Had My Fish and Ate It Too

Trip Start Jan 14, 2014
Trip End Mar 16, 2014

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Flag of Senegal  , Ziguinchor,
Saturday, February 15, 2014

   We were ready for an outing beyond Kafountine. Annie had heard about a nice midwife in Abene who welcomed respectful Western help and observation. I had seen the flier on the mini market bulletin board for Atlantic Lodge (www.atlanticabene.com) offering fishing among other things. It had nice color photos of a variety of inshore and offshore species. I had to try it, even if it was my last try. So we planned a day in Abene, Annie finding this midwife and me fishing. There would be plenty of fun for the boys all day, too, as we would find out.
   I called the number on the flier to reach Patrick. He spoke enough English to get us set up. It would be 40,000 CFA (~$90) to go fishing. This is a lot of money compared to our other expenses here, but standard for a local guided fishing trip. Plus, this included pick up and drop off at our home in Kafountine which was a huge perk (round trip taxi to Abene is worth 10,000 CFA).
   The next morning we rallied before dawn to be ready for our 7 a.m. ride. Patrick took us to the Lodge where we had a full breakfast served by his [French] mother, while he loaded the truck. Turns out he grew up in Martinique and France, and learned to fish with his grandfather as a young boy in the French West Indies. I bid my family farewell, and we drove east, across the highway to Diana where the boat was anchored.
   It was low tide, one day before the spring tide, and we had some difficulty getting the boat off the mud into the water. We had to wait for the tide to come in a little, which it did, much faster than I thought it would. Twenty minutes and 4" of tide made all the difference. I was so happy to be on a real, fiberglass flats boat!
   It took about a 30-40 minute boat ride to get to the spot where a smaller arm of the river came into the main channel. The tide was still coming in. We would motor up current, turn the boat off, and vertical jig near the bottom as the current carried us past the inlet of this smaller river arm. My companions were using 3/4 oz. jigheads with curly tail soft plastics. I chose a 3/4 oz. silver spoon.
   What a day! We were into fish from our first pass to our last. I caught six and my companions one each. We also missed a few bites. Patrick was happy to find out how successful the spoon with treble hook can be. I was thrilled to be angling and not waiting with cut bait. (In fact, the frozen shrimp we brought for bait ended up being my lunch [with butter, garlic and side of fries], the first time I've eaten the bait since I was a child fishing with slices of cheese.) Satisfied and stocked with fillets for days, it was time to head back to the Lodge and see how the family had fared.
   They were playing on the beach when we returned. Annie found her friend, and she was welcomed to help at the clinic in Abene. They had seen the big, ancient ficus tree landmark, played with the kids, had lunch at the Lodge, and had a wonderful time on the beach. (see Annie's blog at http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog/avrotondi/1/tpod.html). Samson even had his first motorcycle ride. Back at Mame Diarra's, the feast was prepared, beer batter and all. It was a good day.
   Check the photos and captions for descriptions of the fish. Happy fishing!
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Erika on

Excellent adventures! Your blog is very well written and I love reading about your travels. Hope you get to dO more successful fishing. Take care of your beautiful family. Much love!

David McCorry on

Chris, great account of your fishing trip. Also, I am glad to know I was not alone as a youngster that couldn't resist the temptation of eating the bait. Can't wait to see you all back in the states. Until then, enjoy!

Maxine Stone on

Chris! What an adventure you are having. Enjoy every minute of your time there with your gorgeous family. This is what memories are made of, not to mention the education you and fam are getting. Im eager to read your next post...Maxine

Sam Rotondi on

Chris, what a great day of fishing and a total family day as I read Annie's account of the same time period. Those fish must have put a good fight. Download the book Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert.

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