I'm the father of three children, they've all grown up now. When they were young I tried to get them to experience some of the things that stuck out in my mind from when I was a boy. One such thing was fishing.
We weren't to blame for fishing the sea out.
We fished on beaches, we fished in lakes, rivers, off piers, in boats, it didn't matter where we went. We never caught a thing. I tell a lie, once my youngest daughter caught a puffer fish. We had a big fry up, but as none of us liked eating fish, the Puffer was left uneaten, so we fed it to next doors cat, strangely that ungrateful cat never came back after that. Oh and my son caught this singing fish, which we had mounted, it seemed cruel to eat it.
Instead of calling it fishing we started to call it rodding. I could see it in their eyes when I'd suggest, "hey, let's go rodding?" "we never catch anything Dad" they'd tell me. We'd put all the gear in the car, set off, get the bait on the way, find a nice spot. Fish for hours. Nothing, maybe seaweed, once or twice it felt liked we caught the bottom of the ocean, but it was too big to land.
I could tell this wasn't an experience they'd be passing on to their kids. One day we were meandering up in the Dandenongs not intending to go fishing. Being the observant type, I noticed 'Macclesfield Fish Farm'. Hurrah current buns with lashings of ginger beer, at last I can show them what it's like to catch a fish. We drove in, paid the entry fee, which included the hire of the rods.
The three kids stood beside the water, full of expectation of catching a fish, well I couldn't get all three of their rods in the water at once, I'd put the bait on one, I'd start to put bait on the second rod, and the first fish came out of the water, second rod in, first fish off the first hook, woosh second fish came out I just couldn't put the bait on quick enough. Lovely rainbow trout though. We had to move to another area stocked with less fish, we'd caught enough fish to feed an army. And you have to pay for what you catch.
Incidently, trout aren't native to Australia, they were introduced. In the early settlement days the ships brought livestock amongst other things here from England. The local angling clubs in old Blighty were asked to catch rainbow trout to bring to Australia. The anglers brought rainbow and brown trout and the authorities didn't have the heart to knock back the brown trout, so that is why Australia has rainbow and brown trout.
The moral of this story is if you want to show your children how to fish, take them to the Macclesfield fish farm, you're guaranteed to catch one or a thousand.
As most people love eating fish, this is a great day out for the family. You and your kids can catch as many fish as you want. If you haven't had fresh fish straight out of the drink, then you are in for an extra treat. The farm clean your fish for you, so if you are a big fish fan, you can take a picnic and barbecue your catch for lunch or tea; they have a barby area set aside.
What a whopper.
Just remember though if you don't like eating fish like us, then you'll need some one to off load all your fish onto. I stopped at my Uncles shop on the way home, and luckily he bought the lot off me.
Apart from the fishing you also get to enjoy a picturesque drive. Macclesfield Trout Farm can be found at 26 Mulhalls Road
Macclesfield, Victoria, Melway Ref 125 J3
Phone/Fax: (03) 5968 4711.
No cats were harmed during the lying in this story. And puffer fish are poisonous, so never eat them. Must go as I'm teaching the singing fish scales.