Fishing Lines: Me and my pals are like penguins - it's down in black and white
Sunday 28 October 2007
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".
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Tottenham player ratings: Mesut Ozil? Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Nacer Chadli? Who was the star man at the Emirates?
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Stoke City vs Newcastle analysis: Window woes leave Alan Pardew bereft of flair
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
Cristiano Ronaldo banner: This is how Real Madrid striker reacted to the stunt by Manchester United fans
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
£330 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Lond...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Maths Teacher required to teach Furthe...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...
£18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...