Dogfish (Huss) Bake


Huss Bake - 45mins

Serves 4
  • 75g/3oz Bacon Rashers, finely chopped
  • 2 Onions, finely chopped
  • 2 teasp freshly chopped Chives
  • 2 teasp freshly chopped Dill
  • 2 teasp freshly chopped Parsley
  • 1 teasp freshly chopped Tarragon
  • 1 teasp freshly chopped Chervil
  • 120ml/4fl.oz Soured Cream
  • Salt and White Pepper
  • 450g/1lb Tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • 4 Huss Fillets (Dogfish - Rock salmon)
  • 2 tbsp Fresh White Breadcrumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4.

2. Heat a frying pan until very hot then add the bacon and fry until the fat begins to run. Add the onions and sauté until softened.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the soured cream, salt, pepper and herbs.

4. Place half the bacon and onion mixture in the bottom of a shallow ovenproof dish and add a layer of tomatoes.

5. Place the fish fillets on top, add the remaining remaining bacon mixture then arrange the remaining sliced tomatoes over the bacon.

6. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs evenly and bake for 30 minutes until browned.

Serve immediately.

Kayak battery & anchor light

If there's one thing that I'm fastidious about it's keeping my gear clean. Saltwater is a great destroyer of fishing tackle, though with a little effort post each trip it can be maintained in excellent condition for years.

However, some gear is just not fit for purpose. Two good examples of this were my Imax fishing box and the Lalizas pole light. The Imax bag was corroding badly on the zippers making their operation very difficult indeed. Something better had to found and again a few hours of research on the internet produced the solution... the Yakmate3. Ordered from the US it arrived within a couple of weeks and has made organising my gear simplicity in itself. Below can be seen the original setup and the updated setup.

The Lalizas pole light, what terrible design!. The base connections are not watertight with results in any saltwater splash washing directly onto the 12v contacts. Dielectric corrosion sets in swiftly and within a merely handful of trips the light is ready to fail. I sourced a replacement part under warranty though it showed signs of impending failure within two trips. To say I was displeased was an understatement, fitting this light meant a large hole in the yak, so removing it wasn't really an option, the base at least would have to remain.

In the end I came up with a simple fix that allowed me to retain and use the original light, though the 12v connector was now a suitable marine connector.. problem solved

The battery was also showing signs of corrosion due to the terminals being exposed to the saltwater atmosphere. A simple solution was to place the battery in a 'watertight' box fitted with a marine connector. The battery charger was also equipped with a mating plug so there's no requirement to remove the battery from the box for charging.

battery box
battery box 2

Please feel free to comment.

Tarpon fishing in the Caribbean

I consider myself very fortunate in the fact that not only is my wife Dutch, she's Antillean, born in the ABC Islands.. Curacao to be exact. For those who are unfamiliar with these islands they're located in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast.

Curaçao has a semi-arid savanna-like climate with a dry season from January to September and a wet season from October to December. The temperatures are relatively constant with small differences throughout the year. The trade winds brings cooling during the daylight and the same trade winds brings warming during the night.

On average once a year we visit her parents for three to fours weeks at a time. Now don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful place with plenty to see, picturesque white sandy beaches, etc, but I'm not a person who can lie on the beach all day.

Once you've visited and toured the island that's kind of about it for me, so what else keeps me busy?. Well the nightlife and bars are excellent, but I can only nurse so many hangovers!.. however, there is of course the fishing!!

The sea fishing here is all bluewater fishing, large big game boats can bee seen powering into the distance or trolling the drop-offs around the island. Trolling just doesn't appeal to me, especially if you experience a quiet day.. it's just not fishing. I'm the sort of person who likes to hunt down or stalk his prey. Oddly enough shore fishing is not promoted here, yes there's the locals throwing in hand lines, but from a tourists point of view it doesn't exist!

