Wacky Jacky

The winter rains filled the dry rivers
The Steel Head and Salmon followed the water home
The meadows are green
A cascade breaks the silence.
You appreciate water when you are thirsty

Sadly, for the Giants it is a bad season.
I thought if I sat out a game the Giants fate would change. So, Saturday I jumped aboard the Wacky Jacky moored at the end of Jones street in the San Francisco Bay to catch Salmon
Captain Jacky was taking care of a friend but said the boat was going out and that I should be there no later than 5:30 am.
It was five when I got to the boat. When all where aboard, John the skipper introduced himself. The skipper announced that the Wacky Jacky was a” Catch and kill boat”. “We Keep what we catch”. “You are on the wrong boat if you want to catch and release”.
Release a Salmon I caught from the ocean? I was salivating from the thought of eating fresh wild salmon. I was on the right boat.

Wacky Jacky headed out to thru the Golden Gate. I was disappointed that there was no fog. However, the sky was clear and you could see the sunrise to the east from the horizon. The Wacky Jacky passed the “can” and headed south to Pacifica. Along the way there were humpback whales breaching and dolphins were skipping along the water and a sea lion was shadowing us looking for a free sample. There were a lot of boats.
We trolled off Pacifica. My friend had the first hit on the port side. It had to be brought in fast. It was a race between the Wacky Jacky and the Sea Lion. The crew of the Wacky Jacky was faster.
The hits were slowing off Pacifica. The skipper said pull up the lines and the Wacky Jacky headed North for 30 minutes until we were in the waters off Muir beach. There were few boats and some Sea Gulls. Then 10 minutes later I got my first hit on the starboard side. Shortly after that everyone on the boat got a fish.
I got a second hit on the starboard side. Someone had just lost a fish and I was determined to bring in this Salmon. I wanted to filet the first fish and planned to use the second fish to make lox.
The hooks were barbless. I kept the end of the rod up. The skipper worked the boat around. I kept turning the reel and the fish kept pulling line. The skipper yelled “tighten the drag”! The deckhand came and tightened the drag. The fish began to pull to the stern. I kept turning the reel. The captain yelled again “tighten the drag!”. The deckhand came and again tightened the drag. I felt like a boxer whose arms were getting heavy and was running out of wind. The fish went around the stern and then to the port side. The captain yelled “down on the drag!” deckhand came and again tightened the drag. Finally, I could see the fish. The deck hand grabbed the net and pulled the fish in.
When I got back one was filleted. I seasoned it with salt, pepper, butter; parsley; thyme and covered it with sliced lemons. I pulled the pin bones out with a needle nose plyer. Then fried it for two minutes skin side down in a cast iron skillet. I put the skillet in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. When it was done there were no words to describe it.
The second one I took to the California Shell Fish company to make Lox.
That Saturday the Giants lost and it is a shame. However, I will have lox for the game and the next game and the next game. Win or lose.
The Captain made a good decision when he turned the Wacky Jacky around and headed North to Marin. Doing things, the same way and expecting different results is crazy. It was the Wacky Jacky who found the Salmon for the rest of the fleet that day
Thank You Wacky Jacky!
Regarding the Giants:
The season is not over and the last game is important.

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