They say fishing is one of the more calming things to do, where a man can just go out and be one with nature, be at peace with himself, and have a good time. Fishing is the ultimate stress relief, or so they say. Fishing in Jamaica is different because it is not as sophisticated as fishing in America, but people generally tend to have more fun doing it. It’s a social occasion instead of a hobby that people do to practice their skills.
The other thing is many people in Jamaica fish for dinner. The concept of catch and release is rare, and there are many who depend on the fish they catch to eat. Small children as young as nine or 10 in rural Jamaica will go with their friends and fish in one of the many rivers around. That is something that you wouldn’t see in many other places.
Rural Jamaica is a place where young kids are free to roam and explore the entire area around them. It gives them a sense of independence and teaches them about smart decision-making. The other thing it does is that it gives parents peace of mind because the kids can be independent and experience the world around them without constantly having to worry.
Fishing – Jamaican Style
Craig and his cousin Shane used to go fishing by the river quite often. On this day, he decided to go with JJ and Shane. The first thing that they had to do, which is important, was to dig up worms. This was an endeavor in itself because it required going through deep shrubbery and then digging up dirt where there were wasp’s nests and many other dangers to get worms.
The great thing about fishing in the Caribbean is that the ground is quite fertile with worms. If you don’t know, worms are great as bait when fishing. Many people use bugs and other insects, but you cannot compare them to a good warm. When it comes to catching fish in Jamaica, the first step is to always get some worms you will keep alive for as long as possible.
These worms are big and plump, and the types of fish you find in Jamaica love them. It also makes getting fish a lot cheaper because the worms are easy to find in nature. There are plenty of cow pastures that are kept really well and easy to dig up. After only about 30 minutes, you might find yourself getting hundreds of worms if you keep going.
It means that you have an easy time the rest of the day fishing. Getting worms would not have been difficult if JJ hadn’t disturbed the wasps and sent them coming toward Craig and Shane. He only disturbed them a bit, but that was enough to start them on the three boys.
Escaping the Wasps
It was about three stings later that Craig was running around trying to get rid of the wasps. Eventually, they reached the river, where they could finally relax and catch some fish. Thankfully, the stings were not too dangerous. Because of how Jamaican people fished, it was a bit difficult as they used a line and hook instead of a fishing rod. The line and hook method was much simpler to create and gave them much more control over the fishing.
Having a line and hook instead of a fishing rod is like having a manual transmission. It gives more control. This primitive way of fishing might not seem sophisticated on the outside, but it is actually one of the best ways to fish. The other benefit of this method of fishing is that it is portable. That portability is quite useful when you need to cross large bodies of water to get to the best fishing spots.
Sometimes, there are old bridges built from the colonial days that you might need to cross as well. These bridges are dangerous enough but would be impossible to cross if you have to use a fishing rod.
Crossing the River
They decided to cross the river, and this would prove to be problematic because JJ was not a good swimmer. This river wasn’t exactly difficult to cross because most of it was pretty shallow. However, the mud felt like quicksand for most of it. That meant you had to use a special technique to do it as safely as possible. Craig and Shane made it across fine, but as JJ ran bravely into the water, he started to drown. He yelled, “Help me,” and Craig saw himself quickly jumping in to save JJ.
This was a pretty intense moment because Craig did not know whether they would make it out or not. Halfway through getting JJ out, he started to feel like they were both sinking to the bottom. That made it even more important to swim as fast as possible to get out of this mess.
This ordeal would teach the boys that you must be a good swimmer when fishing, especially in Jamaican waters. In general, you shouldn’t get in the water if you aren’t a good swimmer. You never know when those swimming skills will come in handy for whatever you are trying to accomplish. It is something that Craig remembers to this day when going out on boats. He understands that anything can happen in these moments.