The best thing about going fishing with his dad, Cam Smith thought, was getting bait all over his fingers. That’s because Cam actually liked the smell of fish bait! The worst thing about it was the number of things he had to watch out for!
‘Here you are, Cam,’ said Terry, his dad, one morning when they were out fishing in their boat. ‘This is your line. There’s the bait. Don’t you cut yourself with the knife. Be careful where you throw your line. Don’t get it caught round the outboard motor. Don’t get the hook stuck in your finger. If you catch a fish, watch out for its teeth and sharp spines. OK?’
‘All right, Dad,’ said Cam. He would agree to anything just so he could get on with it! He baited his hook, got the line in the water, and settled back to wait for a fish.
‘Ow!’ said Dad, sucking his finger. He’d slipped with the bait knife and nicked himself.
‘Youch!’ he said, shaking his hand. He had the hook stuck in his finger. He used the pliers to pull it out. He said some words Cam would have got a smack for saying! Cam remembered them for some day when Dad wasn’t around. Finally, Dad got his line in the water next to Cam’s.
Suddenly, both their lines twitched, then jumped.
‘I’ve got one, I’ve got one!’ said Cam.
‘Me too,’ said his dad. ‘Now be careful or you’ll lose it.’
Cam pulled his fish in carefully, keeping it away from the outboard engine. He wrapped an old cloth round it so he couldn’t get stabbed with its spines. Gently, he slipped the hook from its mouth and dropped the fish in the bucket.
His dad pulled his fish from the water, too. It began to flap, so he grabbed it. The spines stuck in his hand, making him bleed. He yelled and grabbed it with his other hand. So the fish bit him on the thumb. He yelled again, and the fish slipped out of his hand and back into the water.
‘How was the fishing?’ Cam’s mum, Jenny, asked when they got home.
‘It was good fun,’ said Cam.
‘ It was rotten, stinking, lousy fun,’ said his dad, wrapping the bandages tighter round his hand.