Lake Malawi once skited of plentiful fish stocks but these days the resource is a shadow of its former self. Still that doesn’t prevent the locals spending day after day out on the lake in their dugout canoes chasing after the big one – butterfish, catfish and the prized speciality chambo, are the species of prey. Dave, Floyd and I hired a craft and local knowledge of a couple of locals and headed out on to the water to try our luck. The boat could have been a bit more seaworthy, they were bailing out the bilge before we’d even pulled away from the jetty by the 25 HP well-worn Yamaha did a sterling job pushing us out a couple of miles through the slop, whereupon we dropped the hooks in eager anticipation. Our expectations weren’t cosmic given the hooks were smaller than the kids use for spotties off the wharf at Petone.
But they proved to be too big anyway and we returned 3 hours later not having had a bite. The local fishermen around us didn’t do any better. Thank God I’m not doing this for a living! But we sure as hell learnt a lot of the local Malawian view of Africa, the West and the future.