BLOG: IN WITHDRAWAL
What's got <I>Trade-a-Boat</I> editor Jeff Strang so bothered? Here's a hint. It has something to do with gamefishing.
I am an addict. It’s been 253 days since my last fix. I’m not your everyday sort of junkie, oh no, I only crave the good stuff. Big gamefishing’s my poison. Sure, I’ll flick a soft plastic around with trailerboat boys or roll cast across a backcountry stream for a quick hit but like any cheap drug, you get what you pay for, and within hours the hunger is back and I’m craving the smell of fresh coffee and diesel smoke in the morning.
Things have gotten worse lately. You see its grander season on the Great Barrier Reef and I can’t turn the computer on without being confronted by yet another black-smoke belching, white-water spraying battleship crewed by tattooed manic obsessive’s in hot pursuit of a fire-breathing beast-from-the-deep. (Okay, so maybe not fire-breathing but you get the picture).
Like any addiction it delivers euphoric highs, born from angling success and gut-churning lows when the quarry escapes. But the potency of each hit diminishes over time. In the beginning a fish a week packs a high that lasts months, but soon the addict craves more fish, faster fish, bigger fish, and so the cost of the game rises.
Is it a victimless crime? I am not so sure. The truly addicted are masters of persuasion coercing the innocent into funding their habits with promises of glory on the high seas. How quickly the atmosphere changes once out of sight of dry land. The camaraderie turns nasty and the patron, chained to a chair, becomes the subject of sadistic abuse. And yet they come back for more, such is the nature of the promise the pushers are peddling.
But for all its evils it’s a brotherhood sealed with salt. Enemies in the heat of battle respond without question to the call from a foe in distress. Unlike other addictions friendships formed in the grip of this obsession are comrades for life.
As for rehabilitation? Few want it and those that take it do so under duress.
Only 124 days till my next fix.
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