I’ve never been much of a fisherman, even when I sojourned in Amsterdamhoek on the banks of the splendid Swartkops River mouth in the mid-1990s.

I once caught a gurnard, which I promptly lost when trying to take the hook out of its mouth. In fact, it was during this tenure that I became bait for fish — once having my surf ski headbutted by a huge ray when paddling into the warm shallows, and then being bitten on the foot by an aggressive eel while I was porting a canoe through muddy inlets at low tide. ..

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