Plenty Of Fish

Vancouver Island, April, 2021

Island Life

We are fortunate to live on beautiful Vancouver Island. We have access to all types of fresh seafood. 

Last month we took our 16 foot boat out on the water for the first time in two years. 

Putting boat into the water

Our Goal 

Test out the boat and motor.

Fish for Red Rock Crab and Dungeness Crab.

Break up the routine around here in a safe way.

10 Things I Learned On Our First Fishing Trip For 2021

1.   Warn my husband when he is standing in the boat and a large wave is coming up behind him.

2.   Boats can easily get lost in the fog.

3.   Size does matter. One millimetre can make all the difference as to whether the crab will be tossed back in the water or whether it will become someone’s dinner.

4.   Bring durable, waterproof bandaids for when a crab takes a big chomp on my husband’s finger. 

5.   Learn early on how to turn the boat motor off or at least place it in neutral. 

6.  Taking photos is extra challenging in choppy water.

7.  Picnic sandwiches always taste great outside in the fresh air.

8.  Nothing compares to the brisk, salty breeze to clear away the cobwebs in my mind and soul.

9.  The stunning, tranquil scenery never grows old.

10. Fresh crabs taste excellent with or without clarified butter.

The fog lifted

My Husband Is Kind And Patient With Me

I have won the second runner-up prize to go on this fishing trip.

Our present circumstances restrict us from seeing other people.

I know my husband would prefer to go fishing with his “intuitive” friend who apparently knows what to do without any instructions.

Island life, April, 2021

His friend knows how to: 

  • attach the trailer, boat and lights to the truck
  • put the boat in the water
  • not get seasick
  • add bait to the traps
  • lower the traps into the water and attach the floats
  • remember where he placed the traps at the end of the day
  • pull up the traps in choppy water
  • handle the crabs and check for sizing and sex of the crabs 

I know how to: 

  • place bandaids
  • take photos
  • keep extra gravol handy for when I get seasick
  • Make great picnic sandwiches
  • help eat yummy, freshly caught crabs

Mission Accomplished

We were able to keep three decent sized Red Rock Crabs. We had to throw back three Dungeness Crabs slightly small for Canadian waters. 

The boat motor did have an issue although we arrived home safely.

It felt wonderful to get out in the fresh air, take in the scenery, break up our routine.

I hope I have the opportunity to win second runner-up prize again and join my husband on his next fishing trip.

This time I will make sure to yell out

            “watch out for the wave behind you!”

Me – Circa 1976

What’s On My Plate

I am linking this post to a fun, monthly series where you can share recipes and meals. #whatsonyourplateblogchallenge is hosted by Donna (Retirement Reflections) and by Deb (Widow Badass) You can click on their blogs to learn more and join us.

The sort of/approximate recipes are found at the end of my post.

Plenty of Fish – A Few Of Our Dinners This Past Month

Salt Spring Island Mussels
Steelhead Salmon
Fresh Halibut Steak
Confession: I forgot about taking photos of the cooked crab until we had finished eating

Behind The Scenery

My “sort of/approximate” recipes for the above seafood meals:

Salt Spring Island Mussels

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Stir in mussels. Stir in approx 1/3c. – 1/2c white wine. Cover for approx 1 to 2 minutes. Uncover, stir and cover for approx 1 minute. Shells will open up. Discard ones that do not open. Sprinkle with fresh dill (or whatever you want).

Drink the rest of the bottle of wine.

Steelhead Salmon

Place salmon on parchment paper. Add favourite seafood spices sparingly. Spread a layer of quality mayonnaise on top. Layer thinly sliced lemons on top of the mayonnaise. Add capers and fresh dill. Place in 375 degree oven approx 30 minutes uncovered. Excellent every time!  (recipe courtesy of my brother who always makes awesome meals.)

Drink bottle of wine – Rose, White – whatever you like.

Fresh Halibut (we have halibut steaks often when in season)

Lightly spice with whatever seafood spices you like. Saute in a good pan or place on barbecue, flipping over once. Never overcook.

Drink bottle of wine – Rose, White – whatever you like.

Fresh Crab

In boiling water for approx. 10-15 minutes. Cool down in refrigerator.

Nutcracker type of things. Pokey things. Plenty of napkins. Take your time. Worth every morsel!

Drink bottle of wine – Rose, White – whatever you like.

