Fishing at Dawn

told by Hayley (visiting biologist from Cambridge University)


As the jungle awakened I walked down the path weaving through the garden. Hummingbirds hovered at the brilliant pink flowers of the ginger bushes whose leaves were dripping with dew.

Down the garden path - Cecropia tree in the morning light.

Down the garden path - Cecropia tree in the morning light.

Freshly weaved lines of silk glinted under the morning sun and small birds flitted from branch to branch chirping cheerfully. The huge leaves of the cecropia trees hung suspended high above casting elongated shadows across the dew laced grass. An exotic bird with a black and white barred tail sat on the white bark many feet above and called persistently marking the start of a new day.

As I approached the beach the crashing of the gentle waves greeted me and I dragged a kayak down the pebbles- the grating of rock against fibreglass rudely disturbing the gentle hum of the early morning jungle.

The water was flat calm and smooth - a deep green reflecting the canopies above. I dipped my paddle into the deep and propelled my self towards the splashing of fish as they skipped at the border of the air and the sea. Pausing my paddling I cast the hook and let the line run off the reel through my fingers to trail behind the kayak. A pair of scarlet macaws suddenly startled above and flew in parallel across the canopies squawking heinously in the quiet of the morning.

Dawn on Playa San Josecito

Dawn on Playa San Josecito


The sky was still slightly pink from sunrise but the sun still hidden by the rainforest-coated hills. It wasn't long before I felt a tugging at my line. Swinging the bonito fish into the kayak my hands trembled as I made my first ever kill, apologising to the fish as I did so. Success.

As I cruised along hugging the coastline, I peered down over the side of the kayak into the crystal clear waters and could see beautiful glimmers of colour of browsing tropical fish against a background of large rounded pebbles of the seafloor; these fish fortunately, turned out to be uninterested in my bait.

After another half an hour as the sun began to feel hot on the skin of my bare back, I caught one more decent sized fish and headed black ashore satisfied with my first attempt at fishing in these foreign waters. Dinner.

Simon Mezzanotte