It’s a bold statement, I know. But, let it be known: I might have the best Mum in the world.
What label other than that works to describe someone who’s supported every single one of my crazy passions and dreams (there’s been a LOT) ever since I can remember?
Since I was barely knee-high, my passion has been fishing and being outdoors. All I wanted to do was be at the lake every chance I could. Before I could drive, it meant Mum was our access to that activity; driving myself and my mates to the lake every time we wanted to go. We would pack everything and hook the boat up, we’d all hop in with Mum behind the wheel who would drive us to the lake, then I’d back the boat down the ramp. Even at 10 years old.
Beyond all the ways she made my passions possible, Mum was incredibly trusting; letting us camp and fish by ourselves at a young age. Each time out for a night in nature or a trip to drop our lines in the water was always such a big adventure for us that would leave us telling stories for weeks after every trip. For Mum, as long as she knew where we were, she was happy.
Now, Mum wasn’t just generous with her time and willingness to drive us to and fro - she’s wildly smart and made sure our adventures were funded up by some quality help around the house. After she realized we would do nearly anything to get to the lake, the task list grew: mowing the lawn, cleaning up, or any chore that needed doing - Mum would make sure she got us working before we could go. It became a team effort to get the work done: my mates would take laps of the yard with the push mower so we could get it done faster.
Her generosity also extended well beyond her time and her willingness to get us where we wanted to go. She was a supportive, kind and safe place to land - always there to pick me up when things were getting me down. For example, school wasn’t the greatest place for me; I was bullied a lot. I remember calling Mum from the school phone on days when things weren’t going great. Without hesitation, she would pull through, pick me up and drop me at the lake to walk the bank; giving me space to feel safe in a place I loved. I have never forgotten and will never forget those moments; they helped me through the tough days of my youth and made me into the person I am today.
From a passion to a profession, her confidence in what I wanted to do has been a constant. A moment we shared that I’ll never forget was when I entered my first Bass tournament at 15 years old. Mum drove me four hours to the lake to compete for just one day. I came 4th and won Big Bass for the event, taking home a $500 cheque for that Big Bass win. That was the day I knew I wanted to pursue fishing professionally - and can still remember the exact moment, in the car on our way home, that I looked at the cheque and said to her ‘This is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.’ There’s honestly no one else I could think of that I would have rather shared that moment and the memory with.
She’s still the number one supporter she’s been since day one, following every tournament I fish and sending me a message before each one. In 2019 I married Kayla, the girl of my dreams, in her hometown of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. I wanted nothing more than for my family and friends from back home to be there with me. While Mum had never been out of Australia before and had barely been on a plane, nothing was going to stop her from being there for our day.
Our wedding week was one of the best weeks of my life. Having Mum there for the festivities and being able to take her fishing in my bass boat in the USA was a pretty special moment I’m so thankful we got to share.
Because time and hindsight offer often-needed perspective, looking back now I’m so much more grateful and far more appreciative of all the things she did for us, and what she sacrificed to see us do what we love.
I know I’m super lucky to have a Mum like mine and I wish every kid can have the support that my Mum gave me.
Words and images by Carl Jocumsen