The day after Christmas is a big holiday here in the Bahamas so we decided to go out and do something to save the planet, like, KILL LIONFISH! So I got a crew together consisting of 2 spotters and 2 hunters. We went out in front of Gregory Town, a spot called Long Bite. Spotted around 11 lionfish ranging from 8" to 14 1/2" in an area about 75 yards long along the cliffs. Got my own personal record lionfish! We killed 6, injured 2, and the others got lucky cause we were such bad shooters. Anyway, thanks "Wild Bill", Robert, and Craig for helping on this hunt. Special thanks to Madison for taking video of this hunt which I will feature on youtube
I interviewed a lobster fisherman from Spanish Wells named Mark who had extensive knowledge of the lionfish, from the day he saw his first one, to the lionfish population reaching it's plateau. I will soon post an interview with him on youtube. One very interesting fact that he gave was that there was an area in the ocean where he did not see any lionfish. This area was heavily populated by triggerfish. I also read in aquarium sites that trigger fish cannot occupy the same space as lionfish in an aquarium, they break off their spines. Also when I dive and I see ocean talleys (member of the triggerfish family) in an area I also notice that there are no lionfish. Could it be that triggerfish are going to save our oceans from the lionfish? If so there should be halt on killing triggerfish.
This week the Mojo Kingdom lionfish hunting crew got 9 lionfish from Eleuthera side of Whale Point. The stomach contents of the largest one revealed 4 small elongated fish measuring from 1" to 2". Two days later we went to Rainbow bay and got 2 large ones measuring 12" to 13 1/4". We thought we had a record fish because he was so fat! Here is a picture of the fish after we cleaned him. We also caught a grouper and decided to have a side by side taste comparison. Both fish were less than 2 hours old and both fish were prepared in the same batter. All 4 people voted the lionfish better tasting! The lionfish had no fishy taste. I will post a video soon on a new method of cleaning and capturing the lionfish.
A 13 3/4" Lionfish was caught at the Glass window bridge on the south side by "Mr. Dome". He had 2 small seahorses in his belly. Mr. Dome took him home to eat for the first time. He fried the fish in a pancake batter and said it was delicious! Also a couple of days ago I went out with my buddy Joey to get some lionfish for dinner at some rocks just south of Gregory town. We got 3 big ones measuring 12" to 13 1/2" (speared 3 or 4 small ones too). The contents of the belly were mainly juvenile reef fish. One of the fish had a 3 1/2" yellow tail snapper and a small schooling bait fish in the belly. Our Bahamian friend Sherman came by came by to prepare the fish for dinner. Here is his recipe for what he called the "red grouper": cut the fish into 2" x 3" chunks, grind up some hot pepper with salt and rub on the fish, marinate in sour orange for 30 minutes, then deep fry in hot oil over a fire. AMAZING! Joey claims to have eaten the best meal of his life! Maybe we should start calling lionfish red grouper so that people will not fear eating them.
David from the Current Lionfish Brigade, speared the second largest lionfish ever caught in Bahamian waters, according to Lad Akins of the REEF organization. The fish was around 15" long and had plenty of meat on him. Meanwhile, Trish (also a member of the Current Lionfish Brigade) is busy putting together a lionfish recipe calender. We are all looking forward to seeing that!
The confidence I have in my abilities to spearfish are negligible. This is based on my previous spearing experiences. Although I’ve definitely enjoyed my attempts they were nothing short of hilariously pathetic. Anyhow, recently I have been on a few Lionfish hunting excursions where I have seen these fish hover in the water, unmoving all but their twirling spines. I watched my friends spear lionfish like they where plucking flowers from a back yard. After a few outings I came to the conclusion that my ‘negligible’ spearing skills were more than adequate to kill lionfish. So with confidence I put myself out there and it wasn’t long before I encountered four lionfish hovering underneath a rock, their usual habitat of dwelling. With the greatest of ease I dove down, pulled back on the spear and pow; my spear got stuck into the rock beside the Lionfish while the it remained 'unmoved' by the event. I could swear this fish looked like it was laughing at me. It surely could only be mocking my poor spearing abilities by not even budging a fraction. So anyway, five shots and fifteen minutes later, who was the one with the final laugh? Me baby! All the while the Lionfish stayed in the same spot. Hmmm… final conclusiong, if I can do it i'm sure anyone can!
by: Amanda from Current Eleuthera Bahamas