Monday, February 28, 2011

Where for Art Thou Brother Trout? Fish Number 4 Rainbow Trout! (Salmo gairdneri)

The Brothers' Cabin Camp Marist
We stayed in this cabin for a few nights with our friends and took Bella and Zoe fishing. We didn't expect to catch anything, we were fishing in four feet of water using tip-ups and a huge night crawler and a big fat hook and a weight that was far too heavy...

The girls really enjoyed clearing slush out of the holes.
The tip-ups were set
The flag popped...FISH ON!
A Pretty Rainbow Trout!


Bella (front) Zoe under the arm!
Now the long walk back through the snow to the cabin to cook the fish...stay tuned

Friday, February 25, 2011

He who smelt it... Fish number 3!

Dave went out last weekend on his first solo excursion on The Quest. If you recall our rules dictate that when possible we'll fish together but solo trips count.
During the smelt run villages of shantys spring up
Dave fished in Durham on the Oyster River and in a short time had iced over a dozen smelt, plenty for a meal. We'll be eating them for breakfast on Sunday and of course we'll report back.
Fishing for smelt is one of the most dangerous ways to icefish, because it's done on tidal rivers that go up and down. It is important to bring your saltwater fishing license and make sure your life insurance is paid up.
The technique is pretty simple, if the smelt are there, fish with tiny jigs tipped with sea worms. These nasty leggy teethy worms are yummy if you are a smelt. Smelt travel in large schools and anglers rarely count them but measure them by the quart. Luckily for us, we are not required to eat a large volume of fish, a dozen will be plenty.

A unique thing about fresh smelt is that they smell just like cucumbers, not at all fishy like one might expect.

We'll share a recipe and more details later!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Effingham Sandwich Recipe #2

We had to eat our little Perch caught in Effingham NH and came up with this recipe.
Effingham Sandwhich

Bon appetit!

that's one effingsmall perch!

One small fish
kaiser roll
corn meal
a slice of ham

gut and scale the perch. Heat the oil in a frying pan until it's effinghot. Beat the egg in a bowl then throw the perch into the egg, In another bowl mix corn meal, a small amount of flour and seasonings and mix. Now take the perch out of the egg and roll it around in the cornmeal mix.

Now drop the perch into the effinghot oil. Cook until the fish is golden brown, then remove it from the oil and place it on a paper towel to cool.
careful that's effinghot

Once the the perch is no longer too hot to to touch, remove the meat from the bones and discard the carcus. Place the fish meat on the kaiser roll, with ham and barbecue sauce and enjoy your Effingham sandwich.
that's some effingsandwich!

watch out for bones

That's effingdelicious!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fish Number 2 Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens)

Went out in search of fish number two the other day, the target was white perch Morone americana, but you can't control what fish eat your bait...
Leavitt Bay Effingham NH, Lake Ossipee

We sought advice from a local bait shop, they recommended we head to Lake Ossipee the recommendation was to find a spot with between 20 and 30 feet of water and try to find the school. So we headed to Camp Marist in Effingham, I work there in the summer as their naturalist and got permission from the brothers to fish there.
Knee deep snow, it could be worse!

Luckily they had plowed right to the beach at Leavitt Bay, so we had to to cross a couple hundred feet of deep snow to get to the lake which had almost no snow on it. Dave (the smart guy) thought to bring his snowshoes with him, I on the other hand decided to pack light and left my snowshoes at home. It's just as well as we needed some fun pictures anyway...

snowshoe hare
After a lot of cussing and scrambling through deep snow we made it to the ice and proceeded to drill holes, it was a beautiful day and the only other sign of life on the lake was a set of snowshoe hare tracks crossing the lake.

We drilled holes in the ice until we found a likely spot and quickly caught the only fish we'd see all day. One dinky little yellow perch. Dave pulled this lunker through the ice jigging with a tiny jig tipped with a wax worm. Now our rules dictate that we must eat the first legal example of the species we catch, yellow perch have no size limits so we had no choice we had to eat the dink...Who made these rules anyway? Check back soon for the perch recipe...

Dave finds every fish to be exciting!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Poor Man's Lobster! Recipe #1

As per our rules, we got together today to cook and eat our cusk, the recipe we chose was "Poor Man's Lobster"  we chose this because it's easy and we really liked the sound of it. In fact Poor Man's lobster is a common name for cusk.

I filleted the cusk at home and had it ready to go, the recipe was simple and the results were outstanding!


