Unfortunately, I am not one of those persons that grew up in a family that likes fishing. That is the reason I knew nothing about fishing when we moved to Curacao. The only memories I have about fishing during my childhood is having to take the fishes my little brother caught off the hook. I only did that because I felt real pity for the fish having a hook through his lips and because both my little brother and my mom did not dare to touch the fish. Having moved from the cold and wet country of the Netherlands to the nice temperatures of Curacao, I started to see fishing with completely different eyes. Most people in the Netherlands fish the canals just for fun and throw back the fish after catching, so they could catch the same fish the week after, but in Curacao they fish the ocean for food. Living in an oceanfront house in Curacao with a nice deck above the ocean, with crystal clear water and plenty of fish, there were always people that asked if they could fish from our backyard. This started when we were rebuilding our house, Villa Seashell. During their lunch break, the masons would look for little crab, the ones that walk around the yard with a seashell on top of them. The masons used the crabs as bait and each of them would catch 3 to 5 fish in half an hour to take home for dinner. When the masons were ready with their construction work we got the painters in. One day one of the painters asked us for a mask, snorkel, a rope and a big iron hook. Mask, snorkel, and rope were not a problem, but a big iron hook is not something I normally have at home. Not a problem, he made a hook from some left over reinforced steel, which we still had from the concrete work. With these things he jumped in the ocean and after half an hour we heard him yelling. He had caught two large lobsters; one for us and one for him. We had a delicious dinner that day! After experiencing this and seeing fisherman pass by in their boats every day, we decided it was time for us to give it a try ourselves. Now I could not see myself grabbing a large hook, dive in the water, find a lobster, and snag it with a hook. Therefore, we invited our best friend, who loves fishing and is also a very good cook. He came to our house with his family to show us how to catch fish and to prepare a nice dinner on the BBQ. We got instructions from him to buy spools, lines, hooks, and sinkers. We bought this at our local supermarket "California" at Terra Kora.
On a nice Saturday afternoon, we ended up with 8 persons on the deck at our house and got the instructions from our friend how to catch fish like a local: You just have to hold your hook with the bait about two inches from the bottom, which is easy as the water is crystal clear. Once you feel the sinker touches the sea bottom, just lift your line up a little and your bait is in the right place. With this information, we were able to catch 3 small fish. I was really happy that we had enough chicken in the freezer for the BBQ!!! That day the ocean was much too rough and no matter what we tried, we were unable to catch more fish. The bait did bounce up and down to such an extend that the fish did not even had a chance to nibble from it. Fortunately, the ocean is not always that rough! Shore fishing on Curacao is very easy without hassle or expense of hiring a charter company and you don't need a permit for shore fishing. If you like to try to catch fish like a local, we have tackle and a fishing pole available at Villa Seashell. Tarpon, bar jacks, and red snappers are possible shore catches.
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