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Author Topic: My Best Fish Meals  (Read 1797 times)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: My Best Fish Meals
« Reply #60 on: October 04, 2019, 08:20:08 PM »
Al,

  I am not a fan of cave diving or actually spelunking in general. We had access to dive at a private pier in Jeddah. The owner of all the pizza huts in the kingdom let us dive at his pier behind a Pizza Hut  on the Red Sea. A big chunk of concrete had broken off and on a night dive I shot a big snapper under it. He got hung and I crawled under and tried to get him out. In the process I got my gauges hung then got a piece of old fishing line hung on my quick release on my weight belt and it dropped off and I floated to the bottom of the concrete pulling my regulator out of my mouth. I was almost out of air anyway as I was at the end of my dive. My partner checked on me and I gave him the share air signal so he started methodically uncoiling his octopus to pass to me. He was taking his own sweet time while I was turning blue and thinking "This is a significant inconvenience". He finally got air to me, I shed my BCD then pulled my gauges free and pulled my now empty air tank and BCD out which promptly headed to the surface pulling me along and jerking my shared octopus out of my mouth. I was down about 40' or so and had to do the uncontrolled buoyant assent technique PADI teaches for such involving blowing air out all the way to the surface as the air in my lungs expanded over double in size to the top due to the lesser pressure. The technique worked and I survived. I came back the next day with a spare weight belt and went down and got my other belt and speargun. The fish was now long gone probably eaten by the other fish in the area.

  Did I mention I am not a big fan of cave diving! I don't ever want anything over my head again when I am diving. If things go south i want to be able to go straight up.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: My Best Fish Meals
« Reply #61 on: October 05, 2019, 05:22:34 AM »
Key West Fla at that time 1967  is where they sent trainees from all branches of the armed forces for diver training .They'd drop them about a mile off shore and have them swim back at pre dawn .They would be arriving just as I got out of bed .I never had any desire to be a navy diver needless to say .
Water is one thing but that's about my limit ,snorkeling perhaps but not SCUBA or hard hard .
At the time I was a 19 year old straight out of the Ohio cornfields and didn't have scales or gills .If I was going to be under the water for any length of time it was going to in a submarine . :)
Having said that ocean fishing was a new experience for me .You never quite knew what you might catch .The first time I caught a grunt and the danged time talked back at me I thought I must have drank too much beer in the hot sun or something .It was  a learning curve .

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: My Best Fish Meals
« Reply #62 on: October 05, 2019, 09:24:47 AM »
Al,

   I learned to scuba dive while in USMC stationed on Okinawa through the MWR there. We had great diving there but most of my diving was later in the Red Sea when I was working in Jeddah Saudia Arabia. Nearly half my dives there were night dives largely because of my work schedule and such. Air was about 50 cents a tank at the local dive shop after I bought my own tanks and used a refill card. I did a lot of spear fishing and mostly it was like gigging frogs. You'd shine a light in their eye and blind them and I'd shoot them in the eye from about 6" away then put them on a big ring like a giant safety pin. Mostly I shot unicorn fish which I skinned and filleted and the taste reminded me a lot of catfish. I later got to shooting bright colored parrot fish that would sleep in small pockets in the coral and spit out a spider web across the opening. If you bumped the spider web they would get alarmed and rush out blindly into the night. I have had them knock my mask off in the process. I would gut and freeze them and give them to our Filipino and African workers who loved them. They sold in the local market for 15 riyals/kg or about $4/lb as I remember so the workers could never afford to buy them. One night I had just shot and put a fish on my ring and looked up and was face to face with a 4' barracuda. Small barracuda were good eating but I immediately shot him in the head more in self defense and he went berserk. All I could see was teeth. I held the short spear trying to keep him pointed away from me as we did circles underwater. The spear point had not gone in his head deep enough for the wings/barbs to open and he finally pulled free and left into the night leaving one very nervous diver behind. Some fish are too big to shoot. Actually the Wrasse, if not in the cave, would have been hard to control. On daylight dives I used a long band gun and about a 3' spear and mostly hunted grouper. They would look blue or gray at 50' deep then when we'd surface find they were red because of what the water did to the light. Unicorn fish were too wild to ever get a shot at during daylight but at night you could catch them by hand when light blinded. At night when using a light we'd see the true colors which were magnificent. Also at night we'd see the nocturnal critters never seen in daytime. I found the night dives very relaxing although I took friends and all I saw was constant flashing lights as they constantly looked for that critter from Jaws. Scuba was actually easier than snorkeling as you were breathing air from a tank and you had a weight belt to keep you down and a BCD to keep you up. You'd just adjust the air in the vest to keep you neutral. After diving a while I got where I'd just adjust my breathing to change depths using my lungs like a balloon. Breathe in deeper and you start to rise, exhale deeper and you started to sink. I miss that part plus watching the critters under there.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: My Best Fish Meals
« Reply #63 on: October 05, 2019, 03:31:55 PM »
The first barracuda I ever saw while snorkeling looked like  it was 8 feet long and all teeth .In reality it was most likely 4 feet and just curious .--Remember straight off the farm-- :D

