Friday, October 9, 2015

Fishing again and rowing

I caught a bucket full of bluegills right off the dock.  I was out rowing and only got one small perch.  I posted on Facebook as to how I'll prepare them.   Generally, a dip in flour and fried in a large cast iron pan in canola oil. That is the way my Mom always made them. The tails crisp up like potato chips. When I have a huge supply and fillet them, I cut the fillets into bite sized pieces,(about six per fish) dip in milk, roll in corn meal, and put them into the deep frier. Bluegill bits. Very good served with dips like blue cheese or Frank's hot sauce. This is the only fish Dawn's father ever really liked. And kids love them. They will microwave, but they are not an oily fish like salmon and trout. They will go on the grill nicely with some nice sauce like Chaveta's from the Buffalo area. I marinate that sauce. Use a folding screen and don't overcook. On the grill I do leave the heads on and sometimes I wrap them in bacon. Just gutted and soaked overnight in kosher salt water and perhaps garlic, they will do fine in a smoker, but again, because they are not as oily as trout, salmon, mackerel or carp, they will not smoke up as nicely. Margot had some very created recipes years ago when we ate bluegills three or four times a week. She did an Italian version and one with a cream sauce. One advantage of this plentiful fish is because they are so far down the food chain, bluegills do not collect as many heavy metals. They are much healthier than bass or pike or any large predator fish. Also, they are sustainable. They can't be fished out because they are so prolific breeders. In some lakes they overbreed and dominate. That happened in my boyhood haunt, Lime Lake near Buffalo. Then they push out the large game fish and stunt themselves. So far Burden Lake has stayed well balanced.
Odd that I could not get many bites out on the water, but they were very hungry right there on the dock.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Frank's photo/ Chuck's pickerel

Son frank took these shots on one of his outtings.  He thought of me.
Then today neighbor  Chuck's grandsons came over with a 22 inch pickerel.  Nice.  We'll bake it up today.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Former student with fish.


Rough time of it for me

I had a rough time in the boat today.
Quite a bit of pain in whatever is bothering me.  I cast a pole and it all went into a spasm.  I was unhappy.
Peter, Casey and Eliz went.  That should have made me happy.  We all fished a bit and in the end we had enough bluegills for a taste at supper.  Good biting over by the island, but I had forgotten the anchor. 
The day was fine.  Very few boats.

I was happy to have gotten the boat cleaned up and bailed, but I'm unsure what all this means for the summer for me. 

Once out back in my chair with Aleve and bourbon I felt better.  Cleaning the fish was easy enough.  The stairs hurt but the scaling did not. 

I made Peter carry the motor and the battery. 
Casey seemed to have a good time playing with the fish.  He reeled on in that Boppie caught.

I like the stability of the boat so I could stand when the pain got intense and that helped.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pulled the boat up the bank

I used a rope from what I bought in Florida and some hooks.  Things kept snapping, but eventually I got it up enough to drain the water and then hose down the inside.  Nice job done.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Janine and Teresa

Janine and Teresa here fishing today off the dock.  Janine was in the old fishing club from Livingston.  Long time ago.
Here she is as a middle school student holding a fine pickerel she caught in front of the house.

 Here is a grand photo of my bald spot of those years.

We caught up over wine and cheese after the fishing.  The rain held off and gave them a good bit of time on the dock and two large yellow perch and one bullhead went home for cleaning and perhaps breakfast.

Some talk too of Vegas.  Nice.  I don't get to do that much.

And she brought wine

Very tasty treat.  I opened it as I finished up my writing.
The one below is also good.  Janine and I drank it last night.

 WE opened this one.  I knew I had enjoyed this wine before.  As it turns out, this is that expensive bottle that was given to son Frank on his birthday.  He opened it when I visited last April.
 So it was a great visit and I'm sure we will do it again.  In the meantime, I'm sharing a bit of Vegas with her.  

