Massive excitement. No routine and repetition here (reference to last blog), we caught our first fish. And it was a monster. There is photographic evidence. Yeh, I know all about fishing stories and myths.
The day had started well. A pod of dolphins on the bow, much larger and darker in colour than others we’d seen before. We’d finished our scrambled eggs in the cockpit and the line snatched. It’d only been out for a couple of hours as there was little point in fishing with fresh meat on board when we left Mindelo. And the whole point of fishing is to catch our dinner. No sport fishing for us.
Dave got on the rod, wedged himself in the corner of the cockpit and started winding the line in while I collected things together that we might need… camera, (very important), 2 pairs of gloves, knife, chopping board, gaff, bucket and a bottle of very cheap rum.
I’ve been waiting for this moment since we bought the rod in Jersey. Anticipation is a great thing. All the time I was thinking, what’s it gonna be, how big will it be, are we going to be able to get it on board and dispatch it, will it have big teeth, how easily will the hook come out, will my brother believe me?
Dave reeled and a flapping fish appeared above the surface. Nothing like anything I’d ever seen before. It was yellow with blue flashes and a flat forehead. And it was much bigger than we needed. But this was our first fish and there was no way it was going back. I was on a mission.
We got it on board without too much of a struggle, me using the gaff and Dave grabbing its tail and with it upside down, I poured some of the rum into its gills and this dispatched our dinner pretty promptly. It’s amazing how quickly the vibrant sheen of the fish changes and disappears between life and death.
Speedy action then ensued.
No. 1. Photographic evidence.
No.2. Take the fillets off each side. I wasn’t the most skilful at this but we ended up with plenty of meat for a first attempt.
No.3. Take meat down below and get it into meal sized packages and into the fridge asap.
No. 4. Clean the cockpit as it was a bit of a mess.
There we go. I am no longer a fishing virgin. We think we caught a Mahi Mahi. This afternoon I marinated chunks in lemon and lime then cooked it this evening with onion, garlic, red pepper, chilli and coconut milk. With a bit of cous cous on the side. Top healthy fresh nosh.
I will post the photos when we next get wifi. In the meantime, you’ll just have to believe me.