Gone Fishin’ in the Tropics
I love eating fish but have never caught one with a rod and line. However, I have shot a few with a spear gun (only, I hasten to add, ones which I could eat). Nowadays I spend my time snorkelling and watching fish rather than trying to catch them and on occasion this has been a lot more exciting. When on holiday I regularly snorkel along the same stretch of coast in the Canaries, about a hundred yards out along the edge of a bank which then disappears into the abyss. The water quality is superb and one can see for perhaps 30 or 40 feet.One day I was swimming along this stretch when I noticed what appeared to be a large rock. It stuck me as strange because I had not seen it before and had swum along this part many times.
I got an even bigger surprise when it started to move. It was an enormous Ray and I mean big; about six or seven feet from wing tip to wing tip and about eight feet long with the base of the tail as thick as my arm . We often see rays out there but they are normally nothing like this. I decided to get a bit nearer the shore; about 30 yards out I started to swim parallel with the beach again and as I glanced back, to my horror it was still with me about 10 feet away and just behind. Now I was feeling nervous, I turned immediately in for the beach.
I never saw it again but always now keep a wary eye on that bank near to the abyss
BARBEQUE RECIPE • Pre heat grill to a medium heat
• Line the cavity of a trout with slices of
garlic and lemon
• Stuff fresh basil and rosemary inside
• Season and wrap the fish in foil
• Place on the bbq grill
• Cook for 15 to 20 minutes
• Remove lemon and herbs
• Hold fish up by spine and comb meat
from bones using fork
• Squeeze fresh lemon over fish and serve
Another interesting fish that lives out there is the angel shark. These get to about five feet long and lie on the bottom. They are quite flat and can conceal themselves under the sand except for the last bit of their tail which has a small fin on it. When swimming above you can usually make out their outline and just see the tail.
I was snorkelling with my daughter one day and we came across a group of divers kneeling on the sea bed about 12 feet down doing some sort of communication exercise. Just behind one of them was an angle shark concealed under the sand; they obviously had not seen it. I had read that providing you do not pull the tail, (that produces an angry response) but just gently move it they will rise from the sand move on. I dived down and just twitched its tail. The fish rose from the sand like a ghost from its grave and sailed straight through the kneeling divers. There was large expulsion of air from their masks as they rocked back on their knees in startled surprise. My daughter was already laughing by the time I reached the surface.
I have tried pike and found it a bit bony but I do like trout which I get from someone who fishes in Rutland water.