Sunday, January 27, 2013

From the sea to the table....

I know this is a long time coming but last summer my husband's family came to visit us in Tampa and we went on a private fishing trip into the Gulf of Mexico to fish for Grouper. See here for more information on Grouper. Grouper is a mild white fish and is usually blackened or fried.

It was very entertaining and enjoyable to be fishing with my husband's family and here are a few of our pictures from that day. What was really nice is that the captain of the boat cleaned and boned our fish for us to take home. Once we got back we did a fresh fish fry with our freshly caught grouper. It is really something I have not done in a long time (if ever). It amazes me how fresh fish really does taste so amazing.

We started very very early in the morning. Just in time for the sunrise on the gulf.
 The guys all ready for a day at sea. And our boat.
 Me and the hubs
 On our way out to sea. Beautiful and perfect day for this.
 Before going out to sea we have to catch our live bait. The captain and his mate throw the net over near a bridge and get the bait fish. Then they scoop them up and put them in the water filled coolers on the sides of the boat. 
 After a few attempts of catching some bigger bait with the smaller bait we finally catch some black grouper!
 We all got a few and it was hard work but so much fun!

 At one point the hubbies brother had a big grouper but then he realized he only had half of it. We looked over and it seemed that a Barracuda fish bit off part of the grouper while he was trying to reel it in. The guides told him to keep the line in the water and sure enough the barracuda tried to get the rest and hooked onto the line. The guide helped him get this big ol fish for what seemed about 30 minutes and traveled all around the boat following it until they finally reeled it in. It took both of them. This was one strong fish!

 We caught the barracuda but could not keep it because its not the eating kind. They threw him back but look how big it was!
 My favorite picture of the brothers.
 With the limits the way they are we could only get 2 grouper of a certain size per person. We caught a ton more than that but only kept the bigger, better ones. Here are all the fish laid out at the end of the day. There is a flounder and a red snapper in there too!
 Our captain was tasked with the filleting of the fish. It was really cool to see. We got to keep all of this. 20+ lbs of fish fillets in my freezer!

 When we got back to the house we separated the fish and cut some for frying and froze the rest of the fillets.

 The cut fish took a bath in a fish fry batter then went into the fryer (my hubby is the fryer)

And the finished product! It is great by itself as fish fingers or in a taco or sandwich with tartar sauce. Yum!
We did another fish fry when my family was in town for Thanksgiving and it was just as tasty! This time we did hush puppies too and we fried out on the patio.