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bluefish with sneaker

This is a print in the SUNY at Albany administration building.
I like it.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Well, I had a fine if slow day with the fish today. 
The bluegills were slow, but nice and big.  I caught some this morning on just a hook and worm.  Just before 6 PM I caught two more, a nice bluegill and one of those big crappies that gives a fillet three times the size of the bluegill.
I'm going to make bluegill bits in the deep fryer on Sunday and trying to collect enough to do that.
My back is somewhat better or I'm just better at babying it.  The cleaning did not affect the place where the back gives the most pain,  Other muscles got tired, but not the sore one and that is very good news.
I used the new knife I bought cheap in florida.  It is a bit longer than the panfish fillet by Rapella and thinner.  I really like it.  Because it is longer I get a better swipe as the handle does not bump against the board.    It took me a while to get used to it, but I'll hope to get a couple more next year.

Of course, I tipped over all the tools and had to pick them up.  Getting down to do that is tough on the back.

I got down and opened the live well and that was hard, but very satisfying.  I put four fish in there three days ago and they were still there.  I have not taken that screened pen in for winter in two years, thinking a new dock was coming.  It is just screened with the light screening buddy Chuck gave me maybe four years ago.  I thought that was a one year fix.  So nice to know that I can put fish in there and expect they will be there.
I cleaned some I had refrigerated and some I had in a bucket (they died) and the fresh ones.  The fresh were easier to clean, except, of course, there is some distain for skinning a live fish.  More as I get older.  Casey thinks it is great fun.

The other odd good turn was that the knot that was in the line just popped itself out.  I was fishing that pole and just trying to toss line after the knot and loop it had made.  So now it is all straight line.  All my reels need line replacement. 

I put up the extra umbrella to clean and took the sun off the process.  I sure like that rig.  In the old days, I would never be cleaning in the sun.  I'd still be fishing.  But now, it is good to get to it whenever I am well napped.

The lake is cool and pretty deserted except for solid business at Kay's.  I like all of it. I was in my overcoat that Peter Ryan gave me a dozen years ago, but took it off.  The tee shirt was enough until I fished at the end of the float in the wind.  Then I wished I had the coat, but stairs are a pain so I don't do them if I don't have to.

No rain.  I have not had to bail anything these past weeks. 
I watered my peppers today.  They were getting a bit dry.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Ann P has the recipe for bluegill


Ann's Bluegill recipe

Ann Parillo's bluegill batter

Ann cooked these at one of Greg Millet's Wednesday poker games and they were great. Here is her batter:

OK - here is my recipe (I don't measure so you can use what you like)

Three containers:
One plastic bag with plain white flour. Add salt, pepper, garlic
powder and
dried crushed basil to taste.

One dish with beaten egg with a little milk added

One dish with a mixture of half saltines crushed and half matzo
crushed. I use a blender to reduce size of crackers.

Method: Rinse and soak fish in lemon juice for about 15 minutes or so.
fillets and then toss in flour bag, then egg mixture and then cracker
mixture. Lay on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper until you are
finished preparing all the fish. This allows the coating to amalgamate
coat and seal the fish entirely.

Well there it is.

Then we just fry them up. yum! Thanks Ann

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


This isn't the right season, but I just found this song.

We even got to sing the lutefisk song…how cool is that?
O Lutefisk, O Lutefisk (sung to the tune of O Tannenbaum)
1. O Lutefisk, O Lutefisk, how fragrant your aroma,
O Lutefisk, O Lutefisk, you put me in a coma.
You smell so strong, you look like glue,
You taste just like an overshoe,
But lutefisk, come Saturday,
I tink I eat you anyvay
2. O Lutefisk, O lutefisk, I put you in the doorvay.
I wanted you to ripen up just like they do in Norvay.
A dog came by and sprinkled you.
I hit him with my overshoe.
O lutefisk, now I suppose
I’ll eat you while I hold my nose.
3. O Lutefisk, O lutefisk, how well I do remember.
On Christmas Eve how we’d receive our big treat of December.
It wasn’t turkey or fried ham.
It wasn’t even pickled Spam.
My mother knew there was no risk
In serving buttered lutefisk.
4. O Lutefisk, O lutefisk, now everyone discovers
That lutefisk and lefse make Norvegians better lovers.
Now all the world can have a ball.
You’re better than that Geritol.
O lutefisk, with brennevin [Norwegian brandy]
You make me feel like Errol Flynn.
5. O Lutefisk, O lutefisk, you have a special flavor.
O Lutefisk, O lutefisk, all good Norvegians savor.
That slimy slab we know so well
Identified by ghastly smell.
O Lutefisk, O lutefisk,

