Earlier this week Main Attraction had a day open for the Main One, their 49-foot sportfishing vessel. Owners Captain Marty and Katie Lewis decided to take it out for a day of fun fishing with some crew members, friends, and family.
They headed offshore on a very calm day and decided to drop some baits down to the bottom in deep water. Katie’s friend Carlin, father Fred, and son Alex had never caught a Queen Snapper and wanted to cross that species off their bucket list. The Queen Snapper have been chewing pretty good lately, and with it as calm as it was, it was the perfect opportunity to try.
The day was absolutely beautiful, the sun was shining, it was 75 degrees, flat seas, and barely a cloud in the sky. It was about a 45-minute run to reach the deep water, but well worth it. With the two Hooker Electric Reels set up on either side of the transom, Captain Dave and First mate Lance sent the baits down to the bottom. Within seconds, first mate Lance was hooked up and the anticipation of what they had on the rod was on everyone’s mind.
As the chicken rig got to the rod tip, they could see the reddish pink fish on the hook. It was a mature Queen Snapper and just like that the day was already made! Queen Snapper is one of the prettiest deep-sea fish and so delicious to eat.
Katie Lewis with the first Queen Snapper of the day.
The team kept at it over the next hour, everyone on the boat taking turns running the rods, helping rig the baits, gaffing fish, etc. Their work was rewarded handsomely with another Queen Snapper and two large Barrelfish!
Barrelfish is a real treat, they have a firm, dense flaky meat that tastes almost like a cross between crab and lobster. This might be because crustaceans are part of their diet among other creatures such as squid and small fishes. They can be found in depths of 600-1000 feet or more, schooled around underwater cliffs, canyons and plateaus.
The NOAA site says “the Barrelfish has never been seen underwater, at least an as adult.” We did however stumble upon some rare underwater footage that shows Barrelfish swimming over 1,000 feet underwater. Not sure if they are adults, but quite interesting!