North Carolina Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna 3/4 to 3/5/20

Right as we heard news on the Corona virus erupting all over the world I received a last minute call, I was invited by Bill to go fishing on the Sea Breeze with Captain Ned and mate George. Luckily that at the time of the trip there were no warnings here in the U.S. The fishing trip was to be a jigging and popping trip for Bluefin Tuna. The weather was iffy and the tunas had been caught in previous trips so our trip seemed to have a good outlook. After Bill called on Monday night I had to rush and get my gear ready through the night then started driving Tuesday 3rd of March at 1am. It was a long road towards Georgia for me. I was to meet Bill and then make a decision on whether I kept driving or drive with him and get some shut eye. Well, I slept while Bill drove. Upon arrival we prepared our rods and reels and the next morning off to fishing we were.

We arrived at the dock and loaded our gear. We met with Dan who was to fish with us for the next 2 days.

Soon after Captain Ned introduced us to George the Mate, he gave us a safety talk and a bit about the fishing plan. We were to look for Tuna schooling up under dolphins and whales or simply find them and jig or pop for them.

Off we went and after an hour the Captain spotted some two-tone dolphins so we stopped to give it a try. We tried jigging, different depths and had started with 200 gram jigs; then I ended up using 400 gram jigs. The jigs were not working so we switched to pencil lures. We were unsuccessful since the fish were deep and very sporadic. We moved several times, then Dan suggested we just try trolling our lures and so we did. Bill and I ended with two small Yellowfin tuna. The tuna were regurgitating small squids and puffer fish. Below is a small video of catching one of the tuna on spinning gear using a Maria Loaded while trolling it at 6 knots. That was to be the end of day one.

This is now day 2 of our trip. We got to the docks at 4:30am and departed at 5am. This time the plan was to troll for the fish then jig and pop when we found them. The day started with Dan on the troll catching another small yellowfin tuna. Then we took turns each getting more small keeper yellowfin tuna.

As Bill was reeling in a Yellowfin Tuna the other rod went off, with Dan inside the cabin not wanting to use the heavy boat gear I picked it up. At first it seemed to be another small Yellowfin Tuna but as I was reeling it in it got heavier and heavier. The fight lasted about 20 to 30 minutes on the heavy tackle provided by the boat. I just wish I was able to have fought in with my own gear, I think it would have been a lot easier. Well, maybe next time it will be. Below is a video of the last minute or so showing the release.

Here is another video of the trolling action.

Below is a combination of Yellowfin Tuna caught trolling lure and ballyhoo with skirt.

Below is the boat, a 58′ custom built Carolina Sportfisherman. It is a very comfortable boat. I even forgot many times that we were in 5 to 7 foot seas.

Commercial fishing season ended but this boat was still at the dock. This is a very nice boat.

Cudaman Adventures , fishing report, fishing photos

As we were packing up I took a picture of Dan’s sweet setup of his van. He was going to stay fishing for ten days after the trip. Next time I go I will try to do the same. I now have a better idea on what I wanna do to my tackle box of a car 🙂

Below are a few pics of the ways I ate the tuna.

Cudaman Adventures , BBQ Yellowfin Tuna belly with skin on.
Cudaman Adventures, #keto #sushi and #sashimi
Cudaman Adventures , #yellowfintuna #ceviche #keto

Once again a big thanks to Bill for the last minute invite that put me on my very first Bluefin Tuna. I sure enjoyed it and enjoyed the yellowfin tuna in so many different ways for the next 3 weeks.

Tight lines everyone and take care of yourselves and those near you.


Chipotle Grouper with Potatoes

I asked my daughter to make snowy grouper filets over potatoes, onions, and peppers.  I did not know it would evolved into such a delicious meal so I asked her for the recipe. Snowy grouper has a mild sweet fish flavor making it perfect to lay on top of potatoes. Here is my daughter’s recipe:

“When I made this dish, I improvised and didn’t measure the ingredients, but for the sake of this recipe, I’ve estimated how much of each ingredient was used.

