Never expose your flasher

DR DAVEIt came out of nowhere. A 100 foot grey ocean behemoth lunged out of the fog right toward the boat I was perched on some 23 miles out into the Pacific Ocean.

“Shut off your engine and reel in your rod!” barked the orders from the intimidating grey hull of a police ocean cruiser. “You in the bright white shirt, you are fishing in a NO FISH ZONE”

“But… but officer I’m not wearing a bright white shirt.”

“Well then put a shirt on before we go blind and let’s take a look at your catch.”

“OK, throw me something (snicker). As you can see, I have NO fish in this NO FISH ZONE so why don’t …”

“But you were, in fact, fishing. We saw your flasher, and that’s all we need to see to give you this $250 ticket.”

“Hold on a second Cap’n Hiliner. How was I supposed to know that I drifted into a no fishing zone, I don’t see any signs?”

“Check your GPS guppy. Have a good Friday.”

Busted by fish fuzz, carp cops, pickerel police. And I hadn’t even caught any salmon. But the day was not to be a total loss. I cruised over into the FISH-YOUR-BRAINS-OUT ZONE and reeled in a lovely large spring salmon which weighed approximately 36.476 pounds by my guesstimate though the broken scale at the marina had it pegged at 23. 

(I know it was broken because many of the other experienced fishermen had also noticed that the scales were weighing much differently from what they told me their fish really weighed.) But my fish was expensive, an extra $250 tagged onto the usual fishing expenses of gas, seasickness pills, 17 lost lures, 1 lost lunch, 1 lost watch, multiple large surgical bandages, skin hook extractor, 3 bribes and the requisite purchase of the market’s salmon special on the way home.

Was it worth it? Depends on how much value you put into your health.

Most of you within the sound of this column will die of a stroke, a heart attack, cancer or as an investigator in the Silverback Gorilla Prostate Study. Several studies have now confirmed that Omega-3 fatty acids lessen the risk factors for stroke and heart attacks with lesser known benefits for cancer or gorillas. While salmon oil may reduce breast cancer in post menopausal women, its real raison d'etre is in the vascular world. The American Heart Association studies indicate that Omega 3’s decrease the growth of artery-clogging plaques, thin the blood, lower the level of those dangerous serum triglycerides and appears to even lower blood pressure a little. 

Salmon is drenched in omega-3 fatty acids, something we get little or none of in the typical North American diet.

Q: What about fish being contaminated with ocean residue?

Answer: Farmed fish do have more contaminants than wild salmon. They are fed fish pellets which may have concentrated PCB’s, dioxins and heavy metal contaminants like mercury and Black Sabbath. Any salmon labeled as “Atlantic” is actually farmed. Wild salmon tends to be safer to eat but tougher to catch than farmed. Cooked properly however, 50 percent of contaminants can be removed from any fish; farmed, wild or pets.

Q. What about fish oil supplements?

Answer: Fish oil is considered safe as any contaminants are usually removed during processing. However they lack some of the other beneficial ingredients contained in real fish including several nutrients and many of my most expensive lures.

Q. So what do you recommend?

Answer: Two servings of fish per week is the current recommendation but if you are at high risk for cardiovascular disease you might consider daily supplements as well, after consulting with your doctor. 

But most importantly, I recommend that if you come upon the fish fuzz on a Friday, never expose your flasher.

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