This “recipe” was submitted to our recipe contest last year by We Olive La Jolla regular Kurt Hoffmann, who has shared his catch with our staff from time to time. While it requires some special equipment and know-how (and doesn’t qualify based on our contest rules), we think you’ll enjoy the recipe. It’s a great read! To submit your recipe for our Discover Cooking with California Olive Oil Contest, visit our contest site.
Load your kayaks and fishing gear the night before. Make sure the hooks on all six pole are securely tied and no line is frayed. Check bait tank and fish finder batteries to make sure they are fully charged. Wake at 5am drive to La Jolla High school and swim a mile or two in the beautiful Coggan Pool. Be sure to lock your kayak to your vehicle as you never know about our neighbors or visitors to La Jolla. Go to work on Prospect Street as usual. As the stock market wraps up the trading session at 1pm check the wind and surf conditions and make the final call to your buddy to join you at La Jolla Shores at the 2pm start time. Launch the kayaks through the surf and paddle across the La Jolla Marine Reserve. Set out your Sabikis to catch your Mackerel and Sardines for bait for your prey. Continue South around the outside edge of the kelp beds and look for signs of life that could be related to WSB feeding activities. Keep your eyes on your fish finder to see if you may be able to locate and squid nests on the bottom that could be attracting WSB as well.
Keep moving and searching for signs of larger fish but always keep a lively baitfish trailing 50-100′ behind your kayak. Once a game fish finds your trolled bait allow 6-8 seconds for the fish to fully engulf your bait and find the hook embedded in its nose. Set the hook by engaging the reel and lifting the rod slowly. A circle hook should always be used to ensure hooking your prey in the corner of the mouth to avoid the chaffing teeth. Fight your fish with slow lifts of your rod and reel as your slowly lower your rod back to the water and below the surface as well. Once your prey is within a few feet of your kayak carefully sink your gaff into the head or shoulders area to prevent a tail nick that could set the fish off an away from your reach. After you have secured your prize paddle back to shore and wait for a break in the surf to land on the beach. Stop to rest half way back to the beach and ask your partner to take the above attached photo of your prize in front of We Olive La Jolla. Carefully filet your fish with a sharp knife and separate the ribs to save for your out of work neighbor.
Soak filets in EVOO for a minimum of one hour, overnight is fine as well.
Roll filets in bread crumbs while pre-heating BBQ to 350 degrees.
Place filets on grill and turn frequently.
Gently spread filets with a fork and see that a bit of pink is still visible deep with the whitening meat.
Remove filets from grill before you think the fish is cooked as the fish will continue to cook once off the grill. You can always put the fish back on the grill if someone accuses you of serving White Seabass Sushi but you can not undo over cooked fish.
Sprinkle with basil and serve with rice and a nice salad.
Post picture of your catch on the dining table or adjacent wall.
Enjoy and savor as a proud Ocean Consumptive User.