Flava Issue 2
Guy Harvey is not just an artist whose works are prized around the world – he is also a foremostexpert on regional marine life and a fierce advocate for the preservation of species. He supportsthe “catch and release” practice where sports fish such as marlin are caught, photographed andreleased. It is an idea that has taken a while to catch on in some countries, but is becoming moreand more prevalent as people are educated on the long-term benefits.
When it comes to edible fish, what are the ones to look for in the summer season?
Harvey says that dolphin or mahi-mahi seasonis coming to a close around the end of May. Thisis not a season like conch or lobster, where thelaw dictates when you can remove them. Thisis simply the time when fewer of the fish canbe found in our waters. There will also be a few wahoo still about, and yellowfin tuna. These aredeep sea fish and you can either go out to catchthem yourself, or buy them from local fishermen.
When it comes to reef or bottom fishing, what are the best ones to try and catch?
Right now Harvey would ideally like people to focus on lionfish. They are very tasty, similar to hogfish and catching and eating them benefits our reefs.These predators are killing juvenile fish and although beautiful, are nothing but a threat to our ecosystem as they have few natural enemies. The culling course at the Department of Environment is completely free and very informative. Once people know how to handle them, they can cook them up themselves. All they have to do is wear gloves and cut off the spines with good scissors – that’s where all the poison is.The delicate white meat lends itself beautifully to steaming, frying and baking. Local restaurants are already offering them to customers, and the reviews are extremely positive. As far as anyone is concerned, lionfish are always in season!
Local fisherman Chuckie Ebanks of Black Princess Chartershas tanned skin, white teeth, and can clean a fish in less timethan it takes most people to find a knife in the house. Whenit comes to rods, reels and bait, this is the man who knows allabout the two main types of fishing popular in the Islands:Reef or bottom fishing and deep sea fishing.
FlavaScribe Vicki Wheaton reeled in some of his tips:
Bait your hook with either squid, conch or soldier crabs. Squidis the most obvious choice these days, but any of the three willwork. Remember to make sure that the bait is on the hook niceand firm so it doesn’t come off too early.
If you hook anything shorter than eight inches, unhook it andrelease it.
Look for grunts, snapper, porgies and parrotfish – all of them aregood eating.
Respect the marine zones where fishing is restricted or prohibited.There are three zones: the Marine Park Zone, the ReplenishmentZone and the Environmental Zone. If you are not sure ofthe rules, check with the Department of the Environment.
What many people may not know is that before Chuckie Ebanks was a fisherman, he was a chef.
Deep sea fishing
You can use real bait, lures, or a combination of the two. For real bait go with ballyhoo or strip bait from tuna or wahoo.It’s good to use leftover fish that you are not going to eat. Youeat what you want and use the remainder for your next fishingtrip.
At this time of year you can probably find tuna, wahoo ordolphin when deep sea fishing, although dolphin season endsin a month or so.
Many people don’t think of barracuda when they think ofgood fish to eat. Maybe it is because it’s an ugly fish, but I haveto say that of all of them, this is my favourite one to catch!
There is no specific time to go fishing when you will havemore luck than others. Most fishermen tend to go out in theearly morning, but there is no reason you won’t hook a fish orthree if you head out in the afternoon.