Friday, June 15, 2007

Lobster fishing in Belize



Tony invited me (Mike) fishing today. June 15th is lobster open – in keeping with Belize’s ecologically friendly culture, the people decide to let the “bugs” have a bit of a honeymoon from January 15th – June 15th every year. Today, the honeymoon was over.
I woke at 4am – let me re-phrase that- 4 !#@!%$!@#%!#$% am. On the dock at 4:30 – with masks, fins, and a couple of bottles of water. We were off the dock before sunrise. We boated about 15 minutes to the area between two section of Hol Chan marine reserve. As the sun came up, we started to look for the “traps” that Tony and his father put down.
Lobster traps in Belize are more like come and go as you please hotels for Lobster. Pretty much a 6’ x 8’ square made of timber, with corrugated aluminum on top. The traps lay in about 15’ of water, and serve as ideal resting place for lobster, crabs, skates and scorpion fish.
Upon arrival, Charlie would jump in, and signal if it was worth a go – it almost always was. We’d all jump in with “Hook sticks” 4’ long sticks with very large barbless fishing hooks taped to one end. The trick was to dive down, and position the hook underneath the lobster, and jerk backwards, hooking a point under the hard shell, and before the tail meat.
At this point, if you have done everything correct, you now have a writhing, angry underwater cockroach on the end of a stick. Also, it will occur to you that you are out of breath and 15’ underwater.
Because the hooks are barbless, the angry bug will squirm off if you don’t grab it. Understand, however, that nature has pretty much designed these creatures to be among the most “un-grab-able” in history. Mostly pointed, sharp and pissed off.
And they make this “cruck cruck” sound that reminds you of how content they were to be safe and secure under their hotel, and how unhappy they are with a hook up their ass.
The boys hooked 10+ for every 1 I could get on the boat. It’s tougher than it looks.
Sometimes, they’d catch two on the same breath.
I like to see them try this being twenty pounds over -weight and out of shape. That’s all I’m saying.
Actually, I did get the hang of it, and managed to pull 5 lobsters off of one trap. Almost held my own. (Tony only got 13 that time.)
At 7am we had our first beer. At 10am we had garlic bread, sausages and hot sauce and baloney. We finished up at about 1pm.
Lobster sells wholesale about $22 BZE ($11 US) per pound. All in all, we probably took in 40 pounds – not a great day, but definitely fun.

13 Comments:

Blogger Michael said...

Great story Mike, that sound like a blast! Although I think you left out the best part.....Tony's lobster dinner! rrRRrrr!
Note: I held my breath through the entire article, so if you need help next year......

Take luck if you have any!

July 4, 2007 at 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesante, no va a continuar con este artнculo?
Gracias

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