Monday, March 28, 2011

Landlocked Salmon Opening day, Planning our next trip

April 1 marks the opening day for Landlocked Atlantic Salmon in NH. We are planning on heading out on April 2 in search of this fish.

One of the most common methods for targeting salmon at ice-out is to troll along the edge of the ice with a lure that imitates a smelt.

This is what we hope to do!

We may have to wait a little as of today the lake is still locked up with ice. Stay tuned this weekend for results!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fallfish Cakes, NH's Largest "Native" Minnow is Delicious!

We cooked and ate the Fallfish yesterday
 We decided to make fish cakes, partly because we were afraid of the taste of this fish and partly because we had the right ingredients.... So here is the recipe you've been waiting for!

  • Fallfish
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Ritz crackers
  • Oil
  • Egg
    Clean and gut the fish leaving the head and skin on.
     Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Add the fish and dust it with garlic powder and salt.

    Roll the fish in the foil and put it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. (there is no need to preheat)
    Unwrap the fish and let it cool, it should smell really good now but it will be a little slimy.

    Saute onion and celery in hot oil and set it aside

    Pull the fish  meat off the bone and separate it from the skin.
    Don't  worry about a few bones getting mixed in

    Stick the fish, a few Ritz crackers, a little bit of egg, and the onions and celery in a blender and blend until it's a pile of mush. If you are doing this correctly it should look awful!

    Heat oil in a pan until it's hot, and ball the mushy fish up and smash it into a couple of patties and drop them into the pan

    Cook until they are golden brown on both sides

    Dry them on a paper towel
    We Have A WINNER!

    To our surprise this was the best tasting fish so far! Thanks Fallfish for being a part of the quest and a part of us!

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Spring is in the air, so why does it feel like fall? Fish Number 7, Fallfish!

    We headed out this morning to Pequawket Pond in Conway with lots of kids in tow, hunting for whatever was biting.

    We were fishing in about 20 feet of water jigging with glow in the dark jigs tipped with little pieces of worms. We hit a pile of perch early on and were having a great time getting fish on the ice.
    When the most exciting fish of our quest came out of the water!

    Fish Number 7!  The Fallfish, Semotilus corporalis

    To most anglers this fish is just bait or forage, people don't generally eat this big minnow but rules are rules. In fact Wikipedia describes this fish as tasting like feces! It doesn't really say that but that's what some say...

    The NH record is 3 lbs. 8.96 oz! Luckily for us this fish was a lot smaller than that.

    Our first  non-game species, I wonder what it's gonna taste like...

    Looks Delicious!

    Listen close, you can hear this fallfish croak!

    Check back later for a recipe for this minnow!

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Not Without Peril ~ The Surprising Danger of the Quest

    Fishing for and eating every species of Freshwater fish is not free from dangers.

    We need to worry about all kinds of things on this adventure.
    Falling through the ice, falling on the ice, falling into cold water, hypothermia, stings from margined madtoms,
     stings from our wives, fish bites, but the thing we most need to be aware of is MERCURY POISONING!

    That's right, even in this beautiful state with it's clean clear waters we need to careful of this heavy metal.

    Luckily we are brave enough to endure this danger, and we're paying attention to portions...

    NH Fish and Game recommends that adults and children age 7 and older CAN SAFELY EAT four 8-ounce meals per month of freshwater fish.

    Stocked trout are not loaded with mercury, and mercury aggregates in fish as they age so larger fish have a larger percentage of mercury in them than do small fish. This works out well for us because we rarely catch big fish!

    We will be well under that for most of this quest and should be safe, so please don't worry about us!

    Saturday, March 5, 2011

    Do we really have to eat all those fish in one day? A day of eating fish 4 species three meals!

    Our rules dictate that although we can catch fish on solo trips all fish must be eaten as a team.
    Dave caught a dozen smelt solo and Clay caught a Rainbow trout solo. We decided to cook them while fishing for crappie and bluegill, so that is a total for four species to eat in just a few hours on the ice...

    Let's start with Breakfast.
    For breakfast Clay prepared a nice Trout Cream Cheese Spread to serve over bagels, this also goes well at parties served with crackers and red wine.

