Da' Big Fish Page 2 - Sail Magazine

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

ElanGT5-a

Boat Review: Elan GT5

Aboard many modern yachts, it can be hard to remember exactly what boat you’re on until your eye happens to light upon a logo. However, this is most definitely not the case with the Elan GT5, a performance cruiser with a look all its own and style to burn.Design & ...read more

01-Lead-P1060210

Handheld VHF Radios

For many sailors, cell phones have become their primary means of both ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication. Even the Coast Guard will often ask for a cell number after it receives a distress call. None of this, however, makes a VHF radio any less important—and this goes ...read more

Seascape24

Boat Review: Seascape 24

Since its inception in 2008, Slovenian builder Seascape, founded by a pair of Mini Transat sailors, has focused solely on creating boats that are both simple and loads of fun to sail. With their 18-footer and then a 27-footer they succeeded in putting out a pair of trailerable ...read more

01-Trash-Tiki_in-partnership-with-Subtch-Sports_starting

The Adventurers Aboard Trash-Tiki

If you were in Gotland, a popular island vacation destination off the coast of Sweden, on the morning of July 3, your holiday might have been interrupted by a startling sight: a tiny island of trash approaching shore with people aboard. It was, in fact, a sailboat made from ...read more

atlantic-cup-trailer

2018 Atlantic Cup Video Mini-Series

Atlantic Cup 2018: TrailerThis past spring, SAIL magazine was on-hand to document the 2018 Atlantic Cup, a two-week-long Class 40 regatta spanning the U.S. East Coast and one of the toughest events in all of North America. The preview above will give you a taste of the four-video ...read more

hardangerfjord

Cruising: Holland to Norway

In 2015, we cruised to Norway’s Lofoten Islands on our Nordic 40, Juanona, which we’d sailed transatlantic from Maine to England. Our 2016 plan was to cruise through the Netherlands to the Kiel Canal, sail into the Baltic as far as Stockholm, then cruise the western coast of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comThe Watch-keeper’s Nightmare The commercial watchkeeper’s most awkward decisions come with a vessel converging from abaft the starboard beam showing a red light. If he’s more than 2 points, or around 22 ...read more

cosair760R

Boat Review: Corsair 760R

We’d only been out on Miami’s Biscayne Bay aboard the Corsair 760R a few minutes when Corsair Marine marketing manager Shane Grover and I began bemoaning the fact neither of us had a GPS with us to determine our boatspeed. Moments later, though, we both came to the same ...read more