Let's Call It Catching Page 3 - Sail Magazine

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:

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

Outremer45

Boat Review: Outremer 45

It’s funny the way things that work right almost inevitably tend to look right as well. Case in point: the Outremer 45, a catamaran that can’t help but turn heads with its large rig, nicely sculpted cabintrunk and narrow, purposeful bows. Better yet, under sail the boat more than ...read more

Sunset-Tyrrel-Bay

Charter: Glorious Grenada

In the wake of the hurricanes that devastated the Virgin Islands last year many charterers ended up going farther south to Grenada and the Grenadines where they found the sailing excellent and the vibe just fine“God must have been a sailor when he created the Caribbean,” a friend ...read more

WaterLinesNov

Waterlines: Tangled Up in Pots

I learned to sail on the Maine coast as a boy, and one of the things my elders taught me was to respect fishing gear. If you got caught up with a lobster pot, you did everything you could to get clear without cutting the pot warp. It represented a family’s livelihood and thus was ...read more

7353

Harken’s Reflex 3 top-down Furler

Furl PowerAre you afraid of flying—spinnakers, that is? Harken’s new Reflex 3 top-down furler will tame A-sails on monohulls from 44-58ft and multis from 39-55ft, and Code 0’s on 39-54ft monos and 36-50ft multis. All you do is heave on the furling line and the sail will roll up ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comDitch the stress Owners of high-freeboard yachts best boarded via the stern sugar-scoop like to back them into a slip, but the process can be fraught on a windy day or when there’s a current running, ...read more

Sun-Odyssey-490-Bertrand_DUQUENNE-aft

Boat Review: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490

True innovation in monohull sailboat design can be a bit elusive these days. That’s not to say that there are no more new ideas, but it does seem that many new tweaks and introductions are a bit incremental: let’s say evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Just when it seems ...read more