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Gambling Versus Fishing


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I went to dinner a while ago, and my mum just loves the pokies!

After sitting behind her saying:

"we've run out of weetbix, and everyone in the cars hungry"

"No, not the centrelink cheque again!"

and rubbing her shoulders like a boxing coach and saying:

"come on champ, youre down but not out, we can win back the rent money, just use the credit card"

I found a book placed near the ATM "Problem Gambling - A Guide for Partners and Family Members"

With my new found piece of weaponary I began to read it out a loud while she played.

After a minute or two of igoring me, she revived from her pokie induced coma, and said

"change the word Gambling to Fishing and see how it reads!, it wont be so funny then"

After the first page of reading, it dawned on me, and I began to feel ill, here's how it read:

(the only editing I have done is changed one word "gambling" to "fishing")


1. Is this guide for you?

2. What is a fishing problem?

3. How does problem fishing affect partners and family members?

4. How does problem fishing affect children?

5. Why can’t I get him or her to stop fishing?

6. How can there be benefits from fishing when so much is being lost?

7. Is there anything I can do?

1. Is this guide for you?

If you have any concerns about the fishing of someone who is close to

you, then this booklet is for you.

A partner is anyone who is sharing their daily life with the person with a

fishing problem (e.g. wife/husband, defacto, boyfriend/girlfriend, including

gay relationships).

A family member is anyone involved in the extended family of the person

with the fishing problem (e.g. parents, adult children, aunts & uncles,

brothers and sisters, cousins). Some family members may not be blood

relations, and could include a close friend.

Some of you will not be involved personally in the financial affairs of the

family member or friend with a fishing problem and so some sections of

this guide may not directly apply to you. However, most of the guide will be


Even if you do not think it is likely that your partner/family member will

stop fishing, you will find the practical ideas in this guide very helpful in

managing your responses to his or her fishing behaviour, and for taking

care of yourself emotionally, physically, financially and legally.

You may choose to invite friends or family members to look through this

booklet so they will be able to understand how best to support you

2. What is a fishing problem?

Your partner or family member has a fishing problem if they are

(tick the ones that apply):

Spending too much time fishing or too much time thinking about

fishing, neglecting other important activities (e.g. time with you and

your family, work, leisure activities).

Fishing to try to escape worries, low mood & problems.

Finding it difficult not to go fishing at every opportunity, or finding it difficult

to stop fishing once they have started.

Spending too much money on fishing so that the household cannot

meet basic needs (e.g. mortgage/rent, food & clothing, power, health,

education, transport, recreational activity).

Getting into debt because of fishing.

Trying to win back their fishing losses.

If you have ticked just one of the above, then it is likely that your partner

or family member has a problem with their fishing that results in harm

to your relationship and family.

3. How does problem fishing affect

partners and family members?

Common consequences for partners and family members are given below.

Tick the ones that apply to you and your family.

We are struggling financially. Money set aside for bills will often be

spent on fishing.

I am highly distressed after discovering that joint assets have

been spent on fishing (e.g. savings account emptied, super funds

gone, mortgage extended) or I have incurred debts on joint accounts.

My relationship is breaking-down.

My partner/family member can only think about fishing.

I have lost trust because of his or her secretive fishing and because

I was lied to.

We argue over fishing and other related issues.

I am angry with my partner/family member.

We are no longer intimate.

Our family is breaking-down.

4. How does problem fishing affect children?

Children are very aware of their parents stress and worries. Children will

respond differently according to their age and individual natures, but common

responses include (tick those that apply to your family):

Feeling anxious, depressed. Children can have a strong sense of loss (a

loss of family togetherness, a loss of trust, a loss of security).

Feeling angry. Children say that it is very unfair that they should

suffer because of a parent's excessive fishing. Most kids are very

sensitive to a lack of new clothing and insufficient money to go on

school excursions, etc.

Boredom if they have to accompany a parent to a fishing venue.

Poor health.

Poor school performance, or refusing to go to school.

Withdrawal from friends and activities they may stop asking their friends

around home, especially when there is conflict at home between their parents

or an obvious shortage of money.

