11 February 2009

Islamorada Journal 2009...Day 37

Wednesday, 11 February: 0840

It's another beautiful day in Islamorada: 71° with small craft advisory in effect for east to southeast winds near 20 knots and gusty. Seas beyond the reef 5 to 7 feet. Seas inside the reef 2 to 3 feet. Nearshore waters rough. Isolated showers.

As reported in yesterday's blog, Wayne, Matt, and I fished in the wind Tuesday and managed to find some fish. Hopefully this is a sign that fishing is getting better here...and that it will continue to do so for the rest of our stay.

Above: Last night's moon.

We got into some trout; here Matt holds the larger of two keepers we kept for Wayne's neighbor.

We stopped behind a key, out of the wind, for lunch. W and M had some monster sandwiches from a local deli against which my little fat-free cheese and fat-free bologna on whole wheat with mustard looked fairly anemic. I had some Voortman Cranberry Omega 3 Flax-Seed cookies with zero trans fats, manufactured in Ontario, that are obviously an outlet for recycling sawdust from area sawmills. Two or three of them are a really great snack as long as you have at least a quart of water [or milk] at hand.

W and M pulled out some of Linda's home-made chocolate chip cookies!

In this pic Matt shows one of the two sheepsheads he and Wayne caught out of our newly found mangrove snapper hole.

Sheepsheads are pretty fish with black stripes against a gray background; they can grow to 30 inches and are good eating. In Florida they have to be 12 inches long to keep. The two W and M caught might have been keepers, but they released them.

Mangrove snappers are a different story, however, as Wayne seems to love the fillets from these critters and can work himself into a frenzy discussing his various recipes for preparing them for the table. Here he is at work at the fish-cleaning station...creating boneless fillets...gleefully.

The filleting process produces byproducts...fish head and tail connected together by the backbone. This may sound like a lot of waste, but nothing goes to waste in the sea. In this case, the leftover parts are treasured by the birds, particularly pelicans. If this fellow looks pleased with himself, it's because he's downed two snapper carcasses in about five minutes. Probably won't have to eat for a couple of days now.

Left to right: Matt, Hanson, Wayne, Skip.

Islamorada, FL; Everglades National Park; Florida Bay; Florida Keys; fishing; charters; vacations; travel

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