Crayfish Risotto

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As you may know, The Fishing Freaks are big on the whole “hunter gatherer” vibe and one thing we love to do in season is dive for crayfish!

 

This dish is a great bargaining tool when trying to get some time out of the office and time in the water. No one can resist a delicious Risotto. Once you’ve mastered this dish you’ll feel ready to take on Top Chef!

 

The ingredients and directions below are intended to serve two. For more just double the ingredients, cooking times remain the same:

 

Ingredients:

2 Crayfish

1 Cup Riso Superfino Arborio (Risotto Rice)

1/2 Onion

Couple Spring Onions

Vegetable Stock

Garlic

White Wine

Butter

Salt

Olive Oil

 

The directions can be a little daunting so read through this carefully..

 

Directions:

Butterfly your crayfish, cut them down the belly from the top of the head to the tail. Clean out the organs, that brown stuff and weird sticky white stuff, don’t forget the poop line! Now carefully break off the two parts of the head making sure you leave the tails with all the meat on. You will use the heads to make a broth with the vegetable stock.

 

In a large pot add 2l of water and bring to a boil. Now add the crayfish heads and their legs with a desert spoon of the veg stock. Let this boil gently away while you prepare the onions.

 

Finely chop half an onion and pan fry with a little olive oil & garlic. Not too hot, you want them to become translucent not burnt. Now add the cup of Risotto rice to the onions and mix them together in the pan. Now add half a glass of wine. It is recommended that you fix yourself a full glass of wine, this meal takes some time to make.

 

Once the wine has been absorbed and evaporated add one ladle of crayfish broth. For the next 20 minutes or so add one ladle of broth at a time (keeping the broth at a gently boil), waiting for the last ladle to be absorbed. With a wooden spoon mix and stir the rice getting all the starch out.

 

When you’re half way through add finely chopped spring onion to the rice mix. By now it should have been on the stove for around 15 minutes. With 15 minutes to go before the rice is ready on a separate pan add a large blob of butter. Remove the meat from your crayfish tails with a tea spoon and place the meat onto the melted butter pan. The tails should only take 10 minutes max to cook. With a spoon keep scooping the butter back onto the meat and turn. Your stove should be set to a medium heat.

 

Back to your rice, don’t let it burn, make sure you are constantly adding broth to it and massaging the rice with the wooden spoon. This will get all the starch out and make it rich and creamy. By this point you should be taste testing the rice, you want it to have a little hardness to it still to avoid it going soggy. Add your last ladle to the rice and before it has all been absorbed take it off the heat and cover.

 

Get your plates ready to serve. Add the rice which should be sticky but not soggy and your crayfish tails. The end result should look something like this:

 

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Tuna Tune

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Tuna Tune | tju:na tju:n [noun] the sound your reel makes when a tuna smashes your lure!

Thunnas Albacares | The yellowfin tuna, one of the many pelagic species found in our waters off the Durban coastline AND one of Wez and Dick’s favourites to target. They can be caught on live bait, trawled lures or the ultimate, surface lures!

In this episode The Fishing Freaks head to one of the most frequented fishing holes on the East Coast of South Africa, Umdloti. With all the current bait activity their goal was to cash in on some snoek (queen mackerel). The reason Umdloti is so popular is the variety of pelagic species to target and the array of ways in which to do so.

Enjoy this weeks action packed episode, it’s a long one!

Seared Tuna Recipe

There are many different ways of preparing tuna for the table. One of our personal favourites (and one that will definitely get you a fishing pass from your Mrs) is Seared Tuna.

 

If you’re in the Durban North area there is a fantastic Chinese Grocer at the top of Meckeurtan Ave that sells all the ingredients you’ll need to pull off this dish.

 

It is essential to use a VERY sharp knife, but be careful. The ingredients are rather simple and this can be made in just a few minutes:

  • Tuna fillet
  • sear spice
  • ginger
  • soy

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Searching For Silver

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The Fishing Freaks are back with their first Webisode of 2016. “Searching For Silver.” Catch Wez & Dick on another fishy adventure off their local fishing hole in Durban, South Africa.

