Fishing in the bone dry earth with a shovel for the unusual and not a little creepy mudfish. This is surely one of the craziest things you'll see all year.
In Ghana, West Africa a group of people stand on a dry floodplain, where the earth is hardened and cracked. Only a few scraggly weeds poke through here and there. They're fishing, in this most inhospitable, waterless place... for mudfish.
Instead of rods and reels and tackle boxes full of lures they carry a shovel and spade. Watch this, it will blow you away.
They look for a tiny hole in the cracked earth, a breathing hole. This is the sign that indicates that a mudfish lies below.
They begin to dig and hack at the dirt, which crumbles like so much dry plaster, until the find a small package shaped like some alien embryo wrapped in a paper-like material.
The flat-topped package sometimes makes a croaking sound upon being handled. This is the mudfish inside, balking belligerently at being woken from its sleep.
Peeling the parchment away, they reveal the creature, folded in half and moist. As they grab it by the throat it unfurls and twists and turns, clearly showing that it is indeed a fish, of sorts. With a head like a dogfish it also sports a couple of tiny, malformed "legs" where its anal fin should be. A very curious animal indeed.
These mudfish survive and wait for the rains to come and rehydrate the floodplain, at which time they awaken and come to life again. But until then, all you need to catch these unusual fish is a spade or shovel.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.