Putting Food On The Table

Date: December 2015 | Location: Kilifi, Kenya

I could not believe my luck …I had just managed to convince my family to go deep sea fishing with me!

Normally the automatic response when I suggest any of my adventures to them is…“Why don’t you just go ahead, we’re fine enjoying the view from over here.”

Coincidentally, my aunt had a friend who owned a fishing company and they occasionally took tourists out for deep sea tours. So we stocked up; bought some street food from Mama Ngina Drive and drove down to Mtwapa Creek which is just half an hour to forty-five minutes away from Mombasa (on a good day with no traffic).

We crossed the Mtwapa Bridge at about half past ten, navigated our way through the ever bustling narrow streets of Mtwapa and finally found ourselves by the creek. (Actually, if I’m being entirely honest, it wasn’t that easy finding the exact location but thankfully the fishing company thought ahead of us and sent us a driver to meet us at the main town.)

We got a brief tour of the fishing boat and an introduction to fishing lingo, a little bit of what to expect from the expedition and then we were off.

Forty minutes after un-docking:

The deckhand opens the cooler box containing the bait (which is the size of the fish I initially thought we were going to be catching) and then proceeds to demonstrate how to attach the weights, bobbers and bait onto the hook of the fishing rod. This is all so exciting to me – I am finally getting to experience what it feels like to be on National Geographic. After we cast our lines into the deep blue sea all that’s left to do is wait. So we wait…

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand wait…

And wait for four more hours…

And then just as we are about to give up and retreat back to the creek one of the fishing lines begins to pull. I’m excited. Super excited – I just can’t believe our luck. It’s time to put into practice everything the captain had taught us as we were setting sail almost five hours ago. Lean back…pull…reel in…lean back…pull…reel in…this was a lot harder than I had imagined. Thirty minutes of fighting with this monster and the entire team is able to pull it in, catch it and put the forty-eight pound Yellow Fin Tuna into the cooler box.

Sometimes you have to experience it yourself to understand the hefty price tag on fish.

Our spoils…

A trophy for my photo album…

But it’s not over yet…there is still work to be done. We have to clean and gut the fish before we can take it home to celebrate. (Gutting should be done as soon as possible because fish spoils very quickly). The fish is alive all the way back to the creek and our expedition is over.

My souvenir from the successful mission…we ate that fish for the next fourteen days. I’m not kidding.

Sensei Tip:

When going fishing (on a boat) make sure to carry:

  1. Lots of drinking water
  2. Snacks
  3. Sea/motion sickness pills (alternatively a lemon)
  4. Sunscreen
  5. A hat
  6. Sun glasses



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