Friday, July 27, 2012

Final Day = Striped Bass

     Summer in New England is many people's favorite season because it allows us to get outside and enjoy being outdoors.  It is especially exciting for those who love the water whether you enjoy boating, trips to the beach, or swimming.  For the group of New Englanders who call the ocean their office it too means something special, striped bass season.
     Unfortunately, this season has been difficult for "keeper" stripers (any fish that is over twenty eight inches.)  Our professor, Bruce Berman who is an avid fisherman has found it to be particularly slow in comparison with last years season where thus far he was able to reel in one hundred and twenty legal size striped bass.  This season has been a different story only collecting twelve.  When asked why the season has been so slow his hypothesis is simply because of the usually warm winter this past year.  When the water temperatures increase it allows for smaller bait fish to travel from east to west, moving closer to shore.  The striped bass which travel in packs north intercept the bait fish, and with the belief of professor Berman the bait fish entered the Massachusetts bay as early as April.  Disappointment should come with optimism.  Within the harbor the fish that have been caught are just a few inches too short which leads fisherman to believe that next season will be nothing but permissible sized fish waiting to be caught.

  Photo of striped bass

     Now to todays subject, eating and dissecting the striped bass.  A beautiful striper that was fresh out of the Massachusetts Bay laid on the cutting board waiting for both a dissection and taste testing from our class. The first cut was made just behind the gill only an inche deep stretching all the way to the tail fin.  A deeper fillet was eventually made and finally, both sides of the fish had been removed.  It was now time to taste.  I was never a big fan of sushi until a few short years ago when I was taken to a sushi restaurant and peer pressured into trying it, and I was instantly hooked.  Today, I love it all, yellow fin, tuna, salmon, and now, striper.  There is something about freshly caught fish, it is not comparable to anything.  Like any raw fish, it had a slimy texture however the taste was not too "fishy" and you can quite honestly taste the freshness.  

     From the tidal pools, beaches and docks that have been explored by our class, it has allowed me to further understand how species within the Boston Harbor survive where to find different organisms.   I have thoroughly enjoyed all we have studied and having a love for the water has made enjoy what lives beneath it even more.
Thank you all for a great six days!

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