Monday, March 06, 2006

All at Sea, Literally

I went out deep-sea fishing last Sunday and it was fun although rather depressing at the same time. The high spot was all the jumping King Mackerels, which were chasing bait out of the water, maybe six feet into the air. Hundreds of them jumped in five minutes and it went on for hours! They were at least a quarter mile away, so I didn’t get a good picture – a zoom video cam would have been cool.

Meanwhile most of us fished the rocks down about 100 feet deep, catching all kinds of snappers and weird fish like Squirrel Fish. The red snappers were illegal to keep so we released them back into the water … where Mama Dolphin was teaching her baby how to feed on our lunchbox. I’ve never seen such wholesale slaughter of snappers in my life. Mama and baby followed us to three different spots and let me tell you, baby was going to survive just fine, as we released over a hundred.

An older gentleman was fishing beside me and was quite upset, in words but not actions, since all he wanted was some decent dinner even if it was triggerfish. The galling part was that the crew kept trying to get us to catch a mackerel, which we detested. “My buddy and I got a hundred pounds of that crap last time,” he said, “and we couldn’t give that crap away, not even for a big fish fry. So what if it pulls good?”

And no, they couldn’t seem to release the kingfish and their first reaction was to slam it on the steel floor to kill it as soon as possible, shouting with glee.

It seems that trash fish like kingfish and sharks and amberjacks (A-Js) are the big ticket on the head boats these days, but we wanted mahi-mahi, yellow-fin tuna, grouper, ling, and things like that – you know stuff that actually tastes good. I left the post-trip show where they hang up the fish for pictures without dallying, somewhat dejected and empty.

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