Da' Big Fish Page 2

The fat little neon-yellow bucktail with a red spot and some green feathers caught my eye. My experience in the Caribbean said “This is the lure you want,” so I bought three. I should have bought more.I first wet this magic lure while sailing Famous Potatoes, our Admiral 38 catamaran, from Grenada to Los Testigos, Venezuela, and kicked ass. I caught a yahoo, two fat black-fin tuna,
Author:
Publish date:

After a 30-minute battle the hook can sometimes wear a big hole in the fish. This is a dangerous time. One flip of the head, or given a tiny bit of slack and the monster could have easily escaped. I loosened the drag in case he took one more run as he got near the boat. He started to swim under us and Des put the port engine in gear to keep it behind us and well away from props, rudders, and the occasional barnacle that could have cut the 35-pound-test line.

Finally the mother of all wahoo was swimming with the boat, just 15 feet from me. I could not believe how big it was. I realized it was too big for me to pull aboard with my hand gaff so I asked Des to quickly tie a slip knot in a piece of line which she handed down to me as I handed the pole up to her. I had a hold of the leader and guided the fish to within range. By now the fish was totally exhausted and hardly fought the gaff. I was able to slip the noose around its tail and cinch it tight. It was over.

I had to rest for a minute before we could hoist it aboard. Then with Lady P.’s loud approval—and under foot the whole way—Des and I were able to drag it up the sugar scoop and into the cockpit where I was finally able to fully appreciate this mighty fish.

cruising_bigfish_1

“Holy mackerel Des, this fish must be 60 pounds!” I roared—pun intended. Lady P. jumped on its back and barked in response. She was happier than I was because killing such a mighty fish is a little sad (but not too sad).

After taking a few minutes to take pictures and contemplate what to do next I began the tedious process of butchering the fish while trying to make a minimal mess. I chose my biggest knife, which had just been sharpened in Grenada. Filleting was not hard, just messy. Each fillet weighed around 20 pounds. I cut the beautiful meat into one and two portion sizes, rinsed them in fresh water, and slipped them into baggies which I then packed in ice.

Finally, when I had the fish stowed safely away and the boat scrubbed clean Des asked me, “what do you want to do with the cookies?” Cookies? Then I remembered I was making cookies when the fish hit. It seemed so long ago, I had forgotten all about them.

They had started out to be basic oatmeal cookies but now I was inspired to make them into “Wahoo Cookies” in honor of the big fish. They turned out great!

Des took the last tray of tasty little wahoo cookies out of the oven as we sailed into Polamar Bay in Margarita. We dropped anchor just inside the fleet of 100 sailboats and I picked up the radio mic to talk to my fellow cruisers.

“This is a general announcement for the harbor,” I began in my best radio voice. “This is Jack on the catamaran Famous Potatoes. A few hours ago I caught a 60-pound wahoo. It’s all butchered, bagged, and iced. If you'd like some fresh wahoo for dinner come on by.”

Related

albintoilet

Gear: Albin Pump Marine Toilet

Head Start Is there room for a new marine toilet? Albin Pump Marine thinks so, having just introduced its line of Swedish-built heads—ranging from compact to full-size models—to the American market. The toilets feature vitreous porcelain bowls and either wooden or thermoplastic ...read more

07n_45R2699

Multihull Sailor: Classic Cats

If you’re looking for a decent sub-40ft cruising cat, you have few choices when it comes to new-boat offerings. It is a well-known fact that the multihull market has taken off in a way very few could have predicted. Despite Hurricane Irma’s recent destruction of a large part of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Thanks a bunch  This scene is very calm and seamanlike. No frantic rope throwing or shouting. As he passes the line to the gent on the dock, the crew on the boat says, quietly and clearly, “Would you ...read more

mcarthy-and-mouse

Experience: McCarthy and the Mouse

Sitting at the helm in a light breeze, my arms crusted with a fine rime of salt, my skin so dry I’d lost my fingerprints, I heard a clatter and a curse from below. There were only three of us a thousand miles from shore and only one on watch at a time. Usually, the off watch lay ...read more

2018-giftGuide

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Brass Yacht Lamp Does someone on your gift list spend the whole winter missing the warm days on the water? Let them bring a little bit of nautical atmosphere home with this new lamp from Weems & Plath. The glass enclosure means the flame cannot be blown out even by ...read more

image001

Opinion: On Not Giving Up Sailing

E.B. White was 64 when he wrote his now-famous essay “The Sea and the Wind That Blows,” which begins as a romantic paean to sailing and then drifts, as if spun around by a pessimistic eddy of thought, into a reflection on selling his boat. Does an aging sailor quit while he’s ...read more

1812-JeanneaueNewsVideo

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410

Designed by Marc Lombard, the Sun Odyssey 410 shares much in common with her older siblings including of course, the walk-around deck. Other features that set the 410 apart from other models being introduced this year include the 410’s “negative bow” shape allowing for a longer ...read more