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Thread: In which the Pine Marten indoctrinates his godson, his siblings, and their parents.

  1. #1

    In which the Pine Marten indoctrinates his godson, his siblings, and their parents.

    Good morning everyone!

    This weekend I found myself on the Suffolk coast with some friends and their four children, one of whom is my godson and is five years old. I had looked into this place beforehand and, worried that this British seaside jaunt may actually be quite dull, I had looked into the possibilities of taking the kids fishing. As always, I'd made too ambitious a plan, but was offered shrimping as a compromise. Now I've never actually spent any time on the sorts of sandy beaches in the UK that allow for shrimping, so this was some exciting stuff. Also an opportunity to clean the Kentish mud off my wildfowling waders. We did eventually have a decent haul of shrimps, mostly through my own efforts as the children lost interest after a while, and that's where I started earning my crust as a godfather. Because for some reason, neither the children or their parents had ever made the metal connection between "shrimping" and "shrimps". Although as the seven year old girl said "Maman, it has SHRIMP in the name!". Her older sister was pretty dubious about the whole concept of eating things you'd found in the sea. But my godson was super keen, and in the end, all of them wanted to learn to shell shrimps (fiddly), and everyone ate them, except for Mrs PM who somehow just always manages to be somewhere else whenever I cook shrimps, crabs or crayfish that I've caught. I also had to give my godson a bit of a speech about putting back the small shrimps. "Why can't we eat the small shrimps?". "Because they're babies". "Well, why can't we eat babies?". "Because if we did that, they'd never grow up and have more baby shrimps". They were pretty confused about the eggs that some adult shrimps were carrying too, not quite understanding the primary purpose of eggs. They were thinking about omelettes, that sort of thing...

    Attachment 44834

    More to follow.

  2. #2
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    Delic'! Nice one, that is a tasty haul.

  3. #3
    So now the children (well, their father really) had taught me how to catch shrimps, but I had come equipped with my own teaching aids in the form of my trusty collapsible crab pots. These are brilliant fun, especially for the fisherman who is a bit pressed for time or lumbered with companions who aren’t interested, as you just need to place them in a suitable spot and come and check them at some point. In this case, I thought I’d best place them along the wooden breakwaters at low tide, and come and revisit them six hours later. First of all, I needed bait, so with the children we set about trying to dig up lugworms, which isn’t that easy. We had a half a dozen or so, but then my godson turned up with a dead jellyfish on his spade. I’ve never used jellyfish as bait, but if it’s dead, fishy and a bit rancid, it should be good enough for crabs. So I asked him to chop it up with his spade and showed him how to put it in the bait compartments. But where I encountered some resistance was with the idea of having to WAIT FOR SIX HOURS! He was having none of that, so he asked if he could walk around the sea dragging it behind him like a trawler. Which I said was fine, but he wasn’t going to catch anything.

    When we’d finished shrimping and the tide was coming in, we placed the nets. Five minutes later, they asked if we could check them. Explaining about how we had to wait until the next day was only moderately successful. I had to resort to distraction tactics (cake and shrimps).

    Later that evening, with the children in bed and a massive rainstorm starting, the adults decided to go and inspect the nest for this tide cycle, but never mention it to the kids as they would never forgive such a betrayal. Because the thing is that adults are actually just as excited about this as children, especially as my friends had never done this before. As it turned out, we waded into the water to retrieve the traps at midnight and found this eel waiting for us, as well as a selection of shore crabs. We let the eel go, having decided it was too small, but that was my first ever eel, so something of an event. We then rebaited the pots.

    Attachment 44835

    The next day, at the twentieth request to go and inspect the traps, we set off for the beach. Now unfortunately, one of the lines just floated limp in the water. Clearly a shark had taken the huge conger eel that must have been caught in the trap! Luckily, the other contained a good dozen crabs of assorted sizes, and I made sure the children retrieved it. I also showed my godson how to pick up crabs from behind without being pinched, and they were kept for quite some time under observation, although I did have to keep explaining that they needed fresh water or they would start cooking, and again, that they were two small to eat. I think my godson’s a bit bloodthirsty, but he’s only five.

    Attachment 44836

    So after that weekend, I’ve learned to catch shrimp, I’ve caught my first eel, but more importantly, I have given all four children AND their parents their first ever experience of eating something that they caught. Godfatherly spurs won, I think.

