Monomoy Island, Mass.

Posted by adambolonsky on Mar 17, 2006

I don't know if you guys are into fish, but this is a bonito, caught from an old CLC Patuxent 17.5 The fish's presence in large schools off Monomoy's western side during midsummer is testament to Nantucket Sound's warm water and its proximity to the Gulf Stream. In years past, the sound has temporarily hosted Gulf species like marlin.

This fish ruined me for years: after landing it, I wanted to catch [i]nothing[/i] else. It is a pelagic tuna that fought as long and hard and as frenetically and tirelessly as a fly in a bottle. When I landed it, it simply died of exhaustion: gruesome: a noticiable shiver throughout the body, then a change in color from brilliant blue to azul.

Down in Florida they dismiss these fish as bait. Up here, they are delicious: a rich flesh which when served as sushi or broiled tastes like a cross between tuna and swordfish. Most remarkable to me is the skin: scaleless; when handled the sensation is like holding a fish wrapped in a soft sheath of aluminum foil.

The stomach contents are the peanut bunker on which it had been feeding.

Mark Stephens and I are certain we saw a school of these break while paddling to Muskeget from the Vineyard last fall. A school of something [i]did[/i] break the surface, and Stephens gave chase.

Which was just what I needed. Stephens's pace was killing me. Must have been his new Explorer, hence known as Tony.