Le pêcheur de snapper

This scene somehow reminds me of Les pêcheurs de perles, and the Bizet opera of two friends Zurga and Nadir. In this case, one friend runs the fish stand (or more accurately, the conch stand) while the other one fishes for the dinner in the harbour.

This scene also reminds me of a time when I was in Freeport. It was in the evening, and I had nothing to do, so I took my fishing rod and went to fish off a rock jetty. There were some boys there fishing as well. Instead of rod and reel, they had their line wrapped around a coke can. They had a bit of bait, and for sinkers, there was a lug nut or two from a car wheel. They spun the line over their heads like a set of bolos and perfectly timed a release with facing the coke can outwards.

The line peeled off as smoothly as it did from my fishing reel, and they thumbed it gently until it splashed in the ocean. They were experts with their homemade equipment.

I cast into the ocean, and hooked a grouper foraging near the rocks. It must have weighed six or seven pounds. I brought the fish to shore, and immediately the boys surrounded me to take a look at the fish.

I unhooked the fish, and was about to return it to the ocean. Their eyes got big as saucers. I then saw that what was sport for me, was serious business for them. If they didn't catch anything, they and their family went hungry.

I unhooked the fish, and gave it to a little boy who was looking wistfully at my grouper. He didn't have any fishing equipment at all. I can still remember to this day, the pure unmitigated joy on his face as he hoisted the fish and ran home with it.

The fisher in this pic is fishing for snapper in the harbour.

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