    Here's how you make it.
    Cream Cheese

    Clean and gut the trout, maybe you should have the kids help with this
    Rub the trout with seasonings of your choice, in this case we used a salmon rub that someone had given me for Christmas

    Bella was really helpful seasoning the trout

    Place the trout on a piece of foil that has butter rubbed on it and roll it up

    Cook the trout a 400 degrees until it's done about 20 minutes, you can tell it's done when the meat flakes off the bone. You can stop and eat the trout right now and it would be yummy. (In fact you should do that!)
    Or you can continue on and make a dip.

    Once trout is cooked it easily comes off the bones

    In a bowl combine cream cheese with the trout meat and roll it into balls.

    Then roll those balls around in chopped walnuts.

    Chill and Serve!

    We brought it out on the ice and had it one bagels for a healthy breakfast.

    Dave Loves Fish!

    MMM Gooood!
    Now it's time for brunch!
    We decided to cook up the smelt for brunch.
    Cooking smelt is super easy.

    We cooked these inside our portable shanty and quickly realized we needed to open the vents...(Guess why!)

    Take the cleaned smelt and roll them around in breadcrumbs, then drop them into hot oil and cook them until they are golden brown on both sides, serve them hot!

    Careful Dave those are hot!

    If you fish with us you have to eat with us!

    Bones and all...

    you can see the regret on Clay's face

    Lots of people eat the smelt heads and bones, for our purposes we decided to serve them head-free. One of us ate the bones and now regrets the choice!

    Dave cooked us up a pan-fish lunch of Black Crappie and Bluegill....

    These taste just like they look.

    Wow Dave, that's something, maybe next time Clay should cook!
    This is probably the easiest thing we've cooked so far, and we do not recommend it!

    Clean and scale the fish leaving the heads on, heat a little oil in the fry pan and throw the fish in. Season with a little salt and pepper then turn them over and do the same, cook them until the fish flakes off the bone and serve.

    We did no justice to those panfish, many people love to eat these fish and do a great job of cooking them!

    Stay tuned for more fishing and stories!

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    I'll be so Blue Just Thinking About You! Fish Numebr 6 Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)

    This might not seem like a milestone fish, but we are supposed to catch every species of freshwater fish in the state.

    We caught this little kibbee while fishing the Bellamy for Crappie, using the same methods,  a tiny jig tipped with a waxworm. This little sunfish is probably the most popular fish to target when fishing with kids and a fun fish to catch a really light tackle through the ice.

    A Bluegill can be easily identified by the black flap on their gills

    Maybe if I hold it over the icehole it will look more impressive...
    The NH state record for Bluegill is 2 lbs. 0.64 oz. this fish is a far cry from that record.

    Stay tuned to see how we ate this little fish!

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    A Crappie day of fishing... Fish number 5 Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)

    We headed down to the Bellamy Reservoir in Madbury NH to fish for Calico Bass with cousin Ronnie.

    The fishing was slow at first but as we got going, and Ron entertained us with a sampling of his Karaoke favorites, his singing soon pulled the fish in.

    The Mighty Mighty Ron Groves
    We found a spot where we've heard that someone sank a few Christmas trees in the reservoir to create habitat and attract fish. This is illegal in NH and we never actually confirmed the existence of the trees but it never hurts to believe in a good a fish story. Using our high tech fish finder we found a spot where the water was 20 feet deep and the fish were suspended between 18 and 15 feet.

    The weather was crappy (sorry), 20 degrees and snowy with a cold wind blowing, but Ron wasn't going to let that keep him down, he was there to be a part of our quest and help us out with a couple of species of fish.

    We can't believe this guy is single!
    While we were working on cooking a nice breakfast of trout-cream cheese bagels (stay tuned for the recipe) Ron quickly jigged up his first crappie of the day and added this fish to our collection. He was jigging in tune with one of his favorite Karaoke songs "Just a gigalo" and like a moth to light the crappie came to Ron's glow in the dark jig tipped with a waxworm.

    One of the fun things about crappie fishing is that it's not at all crappy, it's loads of fun.  These fish school and on a good day you can catch dozens of these pretty fish. Big crappies are called slabs and in some places these are a prized game fish, as evidenced by Wisconsin's Crappie-a-thon. The NH record crappie was caught in the Bellamy 2 lbs. 12.8 oz.

    Our fish was no slab, and would be called a dink, but rules are rules and we had to eat this fish! Maybe we'll get the record for eating the smallest fish.