A bad day fishing beats a good day at work
The online naturist group that I subscribe to puts out a monthly email newsletter. As we enjoy the warmer summer months, the newsletter promotes events and gatherings for local people to attend.
The group is called BOP Naturists and for those who haven’t already worked it out, BOP is the abbreviation for the Bay of Plenty, the region where the group organiser lives. You may notice that my username, BOPBadger, uses the same acronym. I also live in the Bay of Plenty.
Recently there was a note about a naked fishing day being organised by one of the other members. The event was planned for the first weekend in December and hopefully would become a regular event.
Someone once suggested that a way to improve the acceptance of naturism in society is to be involved in activities that are not about nudity. The event was a fishing competition and the nudity was secondary. Much like the naked bike rides or nude food events, many of which are attended by people who don’t consider themselves nudists.
The Friday before the event, I was sitting at the pub with a group of friends as part of our regular Friday transition meeting. Transition meetings, for those unfamiliar with them, are when Emma and I go to the pub on Friday after work. It is an opportunity to unwind and relax after the work week and to help transition into the weekend.
Sometimes it is just Emma and I and sometimes we are joined by friends and colleagues. On this particular Friday there were eight of us and everyone there was aware of my naked proclivities, so I had no issue when asked what I was getting up to over the coming weekend to mention that I was going to the first annual naked fishing competition.
I am a firm believer that if you can’t laugh at yourself, you have no right to laugh at others, and so it was with a sense of self-deprecation that I tolerated the predictable jibes about me getting my tackle out and holding onto my rod.
Earlier in the week, I had gone through my fishing gear and sorted out what I might need for a day of fishing. I have a 13 ft surf casting rod, although the line guide at the tip of the rod is damaged and scrapes the line damaging it.
I also have a box of lures, jigs, swivels, weights and various-sized hooks which, despite my best attempts to keep it in an orderly fashion, has ended up a knotted bird nest of line that is likely to jab a fishhook into your finger anytime you try and untangle it. I am yet to find an elegant solution for storing these accessories.
I am not a particularly skilled or successful fisherman. One of the things I say to console myself is that they call it fishing not catching.
I once read an article in a fishing magazine that said that the reason some people were naturally gifted at fishing and some weren’t was that the oil and scent from our skin can be detected by fish, and that fish just don’t find some people attractive. The article went on to suggest that people who struggled to catch fish when everyone around them was hauling them in, should try wearing gloves when handling the bait and loading the hooks. Out of curiosity I gave this a go, and I am not sure if it was a coincidence or not, but I started catching fish more often.
So armed with my imperfect surf casting rod, a fresh pair of gloves and a bag of oily bait, I set off to what I hoped would be a great day fishing.
Arriving about 1/2 an hour early at the designated car park, I was not the first to arrive, so I unloaded my gear and headed off on the short walk through the dunes to the beach.
Terry, the chap who organised the event, and his wife Linda were already on the beach, along with a handful of others. By the start time of the event, there were about 10 people on the beach, some of whom I had met previously at the last naked bike ride event.
To be fair, the weather was not great. It was overcast with a reasonable breeze and an omnipresent threat of rain. The sea was not as calm as we might have liked, and although it was warm, there was a strong undercurrent in the outgoing water that meant getting in above one's knees was ill-advised.
Over the next few hours, we diligently baited our lines and cast them out into the sea, all the time hoping that this cast would land a fish big enough to claim first prize.
All too frequently our lines were retrieved with the bait having been savaged or removed by crabs rather than luring a fish worthy of note.
By the time the rain threatened to set in for the day, there were only 3 small fish caught. I managed a small kahawai which I considered too small to keep, and after weighing it, I gently released it back into the water. Mine wasn’t the smallest of the day, nor the biggest, so I landed second place. The best I have ever done in a fishing competition, so as far as I was concerned, that was a win.
As we called quits on the day well before the scheduled 4:30 finish and packed up the gear for the short walk through the dunes to the car park, I reflected on the day and thought to myself, I must do this more often. Maybe it’s time to buy a new fishing rod.
It wasn’t the best day of fishing, but the region's first naked fishing competition was something I am glad to have attended. I hope there are more of them.
“Everyone should believe in something. I believe I’ll go fishing.”
– Henry David Thoreau
Thank you for reading. Have a comfortable day.
Training the AI.
If we don't do it, nobody will, and that might make things worse.