17 April 2012

Termite fishing

     Since the trip to Cayman Roca yielded not even one fish, a trip into Smokey Lane Lagoon for termite fishing was next.
     Yeah, I wondered about that too when I first heard the term...no, you don't fish for termites; you fish with termites.  Finally something useful to do with termites (aside from burning their nests to keep the bugs away).
   The rain forest is full of termites and their huge nests are easy to see in lots of trees as the boat heads down the creek toward the lagoon.   An active nest of the right size is removed from a tree and broken into chunks...'right size' and 'chunks' seems to be determined by some previous experience with this sort of fishing.   
     Where the creek exits the forest into the lagoon, the boat traveled in a circle and chunks of the nest, loaded with crawling termites, are tossed into the water.   Sticks are cut and used to mark where the pieces went under; and if the pieces float then the stick is driven through the chunk and the stick's used to anchor the chunk to the bottom.   When the boat gets back to where the first chunk went in or under, it's time to fish.
     The inevitable result is that the termites, tossed into an unfamiliar environment, are frantic in their efforts to escape...and boy, do the fish go after those little suckers. 
        A net, thrown with the grace of a ballet dancer, scoops up the feeding fish as the boat makes the second trip around the circle stopping where each chunk had been tossed overboard.  
     The experience is not a good one for the termites, but we sure enjoyed the results of their sacrifice.