We had hopes on catching Dolphin fish (aka Mahi Mahi), Wahoo, and tuna. We've gone on many fishing charters but have never tried fishing by hand. Local fishermen in Curaçao catch fish with just a rope, weights, bait, and at times, a bicycle tire or bungee cord. Why a bicycle tire? Fishermen secure the line to an attachment on the boat, then they loop a tire or bungee cord. When a fish strikes, tire or bungee cord will stretch considerably. That's when you know a fish is hooked.
Our boat captain set it up for us with a small piece of string instead and cast the bait off into the water as we trolled along the coast of Curaçao. As we sailed past Willemstad, a small piece of string that the captain set up snapped. This was the sign that we caught something. Immediately, my husband began to 'reel' in the fish by hand. Looked easy enough, well, compared to using a rod. Think of it as playing a game of tug-o-war but with a 20 pound fish swimming the opposite direction. In just a couple minutes, the fish was hooked and thrown on deck. Another person on the boat whacked the fish between its eyes to knock it unconscious so we could put it in the cooler. We were warned of its teeth and how it could easily cut you with a mere touch, so we all stood back and watched the captain place the fish into a cooler.
2 hours and several cans of Amstel and Polar later, we docked back at the harbor. The captain filleted the Wahoo and bagged it for us. We brought the fish to Hyatt's seafood restaurant, Shor, for the chef to prepare.
Stay tuned for the presentation of our catch of the day.