really deep sea fishing
As those of you who know me will attest, which is none of you, if I do something I like to do it big. If not big than different. Same goes with fishing. You can grab your old rod and reel and head out to the local lake if you want, digging up a pail of worms and spending the day baiting hooks, swatting mosquitoes and trying in vain to hook a fish no bigger than your pecker (or, for the ladies, your left breast… width, not girth) but not me.
If I catch the fishing bug it’s off to the continental shelf for me and a few of my buddies. You’ve never fished until you’ve spent the better part of a week getting to the middle of the ocean. I find that 13,000 is the lucky depth for my favorite type of fish so it gives me plenty of time to throw back a few colds ones as I let out almost 50,000 feet of line… approx. 12 hours actually. During that time my friends and I huddle around and act out the scene in Jaws where they all compare wounds they have received during their various interactions with the sea. Those of whom have been with me on a previous fishing trip will attempt to wind things up before it gets too competitive but newcomers who continue to press the issue will end up seeing my scar from where doctors had to remove a parasitical fish that swam up my junk a few years back in the Amazon.
Early the next morning, flush with excitement, I will sprint out on the deck and see if my lure has reached the necessary depth. When it does I will stand over the edge and pinch the line between my thumb and forefinger and hold it there… waiting for the telltale tug of my aquatic quarry. And there I’ll stand for most of the day.
What fish is it I’m after? None other than the elusive sea devil. Of the family Ceratiidae. You may know them better as the anglerfish. That’s right… the one with the little bioluminescent lure sticking out of the top of its head. I mean, if you’re going to fish why wouldn’t you go after a fish with a bioluminescent thing sticking out of his head? This baby is all teeth. If you know the fish I’m talking about then you know it’s the most bad-ass fish ever. If you hadn’t seen it you’d swear I was making it up if I sat down and drew one for you. It’s like something you’d expect to have at the end of your rod if you were fishing somewhere like… I don’t know… hell!
I have to pause at this point in the story to point out how fucking cool I am. I am an angler angler. Even among those that fish for angler I’m known as a legend which would then make me an angler angler’s angler. Make a t-shirt of that Roland Martin.
Sometimes after only a few hours of standing over the rail, my body buffeted by cruel waves and my mouth caked with dried salt, I will feel a ‘hit’. That’s when the real action begins.
Ever see those pussies that strap themselves into a chair to fight a fish? Not me. I have a lucky lawn chair that I plop down into and get ready for the coming battle to reel in my prize. This takes as long as 18 hours… pausing only for breaks to sleep, eat and crap off the bow of the ship.
Truth is, after only a few hours the fish stops fighting because as I pull it towards the surface the pressure changes or something and it kills the fish. Apparently where they live it’s only a few degrees above freezing and it has the pressure of several hundred atmospheres. How’s that for a great incentive to fight? Some fishermen say that it’s ok to fish because it doesn’t hurt the fish. I hate that moral grey area. I like to know that every inch I pull the fish up is one more inch closer it comes to having its head explode. That’s gotta sting!
So anyway. Later that same night, or early the next morning, I finally get to reel in my prey. Most of the time my friends are a little disappointed as they expect to see some magnificent denizen of the deep hauled into the boat but after the long trip up the fish is almost unrecognizable due to the fact that their bodies can’t cope with the way things are here in the real world, some enzyme problem or other, and they basically turn into a big glob of jelly. That is unless other fish have picked them to the bone as I’ve been reeling them up, which is usually the case. Sometimes all that is left is this killer giant jaw bone. Those little fucks even eat the bioluminescent thing sticking out of their head.
After a few days of this kind of fun it’s time to say goodbye to the submarine canyons of the abyssal plain and head home with a few more dorsoventrally compressed trophies for my case.
Still think fishing for bluegills is cool now?!
As a side note… when it is mature, the male ceratioids digestive system degenerates, making him incapable of feeding independently, which necessitates his quickly finding a female anglerfish or else dying. When he finds a female, he bites into her skin, and releases an enzyme that digests the skin of his mouth and her body, fusing the pair down to the blood-vessel level. The male then atrophies into nothing more than a pair of gonads, which release sperm in response to hormones in the female’s bloodstream indicating egg release. And can you believe that some of my old girlfriends called me clingy?! I guess some girls can’t handle a little sexual dimorphism… no matter what chick flicks tell us.
Sea devils… she devils….. just a coincidence?