Go Fish

Every week for the past year I have asked my friend when he was going to take me fishing. Every time I ask the answer was always the same “When the wind is good”. I would ask “Well, when do you think the wind might be good on a weekend?”

This weekend the wind was good, the weather was beautiful and I was going fishing. I got a fishing license, which it turns out, I did not need, as the governor declared a fishing license holiday. Before we went out I did warn our friend that we know absolutely nothing about boating, catching fish or fishing gear. But, I am a quick study.

My last two experiences have not been stellar – once in Hawaii on a charter boat (that was the stellar part) with rough seas that ended in us snorkeling, and once here in Key West on a boat with 60 people, 90% of whom were vomiting, me included. I was eager to break the no-fish-catching streak.

The curse is broken. Between the three of us, we caught about 20 yellowtail snapper. I put little bait fish on the hooks, attached the hooks when fish bit them off and reeled them in. It is pretty amazing how much of a fight a two pound fish can put up.

As for the eating part, in my life it usually goes like this: I trot over to the fishmonger and buy perfectly filleted fish, with no skin or bone in sight. Alternatively, I get a perfectly cleaned, descaled whole fish, ready for grilling. Yesterday was neither. I gutted 4 fish so that I can roast them whole, stuffed with herbs and lemon. Yes, I pulled the tiny fish guts and fish intestines out, with my hands. I didn’t even complain about the grossness of it all. When it got to filleting, however, I had some other issues. As it turns out, it is a lot harder than it looks. I have not figured out how to get all of the meat off of the skeleton, while leaving the bones. I have a whole new appreciation for Renzo, the fish filleting king. Hopefully, I will learn a little more before the next fishing adventure.