Siting in a canoe, music playing and waiting for a tug at the worm on your fishing pole is a ‘foreign’ picture for most Nigerians. Fishing as an occupation is quite famous here but for leisure, that’s another kettle of fish entirely.
It was for this very reason that we thought it would be a great, out of the box experience.
For most of us, this was our first time going on a fishing trip. We learnt that to go fishing successfully (deep water fishing or freshwater fishing), we needed –
- Fishing rods/pole (these can be made locally if you can’t get a hold of the ‘proper ones’)
- Bait (worms, bread etc)
- Floats/bobs (It helps to suspend the bait and also serves as a visual bite indicator).
- A canoe/boat
- Fishing should be done early in the morning because when the sun is hot, the fishes go back down. Sometimes, people set off at about 5 am but there was no way we were going to do that. Unfortunately for us, the sun was out in full force that day. Apologies to everyone who got sun burn.
Our location for fishing was at a jetty in Bogije, Lekki Expressway. It’s down the road from Omu Resort.
Mr. Rotimi (our contact person) had sorted out everything above for us and at past 9 in the morning, most of us were ready to set off on our canoes. We were divided into groups of threes, given our life jackets, poles, fishing assistants and off we went.
The canoes we used are usually used to transport people to and from the Bogije jetty to the other side where there’s apparently a village. One of the canoes went to that village to get our fishing bait and then we started looking for spots where we were likely to find fish.
I learnt a few lessons during this trip about fishing which I realised could be applied to life. They include but are not limited to:
1. Looking for the best place to dock your boat/canoe and cast your poles? Sometimes you don’t have to go too far.
We set out to a far distance, and after getting there, we started wondering if we would catch anything more than seaweeds. After a while, someone on one of the canoes had to get back to shore as he had a flight to catch. The guide in that canoe then decided that instead of coming all the way back, they should stay close to the jetty and see what they could catch there. Ladies and gentlemen, this was the best thing that happened to the unravellers on that canoe as they ended up catching the biggest fishes amongst everyone else.
We all laughed about how we could have just stayed close to the jetty and caught a truckload of fishes.
Life lesson – We can all agree to that to some extent, this happens in everyday. What you’re looking for is sometimes right under your nose but you’re looking somewhere else so you miss it. Hence the saying ‘What you’re looking for in Sokoto is in your Shokoto’.
2. Fishing really is a patience game.
When all the canoes got to where one of the guides thought would be an ideal spot, some of the others commented that they doubted we would catch any as the whole place looked filled up and just not suitable. However all of us in my canoe decided we weren’t gonna go back but try our luck there.
Some canoes went off and we remained. We put on some music, Drake to be precise (maybe this is why the fishes came up), cast our poles and just gisted. After a while, we noticed our poles moving and at the end of the day we ended up reeling in 4 fishes in our canoe. Our guide Mr. Promise was also super helpful and patient with us. He was the one who always noticed when a fish was taking the bait.
Life lesson – Sometimes you just have to be patient when you get to a certain point and wait for your ‘bait’ to be caught.
3. Fishing is sometimes just about the experience.
On one of the canoes, the unraveller let go of the fish that she caught. She wasn’t there to take home any, she was there just for the experience and to know that she had what it took to go fishing.
This ended up being the case for most of us as we ended up giving the fish to our guides and people in the community around the jetty. Everyone was just glad to have the experience and to learn something new.
Another was glad that she learnt how to bait a fishing rod. She asked her fishing assistant to teach her how to put a worm on the hook.
Life Lesson – Some times we do things for the experience and if we’re lucky we learn a thing or two. (Do not do bad, unlawful things. That’s not what we mean here).
4. Never give up.
We got back to shore and some hadn’t caught anything. Our guides told them they could stand on the jetty, try and they might get lucky. Guess what? Most of them did except one and she decided she wasn’t going to leave until she got something. We all waited with her and just as we were about to call it a day, she got the only Tilapia that had be caught all day.
Life Lesson – Don’t throw in the towel, you might just get something you weren’t expecting.
5. Just relax while fishing.
Most times, it wasn’t when I was sitting and staring anxiously into the waters that I caught anything. It was always when I was laughing, playing or even taking a nap that my fishes would bite. It was like they could sense I wasn’t ‘concentrating’ and thought that would be the best time to steal my worms and get away with it. Not happening Nemo. 🙂
Life lesson – Good stuff happen when you’re not trying too hard. Don’t take life too seriously. Relax and just tackle everything as it comes.
Of course one other thing is that there are plenty of fishes in the sea but I believe we all knew that.
The general feedback was that it was ‘an amazing experience especially catching a hattrick‘, ‘an out of the box experience‘ and ‘it was another way to see a different side of Lagos‘
Big thank you to The Sandwich Shop for providing the sandwiches for the trip and at very short notice too.
This is something I would definitely try again but earlier in the morning. Who knows, in no time I might just be ready for deep water fishing.
Have you ever gone fishing in Nigeria and is this something you might be interested in? Let us know.