I was flown out to Prince Edward Island in mid July for my friends Colleen and Josh’s wedding. They hired me to cook their rehearsal dinner the day before the wedding and what a great experience it was! I was on the island for 5 days total, two of which I spent sourcing amazing local ingredients and cooking the rehearsal dinner. One day was the wedding and right in the middle I took a day to go blue fin tuna fishing. We had an absolute blast out on the boat with Captain Darren MacKinnon and his first mate Janses MacKinnon, however, we didn’t have any luck! We were about 1 week ahead of the start of the tuna season (which starts when the herring season begins) but thought we would give it a go anyways. After a windy morning of checking nets, following the birds and chumming the water, we decided to pack in the lines and head closer to shore for some bar clamming. While I was reeling in the line on one of the rods, a gannet dive bombed from above and went for the mackerel on that line and got hooked! We had to reel it in and set the little guy free. So then we donned our wetsuits and headed out on the little speed boat, rakes and mesh bags in hand, and hit the sand bar. Our bar clamming was much more fruitful and we managed to collect about 100 lbs. of clams between the 5 of us.
Next time you are in PEI look up Captain Darren MacKinnon of Paradise on the Sea Adventures! www.paradiseontheseaadventures.com/
Note: Although Bluefin Tuna is on a watchlist for species at risk of extinction as per the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, repeated attempts by environmental groups have not succeeded in getting Bluefin Tuna on the endangered species list. In speaking with several fisherman during my time in PEI, it was pointed out to me that the Bluefin Tuna stocks off of PEI are as plentiful as they have ever seen them over the last few years. This is due to the strict regulation imposed by PEI Fish and Game. This year, fisherman are only allowed to bring home 1 Tuna per boat (300 total for everyone fishing) and last year they were allowed 2.