Ascension Island Fishing – Tristan

We were quick to whip out the fishing rods upon arrival at Ascension Island. Experimental casts in the water caused the swarms of small black triggerfish. They covered the whole surface of the water, and any hook placed into the sea was stripped of bait within minutes. One unlucky triggerfish was hooked and chopped up, as a bait fish. Another was caught, too, when we threw the bucket in to clean up after the grunting triggerfish; they were so densely packed around the boat, they flowed into the bucket. Their tough skin meant the other triggerfish couldn’t chew it off the hook, and the skin sank to the bottom. Within a few seconds, a fish was hooked and reeled up. There were many Rockhind Grouper on the bottom, spotted fish with big mouths and white flesh. With the newly devised tactic of triggerfish skin, we were able to catch several fish a day, for dinner; the fillets were thin enough that we could justify this number. We also caught some for Divanty, our sailing companions, though Antony was very hesitant to cut them up. So Dad showed me how to fillet the fish, and soon I was catching them and filleting them efficiently. A trawl along the reef edge proved unsuccessful in catching anything but black trevally and Rockhind Grouper; I guess what Ascension lacked in diversity, it made up for in sheer volume. It was possibly the easiest fishing I’d ever seen; it made Chagos look difficult in comparison. You can only eat so much of one fish after a while, though. Still, it was great fun and very delicious.

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One days catch of Rockhind Grouper

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