Chapter 16: The Mischief of the Wandering Mackerel
After having their fill of food and drink, Second Brother Jing and a few others went to play cards.
Yang Xiaolong didn’t know how to play, so he went back to the resting room to take a break.
The signal out at sea was poor, rendering his mobile phone useless, and he had grown tired of the radio in the cabin.
Jing Tian clattered and tidied up their belongings; they would be busy unloading fish once they returned to the port, with no time for organizing things.
With the belongings almost packed, Third Uncle Jing came over to inform them to get ready to pull up the hooks.
Yang Xiaolong and Jing Tian carried the bamboo baskets over.
They would directly put the catch into the baskets when they pulled them up through the floating line fishing method.
It was similar to using a gill net, and they had to ensure the main line was in order; otherwise, it would cause trouble.
“Brother Long, here are the gloves for you.”
Jing Tian took a pair of hemp gloves and handed them to him.
Thick gloves were necessary for pulling up the catch using the floating line fishing method to avoid getting pricked by the barbed hooks.
“We’ve got something! Be careful, Xiaoyang.”
As they began to pull up the floating line, they heard splashing sounds from the water’s surface.
A long and slender fish with a pointed mouth was being pulled up along the line, with Second Brother Jing reminding them from the side.
Unlike pulling up a gill net, they couldn’t directly lift the fish out of the water with the floating line fishing method, especially larger fish, as they might accidentally become unhooked.
“It’s a Spanish mackerel! Quickly, bring the landing net!”
“Wow, it’s a strong one! This fish must weigh around seven to eight pounds.”
As they saw a substantial catch, the people became visibly excited and couldn’t contain their shouts and cheers.
Their exhilaration was palpable.
Jing Tian held the landing net, leaning over the boat’s gunwale with half of her body, and Yang Xiaolong, concerned that she might lose her grip, pulled the rope with one hand while using his other hand to steady her.
“Take it slow, don’t rush.”
As he pulled the net, suddenly there was a strong force from the rope in the water, causing a slight stinging sensation even through the gloves.
“We’ve got a big one! Jing Tian, move to the side!” Yang Xiaolong stood up, pulling the rope with both hands.
The others also began to realize that something was amiss.
The once neatly arranged rope was now tangled like a mess.
“Brother Long, be careful and stay safe,” Jing Tian reminded him from the side.
Uncle Jing San also joined in, realizing that it was not a small catch based on the commotion.
Yang Xiaolong wrapped the rope around his arm and slowly started pulling it up.
“Take it slow, good, steady,” Third Uncle Jing took the landing net from Jing Tian’s hands and directed while keeping a close eye on the water’s surface.
Everyone held their breath, gripping their hands tightly, even more nervous than Yang Xiaolong himself.
The large fish shook its body, creating layers of splashes on the water’s surface.
After more than ten minutes, the large fish was pulled up to the surface.
Perhaps because it wasn’t caught using lures, it didn’t struggle much, likely experiencing less pain.
Yang Xiaolong kept dragging it along the water’s surface.
Third Uncle Jing glanced at the fish and said, “It turns out to be a GT (Giant Trevally).
We got excited for nothing.”
The others shook their heads too, thinking they had caught something valuable.
Although GTs are large and fierce, their flesh is coarse and not suitable for consumption.
It tastes like a piece of firewood, so nobody wanted to eat it.
The GT, also known as the Giant Trevally, is popular among lure anglers due to its large size, but its meat is not ideal for eating.
Anglers often enjoy the thrill of the fight when catching GTs due to their aggressive nature.
Yang Xiaolong was drenched in sweat from exhaustion.
Feeling a bit disappointed that the catch wasn’t valuable, he had no choice but to cut the line of the floating line fishing method.
Otherwise, if the fish struggled near the edge of the boat, the entire floating line would be rendered useless.
All the floating lines were pulled up, and due to the interference caused by the GT, Jing Tian and the others didn’t catch any more fish afterwards.
