Let’s Go Deep Sea Fishin’ ~ Charter fishing and how to clean fish
Come on y’all! Let’s go deep sea fishin! It’s so great to be back from vacation and I have lot’s to share!
I’m gonna go ahead and warn y’all before you start scrolling down… For you sensitive types, the fish cleaning part is pretty graphic. For me, it’s cool but you know what I’m saying.
This here is Captain John of the Olin Marler Charter and he knows exactly where to go out in the big deep blue to find the best fish in the sea.
These guys here are John’s crew. They do a fantastic job of helping everyone out. They’ll teach you how to handle the fishin’ poles, bait ’em up and what to do when you catch a big one.
Starting on the left, there’s Marcus, Bradley and John. They do the handling of the fish when you catch one. Since the boat rocks pretty rough, they don’t want you hooking your fingers. Nice, huh?
They put your fish in a bucket for you and after you catch about two or three, they tie the fish up on a rope line and put them on ice. The boat has coolers up front and the ropes have I.D. tags on them so you know which ones are yours.
These guys are my crew. Starting in the back, that’s my oldest son Bobby. The guy in the green hat is my youngest son, Zachary. Next is Earl, one of the funniest and sweetest guys you’ll ever meet. He’s my daughters’ big catch. 🙂 And you all already know my daughter Cory. That handsome feller with the UK shirt (he’s so proud of that) is my big catch. The hubs. [wp-svg-icons icon=”heart” wrap=”i”]
So here’s how charter fishing works. At least, how it went for us…
There’s tons of charters to choose from in Destin, Florida, which is where we went on our vacation. It ain’t cheap and you really have to do some research. Luckily, my daughter is a wiz at finding the best deals anywhere she goes. We chose the Olin Marler because it was the best deal. It was 70$ per person. That includes your fishing poles, bait, a four hour excursion out in the ocean and getting your fish filleted when you get back to the dock.
It took us about an hour and twenty minutes to get to the good spots in the ocean to catch fish. We left at 2:00 in the afternoon and didn’t get back until around 9:00 PM. The captain has a sonar detector (I think that’s what they called it) to find the fish. So he pulls into the spot and stops the boat. When you hear the bell sound once, it’s time to drop your line. If you hear the bell sound twice, it’s time to pull your reel in because the boat is gonna move to a better spot.
As soon as we dropped our lines in the first spot, my daughter caught this Red Snapper. Not bad for a girl, huh? Matter of fact, I’m just gonna go ahead and brag on her here. She caught the most fish out of all of us.
Earl caught a white snapper and a google eye fish.
My oldest son, Bobby caught a trigger fish, which was not in season and they had to throw it back. That thing blew up like a balloon!
One of the people in the front of the boat caught this thing. It’s called a Remora. These cool looking things are actually a sucker fish, also called shark suckers or whale suckers because they attach themselves to the sides of other fish and sea creatures. There’s certain rules about what you can keep and what you can’t. This one went back in the water. I missed the conversation about why but I believe it’s because, like the trigger fish, they have to be in season.
By the way, I have to mention that my daughter picked this thing up in the wrong place, the belly. It pooped all over the deck and my foot. LOL (Thanks sis)
When we got off the boat, the captain’s crew went to work on getting our fish prepared to take home.
Look at all the fish we caught. Those two last strands were the ones we caught. I should say, that chick right there mostly caught 🙂
Some of the people that caught fish just gave us some of theirs because they didn’t want em. Nice, huh?
So they slide the knife down into where the neck of the fish would be, right under the jaw bone. They run the knife all the way back to the tail and flip the filet up. They slice it off from the tail.
And then they run the knife under the filet to cut the skin off. They put the filets in a plastic bag and tie it.
Your job is to have a cooler ready. So if you decide to go charter fishing, you’ll definitely need to bring a nice big cooler that has a snug fitting lid. They provide the ice but you gotta fill the cooler.
Now, foodie friends, if you’ve been reading my blog, you should know that I wasn’t about to walk away and leave all those fish bodies and heads behind. I’m not an expert on the how to’s of fish but I know there’s lots of good flavor in those bones and the flesh of the heads.
So the Olin Marler crew hooked me up (get it, hooked me up hahahaha) and gave me three huge bags full of fish bodies.
I had no idea what the heck I was doing but I figured I’d go for it.
I do know that you don’t want anything to do with organs like lungs and the digestive system. I mean think about it. Those organs cleanse and purify water and oxygen for the fish and they’re probably full of nasty pollutants and what not.
I cut the body away from the heads and cut off any digestive system parts.
Then I went after the lungs. After about 20 fish, I finally figured out that you can just take the scissors and detach the jaw on each side. If you look at that picture above, you can see a line adjacent to the eyeball. That’s where the end of the jaw is. You just cut that on both sides and the lungs and guts are revealed clearly and are easy to cut off in one swipe rather than fishing (haha get it) around with scissors to snip the stuff out.
Not bad for somebody just trying to figure it out without any help, huh? Yeah, I know.. that is pretty graphic stuff but hey, this is about how to clean a fish body, right?
I had the crew leave the skins on my filets because I had plans for cedar planks. Had I known that the scales on the fish like these were darn near like slivers of bones, I would have had them take the skin off. No biggy, I can do that. Right?
These are the filets we came away with after we had dinner. We 12 of the filets for dinner the next day, and I’ll be sharing what we did with them this week. So in total , we had about 26 filets.
Would I do this again? You can bet yer booty I would. What a trip!
There you have it folks. I hope you’ll try deep sea fishin’. It really is a lot of fun and just so you know, this week I’ll be sharing all the recipes I came up with for the fish we caught while we were in Destin. Yeah, It’s pretty freaking fantastic stuff. 🙂 I can’t wait to share it with you fine foodie friends!
Make it a great Monday y’all! Till next time ~ much love, Connie