LAND TO OCEAN WARRIORS: How to Cook a Ghost!

Preparing the ghost for baking. For recipes, go to LaTow242 on Facebook. PHOTO CREDIT: Reuben Rahming.
Preparing the ghost for baking. For recipes, go to LaTow242 on Facebook. PHOTO CREDIT: Reuben Rahming.

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n my previous article I wrote about the booming bonefish industry within The Bahamas and its economic value. You are reminded that it is illegal to buy, sell or use nets to catch bonefish! You should not even have them in large quantities or commercial uses.

Nevertheless, this is our land and we do have a culture that is as valuable as any other inherited resource and deserving of promotion, protection and enjoyment. These are the things that make us Bahamian. Though most in the U.S. consider bonefish poor eating, mainly because of its overabundance of tiny bones and perceived limited cooking options, many Bahamians love eating them.


We all know about fly fishing the Gray Ghost, but we do have great success with a few yards of line on a homemade wooden reel or stick. Not to diminish the wonderful equipment out there, some of which I use, but we are talking downhome cultural ways long before the world knew we had good bonefish.


We all know that a good fly or ducktail works fine but we use squid pieces (heads are best), conch slop, soldier crabs, land crab fins, and shrimp, even chicken feathers. The islands are full of real Land to Ocean Warriors (La-Tows) because we walk across the street or miles through bushes and creeks to get to our fishing spots.

Though release is encouraged, at times a fish is gut hooked or otherwise injured or we wanted a bonefish meal. Now that you have a nice Gray Ghost, how do you cook it?

Preparation and Eating

Step 1. HELP: If you don’t know how, phone a friend like BIG MAC (Dwayne McPhee) he can cook anything.

Step 2. CLEANING: Do NOT scale a bone fish only gut it.

Step 3. PULL: Hold the head with one hand and the tail with the other. (Very important) Anchor one hand and pull with the other, hard and long in one direction. WHY? This will make the bones flow in one direction, thus making eating easer. (Very important)

Step 4. DRESSING: This is not a cookbook so go to LaTow242 on Facebook for recipes. You may now remove the head and open the fish as in the photo. Important, please note the

scales MUST be on the fish. WHY? The fish is baked on its scale because the scale will adhere to the pan and once ready to eat the flesh will easily lift off.

Step 5. BAKE: Not fry.

Step 6. EATING: Lift the portion off the bed of scales with a fork. When you pull a section of meat of you will see most of the bones exposed. Double check for bones before you eat and as you eat. The second bite, go back to the first section and pull out the now exposed bone before eating and repeat with caution. NOTE: I did not say slice a piece please never do, just pull the meat as recommended.

Finally, do not feed to children and without ensuring the person knows how to eat Ghost.