On the Eating of Trash Species

This afternoon we took one of our ripest deck squids and dinghied over to an adjacent reef to try and extend the meat larder. S saw grouper (or something similar meeting the ” lurky fish” criteria) under rock ledges while snorkeling. It weighed on K’s mind for a day. It took a couple of days to get back in that saddle after loosing a beautiful candy cane colored trolling lure to something bigger than we honestly wanted to deal with.

It was truly sad, the lure was on its inaugural deployment having been fabricated the night before on the night watch. We were sailing in from offshore, the sun was rising, we were crossing a steep pinnacle at the edge of the continental shelf. It was a sweet, sweet arrangement. “Get ready to catch something in about a half an hour” K told S as she came on watch. 20 minutes later she saw a flash of fins, a full extension of the hand line bungee and pow! that baby was gone, leader, lure, swivels. everything back to the 600 lb longline mono K found drifting on some ocean long ago. Whatever it was straightened a split ring meant for the lifeline shackles, maybe a big tuna, sailfish, or a shark.

There was mourning for the loss of the candy cane Dacron lure (actually a bit of old jib sheet from the marina dumpster, probably hanging off the trashed HR sail). That thing was the bomb. But we still have our deck squids and it was off to the reef we went with an ancient spinning rod and a lead-head hook with an eye painted on it. The second cast hooked up an Arrowtooth Flounder.

Those of you who fish the North Pacific may appreciate this fish for its hard won reputation as a turd-hustler. These fish will eat anything stinky faster than almost anybody else in the ocean. Two months ago we would have cut it up for bait, but under the present circumstances, not feeling in a position to be throwing things back and with dinner time fast approaching, we hustled that turd-hustler into the hot oil.

And so we stand tonight with hands on hearts in honor of all the Arrowteeth Flounders we have maligned and misused when in fact we should have been frying them. Frite Arrowtooth es delicioso.

24°45.82’N 112°15.80’W 17-Nov-09 00:15 UTC

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