Fishing for Food

I went fishing yesterday from about 3 PM to around 8:30 PM, and got home right before dark.

I do enjoy the actual act of fishing, but this isn’t recreation or leisure time. This is absolutely serious ‘foraging’ time. Coming home empty handed means no meat for dinner. It’s very different from what most people I know do…  going out and wasting a few hours with a pole in the water, and not caring if you catch anything or not. Heck, most people will throw the fish back if they only catch a few, thinking it’s ‘not worth their time’ to clean them unless they have a bunch. This mindset is alien to me.  I fish for one reason only: food. I never, ever, fish for ‘sport’.

When I arrived at the fishing location, the road was totally blocked by some dingus in one of those monster sized pickups, doing gods know what. (I think that people with trucks bigger than a small house, that have no real off-road function, are definitely compensating for something…)

So, I went to the first turn off instead of my usual spot. It’s a nice area, I’ve just never caught a single fish there. Ever. I’ve seen other people catch them. I’ve just not done so. It’s not a very sheltered area, and the wind whips in pretty good. Most of the folks that I’ve seen catch fish in that spot use a boat, and then fish IN towards land in the little nooks and get fish that like to hang out around the root structures and such. If I only had a canoe or kayak or some such, that’d be me. But I can’t stand motor operated watercraft. The noise and the endless disruption grate on my nerves, not to mention the fact that the gas powered motors kill loads of fish. If they banned all motor driven watercraft from this lake, I’d be very, very happy. People get a motor boat and think they’re all of a sudden uber-fishers.

The first three hours I didn’t get a single nibble, using any bait. Then I got a few tiny nibbles, and it was the itty bitty fish that like to harass and steal your bait without biting the hook.

However, I did see quite a few geese. They’d pass within only a few feet of me. Oh damn our twisted society and it’s idiotic rules and regulations! Here, passing within spitting distance, was breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the wing. For a week. For a whole family!

Geese 4

(And just for record and to be clear for all the legal beagles and fluffybunny ninnies, and so called ‘sportsmen’ that read this, I’d never take any wild game out of season or without the proper legal ‘permits’, ‘licenses’ or other BS nonsense that one now needs to have in order to do what people and animals have been doing since the dawn of time: eating.)

Thus, no goose for me. Though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want one.

I do like geese though, and not just for eating. I think the goslings are cute and squeaky. I’d still eat one though. I absolutely love goose. Never had a gosling though. I think it’d be like a tender young chicken, but goosey flavored.

Geese 2

I finally moved somewhat close to my usual fishing spot. It was a less-favorable spot (in my opinion, and for what I was fishing for) than my favorite fishing spot. It was also closer to the boat ramp, which meant that literally every 10 to 15 minutes, someone was load or unloading a boat. There was also trash littering the beach, in great quantity, and I mean that in more ways than one. Unfortunately my favorite spot was taken up by two white boys, only a bit younger than myself,  who apparently thought they were inner city gangstas. At the very least, they certainly talked like it. And for the love of everything precious and good, they just would not shut the heck up! I got regaled at full volume on such topics as football, basketball, baseball, rap music, boxing, as well as listen to two supposedly best friends ‘cut’ on each other (verbally) the entire time. If there was any other decent fishing spot, I’d have moved. Such was the fun fishing next to ‘Joey’ and ‘Mario’. They were about 60 yards away and I listened to their BS for three and a half hours before they finally left (in a Lexus SUV of all things!)  And, as it was getting cold and dark, I left soon thereafter.

However I did end up catching 6 fish at that spot, all bluegill.

Here’s one of the bluegill I caught. It is a female.

Bluegill

As I was leaving, a nice fellow about my age who’d been out on a boat asked me what I was fishing for, and I said ‘Bluegill’. He asked me if I wanted a crappie, as he caught only one and was going to throw it back. I said “Absolutely!” It was a very nice sized black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) I thanked him heartily for the unexpected fishy gift. Which, by the way, was the largest by far of all the fish in my bucket. Though to be fair, crappie tend to be bigger than bluegill most of the time.

In case you don’t know, black crappie have black spots. That’s what nigromaculatus means White crappie have 8 to 10 vertical stripes. Most fishermen seem to call the black crappie ‘white crappie’, because no one has explained the simple difference to them.

Black Crappie

One of the fish expired, so I cleaned it when I got home. But the others were still alive and flippy, so I left them in the big cooler overnight. Unless I’m in a hurry, I prefer to let them expire on their own accord vs having to deal with them whilst they’re all flippy.

When I woke up, they were all dead on the bottom of the cooler. I expected as much. They probably expired sometime in the wee hours of the night. I put them in a bucket of ice cold water, and there they shall sit until I finish eating and typing this. After which, I’ll clean them, scale them, gut them, and behead them, and into the fridge they will go for supper tonight.

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Categories: Fishing, Foraging, Nature, Nature Photos, Organic Meat, Survival, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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