After a sleepy couple of days on Don Det, a fishing trip sounded like the perfect activity that didn’t require too much actual activity. We booked a trip for $6 each which departed at 3pm and returned after sunset. All gear included. Bargain. There was also the option to pay $5 extra and have a BBQ where they would cook you your catch. We decided that the chances of us actually catching anything worth eating were slim to none and we also knew the sort of standards that these trips held them selves to… i.e. none, so we stuck with the basics. After a bit of standing around, we were led down to our boat. It had a foot of water in the bottom, which, bearing in mind the boat is only about two feet deep anyway, is quite a lot. They had a go at getting it out with the electric pump but that turned out to be broken too. They ushered us in to the boat and off we went. Wet feet, wet bum, wet bag. Our boat men were brothers, the eldest about 16 and his brother can’t have been older than 14. Knowing we were in the capable hands of two… children, we set off up the Mekong in the worlds most un-seaworthy long boat.
Our rods looked surprisingly decent, but I have no idea when they were last used. By the looks of the rock solid froglet on the end of mine, I would say at least a few months ago!
We motored up-river, one kid steering, one kid bailing with a holey bucket and after 5km or so, stopped on a small sand island for round one. We cast off, we waited, we cast off again… you get the idea. The view was beautiful and silent, only disturbed by the odd baby monk coming to check his crab pots. As the sky turned golden, we headed further up river to fish the rapids. We ended up getting stuck on the rapids but it was pretty fun all the same.
Once we’d freed the boat, we moved on once more. Needless to say, none of us had managed to catch anything but sea weed and the odds weren’t looking good. I hooked on a new worm, and went for it. Too bad all I caught was this moustache! A few tries later and I really had something. I reeled and reeled, almost fell out of the boat… then I realised I’d just got my line caught on a rock!
When it became too dark to see, we headed back to Don Det with nothing to show for our efforts except smile lines. Some of us stayed awake while some of us…. well, we know who the true hero was here.