I boarded the fishing boat with hopes of getting a big catch. Me, my husband and several others who wanted fresh fish for dinner, we all had high hopes.
The boat left the island just a few minutes before sunset so as we sailed through, the sun was slowly bidding its goodbye. But before the light finally faded, some dolphins came by to say hello. This has always been the case. When someone says goodbye, someone else will say hello.
The boat crew gave us nylon rods with hook on their ends, of course that’s where we hang the baits.
Let the rods loose till it reaches the bottom then pull back some 3-4 meters. Then wait. Wait till you feel something. You’ll know it when something’s biting the bait. There will be some movement. Once you feel it, pull the rods as fast as you could.
Several times did I feel the said movement. Tense and excitement came. I always pulled and they always pulled back. But somewhere along the way, I lost them. Several of them. Either they got eaten by bigger fish along the way or they wiggled their way out of the hook. It hurts when you know you already got something, then someone or something else steals it away. And what hurts more is when you know you already got it but it got away, not that you lost it but it tried hard to free itself.
Ten minutes more, said the boat captain. I still dont have anything on my bucket. I was very sad and frustrated. I tried fishing once, 2 years ago and it was a success. I only caught one, a red snapper, 3 feet long.
But such is life. What happened yesterday may or may not happen again today. Often times, it’s the latter.
I rolled back the nylon and gave it to the crew. Frustrated, I said, take this, handing him the neatly rolled nylon rod. I didn’t catch anything. The captain said we only have 10 more minutes left, I did’t get anything in an hour and a half, what would I get in 10 minutes?
Try once more, the boat crew said.
Half hoping, half not, I let the nylon rod loose once more. It reached the bottom of the sea then I pulled back some 3 meters. Not even three minutes have passed when I felt a slight pull. I tried not to get excited at first. It could be a false alarm again. It might get eaten again along the way or wiggle its way out. I did a quick pull and stopped, trying to sense the movement. It pulled back once more. Excitement came and my heart pounded. Tense followed and then some doubt. I still can’t be sure that this fish is really mine till I see the fish itself, hooked at the end of my nylon rod.
A few more pulls then I felt relieved. Relieved as I saw the fish at the end of the nylon rod, hooked but still wiggling. It’s called Emperor, the boat crew said, a regular sized one but enough to feed two for dinner.
The whole boat rejoiced as if one fish was worth popping up a bottle of champagne. I wiped the cold sweat on my forehead. I smiled.
This success could be pure luck as it couldn’t be, for sure, fishing expertise. But one thing’s for sure, fishing tested my patience, my perseverance and my eagerness to try once more even after failing several times.
There’s no such thing as an easy catch. We lose a lot along the way. We get disappointed and frustrated. We lose hope. But there’s no harm in waiting, and in trying over and over again.