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Weekend fishing

I have unplugged both my freezer and fridge, since I don't need them that much at this time of the year. As I'm not experienced with traditional ways of preserving fish, it means that everything I happen to catch I have to eat before it spoils. So I haven't had my fish traps set all the time. Well, but on Friday (that was yesterday) I had been out of fish for a few days, so I headed down to the lake. I thought that maybe it is time to start the active fishing season, so I took a rod and reel with me.

It was a windy day, enough of waves to make rowing a bit harder. But luckily the waters near the Takalahti Bay were partially protected by nearby forests. First I set the fish traps to places I thought might be favourable for catching bream. Then I went a little farther and cast the lure. I started to reel the lure back, and suddenly I felt a fish biting the lure. Alas, it didn't get caught in a hook, so I reeled in an empty lure. But that was a good sign - if there is one pike active and hunting, there sure are others, too. I tried around the same location for a dozen times - got one more bite but no catch. Well, if it was the same pike biting, maybe it becomes more cautious by now, and I'd better move on to another places. So I cast the lure again and started rowing, dragging the lure behind.

I struggled my way through the waves, along the shores of the main lake. I rowed around a rocky cape and got to the next bay, which is wide and shallow. I started making a big circle around the bay. When I got closer to the shoreline, I spotted some movement in the woods. A pair of long tall pale white legs. Without a sound the legs took two steps and disappeared into the foliage. Now what was that? I was curious to get another sighting, so I rowed closer. Then I heard two low-pitched snorts. Ah, a moose! Since there was no reason to bother the moose, I went on rowing. But no fish in that bay.

After half an hour I returned back to the place where I started from, and paused to cast the lure for a few times. Ha! And now it was a proper catch. I slowly reeled the line in, until I got the pike close enough to my boat. I scooped with a hand net, and lifted the pike into the boat. It was of a decent size, and I noticed its stomach bulging. After killing the pike with a strike on its skull, I opened its stomach to remove the internal organs. Inside its stomach there was a small bream, only partially digested. So, even with a full stomach this predator was active hunting for more. He must've been hungry after the spawning season!

On my way back home I spotted a mushroom - gyromitra esculenta, or 'ear mushroom' as we call it. Yes, it is special as it can be harvested already in early May, when the green plants only barely start to grow. Also, it tastes nice, a bit like almond. Only that it is very poisonous, unless properly prepared. Well, one mushroom doesn't make a sauce, but I decided to pick it up anyway. On another place, closer to my home, there was another mushroom which I also picked.

Today it is Saturday, and the weather forecast said that in the evening it will start to rain, and it will rain all Sunday. I've had a small heap of unchopped firewood on my yard, so I decided to get them chopped and stacked indoors before the rain. I started working after my morning coffee. Chopping, hauling and stacking took several hours. When it was all done, I started a fire and fried the yesterday's pike. When I had enjoyed the meal I cooked a mug of coffee. While I was slowly sipping the coffee it started to rain a little. Oh well, time to go check the fish traps.

It wasn't raining that much, and the weather wasn't particularly cold, so I didn't wear a raincoat. The fish traps were all empty. But an old fishermen lore says that rainy days are good for fishing - or at least I remember my father and my uncle saying so. It was almost completely calm winds, so it was pleasantly easy to row around. I had the lure dragging behind the boat, and again I went to the another bay. When I was close to the place where I last saw a moose, I noticed the fishing rod bending - was it a fish, or did the lure got caught in the foliage in the lake bottom? When it is the lake bottom, the rod bends evenly, in a passive way, with a constant force. But when it is a fish, the pressure on the rod varies, as the fish fights back. This time I couldn't tell for sure. But when I reeled the lure in, it was empty - no fish, no traces of foliage. I paused to cast the lure for a while - after a while there was another bite but no catch. I thought that yesterday it was about the same, so I tried to make another circle, just dragging the lure. And that worked! This time the pike had swallowed the lure, the hook was stuck near his throat. A nice catch, slightly smaller than the one yesterday, but still worth a day's meal.