Saturday, May 16, 2015

old fish tale

Sarah, the niece of my old friend Tobie, told me at Tobie's wake that she remembered my fishing the yellow perch, cleaning them in her yard, and cooking them up on the Coleman grill.  This was almost over almost 50 years ago.  She said her mother saved the roe to cook up for visiting fisherman at the motel where University of Buffalo International Club camped for free at her Mom's invitation.

I went out at sunset and caught a few more fish using the worms that wintered while mulching up my soil for the planted peppers.  I put these in the live well to see if it will contain them still after that hard winter or if there are escape routes.  I did not take it out this winter or last.  I really never used it last season, so I don't know how it is and to pull it out is more work than just tossing in a few panfish to see if they will stay or not.  Just getting the rusted wing nuts to turn again was a chore.


At sunrise I noticed fish rising around the dock and fished off the dock for a while. I still am a bit shy about rowing as this pulled muscle wants to stay hurting. The worms I bought for Chuck and I last week had too much sun and were in no shape for anything. Maybe I caught 2 fish with all of those. So, I figured it was time to get a worm that had spent the winter mulching veggie scraps in soil for me while Jay gave that planter box a bit of water once in a while. When... I left for Florida in December, I had some some worms left from a purchased dozen; all winter they had prepared the soil in my planter in the basement for red bell peppers. I picked one and noticed that I had used half that same worm last year. The break had healed, the worm had managed to eat and create rich soil. Now I would use the second half. I caught six nice bluegills on that half a worm from last year. Now that is frugal fishing!! I filleted them and we had them with milk and corn meal cooked in the deep fryer for supper. Yum. I also pulled 8 more worms out of the soil in the planter, and set them aside for another day. I planted my six red bell pepper plants, and so that is done and ready to grow if we get no more frost. I'm hoping they like the rich worm worked soil. From the six plants I need to get six organic peppers to break even. We'll see. I'll spray with a solution of epsome salts as that is supposed to encourage the fruit. I may also try this trick……

Thursday, April 30, 2015

First day on Burden lake water

I spent the morning studying the winch and realizing it is not what I want.
Then I launched the boat.  What an easy job going down hill.  The boat really launched itself.  Then I roped over the float and attached it to the dock.  I tried out the boat and then later went fishing, twice.

. The fish are there. I lost two perch, one just as I lifted the nice perch into the boat. The jig popped out so fast it slammed me on the top of the head. But I managed one perch and one pumpkinseed for tomorrow's lunch along with the last of the frozen fish from last season. I tried my first fish selfie and Elizabeth took on of me in the boat. Very good to be back on the water. And now the first fire of the season.

Fish joke

Now, if I make it to 80 or so, this is what I'll be doing.

            It was raining hard and a big puddle had formed in front of
            the little Irish pub.

            An old man stood beside the puddle holding a stick with a
            string on the end and jiggled it up and down in the water.
            A curious gentleman asked what he was doing.

            “Fishing”, replied the old man.

            Poor old fool, thought the gentlemen.

            So, he decided he would invite the old man to have a drink
            in the pub.

            Feeling he should start some conversation while they were
            sipping their whisky, the gentleman asked, “And, how many
            have you caught today?”

            “You're the eighth.”

Monday, March 30, 2015


In the dream Peter and I and one more were out in the new boat with three buckets of bluegills when the boat seemed to not ride the waves but be swamped by them with water coming in the boat, sloshing the buckets and the bluegills all swimming in the boat.  I had to turn back.
Perhaps that part is anxiety about my boat. 

Rather than head home I went to Guzik's house and Bruce was there and talking to me again with a beer in his hand.  He was young again.  He said I was missing a meeting about something that he and Nancy were doing with Elizabeth and me and two other couples.  I tried to call on Guzik's phone, but it was an old plastic phone with static and two voices talking.  Gail looked at the phone to see what was the matter.

