Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Nice morning

The wind was from the South today for the first time in a while, so I drifted out into the second lake and had a good stiff row back against a pretty good breeze.  I could make just a few inches per stroke of oars except when the wind let up some and then I could make perhaps a foot.  The wind can get rougher, so I'll have to watch the weather as that would be a long, hard row back.

I fished the second lake in the area of the buoy (now in for winter) and over to the area adjacent to Burden Lake Road.  I hit three fine sized white perch, two yellow perch, two bluegill and a pumpkinseed.  We'll have fish for supper.

Most hit on a jib with both eyeball and worm, although the white perch hit when there was just an eyeball there.  I did not carry a net.  I should.  All the white perch came in without incident, however.

At the traditional spot in front of the camp in the bay I saw a pileated woodpecker who entertained me for quite a while hopping about and squawking all the while.  I don't think I've heard the sound before, certainly not for as long a time.

In the bay was one lonely duck that Elizabeth thinks is a greibe.  It passed the window later in the day.

Then rowing back a large monarch passed behind the boat.  These were dying in Lake Michigan when we were up there a couple weeks ago, so I was amazed to see one still alive and feisty.

It was like a summer day.  I wore just one long sleeved Tee shirt.  I was quite warm.  It was overcast, but now is clear again with sun.

I kept the fish alive while I had a bite of food and a bit of a rest.  I put the bucket under the faucet and turned on one of the routes that has no hose just a small bit, like a spray from a squirt gun.  That worked just great.  One white perch died just the same, but all the rest were alive and pretty feisty when I took them to be cleaned. 

Dozens of birds at the feeders.  So many tufted tit mouse at the black pumpkin seed feeder.  Quite amusing.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

New Oars

I unwrapped the new nine foot oars today, thinking I'd have to seal them with Thompson's Water Sealer.  However, they had a nice finish on them already, so all I had to do was put on the oar lock hardware.  The bolt was too short.  This means these oars are greater in circumference than the 8 foot oars. 
I bought two bolts at Tremont's for 66 cents and I was ready to go.  The bracket fit just fine.
These oars have a longer paddle area than the other oars, and so they should grip more water. 
They seemed to work just fine, and the boat rowed easily and well even into the wind.

I tired quickly.
This Humira shot has tired me out.
So, I'm resting before I head out again this afternoon.
While resting I made a CD of some Perry Como music.  I got almost an entire 2 albums on one CD.  Should be great car company.

Last week I found a nice old short oar at a flea market for just $5, and so I have quite a few choices if I want to launch a smaller boat or use oars for decoration in the house.

Neighbor Chuck came over and I told him I would not be waking him up anymore with the squeaking of those plastic extenders.  I'll enjoy not hearing them as well.

I went out just before sunset and rowed against the wind up to the spot off the Second Lake Island.  One bluegill only.  I had some nibbles but no other decent hits.  Used a jig and a fish eye, saving the worms for tomorrow.

There is color in the trees that is just wonderful.  Plenty of boats out slowly cruising to see the leaves. 

I drifted home and locked the boat up for the night. 
Prairie Home is a repeat but delightful just the same. 
Supper was a couple slices of left over steak done in left over mushroom onion and mixed veggied done in left over kale and garlic butter with some shreaded cheese.

It all tasted really good with a bit of Fautine VII red wine, tempranillo.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Got about seven

I was out from about ten AM until 1 PM.  I missed quite a few when I could not hook the nibblers.  I suppose they were smaller bluegills.  They stole the bait.
I fished in front of the house for a while.  There was a young blond fishing off the shore.  So that added to the scenery.
But I did not get much action, so I rowed out to the Second Lake Island, against the wind, and anchored in my traditionally favorite spot.  Very light action, but I managed to get a few and I guess for this time of year, that is good.

The lake was very quiet.

Color is just starting.

The wind was slight, sometimes not there at all, and it did not shift too much so I had an easy row,  well....mostly a drift.....back home.

We hope to have them for a big breakfast tomorrow as a steak has been thawed and should be cooked today.  Actually, it is being cooked as I write.

