Finally, fish for dinner?

by Jax on January 31, 2015

After weeks of fruitless fishing on our transatlantic trip we finally caught a fish – well, Adrian did.

Fish 1

Adrian is not really a fish eater, but there is something about the act of fishing that appeals to the geeky side of him (that’s pretty much all of him) and as almost everyone else on the ARC managed to catch some fish there was definitely a competitive urge to be settled.

Leaving Antigua bound for St. Kitts the line went over the stern and within a few minutes we had a bite.
Considering this was his first fish Adrian did a very good job at landing it (he has had quite a bit of practice catching seaweed ;-) There was plenty of time to gather net, strong alcohol, gloves and all of the other equipment necessary for dispatching our quarry.

This was the bit I wasn’t looking forward to, but with very little ado the fish was subdued (alcohol in the gills), beheaded, gutted, scaled and filleted. When it stopped being sport and became food preparation, I took over – a little out of practise, but I finally got to use that filleting knife that’s been languishing uncalled for in the cutlery drawer.

Fish 3

Fish 4

Once the fish was packed away and the decks washed down we could turn our attentions to working out exactly what sort of creature we had caught.
Not having had much success at fishing we are not very familiar with what different types of fish look like, but a quick look at the Leewards guide book revealed ours to be a Barracuda.
Now I’m (evidently) no authority on fishing, but I do like to eat the stuff and I am aware that there can be a problem with reef fish, particularly Barracuda, so it’s back to the guide book to consult the experts:

“Ciguatera fish poisoning does exist in the Leewards, and it is said to be particularly bad around Redonda Rock. It can be serious. Common symptoms are a bad stomach upset followed later by various neurological symptoms, such as tingling sensations and pains in the joints.
Unfortunately, testing a fish before eating it requires a special chemical kit, and the results may be unreliable. Local sailors consider tuna, dolphin, sailfish, wahoo, and marlin generally safe whatever their size. Many take a chance on small barracuda, Spanish mackerel and kingfish (4lbs or less), but the big ones are thrown back.”

As we were only about 15nm from Redonda, and as you can see our Barracuda was quite large I took the decision to feed the fish back to the fish. No fish for dinner again. Girl disappointed. Geek relieved, though he probably wouldn’t have eaten it anyway.
Adrian was all for putting the line straight back over, but I wasn’t ready to face the prospect of dealing with another large fish.
At least next time we catch a Barracuda we can throw it back before all the hard work is done, although I’m not sure we ever would have got that hook out of its mouth.

Fish 2

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Neil Phillips February 11, 2015 at 20:07

Haha….want us to send you some cod and chips form our exceedingly good turkish fish and chippie here in T Wells?
We are enjoying reading your blog, even though we are very jealous of ya!
Neil & Cha

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