Friday, October 16, 2009

5 Fish Day

Bahia Pinos - Southern Panama - 07 30N 78 13W

Wednesday (14th) we headed down to Bahia Pinos, right along the southern border with Colombia. It was a bit of raunchy sail (motor mostly with 10-15 kts on the bow), but was made brighter by an amazing day of fishing. First we caught two Bonito, a small (10lb), light fleshed Tuna (possibly a dogtooth Tuna, but unsure of the American name), both in quick succession. Before I had even started cleaning the second fish, we had another bite...this one a 15lb Yellowfin Tuna, the holly grail of Sushi Fish. Before we could bring the other line in we had a small Dorado (10 lb). We decided to put the head of the Yellowfin Tuna out on a hook and see what happened. I finished bleeding and filleting the Tunas and left the Dorado for Bill. Just as Bill was finishing the small Dorado, our reel started whirring with the sound of line being pulled out at a clip. We slowed the boat down and I started fighting the large fish that had bitten the tuna head. It was quite the fight, and as I got the fish close to the boat we could see it was a LARGE Bull Dorado. Just as I had gotten it up to the surface and Bill way trying to grab the leader, he took one last dive, driving under the boat and forward. Luckily Zak had come out to help steer the boat and was able to drive the boat forward fast enough he couldn't pull the line into the prop. He took about 70 feet of line before tiring, and then I was able to slowly pull him back in. Bill grabbed the leader, I picked put the rod down and picked up the gaff and on my third try drove the gaff home and hauled him aboard. He came up to Bill and My chest and we guess he was about 50lbs. Another half an hour in the Galley and he was bled, cleaned, and in the rather full freezer, taking up 3 gallon ziplock bags.

We finished out 10 hour sail at about 5, and I got started making Sushi with the Yellowfin. We ate like kings with the best Sushimi I have ever had, and made spicy tuna rolls with the trimmings. It is not often you can be completely full eating Sushi, but boy is it a good feeling. Last night we finished the one yellowfin loin I had reserved, and used a Bonito for spicy tuna rolls and my latest creation, Miso Encrusted Seared Tuna Loins. I cut up the Bonito Belly meat for sushimi, which pretty much tasted like fatty bluefin, with the similar whitish pink flesh.

This morning we departed Panama, on our 4 day passage to Ecuador. We should have time to update daily and will try to, but of course, technical problems do occur, so don't get too worried if we miss a day.

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