Monday, January 16, 2012

Deep Sea Fishing

We enjoyed our deep sea fishing expedition for red snapper so much last year that we decided to do another trip this year. Unfortunately, the boat we had chartered last year and was crewed by such an excellent crew was dry docked and being repainted. The captain recommended his brother who also captained a similar boat as a replacement and we scheduled our trip. The day was beautiful again when we arrived at the docks but unfortunately the brother of our previous year's captain hadn't shown up himself and instead hired two other guys to take us out on his boat. These guys weren't nearly as friendly or overly concerned about making our experience one to remember like last year's crew but we still had a lot of fun.

This year we asked to be taken out to try and catch game fish that were in season even if that meant the fishing wasn't quite as good as the year before. As it turned out, the fishing wasn't as good as the year before and we spent a fair amount of the four hours we rented the boat for moving from one spot to another in search of fish and then when we found them, ones big enough to keep it seemed as if the captain would tell us to reel in our lines to try someplace else. All told, we ended up with probably a dozen pounds (filleted out) of white snapper and triggerfish. There was no 'shore lunch' this time nor did the crew fillet out our fish and instead gave it to some dockside workers who charged us for the privilege after they were done. I'm guessing they have some sort of arrangement. Back home, we fried up a batch in breading and sauteed another batch in butter with some Greek seasoning and all agreed the ones seasoned with Greek seasoning were by far the best. What we couldn't eat we froze and I had the privilege of taking them home so that my wife who missed out on the trip due to work could have her share. Of course it meant I got two more helpings of it myself. Fish doesn't taste any better.

Back in the bay heading through the channels towards the docks, we found half a dozen shrimp boats out trolling with their nets. I have never seen one at work so it was a real treat for me. On every shrimp boat there was a man standing out on the bow pointing this way and that. I never could figure out if he was pointing at where the shrimp were or where obstacles were but every boat had one. Perhaps someone in the know can enlighten me on that point.

If you recall, on the previous year's fishing trip, I went from thinking dolphins were adorable sea creatures to thieving bastards in the space of a few hours. So I was hoping I wouldn't see any of them follow us out of the harbor and follow us to the fishing sites this year. Fortunately they didn't and we didn't see any dolphins until our return trip through the bay this year and that is what the above picture is about. What is hard to see were a pair of dolphins. So now perhaps they have moved up a notch on my mental list from thieving bastards to thieving rascals.

I believe I had a picture of this boat hull last year too. I still don't know the story of it.

As soon as we got to the docks, we were inundated with creatures coming to see what we had caught, the above creature the most pleasant of them all. The rest were foul smelling two legged humans who smelled like they spent the last night in a beer soaked ash tray who seemed to be angling for brownie points to earn them a ride as a captain's mate on a fishing charter sometime in the future. Presumably to earn money for more beer and cigarettes. There were plenty of the tourist types too who were probably deciding if they wanted to hire a charter for themselves. Last year we didn't have this problem mostly because it was pretty cold the day we went fishing.

Overall, it was a good fishing trip though I think I enjoyed last year's trip better mainly due to the very friendly crew who went out of their way to make our trip enjoyable. This year the captain was more interested in talking to his buddies via cellphone and planning what he was going to do with them after he was rid of us. The plus side was that we had lots of fresh fish to eat this year.


Ron said...

I've always wanted to try deep sea fishing. With the right crew and boat, it sounds like it could be a lot of fun.

R. Sherman said...

Sounds like a great time.

When we've been to the coast, I always enjoyed fishing in the bays. There are some productive trout areas back there, surprisingly enough, brown trout, I think.


Vince said...

Not a clue. We use echo-sounders. But, given we fish the Greenland sea and the Denmark Strait for the little darlings I don't expect the Bubba Gump method would be so helpful.:-D
Looks a darn good day. And the fact you had to fillet the fish your own self might be the best indicator of a pick up in that economy that all the federal and state economic studies.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

We've been going to Panama City beach off and on for almost thirty years, and we have never tried deep sea fishing. (I know several restaurants that will do it for me)
When we go this year, we may try it (our week is Memorial Day week) if we are healthy enough (getting more and more iffy)
Thanks for the messages.