Being an old curmudgeon, I feel like winter never has good intentions for my fly fishing outings. I complain about the mild winter storms that we occasionally have in Puerto Peñasco. Looking back at winter I should admit that it was not bad. I spent many sunny days in my kayak fly fishing, which is way better than waiting for the snow and ice to melt. I know from growing up in the Midwest that many of the early spring major league baseball games will have snow in the seats, for many of the home opener series. No thank you!
With spring to look forward to, I am sure you may hear me rail against the windy days, but I expect to enjoy the warmer sunny days also. The fishing that was dormant during the winter will be picking up this spring. Expect to see a gazillion bait fish minnows, with birds attacking them from the air, and larger fish chowing down from below. Spring does lift my spirit and give me an attitude adjustment. Thanks to that old Hank Williams Jr. song “Attitude Adjustment” for the title of this installment.
I did manage to do a batch of smoked fish my last trip to Rocky Point. We got a few neighbors together at the Playa de Oro Trailer Park and had an appetizer dinner around sunset. The group put together cheeses, veggies, fruit, olives, nuts, assorted wines, and chocolate chip cookies, along with the smoked fish. The friendly atmosphere in the trailer park lends itself to spontaneous celebrations.
Recipe for smoked fish. Many of the fish caught in Rocky Point are excellent table fare. Some of my favorites are grouper, cabrilla, trigger, and orange mouth, these fish all have a mild flavor and take on the character of the brine that I use before I smoke the fish. Combine ingredients in a pitcher with a lid, agitate by shaking pitcher until sugar and salt is dissolved. 24-oz orange drink, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup sea salt, 1 small Tabasco. Place 20 small 6-oz filets in a 1-gal zip lock bag cover with brine for 2-3 hours, longer for a stronger flavor. I use an electric Big Chief Smoker with a pan of apple wood burning for about an hour. Load one more dry pan of apple wood for another hour. The fish is close to being done you can take off smoker or allow more time for a drier texture. Smoked fish will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks, if it is well hidden.
Vince Deadmond The Retired Fly Fishing Hardware Guy can be reached at vince@ajbest or (480) 818-1796.