The Search For Bright Waters

Sunday, March 6, 2011

How to Catch and Eat Conch

Catching and eating Conch is one of our new favorite hobbies. Now we are by far no experts on this.  We just learned a few days ago and just did it by ourselves for the first time yesterday.  But its pretty fun and easy, and delicious!

Thursday afternoon we finally said screw the winds and we moved our boat down to South Bimini.

Since we are still conch rookies we wait for low tide and then dinghy over to very shallow areas to easily see the conch.  More experienced conch hunters dive down ten to twelve feet to pick up conch.

We like to find an exposed shoal to post up shop and then walk into the deeper green areas.  The conch feed on the grass so you gotta look there as opposed to the sand.

The grass is weird to walk on and there are many critters in the water so we wear water shoes.  And after picking up three conch shells with hermit crabs in them and one with a sea urchin in it, we now usually where a glove.  A bit wimpy, yes, but it makes us braver.

The conch are usually camoflauged in the grass and are hard to see so you really gotta keep your eyes peeled.  Heres a good sized one.

Once you find on, you just reach down and pick it up!  Now a few things to check.  It has to have a flared lip showing that it has already reproduced.  Just like crabs, you can't take the baby ones.  Also you want to check to make sure it is indeed a conch living in there, not a hermit crab or other species.

They are kinda creepy looking like giant slugs.  This one tried to make a run for it, but like slugs they are too slow.

The conch are very strong and have a vice grip to the inside of the shell so you can't ever just pull them out.  First you take the back of a hammer and punch a  hole in the top between the 2nd and 3rd rings.  Then you stick a knife down there and cut the muscle that is holding them in there.

Then you grab the one hard piece of them sticking out. Its called the foot. And you yank that bad boy outta there!  Now that the muscles is severed they come out pretty easily.

Yeah they are pretty gross looking.

Next you have to cut off all the guts, the head, and skin it.  This takes some practice and the whole thing is very slimy so we have a bucket of saltwater to constantly dip it in to get the slime off.

Then end result should look like a potato or chicken breast.  Keep the foot on till the end so you have something to grip it by.

Since its mostly muscle it is very tough so you have to tenderize it with a hammer.  Just put it on a board and smash it up till the meat is soft.

Most Bahamians cook it in a flour and spice mix to make Conch Fritters or Crack Conch but we don't have flour so we just added some all seasoning and lime and grilled it up!

Here are four conch that we caught which was plenty filling.  And soo good!

Next we need to learn how to spear fish and lobster.  Our fishing poles have been striking out a lot so we need to go to the fish.  Free conch, fish, and lobster, we might never need to buy food again!


Lee said...

If you have a pressure cooker they cook in about 15 min, you can still pound them but I just cut them, cook them and make em into a meal!!

Laura and Hans said...

Thanks for the instructions. I would not have known what to do with one (if I ever catch one!)and I'd hate to waste it. We did not head over earlier this week as the weather was just too iffy and we would have been guarenteed a very rough crossing. Thursday AM is now looking good so we're keeping our fingers crossed. BTW, we weren't overly welcome in Miami either!

The Ceol Mors said...

Please tell me they taste better than they look! Now lobster- that's a meal I can get behind...

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Thanks for such an informative post! We're not very good fishermen, so I have a feeling we'll need to refer to this post once we make it to paradise. I guess we'll have to take your word for it that these things are good...

Anonymous said...

You are killing that poor little conch! Maybe not many people like them, but they are still living things! Couldn't it be a quicker death? Like shoot it with a gun and say a prayer that meant you didn't mean to kill him and you were hungry.