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Seafood and Fish Stories
Old 05-01-2014, 01:05 PM   #1
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Seafood and Fish Stories

After sharing some memories with a friend, I realized that fish and seafood has played a huge role in our lives. With just a tiny trigger word, like "cod"... dozens of stories come to mind.

My oldest memory goes back to the early 1940's when the "fishman" came with his makeshift "frozen food" (icechips) truck went street to street on Thursday... (the day before Friday, the Catholic fish only day)... fish filets layed out on the bed of ice. Fish at the time, was "poor peoples'" food, and we certainly qualified. Mr. Alexander (the fishman) always gave us kids a large ice chip while mom bought the best deal... Usually Scrod... (look that up if you don't recognize the name), but sometimes, if mom and dad were both working in the mill, we'd get shark or tuna... all yestrday's catch from Point Judith in Rhode Island.
At the same time, my neighborhood friend... now my DW, lived in the more affluent part of town, and her family would often have lobster, and crabcakes.
The summer treat was a trip to Rocky Point, the great old amusement park, rides and games and prizes dinner at the Rocky Point Shore Dinner Hall... Rhode Island Clam Chowder and then the famous world reknown Rocky Point Clamcakes.
A youth spent sailing and fishing on the east coast, and then later in college... on the Maine coast... brings hundreds of stories of fishing feats, fear and fun.

Not all salt water, either... lakes and rivers in the Adirondaks, Boundary Waters in Minnesota, inland Florida waters, and here in Illinois, rivers and our little campground lakes.

The fear part?... how about skin diving for lobster without a wet or dry suit... on Casco Bay in Maine... in May? At 40 degrees, in 15 feet of water, a 2 pound lobster looks like Godzilla.

An opening for any kind of experiences with fish, fishing, seafood, or fish stories...

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Old 05-01-2014, 01:51 PM   #2
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I have never fished, so have no stories to tell about the ones that got away.

I surely like to eat fish though.

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Old 05-01-2014, 01:53 PM   #3
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Fish sticks on Fridays with tartar sauce. A Catholic family. That was my only exposure to eating fish throughout my youth. Mom didn't cook much but did open packages and cans well

Catching sunfish at Lake Geneva WI in the summers. We never ate them.

McDonald's Filet of Fish when I got my first job there at age 16. I liked them.

Walleye over a camp fire in the Boundary Waters of MN.

Now as an adult I love fish! I eat a lot of salmon, walleye, northern, scallops, shrimp, lobster, crab. So many more choices in the Midwest than when I grew up, and I love eating seafood when visiting the coasts.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:05 PM   #4
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Seafood comprises about 95% of the meat I consume. I grew up on lots of seafood and I just prefer it over chicken, beef, or pork.

I have fished and crabbed lots over the years and have fond memories of doing so with my older sibling. We often brought crabs home to mom, who threw them in boiling water, slapped some Old Bay on them and yummmmmmm. My youngest son is a fisherman at heart and can spend an entire vacation with a line in the water.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:06 PM   #5
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Growing up we used to backpack in the Sierras as our family vacations. One of the treats on the rare layover days was trying to catch rainbow trout in the creeks- without any equipment. It typically involved tickling/herding the fish into a corner of the creek - then grabbing it by hand and flinging it up on shore.

Those fish tasted mighty nice.

That creek was might cold (snow melt) - but that didn't stop us.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:26 PM   #6
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I started fishing when I was around 4 or 5 for blue gill/sunfish. Transitioned to bass fishing in my young adult life before I was introduced to flyfishing. Can't beat a trout - steelhead, rainbow, brown, etc, at the end of a flyline. Actually, any fish or no fish at all is great when fly fishing. Gotta find a place to retire where I can enjoy the fishing year round.

I got a bad piece of cod when I was small and hated all fish for a long time. I love shrimp, crabs and crawfish having spent a number of years in Baton Rouge. The Georgia shrimp are just about as good as the Louisiana shrimp.
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:02 PM   #7
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A few quickies on seafood... then and now...

In our Florida senior community around 1995... the small lagoon that is in front of the Clubhouse became over populated with small fish that some uninformed person had thrown in the water. They grew so fast, and became so big that when we had a cool spell, thousands of them died and floated to the surface. It was a three day project to net and bury the dead fish... many many hundreds of pounds. At the time, these junkfish were considered to be inedible, and not even good as catfood. We knew the fish as Nile Perch...
How times have changed... Today we call them Tilapia.
.................................................. ..............................................

When I was in school, we would go to the bait store and buy frozen octopus to be cut up and used as fish bait... $.25/lb. Imagine my surprise, when I went to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco (circa 1982) and paid $14.95 for the (then) new appetizer... Calamari.
.................................................. ..............................................

Unless you live along the Illinois River, or Lake Michigan, you may not be aware of the potentially worst threat to the fishing industry ever... The Asian Carp. Despite electric shock grids at the bottom of the river, to halt the spread... the Carp have reached lake Michigan. To date no solution. Estimates for the extinction of the freshwater fishing industry are as close by as 10 years. The most promising solution is similar to the Tilapia story... to rename the awful fish something like Silverside bass, and sell it to the public as a delicacy.
.................................................. ...............................................