An extra tip: If we ever have leftover wine, I pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze it to use in recipes.

        “Leftover wine? Who am I kidding?!”

Do you have favourite seafood dishes?

Do you enjoy getting out on the water and fishing?

196 thoughts on “Plenty Of Fish

  1. Loved your hilarious fishing trip adventure. The present circumstances is really in your favor to go out for such exciting outings…needless to mention after winning the second runner-up prize.  Loved your dinner pictures though and also the recipes to dish out some of them! Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My mouth is watering gazing at this scrumptious post. Nothing like freshly caught seafood, well especially when it doesn’t bite your finger. Ouch! I’m prone to motion sickness myself. Not ideal for water excursions but one can manage. It sounds like you were an excellent runner up and had a fabulous day out together.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Sue for your thoughtful comment. The day turned out to be more fun than expected. We went out a couple of weeks later and the weather was colder and water choppier. I did think about taking gravol and then the wind settled down. You know first hand how exhilarating it is to be out in nature.😀


  3. I have to ask, how do Red Rock crabs taste? Fresh Dungeness is yummy, but while I’ve seen Red Rock crabs on dives I’ve never eaten one. Is there enough meat to make it worthwhile?

    There is something special about being out on the ocean on a nice day (unless the chop is bouncing you three different directions.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dave, Red Rock crabs taste wonderful. The shell is a lot harder to crack and there is less crab meat although more than may be expected. Still excellent and worth keeping when regulation size. The Dungeness seem to be the sought after crab. We went out again about two weeks later and mostly Dungeness Crab. A treat to have all of this accessible to us. I recall you diving.

      I have not had your posts enter my inbox? I thought you may have stopped posting. I went to your site just now and unfollowed and then followed again. This somethings help to reactivate the blogs I follow. I look forward to seeing your photography and reading about your adventures.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t stopped posting, but I’ve slowed down considerably. Thanks to COVID and being in a rut we haven’t been getting out much. Lately I’ve been experimenting with Infrared Photography, so the last few posts follow that theme.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. BTW, you might be interested in an app called “what3words” for tracking your crab pots. It takes the idea of GPS coordinates and tweaks it. It converts 10 square foot sectors into three word codes. For example, you could tell folks to meet you by the Gastown Steam Clock in Vancouver, and give them the coordinates “natively.happily.sample”. They could plug that into the website, or even better the phone app, and that spot will show up on a map. They could then use Google maps to navigate to the exact spot. On the boat, you’d want the phone app. It has a compass that would give you direction and range to the spot. Make a note of the three word code where you drop a pot, and use it to return back again later.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Fascinating information, Dave, and the first time I have heard of this. I Googled how this is used in an emergency and more interesting info. I will investigate further and share with my husband. Thank you for taking the time to describe this app!

              Liked by 1 person

    1. I cannot imagine the seas and the memories on a passenger ship, Robbie. My husband and I are lucky to have this time together and grateful we live close to the ocean. Thank you for your kind words.


  4. as a veggo I choose not to engage with this post at all, sorry!

    Totally love your previous post, so realistic and cheerful 🙂
    My aussie family use a broad range of fruit on our pavs a delicious treat, no guilt! Your gazebo looks like a larger space than the off-grid tiny home I lived in for years, whoza 🙂

    Enjoy safe travels

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kate, I respect re: veggo. 🙂I had turned off comments on Lemon post for a few days because I had some spam. I toggled comments back on and this seems to help stop spam. Funny about the size of the gazebo. I think it is a 12X12. We are still limited to visiting with people in our home, yet this is rapidly changing and we hope to have visitors over outside and now access to cover. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Smiling, Erica. The big and small important matters when fishing/crabbing/going out with a spouse. GREAT list and you have a great sense of humor (and I’m sure your guy does too). 🙂 I absolutely love Dungeness crab – we ate it often when living in the Bay area. My favorite recipe for enjoying the crab came from a great aunt – in a large Dutch oven simmer cube of butter and one cup of vermouth and one can of chicken broth, a dash of soy sauce and lemon juice and pressed garlic (we’re not garlic lovers so we keep that out) and place the cleaned and cracked crabs in there for 20 minutes. Then place a crab on each person’s plate with the warm broth in the center, along with warm sourdough bread. Dump the crab meat and bread in the broth and eat. Crispy green salad on the side. Yum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pam. We are fortunate to have access to fresh crab. I love your recipe and I made a note of it – vermouth, soya sauce, lemon juice……interesting flavours to put together and I can (almost) smell the wonderful aromas. 😀Thank you for sharing this and the memories of your great aunt are always associated with this great meal. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sheryl for your kind words. We just returned from a camping trip. Therefore, late responding. We are very fortunate to live in this area and have access to fresh seafood. Something that was available 100 years ago. 😀


