05 December 2012 | Out at sea....
Ziiiiiinnnggg!! Fish ON!! I run up the stairs, tripping on the last step, and barely catching myself before I fall headlong into the cockpit. Once I get up, I see my dad with the rod in his hands the pole bending and flexing with the weight of the fish. The battle’s on!
I throttle down from our whopping speed of seven miles per hour then jumped down next to my dad. “Is it a big one?” I ask him.
“Sure is,” he replies. ”Wanna feel it?”
“Definitely,” I reply enthusiastically. I take the rod from him and immediately feel the power of the fish. It feels like we’re pulling an anvil through the water.
“Definitely not a skipjack,” I grunt, as I hand it back to him before I do something stupid, like dropping it in the water. The battle continues. Pull, reel, pull, reel, I wait in eager anticipation for the first sighting. There it is, a flash of yellow and a square head in the crystal blue rolling ocean.
“Dorado,” I yell triumphantly! I see my mom and sister emerge with cameras around their necks waiting to get the first pics of the beautiful and delicious fish. Finally my dad works the fish up to the side of the boat.
“Gaff, get the gaff,” he tells me impatiently!
I grab the gaff and we switch. I take the rod and he takes the gaff, hooking the fish right below its’ front fin, and hauls the fish over the side and onto the boat. Laying it on the deck, he takes the hammer bringing it down on to the fish’s large flat head, SMACK, SMACK, SMACK!!!, until it stops moving. It’s still changing colors, from yellow to light blue with darker spots, finally dying. I stand there for a moment taking in the fish’s square head, the huge unfocused eye, and the long fin that runs down its’ back ending before its’ y shaped tail fin. It really is a beautiful fish and it makes me sad that it has to die, but there’s also a triumphant feeling to have caught such a huge fish, measuring at fifty-two inches!!
Now comes the worst part, cleaning it. Luckily for me, that is my dad’s job. All I have to do is hand him stuff. First, he makes a cut right below the front fin. (Another great thing about Dorado, besides them tasting so good is that they’re not very bloody and you don’t have to tear the guts out when cleaning) Second he makes a cut right above the tail fin. Next, dad cuts right below the skin so a flap of skin is loose, then he grips that flap and rips the skin off the body with a sound like tearing cloth, making me cringe. He then makes a cut down the middle separating it into two pieces. Finally, he cuts the meat away from the body then repeats the process on the other side, and with a little bit of cleaning up, voila it’s ready for cooking.