Keepin’ it Real. By John Boon

In the modern day, technology is slowly taking hold. Walking through a shopping centre will only reinforce the point. How many people are sitting or standing with their heads buried in their phones?

I’m certainly one that shouldn’t be throwing stones. Administrating fishing Facebook pages, staying in contact with friends and looking for that next big bargain on the buy, swap and sell pages takes up a fair amount of time.

I’ve seen people standing in line at fast food counters glued to the floor. The cashier is raising her voice on each request. “Next please”. “NEXT PLEASE”. Some of the time, it just falls on deaf ears, and people waiting in line will simply walk around the person who seems to be otherwise occupied to leave the virtual world and join back into reality.


I believe that we can’t get away from technology. It’s inevitable. What I also believe is that there has to be a balance. Allocating time to being plugged into the world of social media and allocating time to the great outdoors.

I can tell you straight that watching the sun come up out on the big blue with a glass out will take your mind away from the struggles of everyday life. Moments like these have the ability to stop you in your tracks and make you gaze in amazement. It’s a type of unprescribed therapy. Fresh air fills the lungs, and all your troubles just seem to melt away.

You can’t get that feeling from any website or Facebook page. Mother nature shares some wonderful moments that just seems to stop time. I do my best to infect as many people with those sorts of moments as possible.

I’ve seen close friends and family with that look on their face. A look of wtf just happened, a look of disbelief but above all a look of “please sir, I want some more”.


My sister Cassee and her family live out in a sleepy little outback town called Moura in Central Queensland. Cassee was also brought up to appreciate the finer things in life like fishing and boating. Unfortunately, with three of her own kids and work commitments, she doesn’t get a lot of time to get out on the water.

Fishing dates need to be set well in advance. Winter seems to be her quiet period of the year. I think she would be here every weekend if it was allowed. My nephews and niece are quickly being shown the light. Mollie has never really taken to the online life. She would much rather be outside practising netball drills than curled up in front of the phone. Jake and Linkin on the other hand, just like the large percentage of teenagers do like their “Instagram” time.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve had the privilege to share with them what the Capricorn Coast has to offer. Crabbing, offshore, island cruising and no visit to the Rockhampton region would be complete without sampling the barramundi fishing that we have on offer.

I believe out of all what’s available here, Mollie loves her island cruising days. We will usually head over to Great Keppel Island and find our own piece of paradise which is never too far away. A deserted beach with some reef close by is a sure fire way of hitting the relaxed button. I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy playing tour guide.  

Don the flippers and snorkel and chase the local fish life around for a few hours. Once you get bored of that (which rarely happens), it’s back onto the boat and off to find some productive fishing and squidding grounds.

Mollies first trip over she had never caught a squid before. After a short session, she had half a dozen beauties on board and bragging rights. The smiles always tell the story. We finished the day off with a stop in at the Hideaway Tavern on GKI for lunch and a few beverages before one final swim and home to clean the boat and the squid. Job done.


Linkin and Jake have been introduced to the Rocky locals a few times. The barra were on, and I couldn’t get them over and onto the water quick enough. Cassee was accompanying her boys on this trip to keep them in line. Or was it to catch her first barra as well? I think it may have been a bit of both.

The start of the day was very trying. Over 6 hours trolling, casting and searching for zip. These are very trying times, and it can be hard to keep newbies focused during those boring periods.

We made our way up into the town reaches of the Fitzroy. We had done the rounds with a bit of casting and were still having a bit of trouble boating our first fish for the day. The jokes the boys were coming out with was the only thing keeping us going I reckon.

Cassee had an hours’ appointment, so I had to drop her back to the ramp. We were idling back to our spot from the ramp when a barra was identified on the Humminbird Helix. We kept going and another went past. And another and another and another. We spun the boat around and flicked the lures out.

We hadn’t motored more than 50 meters when Linkin’s 4000 Sienna started to sing sweet music. Angry chrome took to the air, trying to dislodge the lure. I must admit, it was a proud uncle moment. Did Linkin get nervous, no. Did Linkin make any silly mistakes, absolutely not. He just kept the pressure on and followed that barra around the boat.

Finally, we were on the board. High fives all round. Linkin’s first ever barramundi was around the mid-80’s. I think my first ever barra was around the mid 30’s. What an outstanding way to open one’s account.

Jake was up next with braid spewing off the Stradic he was using. Another solid barra was tail walking behind the boat. The onlookers from the bank were cheering. The hustle of everyday life could be heard by the cars going over the bridges. They would have been oblivious to the fun and excitement that was going on only a stones’ throw away.

Jake was excited to land his first barra for the day. He had already bagged his first barra a few months before this one but was still having a great day. By this time, the photo’s had been sent to Cassee. She couldn’t get back to the ramp quick enough.

Unfortunately, the bite was coming to an end but not before she was able to sink the hooks in one. You wouldn’t believe it, but the only fish that was dropped for the day was the one Cassee hooked, which would have been her first. She made me promise I would remedy that this year. It doesn’t take much for me to be persuaded to drop the tinny in the water I can assure you of that.

With a bit more confidence under their belts, both Jake and Linkin were keen to head out to the offshore waters to chase their first reds. We took some of the necessary precautions like Kwells and safety talks to keep their confidence up.

The days’ weather was absolute mint. Just as the sun’s rays started lighting up the horizon, the ocean glassed off. In the words of BCF “man, this is living”.

The bite was slow which was probably a good thing. The boys were getting into the swing of things, and it gave me a break to catch my breath in-between all of the skippering duties. Some quality grassy sweetlip were keeping them entertained and also keeping Cassee happy with the fillets that would be going home with them.


We moved around adding bits and pieces here and there before Linkin hooked up to a good fish off a new mark that was found travelling at speed. We waited for colour before the yahoos were sent flying. It was a red and a legal one too boot. Linkin was only too happy to hold it up for a photo.

It was Jake’s turn next when his rod slammed down hard. Same spot, same drift and almost the exact same position that Linkin’s red came from. Another fantastic red emperor hit the surface, and the boat was a buzz.

Both nephews bagged reds on their first ever trips which was a fantastic result. Cassee was happy that the boys had a great trip and even happier with the quality fillets they would be taking home.

I’m constantly hassled now for when the next outings will be. It gives me great bargaining power though with the wife for more trips.

The memories from those trips eventually made their way onto Instagram and Facebook. I would call that the perfect balance between the great outdoors and technology. Wouldn’t you agree?