am, which is usually way too late for the good morning bite. Anyway, we headed out to the bait grounds slowly, and chatted as I drove. My mate tied on a Wilson Bait Jig, and we sounded out a larger than usual school of bait and before we knew it we were filling the live bait tank in the back of the Bar Crusher with yakkas.mental health

“I bet I catch a 20lb snapper in the Seaway on one of these,” Mark commented, as we both laughed.

“Yeah, right,” I said.

Within 15 minuets we had filled the tank and made the short trip back into the Seaway very enthusiastically in the hopes that we would at least get something to take home for dinner. We rigged a yakka on a short jigging rod I had picked up out of the garage as we left home. We had forgotten to check the drag, but I remember it was done up pretty tight from a previous trip when I had been out jigging for kingfish.mental health

I positioned the boat on the spot and Mark lowered his live bait to the bottom. Several boats were fishing there that day, including a few of the locals. The bait got no more than halfway down before I could hear him yelling “I’m on” and the sound of line peeling off the spool had my attention. Mark had hooked something big and it was giving him heaps.mental health

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