Friday, April 11, 2008

solution to fish farming

After posting my rant about salmon farms, I thought of my fishing history:

Both my grandfathers were into fishing. In Kona we would fish at night for menpachi (Myripristis berndti, or Squirrel Fish) or charter a boat and go deep sea fishing. My grandpa Jack, who lived in Kona must have been good luck. With him, I caught by biggest fish to date, a 176 pound Ahi, (Thunnus albacares, Yellowfin Tuna). My grandfather in Ireland, Brian, was also an avid fisherman. With Jack he also caught the biggest fish of his life, a marlin over 450 pounds. However, fate usually worked against Brian. His offspring consisted of 3 daughters. None of whom I know to fish. Quite often his fishing consisted of sitting. Not much reeling.

"That is why it is called fishing and not catching" he used to tell me.

There was rarely anything alive at the end of his line. My grandfather and his friends were quite often called "The Preservation Society of Ireland" due to their lack of luck. Obviously it wasn't a lack of skill.

I was the first grandchild and luckily for him, I was a boy. Boys are supposed to love hunting, fishing, and being outdoors. I like fishing and being outdoors. I am not opposed to hunting if it is for the right reasons. He would take me out whenever we had the chance. Fishing on rivers, lakes, or boats in the ocean. He loved fishing and that love has somehow stayed with me. Funnily enough, I do not like to eat fish. I like the tranquility of fishing. It is like constantly being occupied, yet doing nothing. I am definitely a catch and release kind of guy. In Ireland, I learned the basics of fly fishing. I drove around the entire country looking for a place to rent a pole. One place in the entire country was open. There was a guy sitting in a shed by himself. He only rented fly fishing poles. When I explained that I had no prior experience, but always wanted to learn to fly fish, he spent an hour trying not to get frustrated at my ill attempts to whip the pole over my head. Eventually he left and it was up to me not to accidently throw the pole in the lake. He promised that the lake was stocked with trout. I believe him because I saw the fish jumping. I think that he had recently fed the fish or the fish knew who my grandfather was because I didn't get a bite in the hours I stood freezing looking like an idiot fly fishing for their first time.

In Chile, people were fishing on the beach without poles. They catch some bait (some crab-like animal), tie a giant weight on their line, walk out waist deep in the ocean and throw the terrified crab into the cold green swells. Then they walk backward unreeling line from their pockets. They hold a spool of line and drag in any fish that bites. Not my idea of a relaxing afternoon. If I had a pole, I would have done it my way. In Argentina you cannot rent a fishing pole. You pay at least $300 for a guide, boat, lunch, and a license. Nobody will rent a pole to you, it is like the fishing mafia. So one evening, Leo, Danielle and I were walking through Bariloche and we stopped in a fishing shop. For the first time, I was presented with the opportunity to buy a fishing pole. Then I could fish whenever I want. I bit. I purchased my first real fishing pole. Not the expanding kind that have a picture of snoopy on the handle. This one came with a case. I am the proud owner of a dark green Waterdog Formula 2012 fishing pole. I also purchased a Waterdog Hermes 301 maroon colored reel. My lucky spinners are some copper colored cheap thing for big fish in lakes and a small, but apparently magical lure called the "Black Fury". If that doesn't sound appetizing to some big trout, I don't know what will. Leo likes to eat fish so I can't stop thinking about how much money I will save by catching his dinner for him everyday.

As soon as the first fish is caught, I will post pictures.

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