The deadliest, jelliest site ever. Brought to you by Niamh Shaw

It is wonderful being home again, despite the lavishly wet display the weather has put on since we arrived. It’s also terrific having Husband back after over a month. Eh, suppose I must like him.

Of course, after a weeks’ intense, touching reunion, we’re about due to have an absolute crockery-endangering rip-snorter of an argument. It’s a pattern; usually prompted by Andrew’s asking whether I have fed the dog, and my responding, “Well who the <expletive deleted> do you think fed the <expletive deleted> dog all last month? HMM?”

(In this particular instance the answer would in fact be Agent of Death, who fed Jed with the other farm dogs, but no matter. I’m feeling twitchy. Especially after a week of Andrew’s nocturnal duvet-rustling raids.)

The weather forecast for the weekend was uninspiring, but when Friday dawned beautiful and sunny we decided to go fishing. Ken Ring’s fishing calendar predicted ‘very good’ fishing for 1pm.

I’m somewhat ashamed of our reliance on Ken’s Ring, since it rather undermines my opinion that he’s a dodgy chancer. However, it is comforting to know that Andrew and I will always bond over a primary, borderline chartered-accountant level sense of humour – and, well, Ken’s Ring Hurhurhur hasn’t been wrong yet. The alternative is that we’re gifted anglers with a feeling for fish – and actually I have more faith in Ken.

We made our way to the Point, stuffed the dog in the prow of the boat, and while Andrew fiddled with his rod, I baited my hook and unspooled the hand-line. The weight had barely hit the bottom, when the line tugged.

At first I thought it was an aggressive piece of seaweed; but then it yanked violently.

“Bite!” I roared, trying to wind the line onto the hand-caster. “Ooh, it’s a big one. Oh no- has it got off? Yeow! No! Woah!”

My prey seemed to alternate between fighting like a kraken possessed, and swimming towards the light. My arms had the pulling power of spaghetti by the time the fish broke the surface – and he was HUGE.

“What the fuck IS it?” I gasped.

“Get it in the boat!”

“I CAN’T!”

So Andrew hauled it in. “I think it’s a groper,” he said. “But that’s not . . . they don’t . . . it’s impossible.”

Port Underwood is not renowned for its swarming shoals of groper.

“Why don’t you just call The Sheriff?” I said, as Andrew looked up pictures of groper on the phone, along with the Ministry of Fisheries website to determine the legal size for groper in this area. “I mean, as long as it’s not a kingfish, it’s well above the legal limit for anything else. Isn’t it?” It was 65cm.

Eventually, while Andrew was distracted admiring pictures of moki, I hijacked his phone and called The Sheriff myself. He issued a staccato burst of technical questions – ‘Does it have whiskers out its chin? / Does it have a big mouth? / What size are its gills?’ – it had a huge gob, protruding eyes and was kinda scaly. The Sheriff was of the opinion that, however unlikely, it sounded like a groper pup.

Ok so it looks smaller in the photo.

Andrew cut it into steaks; I rubbed one with Cajun seasoning, dribbled over some oil and lime juice, and baked it for 20 minutes the other night – I would highly recommend it.

The following day, flocks of seagulls wheeled just above the surface of the sea, so we went trolling for kahawai. We had to whack them away with a stick; Andrew resorted to casting off from the stationary boat. At one point, there were three kahawai after the lure as he reeled it in.

We donated three to The Hostess with the Mostest and The Mustachioed Muchacho, and two to The Sheriff and Bunqueen. In return, The Mustachioed Muchacho gave us his top-secret recipe for smoking kahawai, and we now have a stack of it in the fridge.

Dinner this evening was fish pie with smoked kahawai, groper, blue cod and mussels – mmm.

Comments on: "Dose of trigger finger" (6)

  1. Cian said:

    Holy hell – that fish is huge. I am super impressed and in awe of you right now. Husband and his Wind Turbine has just fallen by the way-side and you are taking pride of place. I think that Jed has slipped into third place – bugger!

    Please remember the recipe and the smoking process, and keep stocked, ’cause you know I’m coming/trespassing/invading and that is something I have to consume/pinch/steal.

  2. deadlyjelly said:

    Hi Cian! Why, thank you – have to say, I rather impressed myself! Most importantly, it tasted delicious.

    I’m sorry to say Husband’s wind turbine got trashed while we were away, but on the upside you can promote Jed into the number two place.

    We’ll look forward to having you and will stock up on the smoked fish; I hope we’ll be getting a lot more practice in over the next few months.


  3. That’s one decent fish! You would be right at home here in maritime Canada. You’re certainly no hang-a-shore (local colloquialism for ne’re-do-well).

  4. There’s a subliminal message in there isn’t there? duvet-rustling raids — Andrew fiddled with his rod — Ooh, it’s a big one —- he was HUGE — a groper. Sorry.

  5. deadlyjelly said:

    FG – I’m actually surprised with the volume of gusto I’ve managed to achieve for fishing. And many thanks for the new expression! I anticipate many applications of the ‘what do you mean, it’s too wet for fishing? You wussy hang-a-shore’ style.


  6. deadlyjelly said:

    Lesley – trust you to find all the double entendres! And just for once I wasn’t even trying to be saucy. Guess I’m immune to all the innuendo involved in fishing: tackle, lure, bait; and I frequently have to tell Andrew to ‘keep the tip up’ and ‘wow that’s the biggest I’ve ever seen’ without even a hint of kinky irony.

    I admit that when Andrew gets his rod out and waves around, I often don’t know where to look (although I always hang onto my ears as the hook whizzes by at dangerous proximity).


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