If you read my last story Fishing In Mauritius I asked if you considered yourself to be a hard working patient angler? If you do then this is for you.
Whilst on a recent trip to Mauritius I was able to study a couple of anglers put their trade to the work day in and day out.
I first noticed these anglers on the first day of our trip as Justine and I went out for our morning walk along the beach. Two dudes wading in the water waist deep one of them wearing a crash helmet.. yes you read it right a crash helmet and brandishing what must have been 15-20 foot poles. My first thought was these guys were searching for octopus like many of the locals were and that the crash helmet was some sort of home made underwater breathing apparatus. Well as I studied these guys further it became clear they were fishing. Every now and again one of the anglers would raise his rod in a striking type of action and he would take something off the line and put it into a small plastic box strapped around his chest. I say it was something because what ever it was, it was so small that even with a telephoto lens I could not work out what it was. With my wife not very interested in what they were doing we decided to cary on with our walk returning about 2 hrs later to find they were in the same spot doing the same thing.
These guys were either hauling in an amazing catch or just stuck in one place as I found them in the exact same spot an hour and a half later after we had finished breakfast with the only change being the removal of the crash helmet. Now I was interested and needed to find out more so asked one of the security guards that hung around the beach side of our hotel what they were up to. He explained that these guys were fishermen (obviously) but not deep sea fishermen they were there catching small silver fish similar to very small sardines and that these were incredibly tasty to the local community. The security guard explained further that these men would fish all day everyday in order to make a living selling the fish at the end of the day at their local market. WHAT? I explained all day everyday? yes he smiled that is their job. Talk about being dedicated to fishing small in Mauritius I could not believe it.
For the rest of the week I witnessed these same two guys rocking up at sparrow fart in the morning and only leave as the sun was going down, unbelievable dedication to their jobs and incredibly thick skin to be able to stay for that long waist deep in the sea. Never again will I complain at the end of a days fishing about aches and pains especially as I don’t do it every day. To all those men of Mauritius that spend better parts of their working lives targeting these small fish with pole, float and great I salute you.
In my next write up you can find me back casting on UK waters targeting some small fish of our own, not for the plate but for the sport.