Let's Call It Catching Page 3

My fishing career began on a steamyFort Lauderdale morning, eons ago, when my wife Irene and I were scouring the aisles at West Marine buying gear for our 40-foot steel cutter Moose. I was feeling quite comfortable, if not smug, and added some fishing lures-some silver spoons, a day-glo Rapala, an Australian Runner and a set of sparkling bluesilicon ballyhoo-to the already groaning
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

The guts of
the matter

I remember one day standing at the fish-cleaning table trying to break the head off a big wahoo; it looked like professional wrestling gone terribly wrong. It dawned on me that with every fish I'd caught I'd first slit open the belly, removed the guts, and broken off the head before cutting off the meat. Here is an easier way:

Brace the fish with the dorsal fin up and with a really sharp knife make a vertical cut along the side of the backbone from head to tail. Repeat this cut, going deeper, several times until the knife tip hits the ribs. Now make a cut just behind the head and running behind the pectoral fin down almost to the visceral cavity, being careful not to puncture it. Next, cut along the back, lightly run the knife tip along the ribs, gradually separating the flesh from the ribs. Do this for the length of the fish and then cut through the skin along the lateral line (the half-way line on the side). This is the first upper fillet.

At the back end of the fish make a cut behind the anal fin and work the lower fillet off the carcass in the same way as you did above. Repeat the entire procedure on the other side. The objection to this method is that you lose the meat on the "belly flaps," but it is fatter than the fillets and less desirable in my opinion.

When you've done both sides, put a fillet skin-side down on your table and cut through the flesh, but not the skin, at the center point. Place the knife into this cut and turn the blade flat to the table. Work the blade along between skin and meat, resisting the urge to saw, and you should end up with a clean fillet and very little wastage on the skin. The reason why you started in the middle was so you'd have the skin to hold onto when you cut back the other way, removing that fillet.

Now take two generous chunks of the fillet (perhaps after a shower), dredge them in oregano, and grill them or blacken them in smoking-hot olive oil. Then crack open a frosty bottle of chardonnay.

saip_0909_10_z+fishermen_careers_catching+filleting
saip_0909_13_z+fishermen_careers_catching+kingfish

What to catch, and where

Here's a quick guide to the edible fish that inhabit your sailing waters

saip_0909_06_z+fishermen_careers_catching+new_england
saip_0909_12_z+fishermen_careers_catching+southern_califonia
saip_0909_09_z+fishermen_careers_catching+alaska
saip_0909_05_z+fishermen_careers_catching+florida
saip_0909_07_z+fishermen_careers_catching+freshwater
saip_0909_02_z+fishermen_careers_catching+hawaii

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No chafe, safe stay  If you’re leaving the boat unattended for a longish period, there’s a lot to be said for cow-hitching the shorelines, as this sailor did. They’ll never let go, and so long as the ...read more

belize600x

Charter Special: Belize

It would be hard to imagine a more secure spot than the Sunsail base on the outskirts of the beachside community of Placencia, Belize. The entire marina is protected by a robust seawall with a channel scarcely a few boatlengths across. It’s also located far enough up Placencia ...read more

DSC00247

DIY: a Top-to-Bottom Refit

I found my sailing “dream boat” in the spring of 1979 while racing on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Everyone had heard about the hot new boat in town, and we were anxiously awaiting the appearance of this new Pearson 40. She made it to the starting line just before the race ...read more

01-oysteryachts-regattas-loropiana2016_063

Light-air Sails and How to Handle Them

In the second of a two-part series on light-air sails, Rupert Holmes looks at how today’s furling gear has revolutionized sail handling off the wind. Read part 1 here. It’s easy to look at long-distance racing yachts of 60ft and above with multiple downwind sails set on roller ...read more

HanseCharles

Video Tour: Hanse 348

“It’s a smaller-size Hanse cruiser, but with some big-boat features,” says SAIL’s Cruising Editor, Charles J. Doane. At last fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, Doane had a chance to take a close look at the new Hanse 348. Some of the boat’s highlights include under-deck galleries for ...read more

amalfitown

Charter Destination: Amalfi Coast

Prego! Weeks after returning from our Italian flotilla trip last summer, I was still feeling the relaxed atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a Mediterranean paradise, with crystal-clear waters, charming hillside towns and cliffside villages, plenty of delicious food and wine, ...read more

image005

Inside or Outside When Sailing the ICW

Last April, my wife, Marjorie, and I decided to take our Tartan 4100, Meri, north to Maryland from her winter home in Hobe Sound, Florida. This, in turn, meant deciding whether to stay in the “Ditch” for the duration or go offshore part of the way. Although we had both been ...read more

MK1_30542

SailGP: There’s a New Sailing Series in Town

San Francisco was the venue of the biggest come-from-behind victory in the history of the America’s Cup when Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013, so it seems only fitting that the first American round of Larry Ellison’s new SailGP pro sailing series will be ...read more