The roosters were quite until about noon.  That was unusual.
We are getting eggs from a nearby place, someone with real free range chickens eating for the most part in the yard.  The yolks are a deep orange unlike anything in supermarkets.  I hope they keep supplying.  She is limiting customers now, but put us on the list.  Perhaps we'll get bounced off when we snowbird to Florida.

One perch in the batch today.

My new oars come tomorrow. 
Very cool.  This one with the thin plastic extended still makes a huge amount of noise.

It is a wonderful Autumn day. We'll eat on the deck.  I have flashbacks to Buffalo Saturday nights when my Mom would cook steak and the smells would mix with the smells of Autumn.  Many changes since then, but at least I don't have to collect on the paper route.

Monday, September 15, 2014


No fish for me lately, but plenty of water.  We are up at Lakeside, Michigan.
Elizabeth had the panko crusted yellow Lake Michigan perch and liked it.  I just am not a fan of panko.
This was at Frankie's Other Place in Union pier.  I had rack of lamb and count it as the best in years.  We spent a night there eating and talking and just had a grand time. We even called Frank and talked him into a late night drink along with some hog wings that are famous here.

  Here is the Yelp review I wrote:
The ad in the local New Buffalo paper caught our interest.  A twenty dollar multicourse deal and live entertainment.  We were delighted with the food, service and the music although to really hear that we had to go in the bar area.   We ended up ordering the more expensive choices, the perch in Panko batter, the rack of lamb, escargot.  All were delicious.  I grabbed a bottle of ménage a trois and my wife had a fancy martini, both on sale that night,  An attentive staff kept us relaxed and well served.  All were friendly and very accessible. The early dinner music was what dinner music should be.  So often I'm annoyed by harsh sounds in restaurants played too loud.  This music created the ambiance desired for leisurely dining.  After dinner we moved from dinner to the bar where Keith Scott played some really fine blues guitar and engaged us with friendly questions and conversation.  He was very good and we called our blues loving son to come and meet us for drinks and Keith's second set.  It was quite a night.  Finally, I just can't say enough about Jessica who was attentive to us the entire night.  She helped us decide what to order and even after we moved into the bar she stopped and made certain we were happy and having fun.  Such a personable and pleasant young woman, good humored and very knowledgeable, Jessica supplied the customer focused attention that would encourage us to come back and without any of that stuffiness we sometimes encounter from staff in upscale eateries. She was just delightful.    Our only complaint was that the music was advertised in the paper to start at six but did not start until seven.  We were there from six until almost ten.  We were not unhappy, and we never felt rushed to finish or that we were hanging around too long.  The place seemed pretty busy with late diners, but many missed a closer listen to the blues in the bar.   I'd recommend an after dinner drink.

I am thinking that the fish at home are biting.
And Elizabeth bought me a set of nine foot oars I found on Ebay for my birthday.  They should arrive soon after we are home.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday afternoon, September 7

I replaced the broken oar extender using some of the heavier gray pipe I bought to make oars.  Elizabeth ordered some 9 foot oars for my birthday at a decent price on Ebay.  So, I'll have plenty for the Fall rowing.

After two days of sluggishness I finally rowed out, going against a solid wind into the Third Lake.  The new pipe is much more rigid and does not make that squawking that woke up neighbor Chuck one morning. 

Chuck's grandkids were over today with a fine 24 inch pickerel they caught.  I cleaned and froze it for some future supper.

I anchored off the island in the old spot I fished so many years.  In fact, the 26 inch pickerel I showed the boys mounted on the wall was caught right where I was fishing today.  Using something called Crappie Gulp on twister tail jigs I caught a bucket of bluegills.  I'll clean them soon.

It is a perfect Fall day with sun and a good wind and little humidity.  I love this weather.

Fish cake Sunday morning

I had marinated some bluegill in Civetta's barbecue sauce and they were good, but the sauce is very strong and the fish absorbed perhaps a bit too much.

So I filleted the leftover fish, chopped up the meat, mixed with some cooked chana dal beans, a few bread crumbs and an egg.