And one more oddball story... Our Florida lakes were being overrun by Gizzad Shad... a bony ugly fish. The reputation is such that preparation of the fish, is to plank it, and cook it by an open fire. Throw away the fish, and eat the plank.
Anyway, the solution was to hire trotline fishermen to lay out half mile long baited hooks, and physically remove the fish, to preserve the other panfish. In a short time, this cost-only project turned into a money maker as a cat food producer bought and processed the junkfish. A win-win for the environment and the workers.
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:28 PM   #8
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We had a summer lake place growing up and when we were kids we used cane poles to fish. One time we found a garter snake by the water and enticed it to bite the hook. Then that night we put the line with the snake in the lake and used a concrete block to hold the cane pole down. Next morning we pulled it in to find a snapping turtle on the other end.

Another time my niece used to say something was stealing her sunfish out of the live box. We didn't pay much attention until we saw a heron land on the dock, go over to the live box, stab a fish, and swallow it whole. If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have believed.

Anyone else remember making torches from cat tails?
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:43 PM   #9
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A few fish stories.

Each year since 1986 some friends from the first job I had after college and I have gone bass fishing for a weekend. It is a great tradition and nice to reconnect. One year, I flew home from Asia for the event.

When the kids were young, we would take then on an overnight fishing/camping trip. The kids loved it. We would have a fire going, catch some perch, clean them, put them in the frying pan over the fire and 30 minutes after they caught the perch they would be eating them.

I still have great memories of my a day bass fishing with my son and my dad - three generation fishing together - it doesn't get much better than that. Albeit a little trash talking that day.

Finally, I remember fishing with DS one morning while we were camping. I hooked a nice bass and was playing it and trying to tell DS how to play the bass when it jumped up, shook his head and spit out the hook. DS cast his bait right where the bass was, hooked it and reeled it in.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:55 PM   #10
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Been fishing for most of my life, since a kid. I primarily fish for bass (largemouth, spotted, now & then smallmouth, white bass, hybrid stripers). From November through January I fish for crappie (in Louisiana known as sac a lait or white perch). I also fish for catfish now & then. Yep, I love fishing and love eating them too. I also love saltwater fishing when I get a chance, and pretty much anything of the seafood variety (fish, shrimp, oysters, crabs, scallops) I thoroughly enjoy eating as well. Oh yeah...can't leave out mudbugs too! (Crawfish).
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:43 PM   #11
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While I like fish and shrimp, my favorite seafood is crab. Dungeness crab.

I used to dream of moving up to the Puget Sound and getting a waterfront home, so that I can row a canoe out to check on my crab trap every day for dinner. That's how I chose my screen name. The NW in my screen name means NorthWest, and not net worth.

My dream does not look feasible anymore; I am too old and tired and have too many roots here. So, every so often I go buy live Dungeness crab in stores here, or frozen crab at Costco to satiate my craving.
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:33 AM   #12
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Mmmm, Dungeness crab. Penn Cove mussel festival was a couple weeks ago, they are not too shabby either.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:12 AM   #13
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Fished a fair amount as a kid (think cane pole, bobber, nightcrawler), and some as an adult (think copious amounts of beer)...
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:02 AM   #14
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When we were visiting Australia, we had some fish for dinner at a local restaurant. I was a little put off when they brought the plate. No veggies or potato. I was kind of hungry after a hard day of exploring. The fish was so so so good. Easily the best I ever had and plenty enough for a meal. It was Barramundi.
A couple of days later, same thing only this time it was "sea trout". When I got back home to California I couldn't eat seafood for a couple of weeks because I knew it would taste like cardboard in comparison.
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:37 PM   #15
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Great memories of summer walleye fishing (& sippin' a beer or 2) with my late FIL.
Best FIL a guy ever had.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:42 PM   #16
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Can't remember the year, but probably around 1975... in any case, when cod fishing was still good on the east coast. (now catch is limited)...
Three BIL 's together , rented a charter boat off Plymouth MA for $25 1/2 day... They had planned ahead to not just fish, but to make some money along the way. At the time fresh Cod was selling for about $.80/lb . Before they went out, on the way to Plymouth, they stopped in at four restaurants along the way to check the market for Cod. At that time, the catch had not been too good, so the going price was over a dollar.
BIL's lined the trucks of two cars with plastic sheeting and bought mesh bags for the catch.
They left port at 10 AM and returned a 3PM... with... even at that time... a fantastic catch... well over 500 lbs. (these are the small cod.. 3 to 6 lbs...), so lots of fish.
Now consider 1974... and today... the catch should have brought over $2000 in 2014 dollars.

Flush with their expected new wealth . they went to the first restaurant... Yes they had expected to need cod, but before my BIL's came in, someone else had already been there... You can guess the rest... after visiting 20 different restaurants, and at 10PM, they gave up and drove bck to RI... no sale... and 500lb of now warming, and smelling dead fish... Next AM, went door to door in the neighborhood, giving away (a few) cod..., and then to the sand banks... to dig a giant hole, and bury the last 450lbs ofsmelly dead fish...
Dreams of riches gone... and car trunks needing decontamination.

The day that the cod came into Plymouth Mass.

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