Saturday, 27 January 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Sarpa Salpa’s and Sanctums

Wife out, meal for one, out with the fish, she’s not a fish eater, well apart from the battered kind, I cannot get enough of it you see, so when the opportunity arises I’m straight on it.

The dish well some huge Argentinean Shrimp and a kinda of sea bream that looked like it needed to be eaten. A simple topping of mushroom, chilli, ginger and garlic the meal was quickly polished off.

Kids sorted, Youtube subscriptions ticked off, Bed….

Mad Vivid dreams (No blue cheese involved) that culminated in a huge bat coming down and lifting Sam off his feet when we fishing a swim well known to me. It felt all very real indeed.

I wake-up bolt upright with blurred vision in my right eye, the silhouette of the bat still in clear view, the Wife returns, my dream shared.

So upon a mornings Google'ing this huge bat appeared to be an Ahool, an enormous carnivorous bat that are said to inhabit the rainforests of Java in Indonesia. 

Believed to have a wingspan in excess of 10 feet. Ahools are said to be covered in a thick brown or black fur like fruit bats, but unlike bats have long, powerful legs and claws and are supposedly capable of pouncing on and snatching up live prey—including humans, if the stories are to be believed—from open ground. 

Sightings of ahools are often dismissed simply as mistaken glimpses of owls, eagles, and other large birds of prey that inhabit the same rainforests, but some sources claim the creatures do indeed exist, and may even be an isolated and as-yet undiscovered species descended from pterosaurs.

So anyway, heck maybe I’ve found my fix, maybe there was something in the meal after all and the sighting of some feeding bats during a quick after work session, unless I’m just susceptible  to these things.

The innocuously named salema porgy was a go-to recreational hallucinogen for folks in the Roman Empire, used in Polynesian rituals and is known in Arabic as “the fish that makes dreams.”

The gold-striped iridescent fish can be found in temperate waters from the west coast of Africa through to the Mediterranean, and also goes by the scientific name Sarpa Salpa, and is sometimes known as sea bream–which is perhaps important information when ordering at a restaurant in these regions.

While there aren’t many modern day reports of folks tripping on salema, there are some–and they’re pretty wild.

In 1994, a 40-year-old man felt nauseated about two hours after enjoying fresh baked Sarpa salpa on his vacation on the French Riviera. With symptoms like blurred vision, muscle weakness and vomiting persisting and worsening throughout the next day, he cut his vacation short and hopped in the car, only to realize mid-journey that he couldn’t drive with all the screaming animals distracting him.

After about 36 hours–by which time the man had checked himself into hospital–the screaming animals in his head had moved on and the man was perfectly fine, aside from having no memory of what had happened. And judging from other reports of accidental ingestion, 36 hours appears to be about the length of a fish dinner trip. All descriptions suggest nightmarish auditory and visual hallucinations.

So why isn’t the dark web full of rogue fishmongers? Yes I have looked, well, it turns out that hallucinations are to Sarpa Salpa what spiciness is to shishito peppers–you can have a plate full of them but it might be that only one will give you that kick that you were looking for.

There’s not a huge amount of research on exactly why sea bream are such party fish, but it’s believed that they get their hallucinogenic properties from consuming certain phytoplankton–though another school of thought suggests it is from dimethlytrypthamine (DMT), the same compound found in ayahuasca. It’s possible that only the head carries the toxins, and it’s believed the fish toxicity varies at different times of year.

Whatever the case, if you find yourself warding off nightmarish creatures after consuming delicately baked fish in the Mediterranean, now you know the cause.

I’m certainly buying some more, I enjoyed it especially when the huge shrimp looked a great bait for Chub.

Mick, the fishing, back to the fishing !!!!

So for this session I was down at the stretch I'd caught a Barbel recently and the day after a friend Dave had two and lost a few to hook pulls, the biggest a nice double. Rain was forecast in the morning and beyond so it was out with the bat-like umbrella to provide shelter and I’d have a rod out with a Roach deadbait as the Zander should be piling on the weight at the minute and the other rod a chunk of luncheon meat that did the trick last time.

Dave joined me for this damp session too, such was the success the day before. Upon getting to the river it had fallen well below the platforms and also the colour was starting to wash out of it too. I just knew it was going to be tough.

In-fact not a nibble in 5 hours with sanctuary having to be taken under ones umbrella for most of the session. There just was no interest whatsoever. Dave was fairing better with bread in the feeder and flake on the hook and landed a nice Chub of 4lb 6oz's however he was finding it tough as well, that was is only bite throughout the session.

I assume the water temperature had dropped because they were just not interested.

One of those days....

The plus point, well I bagged a couple of leads that were tangled around a platform scaffolding.



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