September 1, 2011

Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads. Fish heads, fish heads, eat them up, yum!

Warning: LONG post.

Let's start at the very...middle...it's a very good place to start!

Midway through our amazing, spectacular, incredible, pretty cool family vacation, my dad took my three brothers deep-sea fishing for their birthdays. 

A little father and son bonding time. 

Venturing out upon the briny bosom of the sea to wrest sustenance from the icy hands of the fathomless deep. 

(um. yeah)

Of course, I went too. I really did try to let the men go on their own but my sweet parents knew how much I wanted to go. Sorry guys. 

Turns out that fishing = early mornings. We had to wake up at 4:45...A.M.! Just saying. This might be the reason that I'm not a professional fisherman. Also I live in the desert. 

We arrived at Tradewinds Charters, along with a surprising number of equally crazy people, and were assigned a sea-worthy vessel. 
(side note: Tradewinds Charters is awesome. If you are ever in the area I highly recommend taking one of their trips.) (And they have some really cute crew guys.) (Just saying.)

Our boat was the Morning Star. Our captain's name was Roman. I mean come on. How is that for the perfect sea captain name? And he was good looking. (at this point I'm starting to think that sea fishing on the Oregon coast is the life for me...)

They guys were super excited to get going...You can just see it all over their faces. See it? Right there. Excitement. 

Captain Roman gave us a short, "try not to sink the boat or fall off but if you do fall off or sink the boat grab onto something that floats", speech.
 To which we listened intently. Did you know that C and Z can sleep standing up with their eyes open?
(another side note: you know I love my PW actions and for some reason I love using the 70's action on pics of Z. Just works well.)

We were ready to head out into the deadly waters. To brave the mighty tempest.

"I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride 
I'm wanted dead or alive Wanted dead or alive"
It was thick as pea soup out there...and the ocean was totally flat and non-tempestuous. Whatever. I'm still riding a steel horse. Riding a steel horse through jellyfish soup...there were literally thousands of jellyfish in the water all around the boat. Capt. said that he has never seen that many swarming before. It was gross.

Sunrise was beautiful through the fog.
(Yet another side note: the guy standing behind me there is the 1st Mate. Justin, I think. I'm bad with names. He was cute too. Do people still "stow away"? I think i'm going to give it a shot.)
I was having fun taking random nautical photos.
 
 Look at these pics? It looks like a lake. Totally flat.

My dad's glasses were super reflective. Do you see me in there? He was calling me a dork as I took this.


We sailed...sailed? Is it still sailing if there are no sails? What would you say? The engine moved the boat across the waters to the prime fishing grounds.

"I'm sailing! I'm sailing! I sail! I'm a sailor! I sail!"


The Kepsel men got right to it, they knew how to fish and had a blast. It was really nice to sit back a bit and watch them have fun together. Oh and it turns out that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Who knew? 

We were told to 'cast' the cute little fishy lure out a ways. I said "okay, so we throw the lure out thata way right?" We then had a short argument about the difference between 'casting' and throwing. I eventually caved (the crew is cute remember) but will forever believe that they are the same dang thing.

Oh! and there is this wire thingy that you have to flip over if you want the line to release. That one took me a minute... 

Capt. Roman kept giving us a depth reading so we would know how much line to let out but I had to subtract a good 12 feet off of that as my lure generally just dropped straight down the side of the boat. I was having a hard time chucking the lure. 
The fog burned away and it was a gorgeous day. A gorgeous day that is about to get amazing... because I caught the first fish on the boat! Look at that beautiful sea bass!
Casting-schmasting. 

I was more than a little leery of grabbing the sucker by it's lips for the picture. It's bladder had inflated from coming out of the deep so fast and it was coming out the mouth. Um. Sick.

After I caught my magnificent bass I went and sat down on a bench. The crew asked what I was doing and I told them that I only needed one fish, I was done. They found that funny for some reason. 

The guys all proceeded to catch one in pretty short order and we were all pleased with our haul.
Pops reeling in his monster bass. 
I know. I'm a natural.

Really. I am. I caught three more! I was totally trash-talking after catching the first one...cuz I was the girl...but then it just got better with each one I caught. The Capt. had a big one on the line that got away right at the boat. He was really disappointed so I offerred him one of mine...cuz you know, I had plenty and I'm real nice like that :-)
Luckily everyone on the boat knew that I had no clue what I was doing and they thought it was pretty funny when I kept catching fish. I just hope my dad and brothers weren't too embarrassed by my trash-talking...Or my loud singing (they had on 70's rock...i had no choice but to sing)...Or my shrieking every time the fish came back to life in the bucket...Or my screaming and yelling "fish on, fish on!!!" in my horrible Jeremy Wade voice when I hooked one (when you do that a cute crew member comes running over to help you so...duh).

I really did stop fishing after my fourth. I mean really, I had to leave some fish in the ocean for other people.

OH! Good story for ya. 
Between the third and fourth fish...one of my brothers started to look a bit pale. He then proceeded to regurgitate his breakfast and share it with the fish. He's real nice like that. I had been doing okay till then. A bit nauseous when we were stopped but nothing serious. But i'm a sympathy puker. If I see someone else hurling...game's over. I tried really, really hard not to look at him but looked over when I thought he was done to ask if he was okay...and he threw up again. Done. I started gagging over the railing. I hadn't eaten anything so it was just gagging but blech. And of course the cute crew guys came up to the bow to see if everything as okay while I was bent over the rail gagging. My brother felt fine after puking and was back to fishing. So it just looked like it was me. All my street cred...gone.  Thank you brother dearest.

It was finally time to head back and we had a pretty good catch!

(Last side note: Did you know that dumb ole fish keep flopping around a really long time after you catch them? It freaked me out every time they started jumping around in there.)

 My dad stood at the bow, spread his arms wide and shouted "I'm the king of the world!!"
Kidding. He hates that movie. If you ever want to hear one of his good rants, start talking about how awesome that movie is :-)

Fishing is really hard work. The boys all fell asleep for the hour trip back. 
They had a filleting station on the dock and we got our catch all sliced up. These guys were so fast! It was very impressive.
Finished product: a bag of delicious bass. That's a good days work right there. Yes sir. 
We took it back to our waiting family and pronounced "We caught it. You cook it." And they did.
We fried some in a yummy cornbread breading.
And grilled the rest.
It was soooo yummy. Nice mellow flavor and not fishy at all. Turns out that fresh fish tastes different than the stuff from the meat counter at Smith's in Utah. I know right?!

Levi enjoying some of our hard-earned sustenance. 
He looks happy-ish but you don't want to know what he is saying to me...rude. 

We managed to eat a lot of bass that night but still had plenty left over for fish tacos the next night. There really is something very satisfying about catching your own fish to eat. If you ever have the  opportunity I would encourage you to try sea fishing. And if you are ever on the Oregon coast hook up with Tradewinds and the Morning Star. You will have a great time. 

And thank you Dad, I love you!!!!!! and thanks guys for letting your annoying sister tag along :-)

2 comments:

Amanda said...

Z keeps turning to me and saying "did I tell you about this/that/the other while I was fishing?" He had a great time too. I loved seeing the pictures. :)

Cortney and DeAnn said...

So cool! I love the story you added in about the barf and how you lost your "street cred" Ha ha!