First Mahi of Season Caught
V and S
Fri 14 Jan 2011 18:34
The day was clear and calm and warm. We loaded up the dinghy for fishing and went out the cut at Norman's Cay to the ocean side. Just to explain: the shallower, more protected west side of the islands is called Exuma Bank. The ocean side, the east side of the islands is called Exuma Sound. The names change somewhat as we move around the other islands. The forecast was for 3-5' waves, but they started out 2-3' and were nearly flat calm by the day's end.
As we made a pass northward in 100' of water towards Highbourne Cay, both reels began to sing that sweet song, "Fish on." A passing cruiser came closer to watch us battle two mahi-mahi at once. We saw no other boats after that. Where was everyone on such a calm day? Landing a fish usually takes two of us. One holds the rod, the other the gaff. Inside the boat we cover the eyes to calm the fish, then serve up a shot of vodka or rum into its gills. This is more humane, but also spares a big mess as well as preserving the flavor of the fish. Immediately we put the fish on ice. Several more passes later we dug out the lunch bucket and ate our sandwiches. What a gorgeous day. We caught another mahi or two at various depths, then put the rods aside to go on a sightseeing tour along Norman's eastern shoreline. The coast is dotted with shallow reefs. Deep enough to get to, yet shallow enough for good snorkeling. We planned to return sometime for just that. Returning to deep water we soon reached 1650'. Wow, what a surprise to get another hit! When we brought the fish near the dinghy, we saw there were maybe a dozen other mahi following. All wanted some of what the captured fish had. I took several photos hoping the camera eye could see the frenzy beneath the surface. I dropped my line over and began to pull the lure back and forth. Bam! Another hit, but it did not hook him. Bam! Bam! Bam! How could I not hook something? Finally one took the bait and we had yet another mahi for the pot. Giddy with the fun of the fishing trip, Valt dropped the line back into the water for one last time. Amazingly, he hooked onto a small tuna! We decided to keep it and try it for dinner tomorrow, maybe grill it medium rare? Tonight we would feast on our fresh mahi. But before we could think of dinner, we had to filet all the fish and prepare them to be vacuum sealed. After cleaning the fish and the dinghy, Valt hauled the remains out to sea for disposal. It is very poor manners to dispose of fish parts in the anchorage. Tired but happy, we decided to make it an early night.