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Best comeback for "Are you fishing?“

I once did think of saying “you should see the ones that have got away” but it was only after the comedians had left the summit.

I think they just want to say something they think is funny, so I don’t need to take the question seriously.

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You’re right, and very often it isn’t funny. In any case, I think most people don’t expect total strangers to say anything funny. I’ve found it’s backfired on me sometimes especially my deadpan humour (which even my wife says, she’s not sure if I’m joking or serious).

When we were walking our male and female cocker spaniels some years ago, a woman said to me, referring to the dogs, “That’s a lovely furry pair you have there”. I couldn’t resist and replied, “Oh thanks, the dogs are nice too”. Fortunately, she laughed loudly. I was lucky - I wouldn’t try anything risky like that now.


I usually respond yes, I’m indeed fishing, fishing for ham radio contacts around the World. That do surprise them and even more when I explain them about the SOTA program, the activator and chaser scoring, my operation using morse code and 5W only to reach places thousands of Km away, the S2S, etc. Many find it very interesting and some even want to listen to the traffic I’m having on the band through the guests/visitors earbuds I always have connected in parallel with the ones I use.
I always tell them to look for SOTA Summits On The Air on internet. I don’t know how many of them actually do it, but they say thank you and show themselves go nicely surprised with what they have just learnt about one of the many ham radio activities.


Guru (in warm, sunny EA5 now :-))


On my second ever activation with an HT and J-Pole in a tree, I had an NPS volunteer curious about what I was doing. She looked like she was in college so I figured I’d have some fun. My response?

I’m sorry, I can’t divulge top secret information, but if I were you I would be off this mountain within the next 30 minutes.

The look on her face was priceless. After I got the “Deer In the Headlights” look I came clean with her and explained Ham Radio and SOTA. :slight_smile:


Standard response: “Yes, flying fish!”
After a short break waiting for the asking person to get the joke I then explain that’s my antenna pole and I’m doing ham radio.

73 de Michael, DB7MM


Why run a marathon when you can take the bus? :laughing:


The most disappointed reaction I received was from a Department of Environmental Control Officer.


I usually get asked if I’m talking to a Martian.

My stock reply is, “No, but I have spoken with an astronaut on the Space Station”.

They then don’t know if I’m being serious or not, so I explain a little about amateur radio and particularly SOTA.


yes, the sunfish, but I think I arrived too late…


Thinking along my lines!
“Well if you want to call it FISHING, I’m doing well!”

Evidently he doesn’t know how to fish!

VK1DA, I get that a lot as well with my guide dog.
Women ask, “Can I pet your dog?”
“Yes, just remember whatever you do to the dog, you have to do to me!”
Sometimes it works! It’s great when the husband is sanding behind her and just cracks up.
All in good fun and sometimes we get to Fishing.

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My Grandad used to answer the door to people he didn’t know (usually people selling stuff) with…

‘I’m sorry I don’t smoke’

I’m going to give that a shot next time

My father had the ability to talk jibberish to a salesman on the phone and make it sound like it could be an actual language. A language no one could quite identify. The conversations were usually quite short.

You mean, you’re NOT?
In the States, permanent residents, citizens of other nation are entitled to a green cared, officially Alien Registration card.
Many moons ago, at the grocery story, my dear Mother was wring a check for the purchase. The checker dutifully asked for ID.
“Is my Alien Registration Card acceptable,” my mother asked?
The look on the clerks face was priceless.

This past weekend in the States was Father’s Day. Two women aske if I was a Father. They wanted to whish me Happy Father’s day.
"No, " I replied. “Would you lke to be the Mother of my children?”
They both laughed. One said, “Sure, why not?”


I was on a hilltop in a dry, brushy area and when I was pulling down my mast a guy walking by asked what I was fishing for. I said, it’s a pole for an antenna for my radio. So I’m fishing for people.

Even if the question seems silly and whatever your answer, the most important thing is to take the time to explain our hobby, even if there is a pile-up … I usually use a small loudspeaker. amplifier (a CLIP borrowed from my son) and play them CW … they are always impressed. 73, Nico


I got a new question from a walker at the summit yesterday. I was packing the radio stuff away. The vertical was still staked in the ground but with the telescopic whip pushed down to its compressed position. It’s an impressive-looking shiny metal object. Glancing at it, she asked “Are you recording bird songs?”. I hated to disappoint her but it gave me the opportunity briefy to explain SOTA to her and her group.

[It’s a mistake to explain too much - eyes will start glazing over]


I’m always ready and pleased to explain people what I’m doing, except in the middle of the pileup. When people approach me with the typical questions while I’m dealing with the pileup, I respond: sorry, I can’t talk to you now, but I’ll do it later.
Some of them wait around and get my explanation and some others just don’t and move away. It’s up to them, but I don’t want to stop my operation whenever someone pass by and ask a question or make the typical comment about the catches of the day. What I’m doing is important to me and all my chasers, so I think it’s good making people understand that point. As far as I can say, they actually do and are always respectful with what I’m doing.