With absolutely nothing on the island of Little Inagua to entertain us, we entertained ourselves by exploring the water around it and trying our hand at spearfishing to see if we could catch ourselves some dinner. We were inspired by our last fishing trip to Hooper’s Bay, where we watched our friend Brian spear two lionfish and a lobster while Ryan and I mostly flailed around, scaring the fish away.
Except this time we didn’t go home empty handed. I speared my first fish, which turned out to be too small to eat (I swear, the fish shrink as soon as you get them out of the water), and I caught a 2-pound parrotfish, which turned out to be the perfect dinner-sized fish. And our friend Morgan speared another parrotfish, and a brown-spotted fish we think we identified as a rock hind.
All in all, it was a successful day, made all the more so by a few things I learned on our last outing, as well as some new tricks I picked up this time around:
- It’s better to fish without a wetsuit. I was less buoyant this time, making it easier to dive and swim along the ocean floor.
- It’s very difficult to spear fish in open water. If you can find fish sitting under rocks or in coral heads, they’re much easier targets.
- Once you’ve hit a fish, push the spear in deeper to keep the fish from wriggling off the spear. I learned that after losing two fish.
- Lift the fish immediately out of the water after you’ve speared it so as not to attract any sharks.
- After 4 or 5 catches, it’s probably a good idea to move on to another area in case any sharks picked up the scent.
That last lesson was learned at the end of the day when Morgan spotted a shark nearby and we decided we’d rather go home with dinner and all our limbs. But the sharks must have known they’d get their fill sooner or later because 5 or 6 of them suddenly appeared and circled Hideaway while I cleaned our day’s catch and threw the guts overboard.
So I guess we all got dinner that night — three lovely fried fish for us, and a load of entrails for the sharks. Needless to say, though, there was no after-dinner swimming in Little Inagua.