Sunday, April 3, 2011

Birthday Weekend 1.0

This weekend was my birthday and even though I did not "craft" anything, I am writing to celebrate myself and my great family and friends (this will span a few posts).  I'm not one of those people who cry and get sad over being another year older.  I think of my birthdays as I had another year of adventures (good and bad ones), learning experiences and, hopefully those resulting in me being a bit wiser than I was one year ago. 

This birthday, I gathered some of my peeps and went deep sea fishing.  I planned it last minute and unfortunately, there were some friends that could not make it but wanted to.  The ones that could go, I can confidently say, had a great time!  I am not really into fishing that much, but I had gone on this half-day fishing tour in the past with Kj and we had a great time.  Here is us from 2007:

Fishing, back in the day

They had a fish pool where whoever caught the biggest fish by weight, won a ticket to return on another tour for free: and guess who won it!  Yup, we did!  I remember eating fish filets the size of nuggets that evening!

Well, not much has changed since 2007 by way of the boat, so I felt very comfortable and was ready to go and catch something!  We did a half-day deep sea fishing tour on The Flying Fish Fleet out of Sarasota's Marina Jack. 

So, there was six of us in my group and although I don't have a pic of all of us, here is Vince, Gen and I:

Ready for some fishing!

So, with the half day, you really only get about an hour and a half of fishing time.  It goes by so fast, when the captain tells you to reel up and secure your pole, everyone goes, "Ohhh, already!?"  I know Gen was a bit skeptical about this fishing tour but she admitted afterwards that she had a good time.

My First Catch

Here is my first catch, I really have no clue what it was.  But they told us that we would catch grunts, red grouper & perch (there are more, but I couldn't remember when I was typing).  Most of the fish were keepers, even though they seemed really small.  Gen was the first to catch a fish and it was a red grouper!  But, it had to be at least 20" long for it to be a keeper and although her's seemed large, it was not 20". 

The spot that we settled in seemed to have a ton of king makcrel swimming around.  One guy caught one with his standard rod, reel & filament line.  So, since he caught that on his own, he basically won the fish pool.  Darn!  So, there were others that also caught this fish (the mate, Tom, used a spear/hook thing to grab it while you are reeling it in.  Otherwise, the king fish has these nasty looking teeth that cut regular filament and hense, gets away). 

Since I was the Birthday Girl, Tom gave me a special rig that had wire rather than filament for fishing line (looked like thick filament, but what do I know about fishing...nothing).  So, he explained that since the king fish were aparently biting, I could try catching one with a more appropriate rig.  Cool!  I got the instruction and about when I thought that it was a no-go, I got a bite!  So, Tom ran over to help me hold the pole while I feverishly tried to reel the thing in.  He had to help hold the pole high so I could go over everyone's head to get to the back so he could spear it. 

My proud catch!

I'll freely admit: catching that was COOL!  I would totally consider doing a longer/specialized tour to catch fun stuff like that in the future. 

So, here is our fish bounty from Saturday:

There were at least 15 fish!

This catch was from Vince, Gen and I put together.  Each person or grouping had their own hook in the ice chest on the boat.  Again, this was a great time and I would and will do this again.  My sister and possibly Kj may visit me this summer, so we very well may be going again in a few months.  They also offer a night tour during the summer, so maybe that could be a possibility. 

The Captain and Mate, Tom, can filet the fish at the dock, if you want.  We had them do that for us, then Vince rinsed them and separated the king filets from the other "nugget" ones when we got home.  Also, Vince kept a few fish whole so he could do whatever Filipino's do with whole fish (fry the whole thing and eat the head and all)!

On Sunday, Vince marinated the king filets in Italian dressing and grilled it, skin down, while the other filets were floured and pan fried.

King Mackrel on the grill
Fried fish filets

In addition to the fish dinner, we had my birthday cake.  Vince got me a carrotcake cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.

My mouth was watering just looking at it!

I had such a great time on the fishing tour with my friends and family and again had a wonderful meal with family.  I am greatful to have all of these people in my life!

Next weekend there will be High Tea served for a continuation of my birthday celebration.  I am very much looking forward to this and will keep you posted on that too!


Kjestine said...

Looking good, Nancy! I read it with my own two eyes that you are willing to do a "real" deep sea fishing trip! It's on, Lady Jane!!!
Glad you had a Happy birthday!

Nancy said...

Yes, I did say that (and it is in print). C'mon down and we'll do it up!!