I wondered how in fifteen minutes I would be able to make the meeting and also bail the boat and clean the bluegills.

It was a strange dream, disturbing, and very intensely real.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Porgy for breakfast

This is the last of the porgy we caught in the Gulf.  Amazing that such a grand breakfast is passed up by most fishermen because these fish are so small.  With lemon and pepper they are delicious.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Asian Carp

Great article on this invasive species which is certainly scheduled to become a major food fish in the near future, bones or not.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Jack Crevaille

No one eats these, but some have tried and they liked them.  They have to be bled at the boat and then the blood vein needs to be removed when cleaning.

One commenter put it this way

"Much to my surprise after a couple hours in the buttermilk it was a nice light pink color and the milk was red! I season all my fish the same. Alot of garlic powder, a little pepper, after a little rub down with the olive oil then on to grill it goes for as short a time as possible to flake with a fork. She told all she could about the best fish she had tasted. She did not remember the type of fish at the time and when she started telling those people what it was, she got the funniest looks. I feel 9 out of 10 folks who say it is inedible have only heard that from someone else. there was even an article in Florida Sportsman kitchen about jack recipes but they looked to goumet for my simpleton cooking methods!"

Crystal river pond

We took a nature hike and passed a pond where there was some fish action.  Perhaps bluegills as they are in the pond.  Or perhaps this little fellow


Thursday, January 22, 2015

First use of the fish grill

Successfully grilled fish
Well, after almost a month the swiveled fish grill basket arrived, and so I decided to cook fish on the little grill.
I have used the little barbecue grill twice now and not been pleased at all with the results.
This is the first use of the fish basket on the grill.

I thought that charcoal ash had plugged up the bottom so no air could feed the fire.  Actually, once I cleaned out the little grill, I discovered there are no holes for air to enter the grill and that explained why putting on the cover did not concentrate the smoke but eliminated the fire entirely.

Normally I see a folding fish grill basket as an impediment to grill cooking because it does not allow the cover to seal the rim of the barbecue grill.  However, here it was a great benefit because it created the only source of the air that would feed the fire while the cover still did contain enough smoke to give that distinctive barbecue taste to the fish.

I had some of the sheepshead fillets that we had caught and some small portions of wild caught salmon which Target and Walmarts sell.  This salmon is not as tasty as the Scottish salmon we had a few nights ago, but it still has good flavor. At about ten dollars a pound it is a good bargain for Alaskan wild caught.   I put the salmon down and covered it with the sheepshead fillets because I was afraid that they would easily dry out.  Sheepshead are not as oily as the salmon.  It worked great!. 
I'm going to experiment with slicing thin salmon and sandwiching it with bluegill fillets when I get home.  The beauty of this wire grill mesh is that it is flexible, so thicker fish is just as easy as thinner fish.  That is a great benefit in keeping fish from drying out and still giving it time to absorb the smoke.

For spice I used the Seafood magic seen in the photo.    I know that real cooks don't use packaged blends of spices, but I love this stuff for fish, especially salmon.  We use it all the time.
And I did add some olive oil to keep the fish moist.

For wine I drank the L'Oustalet which is not white, but I only drink red wine.

I bought this  at Whole Foods this week when we took Peter to the Tampa airport.  It is a French organic wine.  I'm not saying it is the best of wines, but it is the best of organic wine I have had and beats many others in the same price range.  Most of the other organics  I have tried have been disasters.  At Whole Foods it lists for about $13, but is always on sale for $9.99 and if you buy six bottles they take another 10% off and throw in a fine fabric bag that holds the six bottles.  I love these bags.  I love the wine, but I can't get it at home.  I may bring some home in April.

Elizabeth made a wonderful wild rice medley and I did have a bite, but to avoid carbs I complemented the fish with a mixed green salad topped with bits of cut up anchovies, crumbled blue cheese and a bit of creamy Italian dressing low in sugar and without carbs.

It all was a grand feast.

It has been a delightful day for food.  We had brunch in Crystal River at at little gourmet diner with great coffee, a nice cauliflower soup and spinach/ feta quiche.

Ah...the good life!!!!!!!