On Assignment: The Roughest Catch: Ike Jime on the Gulf Coast
I was recently dispatched to help photograph a piece that one of the writers at the Houston Press was working on. An article on the ike jime process of catching and preparing sushi grade fish. This assignment took me to the Gulf coast of Texas near Corpus Christi and Aransas Pass (about 4 hours from Houston) and also about 40 miles into the deep, crystal blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Our assignment was to document, interview and photograph Captain Barry Irwin and his boss, Jim Naismith aboard their 58 foot commercial fishing boat, the La Victoria. On this day they were scheduled to take a break from their normal fishing techniques and fish for basically the same fish they would usually catch but on this trip they would be prepping sushi and sashimi grade fish.
Our day started at 5am so that we could report to the boat before 6:30am. We set sail before 7am and let me tell you, since I am hardly ever up before sunrise, I took full photographic advantage of the rising sun on the Gulf coast.
Our trip lasted 15 hours that Friday but it was the best, most exciting learning experience I have encountered in a long time. We fished over shipwrecks, a sunken German U-Boat and close to stationary oil rigs. I saw dolphins in crystal blue waters and went further into the Gulf of Mexico than I had ever been before. It was truly the best Friday ever.
The original piece that started this whole project was a cover story on the Houston Press titled, The Fish That Got Away. It's a great read with photos by me.
This piece that took me into the Gulf, is currently being published in four parts on the Houston Press.
For this assignment, I was very unsure about what equipment to bring and whether or not there was going to be overspray (splashing water) from the Gulf. I wasn't aware of the size of the boat or any real particulars. I ended up bringing my Canon 5D Mark II and some older lenses.
I took my Tamron 28-75mm, a Canon 75-300, a Tamron 17-35 and a Sigma 15mm fisheye. I was already taking my best camera body and I decided to leave my two best lenses on shore, my Canon 24-70mm L and my Canon 70-200mm L.
I would risk my camera body but didn't want to risk my 2 best lenses also. In the end, the lenses I took performed well but I realized that I could've brought my best lenses due to the calmness of the water that day.
When the trip was over, I thoroughly cleaned my camera body and all my lenses and had only a little regret for not taking my best equipment.