Your Questions Answered: Do Cadets Fish From The Decks Of The TS Kennedy?

question mark

We have received many questions related to fishing:

Do cadets fish off of the deck of the TS Kennedy?

How many fish are caught during each Sea Term?

Who cleans the fish?

Can cadets cook fish in their holds?

The answer is a combination of both, no and yes,

If you are picturing cadets lined up along the railings of the TS Kennedy holding fishing rods, think again.  There is just too much to be done during Sea Term.  Cadets do not have time to stand around fishing. 

Fortunately, over the years, cadets have come up with a solution so that they can take classes, stand watch, make repairs, do cleaning…and fish at the same time!

Lines are cast off the stern of the ship.  The rods are secured in place so that cadets do not need to stand around holding them.  When cadets have free time, they may stop to check their rods.  There’s an unwritten fishing rule that allows fellow fishing buddies to reel in another line if the owner can’t be reached.  After all, a cadet cannot leave a training class, a watch, or a maintenance assignment just because a fish happens to get hooked.  Fishing aboard the TS Kennedy becomes a team effort.

Today, as the TS Kennedy steams towards Marquez, Puerto Rico, the lines have been cast for Sea Term 2023.  What happens next is anyone’s guess. 

lines in the ocean
Look closely!  Can you spot the lines?


lines in the ocean
How many fish do you think will be caught during Sea Term 2023?

It's impossible to say just how many fish will be caught during Sea Term.  On one Sea Term, not a single fish was caught. Not one!  Other Sea Terms were much more plentiful. Crew members recall  Sea Term 2018 when multiple fish were caught within an hour. 

It all comes down to luck.  Of course, Captain Campbell does not direct the ship towards the best fishing spots. He has more important things on his mind! 

If a fish is caught, the cadet who reels it in must be able to immediately fillet it on deck.  Parts that will not be eaten are cast over the side back into the ocean. 

Cadets cannot do any cooking while on Sea Term.  Of course, toaster ovens and electric frying pans are forbidden for safety reasons.  They are not allowed to have food in their holds.  Plus, can you imagine someone cooking fish in a hold?  That would NOT be a welcome aroma when it came time for 80 cadets to get some sleep. 

Thankfully, Chartwells, the food service company that feeds Massachusetts Maritime Academy cadets both at sea and back on campus, is ready to help.  They have pledged to cook every fish caught aboard the TS Kennedy.  One of the chefs is alerted as soon as a fish is caught.  As soon as the fish is cleaned, the chef whisks the fillets into the kitchen.  Then, the magic begins.  By the time the Mess Deck starts serving dinner, the owner of the fish is presented with a creation that could rival any fish served at a five-star restaurant. The fish owner never eats the entire delicacy himself or herself.  A fish caught at sea is meant to be shared.  The fish is usually cut up into small pieces so that the whole table can have a taste. 

So, while cadets wait for the first fish of Sea Term 2023 to be caught, let’s look at a Fishing Flashback from 2019.   

fish being caught
Can you believe the vivid color of this fish?

cadet holding fish
Cadets are always proud of their catch?

cadet cleaning fish
Cleaning a fish can get a little messy!  Cadets work together to make sure the deck is left clean.

fish ready to cook
The Chartwells chefs turn every fish caught into a culinary masterpiece.

Please keep your questions coming and stay tuned for more fishing updates.