Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day! Fish Quiz

Happy Memorial Day!

Here is a little preview of our next fish. Do you know what it is?
Full report in a few days.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fish # 15 Brown Trout

We are happy to add a "Field and Stream" fish to the quest: the Brown Trout (Salmo trutta). We call it a "Field and Stream" fish because it is one of those species that the magazine would published a story about and use descriptive words like "legendary" and "trophy".  It is a major game fish.

Our charasmatic brownie came from the Lamprey River in Raymond, NH.

This fish was fooled by a small lead-free jig tipped with a redworm.  The retrieve that seemed to drive the fish crazy was a slow, jerky one - causing the worm to look like a swimming leech or perhaps an eel.  Regardless, It looked like dinner to this trout.

We kept the first one, but kept casting because it was just down right fun. We caught a twin to this fish, a rainbow trout about the same size, and many, many fallfish.

The brown trout is not native to New Hampshire and is stocked regularly by NH Fish and Game Department. According to their website, "In New Hampshire, brown trout are usually between 7 and 14 inches and weigh less than one pound. However, it is not uncommon to find fish that weigh between 2 and 4 pounds. After reaching about 12 inches, they feed almost solely on baitfish during twilight and nighttime hours. Live bait, spinners and flies fished at dusk are equally effective on brown trout."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bonus Fish: River Herring

We can not count this in the quest because it was caught with a net, but we thought our fans would like to see the pictures. A few weeks ago we ran into our old fishing friend Jim, whom we only see during the herring run. He was out doing a little catch and release herring netting.

Jim is the best citizen advocate we know for the herring and for the fishermen who catch them for lobster and striper bait. He is convinced that there is enough herring spawning beneath the Exeter River fish ladder to sustain more harvest than NH Fish and Game currently allows. Right now people can only net on Saturdays and Mondays. No one can touch them on Wednesdays.  This restriction is based on the number of herring that go up the ladder, which is a pitiful in most years.  But there are thousands below the ladder that never make it up.

Jim caught a bunch in his net and all but one go. He gave us one for the quest. We took it home and cleaned it in preparation for smoking later.

 We don't claim to be able to tell the difference between alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and bluebacked herring (Alosa aestivalis) - both are called river herring.  If we had to guess we would say this was an alewife. They are suppose to be the dominate fish in that river and the internal body cavity of a bluebacked has a black lining. We did not see that.

If we can catch one of these on hook and line, we will add it to the quest list.  They will strike at small sabaki rigs. We have seen them also swipe at small jigs, but not very often. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Skipped American Idol for this....

Last night we were faced with the choice of watching American Idol or fishing, we made the right choice.

We fished in Pequawket Pond (Albany) and caught several Largemouth Bass. Including this nice hog.

It doesn't count for the quest because our rules dictate that we must eat the first legal example of each species, this would have been illegal as it was caught during the bass spawning period (May 15- June15)

We used 4.5 inch long Sluggos and had a great time!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sunny days... Fish number 14 Pumpkinseed

While targeting other species, one can't help but catch these pretty little sunfish. We were only too happy to reel in this little kibby and cross fish 14 off the list.

A lot of people don't appreciate these fish, but they are voracious carnivores and fight as good as any fish their size.

 Almost every fishing technique can be used for these, but we recommend that you fish like an 8 year old if you want to target them. In fact we think you should use a bent willow branch, with a five foot piece of string tied to it and a bent safety pin. Dig your own worm and sight fish for these. Super simple and fun.

We had to eat this Pumpkin seed, so we did, the recipe was simple. After cleaning the fish, we cut the meat from the bones, rolled it in a fish fry batter and fried. It was delicious! They don't call these panfish for nothing.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

5-2-11 white perch vid

Dave got a video camera that straps to his face, this is our first attempt at a video with that. It's not great, but we are learning.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

We've struck gold with lucky 13 the Golden Shiner

While fishing in the Lakes Region for lots of other fish we hit the jack pot with this little one -  the smallest of our quest so far: the Golden Shiner.

