Fishing Lines: Me and my pals are like penguins - it's down in black and white

Let me introduce you to some of my penguin buddies. First, Andy. An excellent fisher who has made videos showing others how to do it, he's one of those generous souls who will call you if he is catching so you can share his good fortune.

Even when times are tough, Andy approaches everything positively. If we have a blank day, his assumption is that it's bound to be better tomorrow. Top penguin.

I taught Mark to fish. A classic case of the pupil outstripping the teacher, nowadays he usually catches the biggest and the most fish. What makes him such an ideal companion is that he'll rearrange family commitments to join me. Wife's birthday? Sorry, love, going fishing. He's even sorted out his own fishing grounds, and generously shares them with me. Just last week, I caught a 16lb pike from his favourite spot. Prime penguin.

David is the man who gets me into places I could normally only dream about. With contacts in all the right places, he's so astute that he swims effortlessly through the turbulent waters of angling politics. He's by far the most erudite of my elite set, happy to discuss Nietzsche, Cicero or Harry Potter. An educated penguin.

Good-natured, unfazed by adversity and, best of all, loved by all things that bite and sting, Charlie is my darling in wild places. Mosquitoes, wasps and blackfly normally home in on me – but not if Charlie's onhand. Food penguin (rather him than me).

The oldest of my compadres is Clive, who's seen it all, done it all and these days, alas, is showing signs of mortality. But he's generally caught them bigger, fiercer and in wilder places than any of us and can tell wonderful campfire yarns about it all. Senior penguin,for sure.

John seems less interested these days in catching fish than observing them. He's undoubtedly the fittest of the group (runs marathons for fun). He's the one who climbs mountains, swims rivers, risks life and limb for his fish. At heart, he's a gentle soul who (he won't thank me for revealing this) listens to pan-pipe music to calm his troubled soul. Mystical penguin, maybe.

I never realised our affinity with the Spheniscidae family until I read about Synchronised Group Association in 'Little Penguins', a study by Australian researchers. They discovered that penguins make friends and team up with their mates when they go fishing.

Little penguins, the smallest species, cross beaches in groups of between five and 10 birds. (Being in a gang probably protects individuals from predators.) The researchers, from the School of Biological Sciences of Monash University, also found that these groups fish co-operatively. The academics claim it probably helps to share knowledge of feeding sites, but I reckon it's a bit deeper than that.

So how come I can see a close link with the penguins? Well, it turns out that only middle-aged penguins get together for fishing parties. Older and younger penguins, who are less likely to be good fishers, are never picked to be part of the team.

And youngsters in particular would be embarrassed by their elders bellowing out that traditional birthday ditty "Freeze a Jolly Good Fellow".

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HSE Manger - Solar

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: HSE Mana...

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Powertrain Design Engineer

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I hope you are well. My client based in ...

Java Developer - Banking - London - Up to £560/day

£500 - £560 per day: Orgtel: Java Developer FX - Banking - London - Up to £560...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried