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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Local Lessons: Filleting & Netting - Jan. 19, 2012

As I have mentioned, here in Ingleside by the Bay hospitality is a way of life.  So when Captain Joe offered his help with "whatever we might need" we knew just where to go for our fish filleting lesson.  

The day we caught our first edible fish, we jumped off the boat and into the Pepper, me driving while Alan held the iced-down Spotted Seatrout and Flounder.  Unfortunately, Joe was out on his aforementioned 30-mile bike ride and, as it was getting dark, his wife Polly told us to put the fish on ice and leave them until the morning.  Bright and early the next morning Joe stopped by (bright and early for us is 8:00 a.m. -- remember, we are not working anymore!) but Alan was still in bed, so Joe and I made plans to meet him at his house at 9:00.

Leading a life of the leisurely unemployed, it doesn't take a lot of appointments in a day to feel fully booked -- one or two does it.  This day we had planned a day of really important errands like visiting the UPS customer service office in Corpus, picking up our mail at the post office and going to Starbucks.  So I was a little anxious to get the filleting lesson completed and get on the road.

Joe met us outside and led us down to his fish cleaning station conveniently located next to his dock.  He proceeded to sharpen his fillet knife, something that has to be done quite often during this process.  He then gave us an expert lesson on filleting both fish.  I can see the benefit of filleting the flounder as it has such fine bones however, the trout?  I would have just cleaned the insides and put the entire thing on the grill like we did in California.  (If--I mean when--we ever catch another we will give this a shot.)

When the lesson was done, Joe offered to get us some mullet to use as bait for our next expedition.  Being now a little pressed for time (see?) I thought to myself, "We don't have time for him to fish the mullet out of the channel."  But what can you say to such wonderful hospitality?  

So we walked over to his dock and Joe proceeded to pull out a big net with weights on the end.  Never missing a beat of his story telling, he tossed the net into the channel as I thought, "How long will we have to stand here?  We have so much to do today!"  

Less than a minute later (yes, less than a minute) he pulled the net up and lo and behold there were six mullet flopping around!  

You can't get a tall, non-fat, extra-foamy latte from Starbucks any faster.