 

Stay tuned for more adventures coming out every Friday. Find the Freaks on Facebook and follow them on Instagram. For more information email the guy thefishingfreaks@gmail.com

 

Freaky Tales

My First GT

Being a cameraman for FreeSpool i have been lucky enough to travel to some exotic destinations, however as with most of these international trips they are quick in & out get as many shows as possible and then on the plane home with me hardly being able to pick up a rod! My most recent trip to the Seychelles we were lucky enough to have been invited on a yacht to sail to the island of Platte and fish there for 10 days, now i only need to make 4 shows out of 10 days in the Seychelles so i knew i was definitely going to wet some line on this trip!

 

About a week before the trip my boss Brad Arthur asked me what fish i wanted to catch on this trip and i replied without hesitation that i wanted to catch a GT on popper and i wanted a picture of the GT on my lap! Brad said ok sounds easy enough we will try get that for you Dick! I have never caught a GT, closest i got was on my ski but unfortunately the rod broke an i lost it.
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Sunrise over Ille Platte

We get to the Island of Platte and it is like you picture in your dreams, the island is about 3km in size has a population of 5 people on it and then there is nothing but ocean to be seen! We moor the yacht in the lagoon for the next 10 days and fish off a 32ft Yeild cat for the duration of the stay.Now the way the fishing works is in sessions and you get a morning session and an afternoon session with teams of 4 going on each session with a team that goes on an afternoon session than get s the next morning and vice versa… so on our second session which was our second day in the Seychelles and just after i had filmed the most insane GT session i have ever witnessed, were the boys got 9 GT’s in an hour all in the +20kg range, Brad catches his last fish does an awesome release for the camera an then turns to me and says “Dick gear up get a bucket and gloves” and then hands me his rod! My excitement levels are through the roof and I’m like an e type carrot, launching a pencil popper we had nicknamed the “Sun burnt Zebra”, casting into the surf zone and then retrieving back to the boat with a quick bouncing action, my 8th cast i launch a rocket got good distance place the rod in my bucket an start the bouncing retrieve when all of i sudden i see a flash of silver breaching on my popper and then a big explosion with a tail trashing in the air and then the unforgettable screaming Stella and me hanging onto the rod for life!! The power of these fish is just incredible and the battle that took place for the next 10 minutes with me running round the boat, arms burning getting pulled side to side with the occasional run from the fish and making sure i don’t loose the pressure on the fish as i really want that photo!The Boys on the boat screaming words of encouragement, when this slab of a fish comes to the surface and your heart starts pounding even more as you know you have got him! We load the fish onto the boat and the boys help me get it on my lap for the pic and as i grab and put him on my lap my thumb slips into the GT’s mouth and he clamps down and won’t let go,  my adrenaline is still running high so i don’t even feel it until Brad tells me to  move my thumb for the pic and i say i can’t its stuck! Anyway after awhile i get my thumb out and get the pic, give the fish the biggest kiss i have ever kissed a fish, thanked him for the fight and threw him back an as he swims away i let out the biggest scream of just absolute stoke!! What a rush! By far the most fun fishing ever!!! Brad turns to me and says ” Don’t say i don’t let you catch fish now hey!”
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The ‘Sun burnt Zebra’ popper

Later that evening Brad starts telling me the stats on GT fishing and he says that a GT of that size is on average 1000 casts! I got mine in 8!!! Thinking back to that fish while writing this i still get goose bumps!
Definitely my fish of 2015 and you can see by that smile on my face!
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My First GT

WTF (where the freaks)

3 Months shy of 2 years ago was the last blog post from The Fishing Freaks.. So you might be wondering, “what the hell happened to those two, passionate about fishing, crazy nuts??”

