Eating My Catch: Fishing for Fluke in Brooklyn

Seaqueen VII
2250 Emmons Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11235

This past Saturday, I got up at 4:50AM and got on the train at 5:20AM to Sheepshead Bay to board the Captain Steve’s Seaqueen VII. J.P. organized this lovely morning trip (that I almost didn’t go to until I found a Groupon deal for half the price: $35 for two, instead of $35 for one). Nothing against J.P. or fishing at all, I’m just really not a morning person. I grumpily made my way to the boat and complained about my hurting stomach and stinging eyes (my symptoms of lack of sleep).

My sleepy fingers were not excited about touching these little guys until… the first catch of the day was made. An experienced young fisher caught a 26 inch fluke. The entire boat erupted in loud cheers. In 20 minutes, cheers were happening all over the boat as more and more people caught fish. If your fluke is 19 inches or longer, you get to keep it and take it home. I started to wake up because I realized I could be bringing home dinner. That would make my trip worth it. I started trying and about two hours later, I caught something. It was a pathetic 10 inch little guy.

As small as this looks, this is actually my second catch. I only made two catches on Saturday, but the second one made the cut at a full 22 inches! My roommates on the trip, LAW, H.W., and S.S., were probably all selfishly (sel-fish-ly?) happy because they knew we would have a fresh catch for dinner.

At the end of the four-hour long trip, there was a guy at the back of the boat who helped us gut, scale, and/or fillet our fish. I love fish on the bone because it tends to keep its moisture better so only asked him to gut and scale.

And yes, I only caught one fish large enough to take home in the entirety of the trip. As a matter of fact, of the 14 of us who went (the boat had at least… 50 to 60 people total), only M.L. and I caught fish worthy of taking home. It isn’t easy!! At our beginner level, there’s not much you can do. You only have luck on your side.

The guy who caught the first 26 inch fluke, let’s call him the Champ, also caught this monster of a sea bass. Largest sea bass I have ever seen. The fish gutter told me that the sea bass would go for at least $45 wholesale, which I’m sure would then be at least double at a place like Whole Foods. The Champ ended up selling the sea bass to a random dude on board for $20. I should’ve offered $30!

I, of course, cooked the fish immediately that night. I marinated it in olive oil, cooking wine, and sea salt, and stuffed it with garlic cloves and rosemary. I roasted it for 20 minutes at 450 degrees fahrenheit.

The fluke was super flakey, tender, and naturally sweet. Although my garlic and rosemary only managed to permeate the sides of the fish they were closest to, which yielded a fragrantly tasty fish, the center was also yummy. It was less seasoned in the center, which brought out the sweetness of the fish more. This cooking method definitely only works on supremely fresh fish.

I boiled fresh sweet corn and roasted tomatoes with basil, broccoli with sea salt, and mushrooms with sea salt to go with the fish. Had everything over rice. All in a day’s work!

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