Offline WDH

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Re: My Best Fish Meals
« Reply #64 on: October 06, 2019, 09:30:14 AM »
Howard,

Good thing that you are not the subject of a fish's best meal :)  

Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: My Best Fish Meals
« Reply #65 on: October 06, 2019, 12:13:05 PM »
@WDH -  Danny,

   For a minute or so I thought I was about to me. A barracuda that size has a very impressive set of teeth.

   On another night dive I looked up and had about a 12' long eagle ray, probably 45" wide eyeball to eyeball with me. I took my flashlight and pushed his nose pushing him away from me. Fortunately he did not pull a Steve Irwin on me and just swam away. On that same dive as we started to exit I spotted a 50-60 lb turtle and grabbed it and we had a pretty wild ride. We were only in 7-8 ft of water and my dive partner came over and hit the inflator button on my vest taking me to the surface and removed my fins and she towed me in till I could walk. We took the turtle to the beach and showed him to a bunch of women and kids there then put him back and watched him swim away. They thought we were going to eat it and seemed confused.

    On a Christmas Eve night dive with a young friend of a co-worker my light died so I followed him around till he turned and shined the light in my face and I saw what I thought was a baby ray shark a foot or so long hovering 3-4 ft above the sand between us. I'd put a hand in front and back keeping him in place till I touched his nose with the finger with a hole in my glove. That was when I discovered they have this amazing fish in the Red Sea called an Electric Ray. Boy did he get my attention. Worse than peeing on an electric fence. There are books and videos and Nature TV shows that teach you these things that are a lot less painful but not nearly as memorable.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: My Best Fish Meals
« Reply #66 on: October 06, 2019, 02:17:14 PM »
By bud Randy who is no longer with us had the best fish fry batter I ever had .He used beer in it .I'll have to ask his window if she knows what was in it .She's in the other room as I type  ;)

Offline wisconsitom

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Re: My Best Fish Meals
« Reply #67 on: October 07, 2019, 12:18:29 PM »
A little beer is good.  Cornmeal is the secret to a good batter if you ask me.

Online Texas Ranger

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Re: My Best Fish Meals
« Reply #68 on: October 07, 2019, 05:41:48 PM »
By bud Randy who is no longer with us had the best fish fry batter I ever had .He used beer in it .I'll have to ask his window if she knows what was in it .She's in the other room as I type  ;)
and spicy mustard.  um um good
The Ranger, home of Texas Forestry

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: My Best Fish Meals
« Reply #69 on: October 24, 2019, 03:51:29 PM »
   No pictures because I was too busy cooking but we had a retired teacher's luncheon/fish fry here today with a dozen of my wife's former co-workers. My wife cooked up/fixed a big pot of yellow grits, cole slaw, some apple Betty (Apple crumble to some), and baked beans and I fried 10-12 lbs of catfish fillets and a pack of striper fillets a friend from NC had left us. The guests brought an assortment of desserts and side dishes and we all had a great time. One member could not attend because he recently had 2 back surgeries but he had called and pleaded for us to send him a plate which we did. Most everybody took a clamshell full of leftovers home with him. One of the guests only comes to our fishfry every year and he typically eats several big helpings of grits which are not common in this part of the country.

   One funny note was about 8:30 a.m. an old neighbor showed up to get a load of slabwood he uses for firewood. I was already out at the barn when he showed up. He rang the bell and asked my wife "What time is the fish fry?" He had been here earlier and I had told him we were having a fish fry today. He just wanted to make sure he was not intruding but my wife thought I had invited him and he was the first to arrive and she was pretty well floorboarded. This is the guy who stopped by last summer while I was cleaning fish and offered him a mess and told him "I will run up to the house and get an old ice cream bucket or something to put you some in" and he said "That's okay, I just happen to have a ziplock bag in my back pocket" then he pulled out a gallon ziplock bag. He definitely came prepared.

   This guy brings a small chainsaw and saws the slabwood up into 6-10 inch long pieces to burn in a small wood and coal stove so when he leaves he has a pretty full truckload. I even made 2 more saw horses I leave out there at the slab pile to help him cut them. He cleaned out the rest of my pile today which saves me having to move it.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"


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