On Fishing

If you are bashing the brains out of a fish?

You have to eat it.  Once you’ve bashed its brains, you have to.  I’ve always felt, “If you’re going to eat meat, you must be willing to kill.”  I obviously don’t follow this dictum all the time.  I am a twenty-something shut-in in Beverly, Massachusetts.  I hardly ever kill ants, let alone dinner.  Mostly I go to the supermarket, like everyone else.

But, hell.  I live on the coast.  There are fish.  Eat ’em if you got ’em.

***

Bashing the brains out of a fish with a piece of fencing that Matt has brought from his house for the purposes of chopping up bait.  It’s our cutting board.  It doesn’t kill fish so well.  Big fish have thick skulls.

Thwack!!!  Thwack!!

You cannot kill a 30-inch striper with a cheap-ass 1-by-4 that you’re using as a makeshift cutting board.  This is something you should know.  I did not.

“Fuck!”  Thwack!!!  Thwack! I feel terrible.  This fucking fish won’t die, and I’m just torturing it.

This fucking fish is indestructible.

The 1-by-4 breaks over the its head on the third or fourth hit, and the striper twitches some more.  I grimace.  I could practically vomit, but I don’t.  Matt runs back down the dock, back from the yard–a hundred yards away–with a rock pilfered from the landscapers.  It’s time to put this fish son of a bitch out of its misery.

Boom! Strike one.  Direct hit.  Blood gushes through the striper’s eye, splashes onto the dock.   BOoom!! Strike two.  Brains on the dock, definitively dead.  BOOOOM! Strike three.  Head crushed.  Game over.  You can calm down now.

***

“Why won’t you please die?”  That’s what I can tell you.  But it’s not the whole truth.

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8 responses to “On Fishing

  1. THIS post is tripped the fuck out. Also, you can crush the skull of a fairly large fish with your jaws, if you please.

  2. Clevus Mcfishdick

    “cruel and unusual”. one bonk on the nose if you please, then gill the sucker.

  3. wouldn’t hesitate to chomp on a lil smelt, but I might balk at crushing the skull of a 30 inch bass with my teeth. Just sayin.

  4. Bludgeoning is a pretty shitty way to go, ain’t it? If you ever end up hating me, Tom, please do away with me in a simpler fashion. If I see you coming with a 1×4, I’m running the opposite direction.

  5. Since I’m twice the coastal pussy you are and won’t even eat a fish that other people have killed, clearly my comment can be ignored in advance. However, isn’t a large knife inserted between the spine and brain stem the most merciful way to dispatch a scaly monster from the deep?

  6. I work on a fishing boat. On a good day, one when we catch more than three or four thousand pounds of salmon, instead of icing the fish, we fill our hold with refrigerated sea water.

    A significant portion of the fish usually survive being brought on board, and can be see swimming around in a slurry of fish slime, the blood of their masticated brethren, and icy cold sea water. They move slower and slower as their body temperature approaches the 33 or so degrees of the water.

    Sometimes a fish survives until we deliver, when it will be sucked out of our hold through a fish pump, to disappear into the bowels of the fish processing machinery. Probably they die when they go though the fish pump and are subjected to rapid, extreme changes in pressure.

  7. truefishtalesbyneil.tumblr.com. get some wireless on that boat!

  8. Best Blogbytom thread ever!

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