I Hunt Fish With A Spear
One of the things I wanted to do more than anything when I was recently in Fiji was catch my own fish (again). What better than the chance to go hunting with a local guide? We hijacked a snorkelling trip one afternoon. No fancy equipment was involved - all I had was one long, rusty, metal rod with a slightly whittled down and rather blunt point on one end and a tiny fork at the other. The spear was accompanied by a small rubber sling.
The idea was to hook the fork-end of the spear into the sling and then pull the spear back until the rubber band was taut. Once under water, when the pointed end of the spear was aligned with a cute and colourful little reef fish, you would then release the spear from its enforced position of tension and kah-ching! Off your spear would speed, gliding fast through the water, completely missing Nemo and coming to a rest on a bed of coral instead.
Before you think that doesn't sound too tricky, and that surely, you would never have missed a target, let me remind you that at the same time you are snorkelling in a location where your feet do not touch the bottom. Not even close. So, where ever your spear lands you have to free dive down to retrieve it.
When you are borrowing a spear that belongs to the locals, and when that spear is all rusty, old and seems to you like it must be some kind of heirloom, fear of losing said spear becomes far greater concern than your desire to catch a fish.
On my third, failed attempt I flung my spear at a poor unsuspecting Angel fish who quickly darted off to avoid my missile. The spear landed precariously at the edge of a reef and very slowly started to fall. This set me in a panic. Below it lay the deep ocean floor, which I knew I couldn't even hope to reach. I took a deep breath and dove down to retrieve the rod. Due to the fact that my mask acted as a magnifier, the spear was apparently further than I imagined and I failed to quite grab it on the first attempt. I bobbed up to the surface, wheezing and spluttering, adrenalin pumping and heart beating fast. I looked around for someone to perhaps help me but Fred was nowhere to be seen. I had to gain my composure, give myself a serious talking to and conjure up enough bravado to try once again. It was tough, but on the next dive I managed, albeit barely, to regain control of my spear.
I gave up that point. Fear was greater than desire. Thank goodness Seruvi was able to show us how to do it properly!
I went deep sea trawling too. I wanted to catch a big fish and take it back to Navutu Stars so that all of the guests could share it for supper.
I failed at that too. My desire to catch fish hasn't quelled though. I guess I am just going to have to go back to Fiji sometime and give fishing another shot...
2007 | Cocina and Claire's Squares
2006 | Breakfast on Mars
2005 | Fatted Calf - Boudin Blanc with Chestnuts
© 2008 Sam Breach I Hunt Fish With A Spear