5. Why can't I get him or her to stop fishing?

A person who has is fishing heavily will not stop fishing until he/she

thinks and feels that the disadvantages of fishing outweigh the

benefits. It is difficult to change a habit like fishing, especially when the

person is trying to win back losses. People cut-down or stop fishing when

they believe that change is necessary.

6. How can there be benefits from fishing when so much is being lost?

From your point of view, there may be no benefits from your partner/family

member's fishing. But, it's a different story from your partner/family

member's viewpoint. Which of the following do you think might be a motive

for his or her fishing addiction?


the challenge


the chance to win money (or recover losses)

to socialise

to escape from stress or anxiety or grief

Now it may be clear to you why your partner/family member

will cut-down or stop fishing only when they are ready to!

Only when your partner/family member truly believes that they are:

spending too much time fishing

thinking about fishing too much

losing control over their fishing

losing their relationships/family

no longer working productively

will they decide that it is time to do something about their fishing

7. Is there anything I can do?

Yes! There are a number of things you can do.

1. Give-up blaming yourself

If you feel to blame in some way for the fishing problem, remind yourself

that hundreds of thousands of Australians have fishing problems. There

are many opportunities to go fishing, and it is all too easy to get into trouble

with fishing.

Also, if you stop taking responsibility for changing your partner/family

member's behaviour, you can begin to distance yourself from his or her

fishing problem and begin to take care of your and your family’s needs.

2. Get help and support

It is very difficult to cope alone when a partner/family member has a

fishing problem.

Here are some suggestions:

• Talking to someone within your own social circle/clubs/church that you

know is a good listener and who will not judge you or your partner/family


• Talking to a trained counsellor over the phone (see the fishing Help

Line number at the back of this booklet), or phone one of the fishing

counselling services to make an appointment to see a counsellor (the

Fishing Help Services phone numbers are at the back of this booklet).

Talk to your children and any other family members who will benefit

from getting the fishing problem out into the open. Children will usually

be relieved to know that you are seeking help. Help your children to

obtain their own counselling (e.g. seeing the school counsellor), or family

counselling, if necessary.

• It is very important that kids do not feel responsible for the

actions of their parents.

My Mums pokie "addiction" costs her $10 per a week on Thursday nights down at

the Footy club, plus an extra $10 every second Tuesday when she heads down to

my Nanna's local before they go play indoor bowls.

The sum total a year of approx $700 ( they sometimes miss dinner when bowls is not on

due to one of the team members dying)

She then asked me how much my fishing cost in comparison....

I stopped after calculating just the costs to have the boat sitting there waiting to fish:

Rego Boat & Trailer: $120

Fishing License: $30

Insurance: $500

Fill boat up ready to fish $80

So before I've even wet a line or bought that "must have" lure, rod, braid, or other latest gismo or

gadget I can already see I am in a world of trouble............ :(

I am sure we can start a Fishraider support group for addicted members :1prop:


Edited by PPSGT
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hi Jason,

there is already a support group running and membership is growing rapidly...

you can find all the info and lots of terminal cases lurking around here http://www.fishraider.com.au :074::074:

after reading that i think theres no hope for me....

only cure i know is to feed my addiction and go fishing or in times of depressing weather like this a visit to a tackle shop helps clear the depression.. :1prop: ..

but if the :wife: finds out there will be some depressions of a different kind in my head :tease:


Edited by roosterman
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:Funny-Post: MATE,

Great post, AND very very true haha.At least us fisho's wake up every morning HAPPY and not down about loosing out when we go for a fish. And spending the money on equipment and other litte things for fishing is a much better addiction than feeding them stupid machines, well i know my girlfriend would much rather me spend my money on fishing and have something to show for it,than come home empty handed and depressed...Great post :1fishing1:

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I must have a real problem. I spend a lot of money on fishing but do not have anything to show for it.

Do I need to stop or find a better place with greater odds of finding the fish.

A support group for fishing addicts? Maybe not such a bad idea. It could be held at clubs with people like the fisheries department, tackle suppliers, other fishin addicts telling us about how hard it is to change. Even nights at tackle stores. Surely this will cure us all.

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