In case you’re wondering, that’s not fish that Delarie caught with a banana.
After months of staying indoors, now the outdoors seem like a fun place to be. So I thought: who better to talk to than our resident fisherwoman (is there such a word?), Delarie Fernandez? Yes, you read it right – she used a banana as bait. And something tells me it’s going to be a fun interview.
So the other day you said you've been fishing for 20 years, what has fishing taught you about yourself?
Well, I found out how much I enjoy being outdoors, the sun, and also how to keep my cool because I used to panic whenever there’s a fish on the line.
How old were you when you first started?
I was 7 then. My dad introduced me to this sport and we would always go fishing late at night because that’s when the fish are the most active. We’d arrive at 11 pm and leave around 4 or 5 am so naturally we’d skip school the next day. And the chances of that happening was quite high.
Now I'm curious to find out what kind of reasons you guys would give to your teachers...
Oh, my siblings and I would just say that our grandparents were sick. And since we were so young back then, my parents didn’t really care. Also, fishing was pretty much our family’s biggest passion so it’s like fishing over studies, that’s how passionate we were about it.
What about now? How often is a sweet spot for you?
If I could, I would fish every week. But because it’s an expensive sport, I’ll settle with twice a month. Just wait until I run my own fishing business. You’ll see me with dark circles because I’ll be fishing from morning until night time.
What's the most unexpected bait you've used?
So this happened in 2015 when I was in Singapore. For some reason, no fish was biting and as I was about to call it a day, one of the employees suggested that I change my bait to a banana.
Please tell me you did it and caught something.
Yeah, I did. The guy was right and I caught a Chaophraya catfish!
Unexpected baits aside, what was your most interesting fishing experience?
Wow, I think I can go on and on about this.
The first thing that comes to mind is definitely deep-sea fishing. My rod was bending like crazy and I was reeling it in for about 15 minutes. But then when I reeled it up, it was a plastic bag so don’t litter in the ocean, you guys!
I guess another one is my first 35 kg catfish. Obviously it’s not as big as my dad or my siblings’ but I remember fighting it for about a good 30 to 45 minutes. I went from standing to squatting to sitting because I just didn’t know what to do! And I was so worried that I was going to lose it. Thankfully that didn’t happen!
Let's say we're fishing on the sea, what's your #1 advice?
RING. THE. BELL. If you’re going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, do it so people know that you’re awake. And if you were to fall into the sea (let’s hope not!), someone might take notice and save you.
Lastly, what's your advice to first-timers?
- Start with the ponds and go with someone who already knows how to fish.
- Always wear covered shoes because sometimes people would throw the hooks on the ground and the last thing you want is to get hurt.
- Wear a cap or a hat because when you cast, sometimes there will be drippings from the bait so it won’t get into your hair.