The result was very tasty.

and I found it even much better when I added this green hot sauce.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thursday, September 4

Early morning row produced no fish but gave great exercise with the wind stiff enough to be a challenge coming home.
One bite.  No catch.

A day of errands and an hour and a half looking for the misplaced kindle and then packing for Lakeside Michigan.
Neighbor Chuck over for a drink and a celebration on his healing after months and going back to work tomorrow.

A supper of fish just the same as if I'd caught them this morning.
Oh.  very nice.
Elizabeth had the perch.
The key to a happy marriage is giving the woman the perch.

The bluegills were just fine.
I made a makeshift sangria from an organic red wine, juices and a bit of Triple Sec.
Just perfectly satisfying for me.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Solo fishing catch today

The lake was almost completely windless all morning.
Early there was some overcast parts and later even a half hearted sprinkle, but most of the weather was all sun and very hot.

I guess this is also humid.  I don't seem to be feeling that.

One plastic oar extender just snapped.  Too bad.
I still get buy but I need to make some oars soon and I think now I'll try to reinforce them with a bit of metal where the plastic is the weakest part.

I fished in the Second Lake bay down along the shore in the shade from the morning sun.

Few boats passed.

Two kayaks passed, one with a pretty nice looking blond.  He was fishing. She was on her phone.  Nice.  So much better than water skis.

I caught 11 fish.  Many of them were very small.  It was not like yesterday or like my last time in that hole along the shore.  It was slow.  Here is the entire mess of fish.  One meal.


I know most fishermen laugh at perch this size and at my cleaning them.
Well, once my Buffalo mother laughed at the chicken wings everyone seemed to want.  They too are small.  And bony.
I'd rather have fifty perch this size than just a few large ones.  They are so sweet and cook up so easily.

I remember too once when Keith was about 5 years old.  Just he and I were in the boat and we had anchored over a school of fish just like this one.  He could fish with a small hook and a small bit of worm right off the back of the boat and he could see the fish bite.  He was filling the bucket and I suggested we move along and try something different.  But he wanted to stay and so we did until that school was exhausted or moved on.  He had such a good time.  And when we ate them I marveled at how tasty they were.

I was out over an hour and then came back to clean up the fish.  Here is my cleaning station.  No longer do I worry about cleaning in the direct sunlight.  Years ago I never worried about that because while there was sunlight I wanted to get out on the water again.  I often cleaned fish from 9 PM until early hours of the morning, in the living room, watching old Black and White movies.  That is one reason I started filleting.  No scales and so the mess was minimal.

Now that I am rarely looking at 50 or more fish to clean, I scale.  We like them cooked whole and not filleted. 
Here are my tools.

I built the fish cleaning board from a battery cable clamp and some left over pine.  After a couple decades the pine gave out, so I added with fine piece of hardwood that was one of Keith Reynold's scraps and exended the board just a small bit.  The bottom park of the batter clamp often fits well in the mouth of the fish.

Decades ago I did not clamp the fish for scaling or cleaning whole, but now my hands are just not reliable.  I love having this clamp hold the fish so that the most I lose with clumsiness is an occasional tool.

The scaler here is new.  I bought it in Florida last winter.  Before that I had the last of the old scalers I bought for a dime a piece at a KMart bluelight special.  I gave many of them away to my fishing club students.  I still have one.  However, I love this scaler.  It is designed much better.
The knife on the left is a serrated steak knife that up until today I was using.  Today I went back to doing some of the cutting with a fillet knife and liked it better, especially on the smaller fish.  The knife on the right is an old fashioned butter knife, shaped wide.  It is perfect for popping the eyes out of the fish without piecing them.  I save the eyes in small packets in the freezer and use them for bait.

Years ago I would have laughed at wearing gloves, but I seem to knick my hands lately and some of those knicks became strangely infected and gave me a good bit of difficulty. 
I like these gloves.  Mr Clean is the brand. 

Here is where I clean, tucked under an old umbrella to keep the sun off me and my fish.