These little fish are also known as Arkansas Shiners and are one of the most common bait fish in the state.
 We caught this using a very tiny hook and a very tiny piece of worm. It only took a few seconds and setting the hook launched the fish into the stratosphere!

We decided to cook this fish whole, so we coated it in Zatarain's Fish-Fri and fried it head scales and all.

We debated a bit to see who would eat the head. To settle it, Clay flipped a coin and Dave suffered the results:  Heads - Dave ate the head, tails (you get the picture).  The coin went up and landed - sealing Dave's fate for a shiner brains snack.

We both crunched into the fish and were pleasantly surprised. The crispy morsel was perhaps the best thing we've eaten so far. We had not trouble imagining a bucket of these little fish with some dipping sauce and a cold beer. Maybe we're onto the next big thing! (Golden Shiner Coral?)  Try this fish, you'll be so pleased you did!

Monday, May 16, 2011

White Perch Lunch

About 5 minutes after we caught the white perch in Center Harbor we were preparing the fillets.  Clay  inserted his new sharp knife into the skull of the fish to put it out of its misery quickly, then proceeded to fillet it on the grass.

Compared to other fish, the meat of a white perch has a more dramatic combination of red and white flesh.

A simple dusting of spices and then into the frying pan.
 The white perch tasted fine and had a delicate texture. We both agreed that it was one of the better ones on the quest.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Beautiful Day on the Pow Wow

Using Quiet Water New Hampshire and Vermont, 3rd: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide to the Best Ponds, Lakes, and Easy Rivers (AMC Quiet Water Series), the quest found a small marshy section of the Pow Wow River Between Country Pond (Newton NH) and Pow Wow Pond (Kingston).
The access is off the a road that had to be voted Worst Named by the NH Real Estate Association:

We saw a good deal of wildlife, including kingbirds, cormorants, great blue herons, northern water snake, and these usual suspects:

We chose this spot to seek out banded sunfish, but we now think the water was a bit big for them. We caught a zillion perch and some big golden shiners. Saw one largemouth bass in the shallows that was scary huge (we're going to need a bigger boat).

No new fish for the quest, but a great location and good day.

Fish #12 White Perch

Clay scores Fish number 12!

On a hot tip from AJ's Bait and Tackle, we encountered some spawning white perch in Salmon Meadow Cove near Center Harbor. After a bit of fishing, Clay caught one on a rubber crank bait. The fish were very full of eggs and milt.

It was a  very pudgy white perch

When we first saw the cove, we thought something was wrong. We must have saw a dozen perch in different stages of death. Most were floating and spinning out of control on the surface.  Some clearly had passed on to that big lake in the sky.  We asked a NH Fish and Game biologist about it and he said that they only see this kind of fish kill in Winnipesaukee.  They don't know why some of the fish are in such distress, but his best guess is that the act of spawning simply is too much for them (what a way to go).

Fish #12: White Perch
Stay tuned for the next blog post when we eat this fish

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

we're gonna getcha Sucker! Fish number 11 the White Sucker

We headed to Meredith falls at the Mills Falls Market Place to spear our newest fish. The White Sucker

This has to be the easiest fishing one can do, in fact it was a lot easier than we thought.

The technique is simple, find spawning suckers and stab them with a spear. Once we found the fish this proved to be really simple.

Now Clay is a MAN!!!!!!

We were tempted to get more than one given the simplicity of this, but we would have felt bad killing a fish for no reason. So we curbed the urge and cooked the fish instead.

We cut off a couple nice fillets from this fish and added some breading and fried it in olive oil.

There are three different filet's here, the ones with the red stripe are Suckers.

The fillets looked really good and we were looking forward to eating this. We greedily took a big bite and were immediately disappointed. The taste was fair but the texture was very mushy and soft. We heard these are much better in a chowder or soup, so when we catch the long-nosed sucker we will have to give that a try.