CATCH IT. COOK IT. EAT IT.
There’s something oddly satisfying about following your dinner’s journey from sea to plate; even more so when you can tuck into it knowing that it’s the product of your own efforts.
I was recently given the opportunity to go on a fishing trip from Padstow harbour. Determined to get stuck in, I set myself the challenge of catching and preparing my own fish for dinner. I was a little apprehensive about the ‘preparing’ aspect of it (i.e. the gutting) but I hoped it would be worth it.
I met Shane, owner of the Celtic Warrior fishing boat in Padstow, who would be taking me along with a group of amateur anglers to fish for mackerel. We were told there was also a chance of pollock and bass, but I would have been happy to catch anything as long as it was edible.
Armed with a fishing rod and a cool box, I waited patiently for Shane to stop the boat before sending my glittery little hooks down towards the seabed. After a few ‘drops’, it wasn’t long before I felt something pulling at the fishing line. I frantically reeled it in to be greeted by an impressively-sized shiny mackerel.
Shane kindly removed it from the hooks for me before placing it in a bucket with the rest of the caught fish.
I caught five in total which I smugly carried back to my car. Once they were home, and after watching a YouTube tutorial on how to gut a fish, I bravely took off their heads and prepared them for the barbecue in my garden. Many like to stuff the mackerel with herbs and spices, but I opted for just the simple smokey-barbecue flavour.
After gutting each fish, I placed them on a little disposable barbecue to cook on each side. Served alongside some homemade pesto pasta and purple sprouting broccoli, the flakey mackerel fell apart beautifully.
It took about two hours from catching the fish to putting it on my plate, so it would have been difficult to get it any fresher.
Food provenance seems to be more important than ever, and what better way to know where your food came from than to have caught it yourself?
To find out more about Celtic Warrior’s fishing trips visit: www.celticwarrior.me.uk.