Posted by: adventuressetravels | February 19, 2013

Killing with Kindness

What is the best way to kill a fish?

Get em drunk.  Dead drunk. 00000967

It sounds like a bad joke, but apparently it’s common knowledge among fisher-folk.  Who knew?  I certainly didn’t.

Before crewing on Mareva I had done a little fishing.  Well, witnessed other people catching a fish, but I didn’t have the first clue when it came to the art of catching fish.  Sure, I had seen a vicious barracuda gasp its last breath on the Leeway’s deck, eaten the spoils of spear fishing, but I didn’t have the first clue.

Captain Nemo assured me he’d teach me all about fishing and I was ready to learn.

The first day we were at sea he bungeed a blue spool to the back of Mareva.  We would know there was a fish “on” if the elastic was pulled taught.  We’d have to keep an eye on it to see if we had anything.  We also had to watch and make sure we hadn’t hooked some errant seaweed, but that wouldn’t be a problem.

When we hooked a fish the Captain would get this one, but I had to help.  It was my job to bring the gaff hook and the spray bottle.

00000714The bottle was integral. Filled with a vile mixture of alcohol so bad that the most hardened alcoholic would think twice about drinking it, it gave the fish a quick easy death.  According to the captain fish didn’t have any tolerance to alcohol.  All it took was a little squirt in the gills and the fish slipped into oblivion.  This was an easier death for the fish and avoided the mess and stress of a huge animal thrashing about on the deck gasping for its very life.

When Captain Nemo told me that getting a fish drunk was the easiest, kindest, and fastest way to kill a fish I didn’t believe him.  I had to see the stuff in action.  I didn’t have to wait long

A few hours later the bungee stretched to its limit.  We had a fish on!  I scrambled below to grab the trusty bottle of fish killer.

The rock cod went limp on the line almost the instant I squeezed the trigger.   I looked from the bottle to the curious-looking fish and back.  The warnings were right: alcohol really was a killer.


  1. All new to me. I wonder what was in that alcohol mixture.

  2. We use cheap vodka to subdue halibut – a fish which can wreck a boat. Works great!

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