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Post Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:13 pm    Post subject: Pox Doctors Clerk

The Pox Doctors Clerk.

I remember watching Neil Armstrong stepping on to the Moon with my family at a neighbor's house (we didn’t have a TV) my grandfather didn’t believe it, he was born in 1899, in his lifetime from horse & cart to space travel was too much, the world was changing at a pace he could not comprehend.

Somewhere along the way from then to now angling changed in a way that I find difficult to understand.

Since time immemorial fishing and hunting was a secretive and socially low profile sub culture, we went about our pursuits without fanfare or seeking recognition and were happy enough with the self-satisfaction of catching a fish or bagging our target, enjoying the outdoors, sometimes with a companion, sometimes alone, never with a crowd.

Fishing has somehow become a spectator sport.

At first it was books & magazines, and they were a good source of information and entertainment, purchased and read by those who were interested. They undoubtedly encouraged people to fish and inspired anglers to try new things. I was inspired to try lure fishing after reading an article by Vic Mcristal in the Australian Outdoors magazine while waiting at the barbers for a short back and sides. I caught a Flathead on a silver Wonderwobbler, purchased at that very barber shop, a lure that I still have over fifty years later.

Then came TV shows, at first they were raw and basic with little or no product placement or sponsored advertising, just blokes catching fish, names that were only known to other anglers like, Dyer, Florence and Calcutt. These were “specials” and had limited exposure that didn’t attract the general viewing audience.

I can’t recall when but celebrities then appeared on our TV screens fishing, ex footballers and other sport stars that relied on their prior achievements to attract an audience, the wider viewing audience started to tune in and were inspired to have a go at fishing, or at least watch their sporting heroes do it.

It didn’t take long for the corporate world to see that there was a quid to be made in angling, TV networks, tackle wholesalers, boat, car, clothing and camping equipment suppliers all got on the wagon.

There are so many fishing based programs on Australian TV with manufactured celebrity hosts it is by far the largest reality TV genre on our screens. Even more than cooking shows!

Angling is no longer a secretive or low profile sub culture, the wider community is exposed to lots of vision and images of people fishing for fun.
This also attracts new participants and inspires anglers to try different things and pursue new species or visit exotic places like the NT.

I cannot criticise this growth in participation, it was inevitable given the advancement in communication, add to that a healthy economy and a community with disposable income and endless products to buy.

It’s no surprise that hunting based reality TV in Australia is virtually non-existent. There’s plenty of DVDs one can get that are well made with great production values, information and entertainment, however the TV Networks are not showing them, killing animals for fun is not deemed to be marketable to the wider community viewer base and sponsors don’t want to be associated with a “blood sport “obviously catch and release does not happen in hunting.

The strong message used in the majority of TV fishing is catch & release; this is presently being accepted by the viewing public as OK, they only see bloodless successful releases.

My concern with this change into a spectator sport is the ability for all this vision and exposure to bite us on the arse.

It is entirely possible that some time in the future catching fish for fun will be demonised by animal rights extremists like the RSPCA, PETA and others, there are anti fishing/hunting lobby groups already active in Canberra.

They will have a significant amount of material available to them from this reality TV and other media that can be edited and presented in a way that could be used to justify their position to the wider community that don’t fish for fun, the vast majority of people.

Then there is the vision that does not make the screen, the blood and dying fish that don’t swim away after being fouled hooked in an eye or gills bleeding or suffering barotrauma. When the animal rights people get hold of that footage, fishing for fun could come under fire.

Perhaps it’s time to return to a little more secretive and low profile pursuit of our outdoors pleasure.
Turn down the ego a bit, sharing our achievements with the wider media should be done with respect for the pastime of fishing (it’s not a sport) and others who participate with regard for its content and who might see it. Ask greyhound owners how they fared from their 15 minutes of fame, the wider community generally looks at them with distain.