  4. #4
    Godfatherly spurs won, Sir Pine Martin now !

    well done

    I didnt understand why they needed to be in fresh water or they would start cooking ? what have i missed, surly they live in sea water
    Humans are pre wired with fight or flight response
    Great Grandad fought, Grandad fought.
    For the sake of my Grandchild I wish for Less Flight responses entering Europe

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Trufflehunting View Post
    I didnt understand why they needed to be in fresh water or they would start cooking ? what have i missed, surly they live in sea water
    Sorry, I meant fresh as in new, replaced, because the seawater in the bucket warmed up in the sun.

  6. #6
    Pushing a shrimp net is hard work and a godfather is probably not a great substitute for a horse or a tractor but you got a panful and that's what matters.Also what matters is memories,I'm sure they will remember it forever.
    I haven't got a calculator but I reckon 6 hours to a five year old is a fair percentage of his life
    Well done pm
    "Don't say I didnae warn ye !"

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Pine Marten View Post
    Good morning everyone!

    This weekend I found myself on the Suffolk coast with some friends and their four children, one of whom is my godson and is five years old. I had looked into this place beforehand and, worried that this British seaside jaunt may actually be quite dull, I had looked into the possibilities of taking the kids fishing. As always, I'd made too ambitious a plan, but was offered shrimping as a compromise. Now I've never actually spent any time on the sorts of sandy beaches in the UK that allow for shrimping, so this was some exciting stuff. Also an opportunity to clean the Kentish mud off my wildfowling waders. We did eventually have a decent haul of shrimps, mostly through my own efforts as the children lost interest after a while, and that's where I started earning my crust as a godfather. Because for some reason, neither the children or their parents had ever made the metal connection between "shrimping" and "shrimps". Although as the seven year old girl said "Maman, it has SHRIMP in the name!". Her older sister was pretty dubious about the whole concept of eating things you'd found in the sea. But my godson was super keen, and in the end, all of them wanted to learn to shell shrimps (fiddly), and everyone ate them, except for Mrs PM who somehow just always manages to be somewhere else whenever I cook shrimps, crabs or crayfish that I've caught. I also had to give my godson a bit of a speech about putting back the small shrimps. "Why can't we eat the small shrimps?". "Because they're babies". "Well, why can't we eat babies?". "Because if we did that, they'd never grow up and have more baby shrimps". They were pretty confused about the eggs that some adult shrimps were carrying too, not quite understanding the primary purpose of eggs. They were thinking about omelettes, that sort of thing...

    Attachment 44834

    More to follow.
    Well done that man!
    What a good way of explaining how conservatuion works!



  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchieBoy View Post
    Well done that man!
    What a good way of explaining how conservatuion works!
    Well it's simple, but it's also pretty much my response when people scoff that British Association for Shooting and Conservation is a contradiction in terms. I tell them that it isn't, because if you want to make sure that you have something to shoot, you need to make sure that you conserve it from one year to the next. Simplistic, but it does make people mumble "Oh yes, I suppose so...", which is a start.

  9. #9
    Kids and fishing and seaside is great fun. With under fives you can of course encourage to try and catch a GullibleG - which are usually very fast so they have to run ahead and look behind all the trees, but they also sometime appear in the sea. Unfortunately as we grow up our eyes adjust and can no longer see them. And if they were in Scotland they can also sometimes catch haggises when they come down to bathe, but that is another story.

    Those pots remind me of my grandfather - they used to take a cottage on the West Coast every year, and all us grnad children were sent up. He would put out a long line across Ardmaddy bay and grand kids would have to dig up lug worms to bait it and then we would have to check it every tide. I only ever remember one small flounder being caught in many years.

    Crabs are also very good to catch with a piece of string and either a small child tied to the end, or failing that a piece of bacon. Drop it in and wait.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Heym SR20 View Post
    Those pots remind me of my grandfather - they used to take a cottage on the West Coast every year, and all us grnad children were sent up. He would put out a long line across Ardmaddy bay and grand kids would have to dig up lug worms to bait it and then we would have to check it every tide. I only ever remember one small flounder being caught in many years.
    I've seen that done but I do wonder about the safety implications of leaving dozens of fish hooks on a beach, even if they're mostly covered by the sea. You wouldn't want to be carelessly running through the waves or re-enacting the famous scene in "From here to Eternity" as the tide's going out.

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