Yesterday I posted a quickie on Facebook about my first Thai fishing venture and thought I’d expand on it a little with a funny story. And BTW, I’m really enjoying being able to write about my boring travel experiences again.
A small stretch of beach is ridiculously close to my new apartment, with the king’s palace grounds on one side providing seclusion because you can’t use the beach there. On the other side, the water rises to the seawall on high tide. But in between is a nice area that I found almost deserted.
My plan was to use a new silver spoon, wade out waist deep and see what happened. At the very least, I figured, I might snag something to use as cut bait.
The water was alive with schools of bait, a hopeful sign, although I couldn’t tell what kind of fish they were. I learned later when trying to talk with a guy with a 4-meter cast net that the fish were either fingerling mullet or fist-sized shad. He showed me his catch. The Thais eat the bait, I don’t.
There were three kids in the water and they, of course, had to rush over to see what the farang was doing. They hung around, sometimes in my way, until I actually hooked a small, grouper-looking-like fish. It was only 7-8 inches, although it would have made a meal here. The kids thought it was amazing and got all excited.
As I walked out of the water, a Thai man rushed up, looked at the fish and then, honest to goodness, motioned to the fish, then to the water and asked if it came from the ocean. He said it in Thai but I’m sure of what he said. It reminded me of a similar time in Florida.
That time, I was fishing on Turtle Beach on Siesta Key, as I usually did. The beach wasn’t a great place to catch sea trout but I landed a huge one that day, maybe 25 inches, a gator trout. With a catch like that, you have to lay it out on display so that the tourists walking by could appreciate what they are missing.
OK, so I was showing off!
So, I’m sitting there, my lines in the water, and a lady comes by, stops, looks at the fish, and then asks:
“Did you catch that here?”
My smartass side couldn’t resist.
“No, maam, I brought it here with me.”
She left in a huff, muttering something about she was just asking.
Now, I couldn’t make that same remark to the excited Thai man who couldn’t believe I caught a fish in that spot the way I did. I don’t know how to say it in Thai. I just nodded in agreement.
And that fish will be cut bait the next time.