I’ve heard the statement “if it wasn’t for the sponsors this would not have been possible” made by every MC and winners of every fishing comp I have attended.
I wonder if they are referring to the profits made or the prize in their hand or the actual fishing. I’m sure the corporate sponsors want people to think it is the fishing, we have all seen the advertising; this comp won by this lure, sounder, line, reel etc.

Pop used to refer to the Pox Doctors Clerk, a spruiker dressed in garish clothing attracting attention and drumming up interest, usually for a dodgy reason. There is no shortage of PDC’s around, most are unaware they have been recruited as PDC’s, they are just trying to blend in with their peers or gain some form of ego based recognition, after all it’s on the TV so it must be OK.

Be wary of the corporate involvement, and marketing of our pursuit. After all their only in it for the money and if it turns sour they will drop it like tobacco support. As for recognition those who seek it rarely legitimately achieve it.

The future is unknown but we can influence it a little.


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Pox Doctors Clerk

I do like this and agree with a lot of it.

It seems to me the real proper fisho's have long since worked out the dangers of posting/bragging in magazines, websites, TV and social media, and they keep to themselves and avoid others. They don't need the ego boosting from others. They just want things to be like the good old days.

I am constantly laughing a couple of facebookers that can't help but post their photos the instant they have wifi, then they whinge about people finding "their" spots (places like Nofish/Elizabeth/Powertail etc creeks ffs). They write comments like "another 60+ fish down the Daly, busy but no-one else caught much". Then they cry about fishing websites sharing any information! They have open settings on their facebook pages looking for maximum "likes" and allowing other sites to "share" their brags, then they complain about people heading to the same areas. They try to black out the background of the photo yet they just can't help but post it still, in their constant quest for online "likes" and self gratification. People might think they are a "gun fisho" if they see it! Hilarious stuff.

I too like to post the odd fishing photo as it is my main interest, but only my friends/family can see them and they can't be shared with anybody else. I keep my friends list tight and only post what I am happy to show. No blood and guts. No crazy environmental groups have access to see them nor anyone else.

The irony of all this talk is not lost though, being posted on fishing website that is designed to share information with others. The world certainly has changed a lot since man stepped on the moon.


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Pox Doctors Clerk

Good points all of them.
I’ve wondered just how long it will be until PETA et al will be on the fishing bandwagon. They involve themselves with Vic duck season and take hit birds that are still alive.
When I got my first magpie goose hunters permit, it included a DVD showing how to dispatch/kill the wounded goose.
the video showed that you grab it by the head and swing it in circles until it dies. I was amazed that they think that’s the best way to kill a MG

My old man (a very keen fisho) used to use the analogy of fishing to a family of humans sitting around the dinner table. When someone takes a bite of the meal and they are dragged out of the dining room by the mouth thru the house and outside into a waiting truck and taken away. The flesh was removed from the body and the skeleton was thrown on the lawn outside

I used to think it was funny but its not too far from the truth

I’ve often watched Ifish TV etc to see fish suffering from Barotrauma or the fish that has been boated ‘gasping’ in front of the camera while the presenter discussed the type of lure he used and how happy he was.
Jesus fellas, either keep it or let it go but do it quickly.

I’ve sent emails to Paul W advising that holding a barra and other fish vertically by the mouth does irreparable damage, but he still does it.
As you said, one day this stuff will bite us on the arse

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Pox Doctors Clerk

There is some consolation. Fishing in the USA - home of extreme commercialism, and with a huge population - is still good, thanks to management.

Also, a strong commercial base provides rec fishos with lobbying power, the prime example being the power to get rid of gill nets.

Bottom line is the world is becoming overpopulated and if you fish, you are contributing to whatever it is WW is worried about. Doesn't matter whether you are the Pox Doctor or the clerk, or a punter.

Yes maxpower, some hypocrisy out there. Everyone has their agenda. The only secret is one you don't tell.

As for hunting, some of the pigging footage posted online is woeful, it amazes me the green movement hasn't grabbed it to achieve their aims.

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