Storms in the Gulf of Mexico/Fishing the Atlantic Ocean
My buddy Steve and I have been friends for about 30 years now. We have been to San Diego,The Kentucky Derby, The King Biscuit Blues Festival (several years) and Ocracoke Island ( 9 years running I think?). So when Steve asked me to help run his boat from Cape Coral to Marathon Florida (Middle Keys), I immediately began making plans. After all, 10 days in the tropics appealed to me! The plan was for his wife to drive the car with the ladies and the kids down across Alligator Alley and on to Marathon.
On July 11th we set off. Joining us on our journey was Tom, Steve’s friend from Ohio. The Journey consisted of markers (GPS) Steve had meticulously put into his GPS. The first leg was easy…Down the Caloosahatchee River to the gulf. From there, follow the GPS to each marker and make the appropriate adjustments. It was a first for Steve, as well as myself, but I trusted my friend!
Six and a half hours later (several on open water with no sight of land) we arrived in Marathon to applause. The ladies and kids got there before we did. We tied up and went into the Marina Restaurant for refreshment.
The day after next we headed out in search of fish- Mahi Mahi (dolphin fish) specifically. With Steve and I were Tom (from Ohio) and Tim (from Florida). I didn’t understand it at first but the bowling pin Tim brought (painted bright green) was a lure.
It seems a bowling greenling pin,painted bright green, looks just like a Mahi! After a 26 mile trip out into the Atlantic it all began to make sense. With the Outriggers rigged and a bright green bowling pin trailing (fake bait) the hunt began!.
After a short ride the Mahi hit! Being a fish that swims in schools, it was easy pickings for the rest of us on the boat to catch one. For me …it was a highlight!
We headed in, satisfied with our catch. The evening meal was served 3 ways: fried, blackened and grilled!
The next morning we headed out again… this time with kids on board. It was a short day. We found a spot and I cast and immediately hit into a nice grouper! On the down side, some of the kids weren’t comfortable so we headed back in. It ended up being a perfect day to explore!
July 18, 2015:
Heading back to Cape Coral, Tom took a pass on the return ride and Steve’s stepdaughter joined us.
Crystal clear waters on the way out but, as we approached the Florida Coast, we ran into a line of squalls. Ten miles later and drenched to the core we emerged.
It was a safe journey both ways!
I have added a recipe for Blackened Mahi with Tropical Salsa The sweet of the Mango plays well against the heat of the Blackening Spice
Grilled Blackened Mahi with Tropical Salsa
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/8 cup diced onion
1/8 cup diced red pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 mango, diced
8 oz fresh pineapple diced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 mahi steaks 6 oz
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup blackening seasoning
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and diced red peppers in hot oil until softened slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir brown sugar with the onion; cook until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Add mango, pineapple, and cider vinegar; simmer until hot, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Return skillet to stove.
- Coat Mahi filets with oil. Season mahi mahi steaks with salt and black pepper. Coat steaks with blackening seasoning. Cook steaks on grill until until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Plate the steaks and top with the mango salsa to serve.