Uncle Jing San had them check if any tools had been left behind, and then he piloted the “Ocean No.
1” back to the port.
The return journey to the port went smoothly, following the pre-set course and coordinates.
During the trip, Yang Xiaolong had some free time and trailed his lure at the bow of the boat.
Because the fish in the sea were aggressive, sometimes they would chase after the waves.
With a bit of luck, he might have an unexpected catch.
Jing Tian was probably too tired, as she went straight to the rest area as soon as the boat returned to the port.
Five hours later, at 7:30 in the evening, the “Ocean no.
1” smoothly arrived at the dock.
Third Uncle Jing skillfully docked the boat, and the pier was bustling with noise as fishmongers shouted and hustled around.
Yang Xiaolong and the others hadn’t disembarked yet when a group of seven or eight people approached the boat.
They gathered the lures at the bow, and luck was on their side as they managed to catch an unfortunate ribbonfish.
It wasn’t large, but it was enough for one person’s meal.
“Boss, you’ve struck it rich!” exclaimed the fishmongers, familiarly greeting them.
Third Uncle Jing emerged from the cockpit, stretching lazily.
Sitting for several hours in a row wasn’t pleasant, especially since he already had a protruding disc in his lower back.
“Xiao Yang, any idea about selling your fish?” asked the fishmongers.
Yang Xiaolong shook his head.
This was his first real fishing trip.
Before this, it was just small-scale fishing, catching a few fish to sell at the market.
“Hmm, where’s Jing Tian?” he asked, realizing that he hadn’t seen her around.
“I reckon she went to find her father,” Third Uncle Jing gestured with his mouth.
“Oh, I’ll go and ask her first.
After all, we’re partners.”
“Sure, let me know if there’s any update.”
“Thanks, Third Uncle.”
Third Uncle Jing was a good person.
Although he didn’t talk much, he was reliable and had a good reputation in the village.
Yang Xiaolong leaped off the boat and onto the dock.
“Boss, do you have any fish to sell?”
“Sorry, not at the moment.”
“Here’s my business card.
Contact me if you have any.
Don’t worry, the price will definitely satisfy you.”
After a struggle, Yang Xiaolong finally managed to squeeze out of the crowd.
His hand was filled with business cards that the fishmongers had forcefully handed to him.
These people were like bandits, paying no attention to manners as they barged onto the boat.
Second Brother Jing was having a great time.
As soon as he got off the boat, he was surrounded by several women.
With a constant smile on his face, he skillfully navigated through their sweet talk.
He truly embodied the essence of being amidst a variety of beauties without getting attached to any one of them.
With one hand holding Uncle Jing’s hand, Jing Tian hadn’t run out of things to say after a week of not seeing each other.
The old man looked kindly at his granddaughter, his joy revealing his toothy grin.
“Grandpa, have you been well these past few days?” Yang Xiaolong approached them.
“Very, very well.” The old man nodded repeatedly upon seeing him.
“By the way, Third Uncle asked how we should handle the fish.
They have already started unloading.”
Jing Tian looked at her grandfather, and he waved his hand directly.
“Xiaolong, just hand it over to him.
Don’t worry, he won’t do anything sneaky.”
“Alright.” That was exactly what Yang Xiaolong had in mind.
It was better to entrust it to someone familiar than to stumble around like a headless fly.
After discussing their plans, as Grandpa Jing had difficulty walking, he headed back home first.
He bid farewell to Jing Tian and Third Uncle, and they acknowledged his departure.
With several households unloading their fish, they had to wait their turn.
Uncle San told them to go back first and he would notify them when it was almost their turn.
That worked out well since they had been at sea for a week and were feeling worn out.
It was a good opportunity to go home and take a hot shower.
Yang Xiaolong went to the rest area and moved their packed luggage into the car.
Jing Tian handed him the keys to the electric bike, and the two of them rode back home.
After this collaborative fishing trip, they had become more familiar with each other, and being together didn’t feel as awkward as before.
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