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Gone Fishing

Posted by: amc02007 | June 12, 2010 | No Comment |

Written by Ali Corley

On our last trip to Santa Barbara Island this May, we did an extra survey of fish abundancy and diversity on the Osborne shelf in addition to the usual bird observations and net tows on the regular transects.  Well, in other words, we spent several extra hours on top of the shelf for a fishing break! 

me with my first catch of the day!

The captain of the Alguita, Charlie, has been known for his impressive, and sometimes unconventional, cooking skills and he arranged the fishing break so that we could catch a fresh dinner.  I had never been fishing in the ocean and didn’t really know how it worked, but Charlie was a good teacher.  He brought out several poles and everyone had a chance to fish.  We put our lines in the water so that they sunk to the bottom of the very shallow underwater bank called the Osborne shelf.  We used squids for bait and once the lines reached the bottom, we waited.  Luckily (or maybe it was expert fishing skill and knowledge on Charlie’s part), we didn’t have to wait long.  All of a sudden, people were pulling fish in left and right.  Professor K was a real fishing pro and caught more fish than anyone else.  Darrell proved that he didn’t need to trick a fish into eating his hook when he snagged a tiny fish by the fin to pull it in.  Also,  I think Nik might have caught the world’s smallest fish. Everyone was successful at fishing.  Even I caught a couple fish.  After we had caught a whole bucket full of fish, we finished the transect and anchored in the bay. 

Prof K with a Sheepshead fish. It was the biggest catch of the day.

That night, we all helped prepare the best meal of the trip.  We chopped up fresh salsa with many of the vegetables grown in Charlie’s own backyard garden.  Charlie filleted, battered, and fried the fish and we ate delicious fish tacos with tortillas, beans and nopales.  For dessert, we peeled several hundred loquats and baked them in a savory loquat cobbler.  Needless to say, I think we all went to bed extremely full.  The next morning, we left Santa Barbara Island for the last time this year.  All our samples are collected, all the bird observations completed, and the field season is officially over after three trips to SBI.

Me and Nik on the back deck of the Alguita with SBI in the background.

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