Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fishing in Clearwater

I'm not trying to catch up. I'm not trying to show off what I've done. I'm just blogging. Here goes.

A few months ago, I was on one of my last business trips (with my then employer) in Florida. I had been there countless times since 2011, and I had never been deep sea fishing. Also, one of my "bucket list" items is to be on a boat and look around 360 degrees and not see land. So I guess I was due for a fishing trip.

A quick Google search helped me find Queen Deep Sea Fishing from Clearwater Beach. A red flag went up for a tourist trap, but I didn't care because I wasn't looking for the authentic deep sea fishing (and I was playing tourist). I just wanted to polish some items off of my list. There were 4 hour and 8 hour trips, the latter being far more deep sea than the former. However, I was with coworkers and they weren't up for a full day of fishing (or getting up at 5am to get to the boat for an 8am launch). So off we went. I GPS'd the adventure, even though they asked us not to. Rebel Canadians...

Pelicans from the docks at Clearwater Beach

I'll bet that this boat went pretty quick.

These lucky bums get to live right on the harbour!

Sailing always has appealed to me. Luckily, I don't have to go all the way to Florida to sail.

First catch, and it was a yellow tail, I think. I'm not a fishy guy.

We mostly caught grunts. They were good eating :-)

Easy fishing. Toss in a hook with some bait, pull out the fish. It restored my faith that you can actually catch fish in the water.

Mighty hunter can provide for his family now.

We were about 7 miles off shore, so....

....the coast was still visible. Bucket List item: Incomplete.

This bird's name was Furuno. I think...

Fishing trawlers off the gulf coast.

I thought it would be deathly hot and humid out, but it was a pleasant day. We had shade on our boat, which was really nice to keep from dehydrating.

The community fishing catch. There were about 90 people on board, and there were lots of fish caught, most of which NOT by me. Someone even caught a pufferfish!

The three of us caught about 12 or 14 fish! They fried up nicely.
This was my catch!

These were the fish that the 8 hour trips caught. Much bigger (and possible next time).

The crew from the boat cleaned all of the fish for us! That was really nice, but I would have liked to do it myself.

The next day, we had a fish fry.

The fish fried up really nicely with blackening spices. It was super tasty, made all the more tasty by the fact that I had caught the fish myself!
All in all, it was a fantastic experience with delicious results. I didn't knock the items off of my bucket list, I just whet my appetite even further. I'm always glad for new experiences, and I now believe that fishing and actually catching something is possible. It had been probably 15-20 years since I had last caught something...


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