Friday, 23 April 2010

On The Line with Elliot... Fish On!

Fish On! A call that always means an adrenaline rush aboard Bristol Rose.

Elliot and Owen enjoy fishing aboard Bristol Rose, catching Mahi Mahi, Cero & Spanish Mackerel, Wahoo and Tuna while passage making.

A five foot male mahi.

When Bristol Rose is anchored we troll off the dinghy around the anchorage or bottom fish at night catching a wide range of interesting fish including Barracuda, School Master, Red Snapper, Porgy, Green Moray Eel, Crevalle Jack, Triggerfish and Grouper. We often practice catch and release. We always release grouper because in most areas their numbers are already severely depleted.

Rex prepares to release this grouper caught while trolling a lure behind the dinghy.

This eel has nasty teeth. It's carefully released back into the water

When we catch fish to eat, we are very particular about the preparation. It is a luxury to eat a freshly caught wild fish so we make sure it is properly prepared to get the best out of this precious resource. Rum is applied to the gills to subdue the fish and prevent bruising. Bleeding keeps the flesh white. Dark meat, skin and bones are removed to avoid strong flavors, before putting on ice. Always best eaten while still fresh. Following these guidelines, our fish meals are always excellent.

The flesh of the Crevalle Jack is dark red, almost like beef. Best used for bait.

Cooking Fish aboard a sailboat. As much as we enjoy deep fried fish and chips, cooking with hot oil aboard Bristol Rose is not desirable. Frying creates too much heat and is potentially dangerous especially while the boat is underway. Plus there’s the mess of oil splatters in such a confined space. Alternatives for us include BBQ, curried, sushi, and baked providing much appreciated variety in meals. Cooking fresh fish over coals on the beach is a real favorite when we can easily share our catch with friends.

A Mahi Mahi ready for cleaning and filleting. We found a nice flat piece of driftwood on the black sand beach at Isla del Rey in Las Perlas.

Ciguatera poisoning is a constant concern for the cruising sailboat in the tropics. Our approach is to only consume fish caught well off shore and in deep water, e.g. Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Mackerel, etc. We don’t consume very large older fish. With reef fish, we ask around to see what the locals eat.

Pelicans, Frigate Birds and Seagulls diving on a bait ball in Las Perlas

From our home on the ocean we get to see many fish, dolphins, sea lions, sharks, feeding frenzies, sea birds, stingrays and turtles and occasionally a whale.

One of Elliot's more unusual catches, a Lookdown

How do we identify our catch? We reference books. Our favorites include:

Sport Fish of the Atlantic by Vic Dunaway. We like the addition of the food value section on each fish species.

Snorkeling Guide to Marine Life by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach

The Cruiser’s Handbook of Fishing by Scott Bannerot & Wendy Bannerot. If you are new to fishing get this book. It will answer most of your questions about catching fish and preparing your catch.

1 comment:

  1. It's good to know your not starving. Of course Trish can make anything taste good. I recall the great pumpkin experiment. Be safe