09222017Headline:

Life in Goa Fishing for fun- Goan style.

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By Cedric Serpes

When you are in Goa you must try fishing. The local Goan takes this very seriously. Depending on what you aim to catch, the program varies.

I wanted to catch some freshwater crabs. So far, so good. I first had to find some offal of a chicken or a shark. The messier, the better. Then I had to get me a round-framed nylon net with a long nylon rope. I dropped in some chicken skin and intestines and trotted off across the road to the water inlet. I found a nice bridge where I could duck the sun and drop my trap. I did that and gave it a decent half-hour before I yanked on the trap to collect the harvest of crabs.

Let me tell you – crabs are a lot smarter than they look! Not only did I not find a single crab but they had taken off with my chicken tidbits as well! I found a polite note in a bad scrawl that simply said, “Better luck next time, buddy.”

So I sat and thought this one out. I had to secure the tidbits so that they could not just waltz off with a free meal. I did just that. This time I made sure the chicken refuse was welded in position with nylon fishing net. Ha! Eat that, suckers!

I waited a respectable 15 minutes and hauled in the net. This time I had myself a beauty.

I stuck my hand in, which was of course a dumb thing to do. The crab shot out a juicy claw and clamped down on my pinky. After I danced about a bit flaying my arms about like a marionette, the crab let go and went flying through the air in a lazy arch back into the water.

This is not good, I said to no one in particular. My finger was sore. My ego was bruised and my wife wanted to know whether she should prepare the masala to stuff the crabs.

I finally got wise and threw in the net and waited. This time I hauled in the net with 3 agitated crabs. I was prepared with my hand in a canvas glove. I got the beggars and dropped them into a cloth bag and headed for home.

My wife was really impressed. So were my mum and dad. “Oh, this is great,” they said in a chorus, “now we won’t have to buy crabs from Mapusa market. But the crabs had not done with me yet.

After they had been placed in a steel vessel with water, they kept on an incessant metallic tattoo. My wife, who is strictly vegetarian, finally took me aside. She looked visibly disturbed. “How can you eat these sweet creatures that roam the waters freely? See how they’re clamouring for their freedom? Can we not just set them free so they can join their families?”

Late that night 2 silent figures crossed the road to the waters edge and 3 distinct plops and a chorus of shelly shouts of joy brought my crab hunt to an end. My parents still think the crabs ran away because I absentmindedly left the vessel open!

The only thing Cedric Serpes has caught since is the flu. But he has just acquired a graphite fishing rod, so don’t lose hope yet!

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