Cusk cut into 1 inch pieces
Red Wine Vinegar
Using Gary our camp stove we boiled salt water and a dash of redwine vinegar, once that was at a rolling boil we dropped the cusk in.

While the cusk was cooking (2 minutes) we melted some butter in another pan with some garlic and salt.

Then we ate the poor man's lobster dipped in the melted butter and garlic and to our delight it tasted just like lobster! The texture was a little more tender but the flavor was almost perfect!


Don't burn yourself Clay!

Friday, February 11, 2011

We will not be defeated!

The sting of defeat the other night really got us down, but last night I headed out on my first solo excursion of this quest to fish for these elusive fish. I needed redemption and we needed to knock some fish off of this list so we can move on with our adventure.

I set five "set lines" out last night in Center Harbor on Lake Winnipesaukee. A set line is a stick with enough line on it to reach the bottom of the lake, attached to a heavy sinker with a hook and bait no more than six inches from the sinker. The regulations require the bait to be on the bottom for cusk lines. The set lines were left out overnight. There were a couple of guys on the ice crazier than Dave and I, they were camping on the ice and kept an eye on my lines for me.

So this morning on my way to work I went out and chipped out the lines and to my delight, SUCCESS! I caught three cusk and released one, so two for the table. Sunday Dave and I will cook these up so stay tuned for a recipe and some more fun.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Phrase "That's why they call it fishing" Makes Us Angry!

We ventured out last night onto the windswept ice in Alton Bay, and brought enough gear with us to live on the ice for several weeks, our gear included ingredients to cook our cusk, wine, Gary our trusted cook stove, a heater, portable shanty and lots of fishing gear. It took us nearly an hour to move all the gear to the spot and begin checking our set lines for cusk..

We were so hopeful, but after all the careful planning and organizing, the fish simply weren't there, we pulled all six lines out of the water and felt the cold sting of failure, or frostbite, I think they're the same thing...

This is Dave, he's smiling because he thinks we're going to catch fish!

As darkness set in and the temperature fell to 12 degrees and the wind picked up we set up our portable shanty and decided to stay on the ice and try to catch these elusive fish... As you can tell from the title of this post we failed in our first excursion. We jigged with wax worms, smelt, suckers (we were the suckers) minnows and jigs, but nothing. Our fishfinder was showing fish under the ice, but they were there simply to laugh at us for being out in the cold.

After four hours of fishing and not getting a single hit, we decided to call it quits and get off the ice before hypothermia set in. I suspect we got off the ice just in time, I still feel a deep chill.

This is the Cusk set line; we made this out of a paint mixer from Home Depot.

The first thing my wife said to me when I walked in the door was "I told you you never catch anything" her heart is as cold as the ice we just came off of... Oh no she might read this, ignore that last sentence baby it was a joke!

Tomorrow I will put cusk lines out in a spot that produced for me last year and we will eat these fish yet! Wish us luck!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pre Trip Report: Fish #1 - Burbot

Lota lota

No fish seems to have more nicknames;

The burbot is a native freshwater cod found in cold, deep lakes.  They gather on the bottom, in large schools, to spawn.

We will be fishing for burbot in Alton Bay where we will jig for them and also use cusk lines set out the night before by Clay.  

Our camp stove will be along for the trip because we want to have the freshest fish meal possible.  The recipe we'll use is simple white-wine poached cod (should work given the burbot family tree) with wild rice.

We believe all of the information in "Ice Fishing for Cusk" by Don Miller, NH Fish and Game Large-Lakes Biologist, but please leave us any advice you have for our first fishing trip.

Wish us luck! - C & D

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Quest

And so begins our quest, for those of you unfamiliar with this quest here is some background.

As long time friends and anglers of all species Dave and Clay (from now on referred to as we or us) have decided it would be a good idea to try to catch and eat every species of fish in NH. You may be asking yourself "Why would anyone take on such a quest?" and to that we say, "Why climb a mountain?"  or "Why read War and Peace?" Seriously WHY!?  Put simply - we love to fish, we like each other's company, and we don't care what people think of us.

This project will be taken on as a team, much like Penn and Teller, Lewis and Clark, Tango and Cash, Lennon and McCartney. We need to work together to complete this monumental task!

Here are the rules of the quest:
1. All species must be caught legally, preferably with a hook and line. Exceptions will be made for interesting techniques, such as spearing or archery. No nets or traps allowed.

2. We must eat the first legal example of the fish we catch

3. Although we can catch fish individually, eating the fish must be done as a team (That's why God made freezer bags)

4. We must catch all the fish within the 2011 calendar year.