Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing

I’ve been traveling a bit lately. I’ve actually been through six states this week. The weekend was spent in Sacramento and Monday in LA preparing for another week away from home. Yesterday was one of those all day travel days. I was awake at 4am to get to the airport to fly to Atlanta and then from there we were on the road for 3 ½ hours with an interview in between in Alabama. I got into bed around 2am in Florida and was up again at 4am for my first deep-sea fishing trip. From here I’ll fly to Albany, NY out of Tallahassee for a feature over the weekend. Somewhere in there I lost a day and as far as I’m concerned it was Tuesday until about 5pm when I realized it was Wednesday and I was at the edge of the continental shelf with no cell reception and no laptop and everybody on board including myself was much more concerned with the 7 ft shark flopping around on the end of a hook.

Exhale. We turned the shark loose. I found that I’m not a great fisherman. While they were casting nets for live bait I was rescuing the little crabs that got drug in too. Then I immediately got cited for pretending that a fish flipped out of my hand and back into the water. They’d catch them, I’d throw them back in when they weren’t looking. They broke that habit fast. They couldn’t get me to bait the hooks with live fish through the eyes and they couldn’t get me to pose next to the big fish that I caught because I thought they looked like they were in pain swinging around like that in the air. Then they told me they didn’t feel it and I told them that just because the fish didn’t complain it doesn’t mean he didn’t feel the steel tearing through his flesh. I know. Hypocritical. I reeled them in in the first place.

We hit one reef that was filled with red snapper. I’d get a bite as fast as I could drop the line. It was hard to save those ones though, or at least at first. The change in pressure from being drug in would literally make them pop. So then I slowed it down. I got teased. I bonded with the fish and tossed them back unpopped. They were my favorite to catch because it was illegal to keep them.

The man who owned the boat found my cause entertaining. I thought one fish’s eye fell out and freaked out when they had the video camera rolling. And of course there were the popped fish. He told me the fish just had hemorrhoids. There were jellyfish floating around us everywhere we went. He leaned over the edge of the boat and sliced a piece off the top of one and ate it raw. He told me it tasted like jalapenos and that now it wasn’t aerodynamic and would just swim in circles for the rest of it’s life. I reeled in a remora and they tried to stick it to me. FYI a remora has a vacuum for a chin and likes to attach itself to the sides of sharks like a suction cup. Strange feeling.

I lost one of my pet snappers to a barracuda, or at least that’s what I was told. I caught him. I felt him put up a token fight on the line and then suddenly I felt like I had hooked a monster. The pole bowed down and almost took me overboard and the next instant he was just a normal fish again until I wound him up out of the water and there he was, still blinking at me, because the head was all that was left of him. I was traumatized.

So now I’m back on land. I have more fish than I know what to do with, partly because I don’t cook and partly because I’d feel bad eating them anyway. We went from there to the showers to a seafood dinner (because out of 10 restaurants at this beach, 10 of them serve seafood). As I scanned the menu I imagined the blank little faces of the grouper and the flounder and the snapper and I settled on scallops and now I fear I may be forced into a temporary vegan diet if we happen to dive for scallops tomorrow.

29090cookie-checkGone Fishing

Gone Fishing

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7 Responses

  1. They dont “POP” they have an airbladder that will come out through the throat, you simply deflate it and let them go like we did and they live to bite another day.

  2. LOL… Kayden… what a wonderfully funny description!!! I’m betting there’s only four other people besides you who know how funny it really was. Because we were THERE, and we know it’s all TRUE!!!
    Great writing, Kayden!

  3. This post is even funnier if you didn’t look who wrote it first and thought it was Mike writing.

    I was like “Man, what a pussy”

  4. Man, where have I been all week, and why did I miss this one!? Not that it matters since we talked about it in the interview, but I enjoy the intimacy of writing and you are fun to read, and “delightful”, as I said, because you convey the feeling, which is, for some, not an easy thing to do.
    Anyway, I just had to leave a comment. I have a friend who is like that, though. I almost mentioned her in the introduction to the interview because you are so much like her, but she is shy and quite recognizable and may not want any attention at all these days. She can’t eat meat on the bone. It forms pictures in her mind of what the animals once were, and of course, no longer are, and it makes her sad. She was once at a restaurant and presented with a live lobster on a tray – their way of luring you into wanting lobster, I’m sure, and she had o run to the bathroom because she was starting to cry and was embarrassed by it. I’ve always wanted to tell her that life cycles and doesn’t go away (pulling from my Cherokee heritage here), but only transforms like water into a new vessel when the old one fails. I’m not sure if that helps, though. 🙂

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