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edible Monterey Bay Summer 2016

e first round of big fish was the triumph of the day. But this last burst of action, as Kritter points out, this is dinner. Satisfied, we head back to shore. FEAST OF FISHES What do you do with a cooler full of fish? Invite all your friends over for a barbecue! Out on the water, depending on their luck with the day, Doc H and Kritter start planning that evening’s festivities by sending out invites from their phones to as many people as they can reasonably feed, a practice they started from the beginning of their fishing days together, because they feel it’s important 44 edible monterey bay summer 2016 to share the love with their community. And because they’re out on the water almost every weekend, there tends to be a lot of love to go around. Of course, there are a few steps between reeling in a rockfish and enjoying it battered and fried in a taco. Back at home, Doc H and Kritter unload the car, rinse the saltwater off all their equipment and process that day’s bounty. Not quick or easy, cleaning and filleting a fish is an art that requires practice and patience. By the early evening, there are about 15 people at Doc H’s house that he shares with five other UCSC grad students (many of whom go spearfishing as their foraging sport of choice, if you’re in need of options). e scene is lively yet relaxed with friends scattered about—helping in the kitchen, lounging on sofas or enjoying beers outside. e catch of the day dictates the menu. Rockfish tend to be fried or grilled for tacos, served with homemade slaw and pico de gallo. Cabezon and lingcod—firm, flaky and mild—are great for poaching. On this occasion, Kritter turns the cabezon into ceviche, while a friend poaches the lingcod and serves it with a delicate beurre blanc sauce. From daybreak to dusk, it’s been a long day. But to wake with the sun and paddle out to sea; to catch, clean and cook your own fish; to be able to feed your community—it’s a deeply gratifying experience. See you on the water. EXPLORE: To be safe and learn more, see TIPS FOR KAYAK FISHING, opposite. bounty, Doc H points out that it sometimes depends more on the moment (or luck) than the location. is point is made clear when we hit a lull, trolling for two hours and getting nothing but nibbles and seaweed snags. Of course, between the warm sunshine, the crash of the surf echoing in the bay, and sea otters and gray whales swimming all around us, this can be the most relished time on the water. Full disclosure: Relaxing with the gentle rocking of the kayak is also a good time to succumb to your motion sickness. And it is in this moment of serenity that I start “chumming” the waters. I would be embarrassed, except that the fishing gods clearly like my offering because shortly after, I reel in a double catch of rockfish. Everyone’s luck picks back up and in the next several minutes we catch about 10 more rockfish, tossing back a few of the smaller ones. e varieties of rockfish coming up include blue, black and China. All are roughly 14 inches in length. Doc H and Kritter getting their kayaks ready just after dawn at Del Monte Beach in Monterey


edible Monterey Bay Summer 2016
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