1. If I feel lousy, I stand by the sea. That smell gives me life back.
2. Kids should learn a realistic attitude to death. When my two girls saw some mackerel lying still on the deck, they asked: ‘Why have the fish stopped flipping?’ I had to explain that they can’t survive on land just as we can’t survive under water
3. Scallops have a hundred pairs of eyes. When you approach they’ll sense you and start to swim away in slow, clicky motion.
4. It’s about knowledge and pot luck, despite the technology. We fish trenches we could never see before, with side scan sonars, but you can still load up with dogfish one day, and a patch of bass worth ten grand the next.
5. My advice? Just sit on the beach and read whatever’s going on. Look for signs of surf or fish activity: if seagulls are hovering, then I know that mackerel are just beneath the surface.
6. I don’t fear drowning at all. I don’t believe in God, but I don’t not believe in him, either. If anything bad happens I do hope there’s somebody there, though – and that he’s not a fish.
7. However I look at myself, the bottom line is I am a murderer of fish. But at least I have a passion for its taste too. Some fishermen just want the fish down the market and head straight to the pub.
John is not his real name.
Words & Pictures: Stephen Emms