Monday, July 5, 2010

It's all a question of knowing enough!

Today we went up to 'the docks' so that Paddy, Clare and Dave could climb and I could fish. This is a very beautiful area, as are so many bays on this island, but the best climbing area is, of course, half an hour from the car. But it is soooo beautiful there, you will love it, I was told. So I walked down a well cleared track carrying all my fishing stuff, while the others carried climbing gear and lunch.

Well, it was worth the walk, the campsite is really super, just has no water at all, but otherwise a wonderful spot in the woods, close to the beach.

They set off to climb an easy route first, just to get into the hang of things, and I headed for the beach. I caught a big Wrasse on my very first cast, so I really felt I was in for a good day. Then it was several undersized Wrasse, until I caught a Trigger fish. Now, I was under the impression that Trigger fish were no good for anything human, and not much good as cat food, but it was about 40cm long, and the official size is 20cm, so I kept it, thinking the cats would eat it if they were hungry enough. Well my next catch was another even bigger Trigger fish, which I kept, but I then moved fishing spots looking for Wrasse.

But the tide was coming in, and the other side of the headland had actual waves, which splashed, so I returned to my original spot, away from any waves, but deep enough for fish. I caught another 2 Trigger fish, (keeping both) and then gave up in disgust and returned to the camp site for lunch. I had just unpacked all the food and drink and put it all ready for the others to eat, when they also arrived. Paddy was rather grazed on his arms and legs, but had completed the first pitch of his warm up route, finding it much harder than expected. Clare had caught her first leader fall while belaying with 2 ropes, and she and Dave had followed Paddy up the route. They were all tired and ready for some food, as it turned out to be after 3pm!

They went off to the rocks and threw a line, after eating, and Clare caught her first sea fish, but it was too small to keep.

Then it was a mad dash home, avoiding the wallabys who were out in force, (word had got out that Clare had not seen one that was alive since arriving here). Dave then cooked Trigger fish in double time so that Paddy and Clare wouldn't be late for the Sing Australia Choir that meets on Mondays at 7pm. It turns out that Trigger fish are hugely superior to Wrasse, as everyone knows, and they were absolutely the right fish to be catching. (At least I didn't throw them back!)

I think we will all sleep well tonight, even James who stayed home to study ready for next term.


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  2. On the American East Coast we often catch the drab gray version of the trigger fish. It's an excellent food fish. Our sub-species has to be cleaned "inside out"...splitting the bottom of the carcass and running your knife between the skin and the flesh... if you try to fillet it the regular way it can dull even a good knife.

    A friend from Florida will not eat the Queen Trigger fish (a more flashy version here in the Colonies)or reef grouper because he says they can make you sick. Something to do with the small crustaceans they eat around reefs.iirc.

    Maybe it's what _their_ prey eats and it get's passed along.

    Anyway, you might have versions that are good and some that are bad because of that diet thing. Maybe it's like foraging for mushrooms. Since most people don't take the time to learn the difference they just say "stay away from the lot".

  3. OOps, I didn't even know there were different ones, I thought I had caught males and females, until I looked in the fish book this morning and found I had caught at least 2 different Trigger fish. Anyway we ate them, and all seem fine today!