“My Fishing Roots”
Like many kids growing up in Nth Queensland in the 70’s and 80’s I was taught to fish at a very early age. My Grandfather (Ga-Ga) was the most influential and patient of all my teachers and I still remember that day he taught me to how to correctly bait a hook with a Yabby while fishing off the ledge at the mouth of Bakers Creek. I don’t know how old I was but this memory has stayed with me over the years and occasionally my mind still wanders back to that precious moment.
The mouth of Bakers Creek is a sacred place to myself and my family. Our fishing hut was built on it’s banks many years before my birth and many family Easter, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations were held at “The Hut”. Vivid memories of huge bonfires, music and dancing combined with epic feasts of barbecued Barramundi and Mud Crabs continue to visit me in nostalgic dreams that I never want to wake from. Central to these dreams is always an acute sense of belonging, of ownership and of right, however reality could not be further away from this idealogical myth.
“The Hut” was built, half on private property and half on crown land, a result of a handshake deal between friends and a sum of money exchanged for the privilege of owning a small hut on the banks of Bakers Creek. Suffice to say such romantic and trusting deals do not survive well in the current world. Unfortunately when the older generation stands back and the next take charge the gentlemanly deals of the past account for little and old friendships long since get forgotten.
“The Hut” itself had two levels, kitchen and bathroom downstairs and bedroom upstairs with one double and four singles. The fish filleting table, the cut out 44 gallon drum to boil the copper , the out house and the water tank all visible and usable to this day but alas this is no longer ours. My family’s story is not unique as there are many other huts that have been taken from those that have given them life, laughter and good times but we all have to move on. My fishing skills were learnt on the banks of that Creek with “The Hut” always there in the background, solid and dependable like an old friend.
All I can say is that I am proud that I had the pleasure of enjoying our hut in a time when life was a little simpler but a lot more genuine. Thank you to all the family and friends who shared these amazing times with me and all those who taught and inspired me to be the person (and fisherman) I am today.