So happy right now.
Skunkhood going, going... gone
Thank god for rockfish.
I know, I know! This is a problematic engraving. But it was so nice I had to include it. Could someone please tell me what the hell it is? The title on the art auction page site was: "Rock Fish."
Where was I... right... waxing haikuic once again.... Anyhoo... that this "going, going... gone" has occurred as rockfish season opens is no coincidence. Let me exclaim it again. Thank gawd for rockfish (TGFRF) that's all I can say!
Since my misspent day out at the Alameda Rock Wall chasing halibut ghosts, (the ghosts of 2008-2009) I have made two more spirted attempts at flatty fishing and caught absolutely nothing. Except for one totally misguded sand sole, which came up on a Sabiki rig off of Crissy Field the other day, I have nothing to show for these labors.
Between that and my fruitless attempts at striper fishing, I was, as previously indicated, nearing a state of total and abject mental breakdown.
But then there was Mike, and the trusty ol' Wahoo, and a calm Pacific Ocean, and a lazy Tuesday morning with nothing better to do. And Mike's winning suggestion--a whole squid rigged to a halibut leader and deftly bounced off the rocks--was all I needed to break the chains of skunkhood.
Anyway. Nothing to write home about, but at least the fishwife is no longer justified in complaining. (the divorce proceedings have been abruptly abandoned). 6.5 pounds of rockfish/lingcod fillets, may not be a 57 pound white seabass, or a 20 pound hali, but it's a reasonable amount of fish for tacos. And a reasonable platform of success to build on. Feel me here, my people?
In short, I've never been so gull-durned happy to see a gopher rockfish in my life! My total for 51 minutes of fishing out of Pillar Point: 5 chunky Gophers, 1 lunker black and a 23.5 inch ling (22 inches is legal this year folks!). Not bad for an hour of noon time fishing.
And it's true: I actually kept a kelp greenling. I am known to do this on occasion. Knowing fully well that I am responsible for the local adage: "friends don't let friends eat greenling." Really, when you throw a bunch of rockfish fillets into a baggie, you'd be surprised how good greenling ends up tasting. I always inspect them for worms anyway. And as long as you tweeze out or slice the bones, greenling is fine. There I said it. Now leave me alone.
A Worthy E-mail
I have decided that I will now post worthy e-mails from MFN fans. (My mother wants to know what MFN stands for. Monkeyface News mom). Okay. Here's some great stuff from a fisheries biologist named Drew, who wanted to share some awesome photos of extreme cold water species with me. This was around the time that I first started posting about bullheads (Pacific staghorn sculpins) and Drew wanted me to know that, although tough, a Pacific staghorn sculpin could never endure the cold waters of the Bering Sea--six degrees below freezing where these creatures were caught!
Drew, not unlike a former fisheries observer turned blogger, tour guide, and smelt assassin, evidently snaps photos of the more notable fish species that he encounters in the field. These photos were so exemplary and the fish so desperately strange that I simply have to include them here for your viewing pleasure. So, take a peek at these beauts! Thanks Drew.
Anyway... if I already posted these, sorry, they're sitting on my desktop and I find them so mind numbingly beautiful, I have to post them again...
Anyway here is some more of Drew's text:
"I have always thought that sculpin are an awesome group of fishes. Check out the attached photo of a super cool butterfly sculpin I caught in a net off of Saint Mathew island at the top of the Bering Sea. The water it was caught in was 6 degrees below freezing. Up there the fresh water freezes out of the salty stuff and leaves behind super salty water with a much lower freezing temperature. Staghorn may be tough, stay alive on the hook a long time, but could never man up to the temps that the butterfly endure. Only arctic cod and marbled eelpout hang with the butterflies. Antifreeze proteins in the blood..."
"I wanted to share some photos of some other cool fish caught in the same area as the butterflies since you seem to be interested in the extreme cold water fish (or is it just the sculpin that caught your interest?). Attached is a shot of a marbled eelpout next to a lost and very, very cold Pacific halibut. Also a photo of a salmon snailfish... a real dandy of specimen for those of us who can appreciate strange colorful gelatinous tadpole looking fishes."
Well if anyone can "appreciate strange colorful gelatinous tadpole looking fishes,'t it's readers of The Monkeyface News.
Anyway, just thought I'd share this worthy e-mail. I think, I will start sharing other worthy emails and comments every Wednesday. We'll call it... let's see... how about... Worthy Wednesday?
PS: "Only arctic cod and marbled eelpout hang with the butterflies" is a wonderful sentence on many levels.