Well, wait no more, from the horses mouth…

DICK:

“Ever since we blanked at Vidal filming for our TV pilot, the wheels came off for the Freaks and our show took a major backseat. We needed to pay the bills and we both had to focus on our careers and real jobs!

Both of us really wanted to further our passion in film and we found ourselves branching into different fields within the industry. Wez started his own production company with his Misses and I landed my dream job as the editor for FreeSpool.

For me, going to work for a fishing company has been a fantastic journey! I don’t even see what I do as work… I get to spend my week in a tackle store checking out all the new products, chatting to top anglers in South Africa (and the world). Plus I get to spend a lot of time on the water.  I have  been lucky enough to travel to some of the top fishing destinations in the world! The only downside I could say is that with me being behind the lens, my fishing has taken a bit of a backseat… with this being said I still get just as excited filming the bite as I would getting the bite myself!

With throwing myself into work the Fishing Freaks kind of became a forgotten memory… Wez and I would still go for a paddle together but we simply haven’t had any time to film or edit The Fishing Freaks.”

Dick Tuna

Yellowfin PB from the deep! 

Dick Grin

Which is bigger, Dick’s grin or that reel??

Dick Dorrado & Tuna

Great start to the season!

WEZ:

“In January of 2014 on the first day back at work with a massive grin on my face I handed in my resignation. After 5 years of producing The Big Breakfast at East Coast Radio, waking up at 4am Monday to Friday I had reached my limit. Whilst I will always be grateful to ECR and every opportunity that was given to me, the idea of owning my own video production company, and working my own hours, with the ocean just next door, was all too motivating.

And so…. The Shank Tank was born.

With “all” this time on my hands I had big dreams of fishing 8 days a week, pushing The Fishing Freaks to new heights… Well, boy was I mistaken! Suddenly bunking work and missioning to Cape Vidal was a distant memory. The new “boss” was a bit of a hard ass!

My new business, The Shank Tank; a Video, Photography & Audio production company, took off like a 30 kilo wahoo!! Unexpected and with PACE! Soon I was filming weddings every weekend and corporate work during the week. Needless to say, before I knew it I was working through the night and there was zero chance of getting out of bed at 03h00 to go paddle 20kms.

With Dick also manically busy at Freespool, the two Freaks just didn’t have the same amount of time to paddle together, film and edit… 

As the year started winding down and summer approached, that deep inner desire to paddle the deep blue heated up. Soon, season was upon us and seeing the daily Facebook posts of record tuna got us both super amped to fish again. So with a bit of work streamlining, and a sleek new Stealth Pro Fisha 575 aptly named, Rasta Bomb, I was back on the water with a new PB!

Around mid 2015 my wife and I made the most of a cold winter in Kloof and are expecting a little fisher girl early March 2016! So needless to say, the future is looking very exciting. Over the past 2 years, Dick & I have been only too eager to revive the Freaks. Well now that’s happening…”

Wes | Dean & Cath

Light tester..

Wes Poser

And for my next pose…

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Suspended hat.

Wez Tuna

The new Yellowfin Tuna PB of 28.5kgs

Over the past few months our inbox continued to receive fan mail asking for more Freak action… And with the continued support and encouragement from fellow kayak anglers and from you our “fans” we are working on getting our show back up and running. We have found not only are our old videos still getting fishermen excited, but the amount of guys wanting to start kayak fishing because of us is incredible. It makes us realize that what we were doing was good (and pretty much the reason why we started the Fishing Freaks in the first place). We never wanted to be the best anglers, we just wanted to show everyone how much fun two best friends can have kayak fishing! So we are excited to be working on bringing the FREAKS back to life!!!!

We want to hear from you… How does this make you feel and what would you like to see from the Freaks… We’re hoping with more fishing and filming experience under our belts, that The Fishing Freaks will be back better than ever, but don’t worry you can still expect the same usual antics on Video, in our blog articles, recipes and of course the odd Comic Caption…

Wez Kingy

Tuna in the hatch, kingy on the lap before 06h00

Wez View

View from the office..