The Best Day of Fishing in Higa History

My mom and dad are on vacation until next week. Madison called them last night to ask how we were going to spend the day. She is a horrible event planner. She handed off the phone to me immediately saying “Hello.” We quickly decided on fishing at Turtle Bay; it is a favorite location of Mad’s and a favorite hobby of my father’s. What I say next comes with no hyperbole: today was probably the finest day of fishing we will ever experience in our lives.

I think my mom spent more time in the sun today than in her entire life combined before this.

I think my mom spent more time in the sun today than in her entire life combined before this.

Incredible.

Incredible.

The tide was extremely low when we arrived. Madison took her small scoop net into the shallows and started wildly swinging the water, telling all who would listen that she was going to catch fish. And then amazingly, she did. “I got one!” she shouted. My mom and I leaned over to look into the net. Indeed, a sliver of silver lay atop the maroon of of the net. She struck out on the next two swings, but netted three fish and a crab in her fourth. What the hell? It was the most inexplicable thing I’ve ever seen. Were the fish stoned and moving at 1/10 their normal speed? Were their brains low on oxygen as a result of the low tide? Did they feel sorry for Madison? My dad and I moved on to the reef and started fishing, Mad was still sweeping her net across the shallows. A few moments later, I heard Mad call my name. “Lucky fish number 8!” she screamed. By the time I finally got back to check out her bucket, she told me the number was up to 13.

Five buckets just like this.

Five buckets just like this.

The best catch of the day.

The best catch of the day.

The entire reef along the shoreline was exposed when we walked out, but within 30 minutes the water started to make its way across the dry parts of rock. The waves really started banging into the reef 15 minutes after that, and that’s when the fish really started biting. They never stopped.

Those waves would hit the reef right in front of our feet and the water behind it would grow glassy in the wake. We could see the dark and colored shapes moving about in the shallow water. That’s when we’d cast the bait into the water. Inexplicably, every single fish in the area converged on the hook. What the hell? Were the fish stoned and experiencing collective munchies? There was a 10-minute period during which my dad dropped his bait into the water and literally said “one-one-thousand,” and lifted the pole to find a fish magically appear at the end of the line. We were laughing out loud at the absurdity of it. We took turns yanking the fish to shore. I knew that it was the best fishing day I’d ever had even as it was happening. Over lunch, my dad estimated that we caught somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 fish. That’s close. I know I dumped out the bucket four times and there were 6-7 fish each time. I wish I took better and more pictures because this will never happen again.

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