Chipotle Grouper with Potatoes

Ingredients –
5 servings of grouper or similar fish fillets, cut to 1/4-1/2” thickness
6 medium sized gold potatoes, diced
1 medium sized tomato, diced
1 cup frozen diced onions & peppers (aka sofrito mix)
1/2 cup chipotle ranch salad dressing
1/4-1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
olive oil to taste
salt to taste

Serves 5.

Directions –
1. Set oven to broil, 450 degrees.
2. In a glass baking dish or aluminum foil lined pan, combine diced potatoes, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil and salt, then toss ingredients together until blended. Spread the mix evenly along the bottom of the pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine fish fillets and chipotle ranch dressing until fillets are well coated on both sides. Discard remaining dressing.
3. Lay the dressing covered fillets over the bed of vegetables, and sprinkle panko bread crumbs over the top until well covered.
4. Place pan in the preheated oven and broil for 15 minutes, until the bread crumbs are toasted on top. Turn off broil setting and continue baking at 350 degrees for another 15 minutes.
5. If desired, serve with additional chipotle ranch dressing on the side. Enjoy!”

Snowy Grouper Recipe

Enjoy it with a nice white wine, my family loves Moscato when eating fish!Grouper Recipe

Fisherman’s Quick Fish Recipe – My way with options

OK so you are tired just came home and want a quick meal of your fresh catch. Well here it is, this can be found in many recipe sites and can be modified as much as you want, after all you will be eating this dish to your liking.


Fresh fish
Grated cheese
Salad dressing of your choice
A bag of potato chips


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C). Use aluminum foil to cover a baking pan.
In a bowl, marinate the fish fillets in the salad dressing for 10 minutes.
Crush the chips and toss the shredded cheese and crushed chips together.
Place the marinated fish fillets in the baking pan and top with the cheese/chip mixture.
Bake, uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes or until the fish is soft or flaky (test with a fork).

Want it healthier?
You can use plain corn flakes instead of chips or baked veggie chips.
You can use lite dressing.

Want it like potatoes Au Gratin and fish?
Cook it longer at lower heat and then let it cool and store in the refrigerator over night, take it to work and at lunch time microwave it covered.

Want it crunchy?
The darker the cheese the crunchier the chips.Just don’t burn it!


Below is a pic of the Hogfish and Permit on the same baking pan.

Fisherman's recipe 1

Below is the Hogfish with some extra cheese and chips. If you use a sweet salad dressing it may get stuck on the aluminum foil so try to avoid that.

Fisherman's recipe 2

Below is the Permit with the crisp cheese. You can see the flaking of the fish on the sides.

Fisherman's recipe 3-The Permit

Sip some wine and enjoy the meal!
Enjoy fish the way you like it! A nice glass of white wine will go well, but I prefer a nice Vintner’s Red Premium Wine.



Cozumel Snorkeling Adventure February 15th 2014

One of our stops on the 4 day Cruise was Cozumel. We had no idea on what to do here. I had been there before but had gone to the mainland to Playas Del Carmen and then we went to visit Tolum. On this trip we were 25 people including my grandson, yes I have a Welcome Centergrandson 🙂 So we decided to wait till we got there and figure out on what to do. To go to Playas Del Carmen it would have been $45.99 per person just to get on the ferry and get dropped off at Playas Del Carmen for some shopping, history, and then go to a resort’s pool and beach access were we could also snorkel for an additional cost. I had read before that Cozumel was a great place to snorkel and I remember small man made beaches where we could go and adventure by our selves but when we got there these little beaches by the Cruise Ship docks were gone. Well, I had to do what us males hate to do, I had to ask for directions to the nearest public beach. The minute we got to the docks I asked some of the local tour guides waiting on their customers. They were very helpful and told me that a Taxi cab to the nearest beach would be about $5 per person and showed me the way to go get them. As we approached the exit out to the Welcome Center of Cozumel we saw drivers dressed in white and with ID tags hanging on their necks. They were from a Taxi company, it seemed to be the only one in the Welcome Center area. We were offered a fare of $25 per person and this included $7.5 to go to a resort, $7.5 to get back, and access to the resort and it’s amenities. When we got there we had access to the pool which looked nice, chairs, beach chairs, hammocks, ladder access to the water, and surprisingly a free Tequila tour in which you are basically obligated by your taste buds to purchase a bottle. We haggled the price to $20/person 🙂 and off we went in two packed fairly new vans.

