Feb 1, 2009

winter fishing

winter finally came and froze the lake. mom and dad are fishing with nets, under the ice, and getting some nice catch! went there the other weekend and updated my knowledge of winter fishing.

first of all, you need to know the exact location where to put the net, fish don't just wander about, that's what i'm told anyway. once you got the location right, you make 2 holes in the ice, distance between the holes depends on the leght of your net. there are special tools that make making the holes easier that it sounds. then you take a sledge (particularly designed for this purpose) and put that under the ice with a line attached to it (so that you'd be able to pull the net under ice once you get to that point). your aim is to slide the sledge under ice from one hole to the other. you can drill holes in the ice to get the sledge moving if it gets stuck in the middle.

once you get the line (which needs to be few meters longer than the distance between the holes) under ice, you attach one end of the line to net and start pulling the net under. once you get the net under the ice, you need have weights on both ends to keep it at right depth, finally you secure the net with another set of lines on both ends so that currents don't move the net. my dad uses sticks longer than the holes are wider for this purpose. there is a lot of "science" to this and it'd take me forever to excplain it, let's prentend you got it right and a couple of days later are ready to see if you caught any fish.

you need to break ice on the holes, if you put some sort cover on the holes it'll be easier. take the long line, attach it to the net and start pulling it from the other hole. usually when you got fish, you can feel their movements on the net before you pull it all out. the idea is to gather the net to the other end to check if you caught anything. if you did get something, like my dad here caught a pikeperch / zander, you'll need to release the fish trying to keep damage to net minimal, sometimes easier said than done.

once you've checked the whole lenght of the net, go to the other other and pull the net under ice with the line you attached earlier. very simple!

in finland you need to have a permit to fish like this, so make sure you got one before doing all the hard work. this time the pike-perch got salt, butter and prunes inside before going into the oven. we don't usually mess around too much with fish since we eat it so fresh.

another fish caught in the net was a burbot, ugly bugger. it has no scales so it needs to be skinned.

this one ended up in a soup a day later. start with cutting up the skinned fish into 3-5 pieces, put to kettle with enough water to barely cover the pieces and simmer until fish is almost done. take out the fish, if you want to be fancy, strain the water and put back to kettle. add peeled and cubed potatoes, sliced yellow onion, salt and peppercorns and cook until the potatoes are almost done. while the potatoes are cooking debone and cut further the fish, leave the pieces quite big. once potatoes are almost done, put the fish back to kettle and simmer until done. add milk and butter to taste, or sour cream like i did here. great meal with rye bread and swiss cheese.

the dog loves it at the lake because it's the only place where he can run around free.

he is pretty fast!

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