It started to rain more, but it was still bearable. I went rowing back towards home, dragging the lure. After five minutes it was another catch. Again this one struck so hard that at first I thought that the lure got stuck in a sunken log in the lake bottom. And not only was he actively hunting, he was also actively fighting back. He surfaced and jumped a rolling flip, he tried to dive a figure of eight, looking for any way to break free from the hooks. But that was of no help. I reeled the line in and scooped the catch with the hand net. On I went, and after another five minutes it was catch again. This time it was a smallish pike, and after scooping him into the boat I managed to remove the lure without causing too much injury for the pike. So, since he was young, active and not bleeding, I released him back into the lake.

I went past the mouth of the Takalahti bay, and decided to make another small circle near a rocky shore. When that circle was almost completed, the lure was fiercely attacked. I grabbed the rod and started to reel. The pike surfaced, its jaws wide open it performed a quick roll and managed to break free. Ah, that was well fought! I went back to the place where I keep my boat - about the same area where I caught that pike yesterday. I know that the water is only waist-deep there, and the bigger fish dwell in deeper waters. Yet I decided to cast the lure for a few times. And for one more time, and then yet another time. And one last time. Aaand one more that direction, this is the last try then I go home. Woops! The lure was attacked again, no question on that. And if it is a small pike, it sure does fight for its life! After a while I got the pike close enough to the boat, and managed to scoop it with the hand net. Oh boy, this one was bigger than the one yesterday! And this one also had a young bream in his stomach.

So, three pikes caught for the day. As I was walking home I was slowly thinking what to do with the fish. Should I turn on the freezer, or should I try to dry a pike or two? Or if I just fry one and smoke the others? Smoked fish should last for a week or so, if kept in a cellar cool enough. But since my cellar doesn't have double doors, I'm not sure if it stays cool enough. Hmm... I spotted an ear mushroom and picked it up. When I got back home, my clothes were all wet. I started a fire in the stove and changed dry clothes. I scooped hot water from a kettle on the stove, poured the water into a mug and added some concentrated black currant juice, and some vodka what there happened to be left. I quickly emptied the mug and felt warm and cozy. Telephone rang - it was one of my neighbours calling. He asked if I'm going to do any shopping today, but I said I won't be driving a car today. Then it came to my mind to ask if they'd like to have a pike. Which they gladly accepted, telling me that they are just about to start making pancakes. So I put some salt on two of the pikes and took them into the cellar. Carrying the third pike I jumped on my bicycle and went to the neighbours. I sat down for a while with them, eating a pancake, drinking a beer. Some funny stories got told, and the pancake was good so good =)

Ah, and speaking of fish - yesterday I randomly stumbled upon youtube videos of a talented musician named Samantha Fish. Seems like she can do anything from an energetic War Pigs cover to blues rock of her own. I think I need to go buy some records to support this artist =)

Friday's catch
Friday's catch
gyromitra esculenta
gyromitra esculenta
raindrops on the lake
raindrops on the lake
Saturday's catch
Saturday's catch
265 users have voted.


Nice fish! :D

And the other Fish is good too! I subscribed to her youtube channel, hehe.

I just finished eating last of the smoked pike. (For a couple of days I ate it for breakfast, lunch and for evening snack...)

Last year I removed my car radio and replaced it with one with a cd-player. For that I needed to hack a connector with custom wiring. It worked OK - for a day and a half, until the player died. I thought that I'll investigate it later on - and as you might guess, that later on has not happened yet =) Which means that I haven't had a car radio for a while - it has been actually quite nice. One of the side effects is that I'm less and less up to date with contemporary mainstream music. So, discovering new music has been mostly by following Soliti label, and checking what friends post, sometimes randomly following youtube-recommendations. I think I like it this way =)

Hi Erkka, look at this video/doc. Made me think of how you life your life, more or less: https://www.tugg.com/events/103959

That's interesting, thanks for the link. I think some of those guys are more hardcore than I am, but then on the other hand - that's the general direction I'm moving towards.

Hehe, I grew up in the countryside, and I've slowly been learning this and that over the years, so for me the learning curve hasn't been that steep.


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