Monday, June 13, 2011

Season Opener Snapper

The morning dawned calm and beautiful.  Within no time, the condo at Navy Cove was bustling with activity.  We donned swimwear, savved up with sunscreen, gathered snacks, filled water bottles, and grabbed the camera.  Getting ready for Alabama's opening day of red snapper fishing with the family definitely requires proper planning!

Looking at the Navy Cove Lagoon, it is a beautiful morning for a fishing trip!

For two long years, Ben has had plenty of time to plan this fishing trip.  He has been tying rigs, reading fishing forums, confirming coordinates, and checking the weather for the past few weeks.  Snapper fishing season in Alabama opened June 1, 2011, and Ben was determined to be ready.  Last year, he was equally prepared for opening day.  There was nothing he could do though about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the fact that federal waters were closed to fishing the eve of red snapper season in 2010.  Anyway, waters were open and we had a beautiful forecast this year - calm seas and an eager group of fishermen!

Not long after we anchored the boat and floated just off the rig, Ben got our lines into the 65' foot waters.  If Ben was a deckhand on a charter boat, he would have really earned his tip on this trip!  During the next 80-90 minutes at the rig, we caught our limit of snapper.  He was constantly taking big snapper off the line, cutting fish for chum, tying leaders, fixing weights, and hooking pogies.  Looking around occasionally at the five or six other boats fishing the rig, it seemed we were the only ones catching!  Georgia-Lee reeled in her two, I reeled in mine, and Benjamin handled his and probably Ben's too.  I really hope Ben enjoyed the fishing trip as much as the rest of us did!

Benjamin and Ben smile for a quick photo before getting the snapper in the cooler.  Notice how much Georgia-Lee is enjoying the fishing trip snacks!

Check out the big one that Georgia-Lee reeled in!

On the way back to Navy Cove, we stopped by the Dock Store at the Gulf Shores Marina for ice cream and Coke.  I am pretty sure that the promise of the treat afterwards might have been what lured Georgia-Lee to go on the fishing trip!  :) 

What a sweet reward!  American Girl Lanie enjoyed the fishing trip too!

Later in the evening, we ate fresh snapper for dinner.  Dinner was delicious, definitely worth repeating.

Season Opener Snapper

4-6 Gulf Coast red snapper fillets
1/2 stick butter
1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped
1/3 cup crushed Saltine crackers
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon Zatarain’s Creole seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt

·        Melt butter, add Creole seasoning, salt, and Vidalia onions.  Allow seasons to blend and onions to become tender. 
·        Combine crushed saltines and grated parmesan cheese.
·        Spray glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Place snapper fillets in dish; brush with buttery sauce.  Cover fillets with saltine/cheese mixture.  Spoon the remaining butter sauce and onions over the covered fillets. 
·        Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until fillets flake. 

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