Four years ago, we lost our old cat Spuds. All fish and seafood coming into this house went to him. When we lost him after a long fight, to nose cancer, fishing just reminded me painfully of him.
Back on the beach, again, this time asking him to share if he wants any. I only fish if I'm hungry for fish. Admittedly, like all fishers, the carnivore/omnivore instincts kick in, and I enjoy the fish's struggles on the line. But if I don't don't think I will want fried fish and bone crackers the next day, I don't fish.
I have a deal on with the fish: when I catch one, I smash up all of my mussel bait, and throw it to out to my breakfast's brethren. No, I don't think the fish know about this deal; it just makes me feel better.
Turns out I'm good at hunting and gathering. If I took up hunting deer, it would be for spikes or, if they ever allow it, does. Because hunting for antlers is just hunting grandpa -- and it's traditionally a practice for war, replacing the urge to kill other humans. And bucks and bulls are in rut: YUCK.
If I were hunting for antlers, I'd turn it into a REAL sport: tracking the same buck every year until he dropped his horns, starting when he was a spike, until he dropped his final set as an old man, and letting the tough old guy feed something that will enjoy him, like a mountain lion. Or somebody who needs a really good, thick hide. But collecting a life-time's horns without killing, counting a kind of coup, would really demonstrate tracking ability and courage. However:
Now for the real reason for hunting or gathering anything: putting it in our faces.
It's not necessary to fillet greenling. Just head and cut, scraping out the bloodline with a mussel shell. Split open. Rinse well, salt inside, wrap in a towel and put in the 'fridge 'till breakfast time. Rinse well, pat dry, fry skin-side down, preferably in lard of bacon grease, although any oil will do. The best spice to sprinkle, lightly, on a greenling is Chinese Prickly Ash, also called Sichuan pepper, available at McPhee's Asian Grocery in Port Angeles, and soon to be available at Sunset West Co-op in Clallam Bay.
Dish, slip out the backbone and slip off the skin and fins. Place them all back in the pan, to slow-crisp. They will make the most delectable crunchy bone-crackers.