September 28, 2012

Pickled Pike

4 1/2 pounds of pike fillets cut into bite-sized pieces.*Freeze for at least 5 days before using* 7 cups water 1 cup coarse salt 1 bottle white vinegar 2 1/2 cups sugar 1 cup white Silver Satin wine 1 onion thinly sliced Directions Fill glass gallon jar with 7 cups water and 1 cup coarse salt. Stir until dissolved. Add cut-up pike fillets to jar. Refrigerate 48 hours. Drain and empty jar and rinse well. Return fish to empty jar and cover with white vinegar. Refrigerate 24 hours. Remove fish from jar, but save vinegar. Boil 4 cups vinegar for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 1/2 cups sugar. Stir until dissolved and let cool. Add 1/4 cup pickling spices and 1 cup white Silver Satin win. Layer fish in jar, alternating with thin slices of onion. Completely cover with liquid. Let stand in refrigerator for 3 weeks.

September 24, 2012

Use Your Head

We met up at 8:30am.  He doesn't want me to mention his name because he is a little embarrassed.  I will call my friend John.

John and I hit the water by 8:45am.  The morning was slow but we caught a few trout.  John was proud of his new rod and reel.   Last year at this time I fished with John and he had a really old rod and matching old reel.  I had made fun of it last year so he went out and got a new one just because I picked on him.  He had bought a sturdy rod and reel with the backbone to land some seriously big trout.

John was having some troubles with the new rod.  It was like a broom stick, he said.  His old rod was fiberglass and very flexible.  He was not use to casting this new rod.  Many of casts were in trees and on the bank.  John got pretty frustrated by the end of the day and was really reefing  on some of his snags to get the lure out.  At one time I hid behind John and told him to be careful because his method was poor and dangerous.  He was holding on to the line and pulling the snag directly at himself.

As the day progressed and the wind picked up, his casts got even more haphazard and out of control.  He was getting more and more frustrated. 

We started heading back toward John's campground, getting ready to call it quits for the day.  There was one hole on the way home right near the road.  I told John where to fish one last time.  I stayed in the car and watched.  John went directly to the hole.  On his first cast he snagged his lure.  I saw him pulling on his line and the the next thing I knew he was kneeling.

I saw him looking around.  He was patting the ground looking for something.  I assumed his lure had come dislodged and came back at him and fell at his feet.

I saw John look around for quite some time.  He then grabbed his line and searched for his lure.  He follow the line up to his head.  The lure had come screaming back at him and gotten stuck in his hat.

He walked back to me at a quick pace.  I asked him what was up?  He pointed to his cap.  I said no big deal unhook it and let's get fishing.  John said: "It is not just stuck in the hat."

He got in and examined the panther martin hanging from his forehead.  A couple meek tugs on the lure and John attempted to cut the treble hook with a big needle nose from my car.  This also failed, so off we went to Urgent Care.  I asked John if I could take a photo of the injury and declined.  He told me he was quite embarrassed. 

We walked in to Urgent Care in our waders.  John went to the front desk to check in.  The desk asked him his problem and John pointed at the size 9 panther martin hanging from his forehead.

The desk asked him if he was in pain and he said : "NO."   Almost a full hour later after registering and waiting his turn while every person in the waiting room to came and looking at his forehead he got in to see the doctor.  Before he went in I asked for a photo again and declined.

John went in to see the doctor.  He quickly became the center of attention as news of the unlucky fisherman spread like wildfire throughout the clinic.   One by one, all the nurses and medical assistants came to watch the tricky procedure.  The doctor tried to cut the treble hook with side cutters with no luck.  John even tried with no luck.

Then the doctor got creative. He got out locking hemostats and secured the treble hook and before John could ask what he was doing the doctor had yanked out the hook.  John said it didn't hurt and the doctor put a band-aid over the small wound and John put back on his cap and recovered his lure.

John got a tetanus shot and antibiotics before he left  

Here is a photo pictorial on how not to free a snag and the proper way.
My daughter Anna demonstrates the improper way to get a snag loose.  You must assume that the snag may come loose and the lure will come screaming back at you.


The rod needs to be held over your head and off to the side so when the lure becomes unsnagged there is not potential guided missile flying at you. The best way is jiggle the rod tip and the lure may come dislodged.

If the lures does not come free you should try the bow and arrow method to free your lure.
You hold the rod over your head with it bent and slightly to the side with one hand.  You grab the line with your free and pull down on the line like a bow string.  You make sure you pull it down maybe 14 inches and let the line go abruptly.  This causes the line to fly forward and it shakes the lure and many times dislodges it.