I went fishing for pogies today. Only problem: there wasn't any crowd. Seriously, I'm getting to the point where I fish better with people watching.
I wonder if this is a dilemma that porn stars are familiar with?
Anyway, I got two hawg pogies. Love the way pogies come out of the water all weirdly tan and blue. And pile perch. What fun pulling in pile perch all day. Fahgettabout pogies, pile perch are the 747s of the Embiotocidae. Plain and simple. What fun!
Okay, no secrets here. So now I'm commercial surfperch fishing. No great success as yet, but still, catching 20 surf perch in one day is a wonderful thing to do. And finally... a use for them! Brought in a sample load of pogies and pilies to our sustainable fishmonger par excellence Kenny B. And had them cooked up four different ways: grilled, pan roasted, deep fried and raw. (Yes my people. I have now eaten raw pile perch--we are talking full immersion at this point).
It helps to have a willing restaurant/receiver and some adventurous restauranteurs at my disposal. Having presented to the folks at Fish the essential dilemma of surf perch: what to do about the mooshiness? We learned several things:
1: Don't eat them fresh (unless you're doing sashimi). 2 days in the refrigerator does wonders for a surf perch. I'm just saying.
2: Pile perch makes for some damned good sashimi. Do you want to eat this more than once a month? No. But there's no denying it. Four fish-obsessed men sitting around a table objectively agreed that pile perch was not just good as sashimi... it was great. Seriously. Three top of the line Bay Area chefs can't be wrong.
3. If cooking... pan-roasted works better than frying or grilling.
Why did it take me so long to realize all this? Honestly I've always been kinda squeemish about eating bay perch. But I mean at this point, I've eaten raw monkeyface eel and leopard shark ceviche so what the hell. Might as well go for full immersion.
(A note to Mike Chinn: Mike there's no need to point out the OEHHA report on surf perch to me. I know all about poly aeromatic hydrocarbons and whatnot... this goes to anyone else who wants edu-ma-cate me on the advisability of eating surf perch out of SF Bay. In short, I fall back on the "something's gotta kill ya," argument. And it's true you know).
Further Reflections On An Unorthodox Life
Ummm... to all ye eelmen out there. Don't care how great you guys think you are. This was a friggin hawg. 7.2 pounds. Biggest eel I've ever caught. And I caught it with 20 people watching me, so I figure that adds an extra pound. Relax people... of course, I threw it back. Looked like a gravid female so why kill it? Anyway, at this point, I'm open to someone else succeeding me. I've held the crown long enough, no reason to be greedy. Anyway it was lip hooked--and barely lip hooked at that--so I'm sure it lived.
10 years as an actor in NY. 15 years as a (what was I really?) underground musician in San Francisco. 5,000 fucking hours on stage and what do I have to show for it? A smattering of people who have heard of my band. 623 people who saw me in some play or other. And now... one year since I gave up the idea that I was a performer I've got a thousand people on my mailing list, sold out tours till April. A TV show hangin' like 50 pounds of rock crabs in a box at the dock and a possible book deal in the works. What the hell is going on? Absolutely no strategy for this and look... I will ride the monkeyface eel to world renown. Ha!
And when the day for my demise at last arrives... the entire biomass of monkeyface eels will rise as one and dance a slimy dance to celebrate my passing.
But until then...
What else? Nothing for now. Heading out for nighties tomorrow. Not too promising with all this heavy surf. But what can I say? This is what I tend to do when the quarter moons arrive at the end of Feb.
What the hell am I listening to right now?
1500 albums of toothless old men singing the blues and strumming guitars in my collection. Blind Willie Johnson to Harry Parch to Nuzrat to Ivo Paposav to obscure mento and son jarocho cds and all I want to listen to lately is this chubby, 20 year old, pop diva from Britain, who sings ridiculous songs of adolescent heart break and betrayal. What has become of me?
From deep in the heart of the beast... this is Lombard of the Intertidal, signing out.