Eight places to catch your dinner and eat it too

SHERYL NANCE-NASH | 9/12/2019, 3:50 p.m.
When you make something with your hands there’s a special something, a pride that comes from being a creator.
Mussel picking in South Africa

Same goes for when you have the opportunity to feed yourself as a result of the fruits of your labor. It’s so, so sweet not only to catch “the big one,” and to then turn around and feast on it. Well, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Here’s where to go to catch your dinner and eat it too!

Hermanus, South Africa 

There are many reasons to stay at Birkenhead house. After all, the beach house is seated on the cliffs of the Cape Winelands region, overlooking Walker Bay with whales frolicking there several months of the year. When you tire of the cliff side pool and watching surfers, try your hand in a mussel picking class. The chef shows you how to safely pick them from the rocks below Birkenhead House where the mussels are plentiful. Gather them and bring them to the chef who will dress them in garlic, cream and white sauce.

Incline Village, Nevada

The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino’s Fishable Lake Tahoe is ideal for those seeking an adventurous dinner experience. You’ve heard of farm-to-table, how about line-to-table? Hit the lake and catch freshwater fish to take back to the resort’s restaurant for the executive chef to work his magic. The tours are available from May to September.

Belize City, Belize

Have you ever been on a lionfish hunt? Guests at the Turneffe Island Resort, a 14-acre, private island off the coast of Belize City, each week get spear in hand and seek out lionfish. Scuba divers and snorkelers get briefed on what they need to do to give the invasive species a good battle. You and the guide work together to bring home the trophies and take them to the kitchen to be turned into lionfish ceviche.

Crystal River, Florida

If you haven’t tried scalloping, maybe it’s time you did. You’re in shallow waters and need a snorkel, net and pair of fins. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie. An ideal spot this family fun is the Plantation on Crystal River. You can DIY or take a guided scalloping tour right from the Dive Shop at the resort. Hopefully when you head back to the resort you’ll have something to give the shuckers who will clean your bounty and send it to the resort’s restaurant where they’ll be prepared however you like. Enjoy the fruits of your labor of love.

Hermitage Bay, Antigua

You likely never heard of a cockle fish. It’s also safe to assume you probably have never picked them with your toes. Check into the Hermitage Bay resort and head off with the chef into a hidden mangrove near the property. No worries, chef and local fish guy Deon will show how to pick the cockles with your toes. They live in the mud in the swamp in the mangrove that few folks know about. It’s quiet, peaceful. The picking of the cockles requires standing mid-calf in mud, thigh-deep in water and wiggling your toes around in the mud. The chef cooks up the cockles for you that very day, in a cooking class.  You’ll have bragging rights about knowing how to make cockles in a traditional Antiguan dish.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

In Botswana’s Okavango Delta, believed to be the largest inland delta in the world, safaris to view wildlife can include a fishing adventure. You may find yourself fishing near hippos and you’ll want to keep your distance. In this oasis of wildlife, animals truly rule. You may spot giraffes, wildebeest, zebras, elephants and more as you cast for bass, bream, tilapia, African pike and dozens of other species of fish. As you travel through the delta’s water channels in a boat, you can have your pick of private fishing areas and islands. Shore up on your own private island, where your guide may build a fire, perhaps under a giant baobab tree and cook your fresh catch right there over a campfire. It sounds simple, but it will be some of the freshest fish you’ve ever had. If you want to take a break after fishing, you can also have camp cooks prepare your fish and dine at a table outdoors by the Delta. This adventure can be experienced through a variety of safari companies and lodges. 

White Point Beach, Nova Scotia

Would you like to walk in a pair of big boots? Try stepping in those of Nova Scotia’s legendary lobster fishers. You can do so with the White Point Beach resort’s two-night Great Canadian Lobster Fishing Feast, available from February-May. You’ll be privy to an exclusive meet-and-greet with the captain and crew featuring Nova Scotia’s signature wine, Tidal Bay and lobster croquettes and Lobster 101 Orientation to learn about the fishing equipment and gear. Anticipate the half-day sunrise lobster fishing expedition aboard a 37-foot lobster boat, where you’ll help the crew measure and band the lobsters, as they haul in dozens of traps. Then there’s an executive chef-prepared ocean-side feast made with the freshly caught crustaceans and wine pairing.

Taipei, Taiwan

In Taiwan, there’s a popular pastime called urban shrimping. Shrimpers cast their lines into concrete indoor pools filled with large freshwater shrimp. It’s typically a whole day of fun with lots of beer. Any shrimp they catch are then skewered, salted and grilled on the premises.