  6. Nice to meet you Erica/Erika!
    I loved this post so much. Thanks for sharing your pictures and experience. It was a lot of fun to read. I always like trying new experiences, I find it keeps us sharp creatively.
    Many Blessings to you,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lisa, for your kind, thoughtful words. We just returned from a camping trip. Therefore, I am late responding. We are fortunate to live here and have access to many new experiences. I look forward to visiting your site and learning more about you.😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Your meals look so tasty. Thanks for sharing the recipes, Erica! We have been taking out our boat on a nearby lake. While I haven’t done any fishing yet, I do plan to try my hand at it. I prefer saltwater seafood, but have heard some good things about some of the types of fish in the lake. It sounds like a successful outing even with the big wave 😉 I hope that you and your family are doing well. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amy, We just returned from a camping trip and I look forward to catching up on reading blog sites. I agree with you about saltwater seafood. Especially when it is fresh. I am glad you have had a chance to take your boat out. I realize this past year has been extra challenging for you. As you well know, nature helps recharge and replenish our spirit. I hope all is going in the right direction for you. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What a beautiful trip! The water is so clean up there! 🙂 In a previous life (or so it seems), I spend 93 days living on a sailboat and cruising the Great Lakes with my husband and daughter (who was still in diapers at the time). My greatest accomplishment was pouring iced tea when a wave hit us, causing the boat to heel significantly and throw me back against the table. I continued pouring, without spilling a drop! Such is life on the water, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bethany, Thank you for visiting my blog and your funny and thoughtful comment. We just returned from a camping trip and I have been off the grid. Your comment made me smile. 😀What an accomplishment (and possibly a bit of luck) to not spill any tea. I am sure you have many daily stories you could share living on a sailboat. I look forward to visiting your blog.😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes, we are both love seafood and your post, Erica, made me extremely hungry. Once a fisherman/woman, the desire to be on the water never leaves you, so my husband has told me on several occasions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Suzanne. It is interesting how some people either like or don’t like seafood (or are allergic). We just returned from an off the grid camping trip. I look forward to visiting your blog.


  10. Really enjoyed reading this post and going out with your boat sounded like a lovely spring/summer activity. Your 16 foot boat looks so cute. Perfect for a getaway on the water with one other person 🙂 What a haul of crabs you fished there. I like point 7: ‘Picnic sandwiches always taste great outside in the fresh air.’ I so agree with this. There is something so satisfying and delicious about eating picnic food outside, especially on such a beautiful day. And it feels like a holiday.

    Thank you for sharing those recipes for us. The dishes all look delicious. I love seafood dishes. Crab is one of my favourite seafoods, and I find it goes well with quite a few dishes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mabel, We were camping and off the grid. Therefore, I am late responding. You ‘get it’ on loving seafood, and especially crab. 💕I have a great deal of respect and appreciate all the effort it takes to fish for crab. I hope all is well with you and I look forward to visiting your blog. 😀


      1. Fishing for crab is always worth it when you catch a crab or two. Crab tends to be on the pricey side here in Australia, so it would be such a treat to fish your own. Enjoy many more camping adventures, Erica 💕

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Crab is still very expense to purchase here, too, Mabel. Lots of work to fish for crab, yet we have the benefit of fresh air and scenery, too. Hope you are well. I am back ‘on the grid’ and I look forward to reading your posts. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Erica, your account of the fishing trip was so humorous— yet I am sure that in the moment, some of the experiences didn’t seem so amusing (big wave, crab nip). Rob and I used to fly fish when we lived up north. I loved it and even caught fish, although my casting technique leaves a lot to be desired. It’s one thing we miss about the north (especially Rob).


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jude,

      Nice to have you visit here, Jude. Chuck and I used to fly fish and we would catch Grayling in the North. He also ‘caught me’ one time. I forgave him (eventually).🙂 Fishing is not the same on the Island. Often rough seas. I suspect you are getting some camping days in with Summer and lessening of restrictions. Enjoy!


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