First things first, got a local beer. Victoria, very refreshing semi dark beer.

Victoria Beer

Below is a panoramic view of the resort.

Cozumel Resort Panoramic 2

The Tequila thought might make you see a second image 🙂

Cozumel Resort Panoramic

From inside the restaurant (they charged in Dollars not Pesos) and the pool.

Panga   Cozumel Resort

The beach area.

Beach in Cozumel

Getting ready to snorkel and in the water we went. By the way we were told that snorkeling was included but they did not tell us we had to rent the equipment. Luckily I brought a few sets of my own for everyone to share.

snorkeling in Cozumel Mexico   Cozumel Mexico

snorkeling in Cozumel Mexico 2

The water was amazingly clear so we were able to enjoy it to the max.

snorkeling Coxumel Mexico   reef in Cozumel Mexico

The corals were healthy but not much variety in this area.

snorkeling Cozumel Mexico

reef in Cozumel Mexico   snorkeling in Cozumel

There were a lot of artificial reefs being populated by corals, seafans, invertebrates, and of course fish 🙂

Cozumel Mexico Sargent Majors and snappers

I just went back to these rocks, had to do a second pass.

Sargent Major Fish in Cozumel Mexico

Can you see the ballyhoo in the pic below? Great camouflage. Click on the picture to make it larger.

Hidden fish

A beer bottle rock?

Sargent Major fish in Cozumel Mexico

After the beach we had no time to pass by Maragritaville, very disappointing on  that but we had a big group so I did not dare to ask the driver for a quick stop and so we went shopping instead. Word of advise, the shops right in front (flea market like) give you free tequila shots when you shop but the prices are a bit high. Just walk a few blocks down and you will get great discounted prices but no free tequila shots. If you are on a budget take my advice if not take the tequila shots, they are included in the price.

shop in Cozumel

All good things must come to an end and so back to the Carnival Victory ship we went. We missed our dinner at the main dinning room but we were surprised with a midnight Mexican buffet (USA Restaurant Style). It was good and the fruit carvings were nice to see.

watermelon Mayan  Watermelon sculpture

                                         ice sculpture

The next morning it was brunch instead of breakfast and for dessert a nice piece of banana cake.

steak and eggs

banana cake

I never had the chocolate melting cake so I ate a piece and it was great. So I brought the recipe with me 🙂

                                        Chocolate Melting Cake

Here is the whole family.

Group Picture 1

I did say you force  yourself to buy the tequila from the “free” Tequila History and Taste Tour. 🙂  And when you go they do sell some $5 a bottle of tequila in the shops by the Welcome Center. Inside the shops they also had some good ones at 2 for $16.50. But “Doña Jose Licor De Membrillo” Tequila Liquor was a winner to my taste buds and the family almost unanimously agreed and bought their own bottles of it. This is not a drink to mix, just a drink to savor each day 1/2 ounce at a time after dinner so we can remember Cozumel Mexico with great taste in our mind.

Doña Jose tequila

K.I.S.S. Fish Recipe

Keep It Simple Stupid and it will taste like the fish it should taste like! K.I.S.S. FISH! BABY!!!

