Be careful about the advice you give, it may come back to bite you

Fishing off Kalk Bay in January 2006.
Fishing off Kalk Bay in January 2006.

I went fishing in the Vaal River near Parys. We got up early and started out in small rubber rafts at 7 AM. We rowed upstream for about a kilometre and then we anchored the raft below a rapid up river.

It was a beautiful early summer morning with a river otter sighted as well as a leguan lizard, (get spilling from Internet),cormorant birds, yellow finches and the occasional swirl of yellow fish rising to the surface. This time of the year the banks are green with the tall Eucalyptus and Populus trees. Even the reeds alongside the banks are green.

On this morning we caught between us about seven small-mouth yellow fish of which one was 2.4 kg and most of them above 1 kg size. Our fishing expedition was led by Michael, a river fishing guide in his spare time, who has also fished throughout South Africa even catching large Marlin and Wahoo. Michael put us straight into the fish and all we really had to do was sit with rods and when we got a bite was to strike and play in the fish. Some might not know it but yellow fish are among the finest fresh-water game fish to be had. They put up a tremendous fight for their weight. All our fish were caught and released.

Any advice from this experienced fishing guide was accepted because he knows his stuff. Taking advice from fishermen and fisherwoman can sometimes be hazardous. What works for one person may not work for another.

It reminds me of my late father who wrote an angling column for the Cape Times at one time. He was lucky to get the fishing column after the great fishing columnists of the Cape had either retired or died. When we used to go out in my father’s ski boat in False Bay, the fishermen on the hand line commercial boats that ran out of Kalk Bay saw his ski boat and they would shout to him in some rather salty Afrikaans about what a lousy writer he was.

The reason was because his weekly column might have said that the Snoek and yellowtail were biting off Millers Point but when the fishermen got there the shoals had disappeared. It was humiliating but we always used to laugh at the rather colourful language the commercial fishermen used.

That’s the thing, isn’t it, with any sort of advice, including business advice?

You have to take much advice with a pinch of salt. Unless of course it’s well researched and has a strong foundation in hard-one experience.

That’s why there is a saying that business advice can be costly if it’s the wrong advice.

If you want advice on starting something new, starting something from scratch, developing something new, which in itself is a risky prospect, it’s best to get the best start up advice you can.

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