“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after,” said American philosopher Henry David Thoreau. Indeed, of all outdoor sports, fishing is closest to meditation. A day on the water gives the perfect excuse to unplug, destress and revel in nature’s world. And if a hotel chef is willing to transform your catch into a prize on the plate, well, a meal doesn’t get much more satisfying than that. Here, we honor the fish tales that feed us.
Cypress Bend Golf Resort, Spa & Conference Center, Many, Louisiana
Louisiana has a Catch and Cook program for restaurants, and this meetings-friendly property on Toledo Bend Lake arranges for guests go after fat perch and a fish locals call sac-a-lait (aka crappy). Afterward, they hang in the kitchen with the chef until feasting in The Dining Room.
Pueblo Bonita Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Weekly, chef Octavio Hernandez leads a group to the resort’s oceanfront to cast their lines from the shore. Then, the chef and his team transform the fresh catch into mesa de ceviches, right on the beach, while the anglers are regaled with the history and tradition of this signature dish. The resort offers 5,800 sq. ft. of meeting space.
Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa, Jupiter, Florida
The kitchen at Sinclairs Ocean Grill at this resort on a tranquil stretch of Atlantic shoreline dotted with natural dunes is helmed by executive chef Ricky Gopeesingh. He also leads guests on fishing quests for swordfish, snapper, grouper, amberjack, cobia, wahoo and more in warm Florida waters. Back ashore, the chef expertly prepares the day’s fresh catch in any style of choice.
Meetings go into laid-back mode at this oasis of tranquility, especially during lobster season, from August to March. Spearfishing is the way to nab these elusive creatures. If someone in your group is licensed and knows how that’s done, what better group experience than to see a big Florida spiny lobster plopped on the grill right off the boat?