KISS Fish with potatos and salad


Your favorite seasoning and not too much of it since you do want to know what your fresh catch really tasted like.
Sliced Onions
Sliced Bell Peppers
1 teaspoon of any butter or margarine ( the healthy stuff works too)
A pinch of salt and ground pepper


Keep – your fish fresh clean

It – should be in small individual portions

Simply– marinated for 10 minutes or less with your seasoning

Stupidly – wrapped in aluminum foil and bake it in the oven at 375 degrees  for 15 minutes then uncovered for another 5 to 10 minutes or until a nice color is obtained

KISS Fish in aluminum foil after baking

Eat it with a small salad and baked potatos. Always K.I.S.S.

Smoked Fish Dip Recipe With a Twist

This is a recipe that was shown to me on the forum. I have modified it with my own little twist. Amberjack or Almaco Jacks mixed with a 3 to 1 portion of King Mackerel, Bluefish, or Jack Crevale, yes Jack Crevale. This Smoked Fishmix makes a great combination, but if you do not like too much of a fishy taste then only use white meat fish. You can smoke the fish on a grill, just go out and but the wood chop container and wood chips. I do soak the woodchips in a 1 part cooking wine and 1 part water. On one side of the grill I place the wood chips and a can of water, the water vaporizing helps to keep the fish from drying out so much. You do not want to eat too much of a chewy dip.The heat is only turned on the side with the soaked chips. I cover the other side of the grill with aluminum foil and spray it with canola or peanut oil. Turn the grill on and preheat until you see the smoke rising, then place the fish in the grill I place the fish over it.

For every pound of smoked fish:

Jar of good Mayo
Teaspoon of deli mustard (optional)
Fresh Dill—two packs
Kosher Salt

Adobo seasoning mix <-The Hispanic Twist- or  -> any Tropical seasoning Mix–Come on give it some flavor PLEASE do the twist!

½ ounce of vinegar
Fresh lime
Diced onions- 2 parts white onions 1 part red onions (if preferred)
1 Red pepper
1 pepper (green or any nice color you prefer)
Diced celery – only one small branch
Sour cream – half the amount of the Mayo—if the dip is to be stored over a week,  mix the sour cream before use


You can season the fish with Adobo for 10 minutes in the refrigerator (in a covered bowl) and then smoke it. After smoking the fish for about 20 to 30 minutes, bake in the oven for another 10 minutes and let it rest until it is cool. Shred the fish down with a fork and knife and then use a food processor to completely separate it .  Add a pinch of Adobo seasoning, just a dash for extra flavor. You can also season the fish and then bake it. If you add the seasoning and bake it the seasoning will adhere more, I like for it to be loose in the mix.

Smoked Fish chopped     

In food processor (or by hand) cut the dill, celery, onions, and peppers and soak them in the lime juice, vinegar, and a dash of salt mixture  for an hour and then drain it. Save the juice to increase flavor if needed.Keep second pack of fresh dill by itself as you want the dill flavor to not absorb the lime and vinegar.

Vegies Choped  Vegies Finely  Choped

Place the shredded fish in a big bowl place a layer of the veggies and mix it.

  Added vegies to finely chopped smoked fish  Dry ingredients mixed  

Once mixed add 2 parts mayo 1 part sour cream and the deli mustard (optional) until it’s all mixed and then add the sour cream to make it creamier.

Added mayo and sour cream

Add the fresh dill until you get the taste you are looking for. Continue to mix everything until you have a complete paste. Place in air tight containers and store in the fridge. Let it sit in the fridge over night and enjoy the next day. Without sour cream I’ve had dip for 30 days, for some reason 5 pounds of dip will not last in my house. With sour cream I do not like it over 7 days in the fridge. It becomes watery, just mixed it before serving but it kind of looses flavor in my opinion.

All ingredients mixed

Serve accordingly with crackers. It goes well with a glass of wine or a nice cold beer.

Dip mixed with sourcream   Dip no sour cream

Enjoy and don’t be afraid to change the recipe to make it your own. I just gave you an idea, like someone else gave it to me. Pass it on.