Thursday, March 26, 2015

Charleston Fishing, Part 2.

A Nice Sheepshead
Admittedly I was in a hurry last week and skipped some of the details of my arrival in Charlotte.  With the opportunity to spend time with Matt and Joe in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago I dropped my wife off in Menominee, Wisconsin and headed out to pick up some special treats to bring along on our fishing trip.  Packing my things so I could check them for may flight it included a cooler with my Walter's Beer and about $100 of Wisconsin's finest cheese.  Taped up well, I knew the TSA would probably unwrap, check out what's inside, reseal then let it go.  Upon arrival guess what didn't show cooler.  A discussion with the Delta Baggage Representative confirmed it was still in Minneapolis, held up by the TSA, dang it.  Our engineer from work was scheduled to board the 3:30 flight to Charlotte and after a few calls confirmed it would be on that flight and he could pick it up.  That was fine but frustrating because we were well on our way to Charleston, oh well.   So continuing were I left off last week, fishing was very good.  The second reef we fished was much more productive and after 4 hours of fishing and a live well full of fish we headed back for the 45 minute ride to the dock.  On our way out we cruised the inside channels but on the way home the ocean was quite calm so we took traveled offshore for most of the trip.  Arriving back on the dock with a bunch of fish I was anxious to help clean the fish.  I made a couple of mistakes, which I seem to make with more frequency these days, I forgot my memory chip in my camera and I forgot my fillet knives. So, like the pictures that were taken with our phones, I grabbed the rusty fillet knife the guide had and asked if I could help. I was sort of surprised how dull the knife was but he did have a stone and a few licks made a big improvement.  I've watched a number of guides fillet fish and for the most part they don't waste any time.  A clean cut behind the gills, they turn the knife and cut straight through the rib bones and then
Black Sea BAss
simply cut away the rib and pin bones what in my mind wastes a lot of meat.  I understand, these guys are in a hurry and one could argue that the amount of meat wasted is minimal.  Never the less my "Minnesota" filleting method brought a generic comment that I was wasting fish until he really paid attention.....never mind, you definitely know what you're doing.  Every fish has it nuances in filleting but these were nothing more than saltwater versions of what I am comfortable with.  Paying him for a successful trip with a nice tip to boot, we asked about where we could get the fish fried up.  Asking the cook at the restaurant on the dock, he agreed and we had fresh fish and chips....absolutely fabulous!!!  The sheepshead and black sea bass is delicious, firm and white and very flavorful.  There is something about saltwater fish that I really like.  With a confirmation that there was no other place in town that would prepare our fish we handed the cook the rest of our catch and thanked him. Once back at the hotel I suddenly realized that the bag with my pullover shirt and GoPro camera was missing, where was the last time I REMEMBER I had it, sitting in the restaurant waiting for our fish.  When must I have FORGOTTEN it, when we bought a beer that had to be drank outside the building so I simply got up with my friends and walked outside and sat on the deck.  While Joe and Chris stayed back Matt drove me 20 minutes back to the marina store but I didn't see it anywhere.  Coming to the counter and asking the guy if anyone turned a bag in he responded, what color is it.  Next was what was the color of the pullover, what kind of orange, then what was my name which I replied, David Anderson.  Is this it Mr. Anderson, whew.  I tell you getting older sucks for sure as I dang near need to tie everything to my belt to assure that I won't leave anything anywhere.   The problem seems that what I leave isn't cheap either.  Maybe it's time for some memory exercises!  As stated earlier I bring my GoPro Camera with, the one mounted to my head in the top picture.  Taking a number of videos to record our trip I did get some interesting ones (so may call them boring!) that are of us fishing and run about 8 - 10 minutes long.  The videos give a great feel for the boat, sea conditions, the method of fishing, our catch rate, and how my friends did.  Here are the links: Charleston Fishing, Part 1Chris gets a nice SheepsheadI finally land a sheepshead!  I enjoy taking video's as they are a nice addition to the pictures and with Youtube, everyone can see them.

Chris Davis With 2 Nice Sheepshead
Back whole again we decided to go downtown Charleston for a late dinner and called a cab.  We had a few recommendations to eat at Hyman's Seafood in downtown so we directed our driver to drop us off especially after he recommended it.  It's pretty interesting, a 4th generation business that started in 1890, there was still a waiting list to be served at 8:00.  One thing I like to do is wear my Green Bay Packer hat wherever I go as I always met interesting people who appreciate being from Wisconsin.  Sure enough a couple waiting for a table recognized my loyalty and we struck up a nice conversation.  Finally getting seated upstairs, the walls were full of celebrity pictures of past patrons that read like some big hall of fame.  At my seat at the table was a small plaque with the name, Lynyrd Skinner as every chair position had a similar plaque.  Almost immediately after we ordered our dinner a guy came by and introduced himself, Eli Hyman, owner of Hyman's then asked about us.  We explained where we were from, why we were here, and about the recommendations we got.  I complained that one of the items on the menu was that you could bring your own fish in and they would cook it for you, add their sides for a reasonable $12.  This was great but it would have been nice if our guide would have known this as we gave away the balance of our fish after lunch because we didn't know what to do with them.  Eli got out his notebook and wrote a task to visit the area guides and let them know their clients could cook up their fish and for that idea his response was to order an appetizer for us on the house, fried green tomatoes on grits with a southern sauce then gave us a card assuring each a small gift from the gift shop which was strategically located on the way out.  The fish dinners were great, the atmosphere was fabulous, and the southern hospitality was first class.   Hyman's has many interesting aspects and none is more visible than their attitude toward attitude and you can see it here Hyman's Seafood's Attitude.  Full and satisfied we headed back to the hotel for one last nightcap before heading out in the morning, back to Charlotte.  Another great trip and another wonderful time spent with my friends Joe, Matt, and a new friend his brother Chris.  I promised them an ice fishing trip next winter, we'll see how those Texas boys can handle the cold!

With all the snow gone and the ice becoming unstable it's time to put the ice fishing gear away and get ready for open water.  Starting the year by driving on Red Lake on the Friday after Thanksgiving I guess there's little to complain about.  The cushions in my Salem Ice Cabin are too soft so my neighbor Gary, an upholsterer, has agreed to replace the foam to make them more comfortable.  Sunday was a time to head over to my friend Ricky to finish trimming his apple trees and it is the Northwest Sportsman Show this weekend, lots to look at.  I do have an important change for this year but I think it will just have to wait until I'm ready to spill the beans.  Until then 6 weeks to opener with a lot of stuff to do in between.


Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service said...

I hope your "news" is a fanny pack with a Packer logo on it. Good place to hold your stuff. Ha!

Dave Anderson said...

Sure, and look like a girl!

Melanie Daryl said...

Those sheepsheads look epic, Dave! It's photos like those that make me glad I stumbled upon the blog of a great fisherman like you. I've always loved reading about your adventures. Hopefully, you won't stop gracing us with the fun trips. As usual, thanks for sharing and all the best to you! :)

Melanie Daryl @ Islamorada Fishing Source