BBQ Snook, from Jeff Watson

November 1, 2008 |

 Yesterday, late in the afternoon I went fishing for snook, which is one of the best tasting game fish around. Real snook is not available commercially, nor found in restaurants or markets, and can only be served at home. Right in my neighborhood on the ICW is some of the best snook fishing in the world and that stretch of water is known appropriately as Snook Alley .

It was an outgoing tide, and using a DOA shrimp lure, I caught a nice 29" snook right on the dock of Pop's which is one of my favorite haunts in the neighborhood for a bit of libation. Interestingly enough, I was sitting at the outdoor bar with a couple of waterman buddies swapping lies about fishing, when we made a bet who could catch a snook the fastest off the dock. I ended up losing the bet, but my taste buds won in the end. Incidentally, the winner caught his snook with his first cast and it took me about 15 minutes to catch mine.

I brought the snook home still alive, scaled it, gutted it and did my best to remove as much of the skin as possible. I cut three diagonal slits across both of the sides of the fish and filled each slit with a piece of lemon, bay leaf, and garlic. I used a big tub and marinated the whole fish for about an hour with a mixture of olive oil, chopped ginger, soy sauce, white wine, balsamic vinegar, with a touch of salt and pepper. I fired up the Weber grill and put a non stick grill over the coals. When everything was ready, I grilled the fish for about 11 minutes on each side until done, brushing with rosemary infused olive oil frequently. Meanwhile, I grilled some artichokes, and some tomatoes on the side. I brushed the grilled snook with some olive oil, soy sauce, and seasoned it a little. The grilled artichoke and tomato, I combined into a little salad with a little Dijon mustard mayonnaise. I had a cucumber which I chopped up and added sour creme and a pinch of salt. Dessert was a cannoli from Publix, and the wine was a cheap B&G 2006 Cabernet. Eating the delicious meal in solitude with some Mahler playing in the background, I realized that some of the best things in life are the little unplanned surprises that come along.

Jim Sogi writes:

Ok, since we're swapping fishing tales, a couple weeks ago we went south around South Point to fish and surf. South Point is the southernmost point of the United States. Rounding the point at daybreak after running during the night, the water was rough, about 7 foot swell with 33 knot winds causing regular breakers that washed over the boat going up wind. There is a strong current and the waves run into an underwater ledge about 36 fathoms that cause the rough seas. Only the GPS and depthfinder would alert the modern boater to the underwater features, though the ancient seafarers knew this area well as a dangerous spot. Two hands holding tight to the boat prevented being thrown into the ceiling or washed away as seas covered the vessel. The boat could handle no problem, but the passengers can only take so much abuse. Kind of like a position in the markets this last few weeks.

Well, to make a long story short, we gave up and turned around. We knew the surf spot would be blown out so the expedition to the never before surfed spot had to wait. Even downwind it was tense as the boat surfed in large breakers and the helmsman had to maneuver around the breakers to avoid getting swamped or digging the bow in the hole in front of the breakers. Finally we made it around the point to the protected area below the cliffs and rested.

Running up the coast from there we trolled and caught a 30 pound Mahi mahi off a small point. Pulling into a small protected cove a few miles up the coast, the anchor set, I broke out the Poor Man's Mojito, (Sprite, Capt Morgan's rum and mint), the bag of frozen pasta with Italian sauce. My friend cut up the fish into filets. I dumped the pasta and fish filets into the pan, enjoyed my libation, and presto, dinner 5 minutes. If you've ever cooked in a rocking boat you'll appreciate the time saved. It was rather delicious if I do say so myself. The fish down there is healthy and clean as there is clean water and a lot of good nutrients, and no development and no people.





Speak your mind


Resources & Links