When South Africa moved, over several months, from Level 5 lockdown (Defcon 5, don’t leave your front door), to Level 4 (walk the dogs and exercise between 6-9am), to Level 3 (still no smokes or booze, but casinos, taxis and churches are cool), rebellion began to brew. To save their sanity, Graham Weakley of Bucketmouth Safaris and some bass bashing buddies, made a plan to fish for the first time in over 70 days. As featured in The Mission Issue 23.

“The invitation arrived late on a Monday night, the umpteenth Monday that had rolled around in the tedium of lockdown lethargy. My event supply business was dead in the water.  Lockdown had not been kind to my appearance either. I was spending my days in my newly acquired Level 3 sleep shorts. Class, as they say, is permanent. With a Simms cap to control the growing poodle perched on my pip and with the constant snacking, I was one White Russian cocktail away from being The Dude in The Big Lebowski.

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Three weeks in, I had taken to creating dubbing loops from the hair I was sweeping up – a job kindly gifted me by my wifely breadwinner. These loops came in three shades of brunette and, with a little bit of Senyo Lazer dub in the blend and some gentle Velcro persuasion, I’d created some of the buggiest profiles I’d ever seen. I proudly dubbed the dubbing ‘Dear Hair’ and, dreaming of the gold mine I’d struck with an endless supply of hair at hand, I treated myself to a congratulatory Scotch.

By week five, I had taken to false casting off my rooftop deck. By week six, the closest I’d come to fishing was when the Cape Doctor deposited colours, whites and delicates from the wash-line over my neighbour’s trees and driveway. Between the wee hours of two and three in the morning, I had employed my 8-weight and shooting head combo to great success, retrieving all the frilly garmentry through a series of deft rolls and double hauls. Then… I spooked the school. I had indeed found fame at last, not so much YouTube, but as the star of my road’s CCTV security cameras.

But back to the 70-days-in invitation. We were officially into Level Three and not entirely sure of the legality of a fishing trip, but I was going to live on the edge of the mixed-message-mayhem. So, armed with my recently-acquired ‘Media and Entertainment’ essential services licence, I was ready to roll.

Graham Weakley with a solid largemouth bass
Graham Weakley with a solid largemouth bass

They say “Not all heroes wear capes”, so Captain Creative here was simply visiting his farmer client in Elgin to consult about a daughter’s up-coming wedding which, tragically, had been delayed. Such services would surely be deemed “essential” as stated in bold type on my permit. The fact that the wedding ceremony, now reduced in numbers of course, had moved from the apple barn to the house on the banks of his private bass lake was simply fortuitous.”

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For the rest of Graham’s story, check out issue 23 of The Mission below for free, or buy the print edition here (we ship worldwide).


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