Beaufort News

Stokes: A record catch, but is the fish still fresh?

We all have heard stories of huge catches that made it to the dinner table before the scales, missing what could have been a record catch. Ignore for the moment the monetary value to the angler and consider the following story, which has to be the ultimate letdown in terms of not knowing the market.

After a long battle on a small boat, a Hong Kong angler landed a 175-plus pound Chinese Bahaba off the coast of the Fujian province. The fish, referred to often as a giant yellow croaker, has a high market value to the Chinese fish market and the medical profession. Its bladder is highly prized by seafood restaurants and is often used for diseases of the heart and lungs.

The angler sold the giant fish to a local fisherman for $2,500, who turned around and sold the fish to a seafood restaurant for $74,000.

It gets worse.

The seafood restaurant resold it to a mainland Chinese buyer for more than $126,000.

Things move fast in the seafood business. We can only imagine the changing of hands that took place. Raw fish from the ocean to a business, then a restaurant, then a broker. Kinda makes you wonder how those frozen fish patties at the grocers ever made it.

For me, I'll stick with the local stuff dangling from the end of my fishing rod. They may not bring me a cottage in the Hamptons, but they sure go good with grits and hush puppies.

Fishing & Service Seminar

The Hilton Head Boathouse, 405 Squire Pope Road, will be hosting a fishing and service seminar from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Fuzzy Davis will lead the seminar, touching on topics such as: inshore fishing, offshore fishing, cobia fishing, and the art of anchoring. The seminar also will include segments on Yamaha Engines and service tips by certified service reps, and presentations featuring some of the area's best charter captains and sports writers, Jim Clark, Michael Perry, Bill Parker and Collins Doughtie.

For more information, call 843-681-BOAT (2628) or go to

Club meeting

The Beaufort Sportfishing and Diving Club will hold its monthly meeting Feb. 14 at the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club on Lady's Island. Several fishing tackle vendors will be on hand to review the best rods, reels, lures and other fishing equipment of 2012. They also will present new items for the 2013 season, including wreck hooks, offshore and inshore tackle, and fly fishing lures.

Reservations are not necessary. For more information, call 843-522-2020.

Change the Menu

Something different for the Big Game: Cheese & Wine Fish Poppers

Ingredients --

Spottail Bass, cut into bite-size portions; Cheddar and Parmesan Cheese; Finely chopped onions, green and red peppers; Sour cream; Medium dry white wine; Olive oil; Salt and pepper.

Directions --

Lightly salt cubes, rub with oil and place in glass baking dish. Sprinkle wine on fish and let sit. Sautee onions and peppers, add desired spices, salt and pepper. Add cheese and melt over low heat. Add wine if too thick. Add sour cream and 3/4 cup of wine.

Pour mixture over fish and bake at 350 degrees until fish flakes easily. Add light coating of parmesan and bake five more minutes. When they turn a golden brown, serve hot with sides of mustard biscuits, spicy tomato wedges and white wine.

Beats the Beer and Belch Menu every time.