Cuisine de Zah
Eat, Sleep, Eat, Love

If You Teach a Blogger To Fish...

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I did indeed wake up before 5 a.m. yesterday, put my ass a small fishing boat with two local fishermen, and set off onto the great big ocean, past the sunrise and out to where it's nothing but endless, beautiful, unnerving flatness.

Jason loves to fish and goes as often as he can (usually catch-and-release fly fishing), but I've never been, never tried, and so I can safely say my only goal for the day was to not thoroughly embarrass myself. 

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(This is not me trying to be mysterious. This is me still too terrified of falling out of the boat to fully turn around for a photo.)

The whole idea behind the deep-sea fishing excursion is to catch actual fresh fish for your actual lunch and dinner that day, which jazzed Jason to no end. I was...not that optimistic. 

On our way out and back, we passed directly through a huge school of dolphins. 

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(And while I've never been one of those OMG DOLPHINS people, I have to admit that the only possible reaction being that close to them is OMG DOLPHINS!)

FInally, it was time to fish. Our guide cast my line and handed it over to me, and instructed me to brace it against a metal spike he put in the boat because I had the lure for the "big fish." The reel was twice the size of Jason's and the fishing line was made of steel.

"WHY DO I HAVE THE ONE FOR THE BIG FISH?" I whispered to Jason. "THIS LOOKS HARDER. I THINK THEY ARE OVERESTIMATING ME. OR PUNKING."

Jason tried to explain to me how I would know if I hooked something ("You'll just know!") and what to do if I did ("Tell them, I guess."), and suddenly my reel clicked and line started twitching and before I could even process a "THIS IS HAPPENING" I was told to brace the pole against me and start reeling in whatever heavy, fiesty-ass thing was fighting me with all its considerable might.

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It took FOREVER. My hands and arms started aching and I broke out in a tremendous sweat, which made my hands slippery and useless and I kept waiting for someone else to offer to take over, but no one did.

Finally...

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"Yep, that's a barracuda."

I CAUGHT. A. BARRA. CUDA. YOU. GUYS.

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(I call the big one Bitey!)

After that, I switched to the smaller reel and...well, let's be honest here, I proceeded to kick Jason's ass at fishing. We found a school of bonito and I caught a whole bunch of pretty good-sized ones.

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These, I was allowed to hold and pose with, as they are less likely to bite your face off.

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And while I am usually the very definition of "squeamish inside kid who hates stepping on bugs that crunch," it really was a hell of a lot of fun.

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Jason finally caught a couple too, though he assured me he didn't care that I caught more, because whatever, IT'S ALL DINNER.  

By 9 a.m. we'd easily caught more like breakfast-lunch-AND-dinner, so we decided to head back home.

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("Home," for now. Until they kick us out on Saturday while we sob and weep because nooooooo.)

Our guides each took a fish or two, and the rest went to the kitchen and Chef Rose.

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They asked if we wanted to eat the barracuda, and we said sure, of course, why not?

(Because you might get poisoned, apparently? File that under Things I Googled Later, after the fact.)

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Rose prepared it Jamaican Escovitch style and it was DELICIOUS, and I guess not poisonous in the slightest, because we're all still alive and well. Living on culinary edge, man.

We had enough bonito for not just our dinner, but for a lovely group dinner with another family of five at another villa, whom we've all befriended in that "LET'S TAKE VACATIONS TOGETHER FOREVER AND YOU SHOULD COME TO MY HOUSE" way you do when you're on vacation and everything and everybody is at Peak Awesome. 

I tried to not be too LOOK AT ALL I HAVE PROVIDED FOR ALL OF THESE PEOPLE, but I did probably tell the ONE TIME I CAUGHT A BARRACUDA story a few times, like I will inevitably mention it at every future dinner party until the end of time. Sorrynotsorry. 

***

Oh hey this one time at Bluefields I caught a barracuda you should come catch one too.

Code is: jamalah,mon

Code is good for 7 nights off-peak rentals in the 2014 season.

Bookings from NOW until Saturday the 21st of June: First 5 bookings pay for 6 nights and get one night free, plus an overnight nanny for one night of your choice.

Bookings from the 21st of June to the 12th of July: Overnight nanny for one night, a two-hour snorkel trip, and a couple’s massage.

Comments

Erika

That sounds so awesome! Did Ezra help cook the barracuda?

Raquel

I am loving these vacation posts...even though I am totally jealous :)

Steph T.

I totally want to vacation there. I'm already trying to figure out when to go. Glad you are having a great time and thanks for sharing!

Sonja

I honeymooned in Belize and we ate BBQ'd barracuda at some shack on the water - and it was DELICIOUS and remains my fave thing I ate down there. But I didn't CATCH it so you are still immensely more awesomer :)

Sue W.

Yum. Yum. And yum! There is nothing better than truly fresh fish, simply prepared. Catching it yourself makes it all the better. Plus, you didn't have to clean the gukky stuff out of them!

Rachel

Awesome, so jealous of your vacation. Annndddd now I have the "Barracuda" song from Heart in my head, thanks a lot! =)

Suzy Q

Barracuda is indeed good eatin'. I have tossed bonito back in for something better, though.

Shelley

That boat looks....small for the middle of the ocean. BUT it also looks like an amazingly fun time!! Yay for you fisherman Amy!

Jacki @ Two Forks One Love

AND THAT IS WHY I DO NOT SWIM IN THE OCEAN!!!!!!!

Joy

I am loving your vacation!

chantale

What is the discount? Is it as mentioned (one night free or nanny, etc.)? Is it something else?

Erica

Yeah Amy! I love to fish! I've caught my own (and lots of other people's dinner) in Mexico and Costa Rica. Good times. In Mexico I learned to fish with just fishing line (no pole) like the locals and a bunch of little boats gathered round to watch the guera fish. They thought it was hilarious. After I caught about 10 in rapid succession they stopped laughing.

Kari

A. Wicked freakin cool B anyone else have the Heart song in their heads #annandnancywilsonwouldbproud

Kelly

NEED THE HAT. Place to purchase please?

Delora

Barracuda is delicious! I'm very happy you kept that one :) When we were in Aruba a few years ago, we went to this po-dunk fisherman's restaurant where we watched the fishermen come in for the evening and unload their catch literally next to our table, which was then cleaned and cut up and cooked on the spot. The barracuda was awesome, and we started seeking it out at other restaurants whenever we saw it on the menu. They're also freaking terrifying!

Melissa

Holy shit, look at that fish!! I kind of hate fishing, but I loves me some boating on the ocean. How fun!

Also, yes, hat? Where did you find it?

Jennifer B

Please can you find/share the recipe for Bonito -- whenever I've tried to cook it, it turns out nasty.

Cait

YOU. ARE. SO. FREAKING. AWESOME!

*is jealous*

Cait

YOU. ARE. SO. FREAKING. AWESOME!

*is jealous*

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