Good charter boat skippers can do more than just fishing. Without a talent as an entertainer, who keeps his guests happy – for example when the fish have their mouths nailed shut – it doesn’t work. Entertainment of the guests is important also when storms lasting for days make it impossible to go out into the blue, like now off of Mallorca. Since Thursday night, a storm is blowing from the north at 32 knots, creating waves of more than 4.5 m in height.
So, what to do? Keeping anglers busy with fishing was the first strategy of skipper Vince Riera. And because it was getting dark earlier and the water was still calm in the bay in front of the port of Alcudia, we fished for squid there.
With a total of 13 squids the bait stock was then covered and above all culinary wishes were satisfied. Only briefly fried in olive oil, refined with sea salt, wonderful!
But what to do during the day? When I asked Vince, he pointed to men staring into the water from bridges as we drove by in their car. “This!,” he said. – “Are they depressed or melancholy because they can’t fish?” I joked. But then Vince pointed to the lines disappearing into the water, which the men were all holding in their hands. The solution to the riddle was a pleasant surprise. “They catch blue crabs, we do too,” said Vince. The delicious invaders have long since arrived in the Mediterranean in ballast water tanks of large ships and are now multiplying so explosively that they have been officially released for catching by amateur fishermen around Mallorca.
And so on this day, after buying bait in the supermarket, two more men stood on the bank of a canal, stared into the water and waited for a blue crab to take the bait – the part of a chicken carcass at the end of the line. This fishery is quite character-forming. The crab grabs the bony piece at the bottom of the shore and wants to pull it into the depths to its hiding place. With strength, because it has two very strong swimming legs. Then you have to hold carefully against them. “I need it, quickly, pull,” cries now the inner greed. “No! Very slowly, otherwise she will let go,” says the mind. Sometimes one of them wins, sometimes you manage to lure the crab over the landing net lying on the bank.
Well, we soon had quite a few. Enough for blue crab as an appetizer and in a paella prepared by Vince as the main course, in which the crabs turned into a delicacy with rabbit, chicken, cuttlefish, mussels and large prawns.
I’ve never eaten anything more delicious than blue crabs before, no lobster or crawfish will do. The pieces have addictive potential. Today it still storms. I will stand and stare at the water again. And think “Blue crabs! Eat for the environment!