Until now, my only experience with fishing involved a single line baited with clams and a catch barely bigger than goldfish (read last year's story here). Although my husband and his uncle sometimes head out at night troll fishing for larger fish, the thought of being out at sea in the dark is somewhat terrifying, ultimately leading me to pass on these nocturnal outings. That was until this year when they decided to go long-line fishing which involves dropping baited lines at night and retrieving them early the next morning. Although I skipped the evening part of the process, I was excited to join them for their outing the next day.
The mechanics of long-line fishing consist of a main line run parallel to the bottom of the sea with shorter baited lines (snoods) placed at regular intervals. Each snood is baited with "tsoutsounia", a type of slug which literally translates to "little wieners". The morning after dropping the lines and bait, we set out to retrieve our catch. Upon arriving at our placement, I was fascinated to find that several other fishermen had set up shop only a few meters away. How everyone manages to keep their lines separate while operating so closely together is a mystery to me. Surely, at times, there must be disagreements around who's turf is who's.
After unhooking the first weight, we slowly followed the line, pulling it up as we went. While most of our hooks came up empty, we did manage to catch enough fish for dinner.
Once home we cleaned and fried the larger fish and made a fish stock for a vegetable soup with the smaller ones. Although fresh anchovies and bass from the local market still reign as my favorite, the satisfaction of eating our own catch for dinner was well worth the effort!