This had its advantages and disadvantages, the bad bit being there was no real experience to pull on, nothing on the internet and very little information available locally. However it was a good excuse to purchase some travel rods. After much research I settled on a Greys Missionary Spin, A Mike Ladle Surespin and an Ugly Stik boat for the odd trip out to sea. The first two rods covered the heavy and lighter spinning options, though they would also cover float and ledgering when required. The reels of choice were Shimano Baitrunners filled with various strengths of braid.
Just as well that it's not all about catching fish!, as I blanked for the first few outings with only the odd knock on a lure to show it all. It's frustrating though when you're watching big tuna hitting baitfish 400m offshore.. how I wanted to have my kayak!

One venue in particular looked promising. From the rocks I could clearly see large fish chasing baitfish, sometimes right under my feet. Christ, could those fish move!!, I've never witnessed such speed. I identified them as a Permit fish of sorts, though despite my best efforts I only managed two strikes from these fish before they moved offshore. What a pity as they looked a good 15lb+

Whilst driving around the island I became aware of fish activity within the lagoons that surround the capital. Interlinked with tunnels beneath the roads these lagoons ultimately feed into the sea. There was quite some fish activity and careful observation showed the presence of Tarpon, Ladyfish and Jacks. I couldn't believe I'd been skirting around the island when such a bounty lay within.

The tarpon were my main target, they seemed to be everywhere, though they we proving so difficult to catch. A few swirls around my lures was about a much as I seemed to be getting. A swap over to some locally purchased deadbait saw a few short runs before the bait was promptly dropped... so damned frustrating!.

Probably more by luck I stumbled across a method that worked, boy did it work!. As mentioned earlier these lagoon are joined by pipes below the road, about a metre in diameter, normally 3 together, side by side. As the tide flow and ebbs there's a current flow between the various lagoons. Dropping a bait suspended beneath a float saw the bait drifting off into the lagoon.
This proved most effective at dusk, fishing into the night. With a chemical light on the float it was clearly visible for 150m or more. The fish hit the bait from anything from 20m to over 100m into the flow which dragged the float towards the centre of the lagoon. The hits were normally vicious followed by long hard runs which regularly saw the fish leaping well clear of the water.

Initially the fish were quite small, 3-4lb, but on light tackle it was great fun.

The fish increased with size as the evening passed by peaking out around 15-20lb. Not large by tarpon standards, though on a light spinning rod designed for bass and pollack they were proving tremendous sport.

My evening was drawing to a close when just before midnight my good wife called requesting my presence at home. On hanging up a fish hit the float deep into the lagoon. The first run alone took a 100m of line, within minutes I found myself somewhat helpless with not much of the 20lb braid remaining on the spool. An hour passed and I'd not had a glimpse of the fish, it was still far into the lagoon and I was chuffed I'd manage to retrieve a small amount of line back onto the reel. After 90 minutes I had a brief glimpse of the fish about 50m out, it seemed huge!.. I guess it saw me as I immediately lost another 80-100m of line in yet another powerful, unstoppable run.

On a couple of occasions I bought it within metres of the shoreline before it disappeared once more towards the centre of the lagoon, I grabbed a photo at this moment as I couldn't see myself landing this fish.

After two hours the fish was tiring, making slow runs on the surface, so much so I could see it's tail slowing flapping, accompanied by a Zzz.. Zzz.. Zzz.. from the reel, such a powerful fish. It took me just over three hours to get this fish to the shore, what an absolute cracker!, considering the tackle used it'll probably rate as my best ever catch

The 80lb trace was heavily frayed, it snapped like cotton when i beached the fish which lead to a heart stopping moment as the fish slipped back into the lagoon. With the fish quickly recovered a photo was taken (clearly I didn't even have time to remove the garbage!)

The fight lasted over 3 hours!, the fish was exhausted and took 10-15 minutes to revive prior to release. Give or take an inch it was 5' in length, I've no idea what it weighed, but what an evening/morning!!
Please feel free to comment.