When we left Boston it was 17 degrees F. When we arrived in Sarasota it was 75 degrees F! What a difference flying 3 hours south makes! We are in Sarasota where my husband, Dick will be giving several lectures. But first a fishing trip with our hosts Lionel and Lisa Olmer. The Olmers’ picked us up the next day at 7:00AM for a 7:30 departure with fishing guide Captain Jonnie Walker. Yes that is his real name and no we were not served spirits on board.
The sky was slightly overcast and there was a bit of a chill as we started the day but later gave way to sunshine and warm breezes.
We set out at a nice easy clip into the Sarasota Bay and Captain Jonnie let the anchor down near a cluster of mangroves. Bait was live shrimp. Boom! Within in minutes Lisa caught a huge sea trout, about 26 inches and over 7 pounds. Alas, he had to go back as he was a “breeder,” said the Captain.
But Lisa got bragging rights–
Then boom — I caught my first fish, a mackerel! You’d think it was a 200-pound prize tuna bound for the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo the way I carried on! It was a keeper and pretty darn exciting.
And so it went for the rest of the morning. We caught all kinds of fish: redfish, sea trout (that we could keep, black and white striped sheepshead, more mackerel plus a whole bunch of other fish whose names I can’t remember.
After 4 fun-and-fish-filled hours on the water we came back and docked right in front of the DryDock Grill
where Captain Jonnie filleted the fish and I got to feed the skeletons and entrails to some pretty huge tarpon that were waiting along with a whole bunch of pelicans for the leftovers!
The fillets were cut into perfect pieces
and given to the chef at the restaurant to turn into our lunch of crispy fried tidbits and moist and spicy blackened chunks. Both preparations were absolutely delicious served with sides of homemade coleslaw and perfect french fries.
That night we went to the Olmer’s gracious home for appetizers before heading out for dinner. Lisa served the mackerel I caught(!)tataki-style for an appetizer. The raw mackerel marinates for about an hour in a light dressing of soy sauce, rice vinegar and salt and gets a flourish of freshly grated ginger as a topping. It was a perfect way to end a glorious day.