Amid all the drama of moving Emme to El Tunco, and away from her established neighborhood friends, we have been searching for things she will look forward to and enjoy. Andy made a very good move, when he added up the number of times she was watched and re-watched episodes of “River Monsters“, and bought her a little fishing pole.
Much to his surprise her first reaction was not one of sheer joy. Her first reaction was to demand some thorough research into what fishes inhabit the waters in this region. Of particular concern to her was catfish. Having been particularly impressed by an episode of River Monsters in which the “extreme angler” battled monstrous Vietnamese catfish rumored to occasionally eat unwary humans. NO CATFISH…she was convinced by some fake internet research and many promises from her dad.
This weekend off the the little creek we headed. It is a dirty creek by the time it reaches the sea near our house, and we would opt out of eating any catch, but we figured just casting the line a few times would make her day. And it did! She took to casting like a natural (having studied so many professionals I gather) and as she reeled the hook in she patiently explained to me the proper bait for different types of fish, the reasoning behind their preferred locations and more. You-tube has an upside.
Before long a small group of local boys came around. One promptly explained tome that we were not going to catch anything big enough to eat where we were standing, and we needed to go up away from the beach a good bit. He also let me know the lure was wrong, but the time of day as perfect if we wanted to move up a tad. I explained I was hoping not to cook tonight, and that she was just practicing with her pole….an idea which he found to be retarded overall. I showed him the beer in my hand. He decided to move on to someone more energetic.
He and his friends were enjoying showing us cool tricks. We learned how to spot and catch crabs at the mouth of the river using sharp eyes and a pair of sandals. We learned that all you need for shrimping is to feel around in the right areas, and grab with confidence. I also learned that shrimp are stronger than they look.
Mostly, we learned that if you put a live shrimp on the end of the line it takes a couple minutes to come up with a fish. What kind of fish? A catfish of course! Oh my! Emme quickly described how she had warned us that warm muddy waters are their natural habitat. Just as she got all worked up about it Andy came back with a ready explanation.
This 7 inch river monster was in fact a “Henderson´s false catfish” a little known relative of the larger species known for its timidity and taste for shrimp. I blinked at the speed of the lie. I wondered how may false catfish stories I had fallen for. Emme´s Browning blood made her a swift fool for semi-scientific things that she liked the sound of. Staring right at a catfish. She now recounted dozens more little known facts about this unusual species, many of which sounded very likely to be true, including their breeding adaptations that included a seasonal phase of increased tolerance to saltwater based on annual changes in the tides. She can make up some science-isms like the best of em. LOVED IT!
Of course we just straight lied to our girl, and then proceeded to nod like fools as she lied right back to us, but that´s what families are for really. Enjoying, nay ADMIRING each others lies in the most loving of manners. And as far as I know it IS a Henderson´s false catfish. I´m no expert. For all I know it could be true.