Fishing Lessons In The Atlantic Swell

A beautiful day

A beautiful day

From Thursday to Friday we’d endured one hardcore rollercoaster ride, enough to make the hardiest of travellers feel drained, which was why Saturday was so rewarding. Today we ate dorado!


For starters the wind had moved back round from a westerly to a north easterly so we had the wind behind us. The low front had passed over and the warmer, higher front had taken its place. And the sun was out!


Chilling

Chilling

I woke up to find Dave and Tim were having a fishing competition, each of them trolling a line out the back of the cat. I don’t know if you’ve read Vincent’s profile yet but you’ll learn that he’s a bit of a famous fisherman. In fact fishing is his forte, once bagging a 900lb marlin. Anyway, to be fishing under his guidance was an honour so the competition was taken rather seriously.


323Time passed and we chilled out in the sun, being swept along by a light breeze and huge swells. These waves were as big as the previous 15 footers we’d seen, except there was something a lot more soothing about them – probably the lack of a force 8 behind them! Even so, one can’t ignore the enormity of such a mass of water. Being on a swell was like standing on a huge elevator. As the wave approached so the boat was lifted up and for a few seconds we’re at the highest point in the water, being able to see the horizon for miles. We’re so high up the water looks flat beneath and beyond. Then as the wave passes so the elevator took us down three stories and we’re sitting in the bottom of the swell, with nothing to see except water all round.


Dead baby dorado

Dead baby dorado

It was as we were commenting on the huge waves coming at us that the reel of Dave’s fishing rod began to screech and we all jumped up like a bunch of excited monkeys, swinging around bars and leaping from bench to bench. Of course I instinctively grabbed my camera when I should have been sheeting the gib to slow us down. Vincent sprang into action whilst the rest of us just stood and marvelled at the master in action. Making his way down to the steps at the back of the cat he told us it was a dorado and started reeling in the line. How did he know this? It was still 50 metres away from the boat, but dorado are an amazing metallic green when in the water (they lose their colour within a minute of exposure to the air) so it wasn’t difficult to see what Dave (Vincent) had caught.


517When the fish was within grabbing distance the skipper then did a number of things so quickly it was all a blur, but it included wrestling it so that Vincent’s back was to the water (to stop it from jumping back in), unhooking it, slicing its head almost clean off and then hooking string through its gills as the teak step turned crimson and the scales faded from green to white. We were over the moon! Dave was obviously thrilled as he’d put the line out. I was over the moon as I’d been wanting to catch and eat the legendary dorado ever since I’d heard of them. Vincent explained “I only every get excited when I know I have fish for tea”. Johnny just kept saying “look at the size of that barracuda” (even to this day he struggles with the word dorado). Tim was busy thinking of excuses to get him out of cooking that evening.


613We were elated. The sun was out and we were to have dorado for tea. In fact we started with fish head broth for lunch, which was surprisingly tasty. And to complete the day we even saw another boat – the first in three days – as well as our first pod of dolphins who were jumping fully out of the water as if in celebration of our catch. Dave wore a huge grin for the rest of the day and we indulged in the tastiest, freshest fish we’d ever eaten.









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