Yesterday evening we decided to go fishing based upon watching lots of fish in the pond hitting on anything we threw into the pond including grasshoppers, dessicated grubs, spit and clover flowers.
We had old bait-grubs Eugene got the last time he dug potatoes-that were pretty dessicated. Too dessicated to put on a hook. I caught several grashoppers and Eugene put them on the hook and he got some decent hits from the grasshoppers. But it wasn't until I found a single grub under some particle board by our fire pit that we started catching fish. On this one grub Eugene caught 4 pan sized fish, 1 was tossed back into the pond and one got away at the last second, leaving us with two for dinner. We started thinking about this grub as the magic grub.
We have lived at this farm for 3 years and we have never eaten any fish out of the pond. For a long time we decided the pond was too polluted since a lot of the water in it comes from run off from the road and neighboring fields. But we got to thinking about other places we have fished and eaten the catch and how those bodies of water are likely more polluted than our pond. Over the three years we have been here lots of plants have grown up around the pond which are filtering the water and removing a lot of toxins. We have also allowed grasses and sedges to grow where the water comes off the road so that the water hits a 500' natural filtration system before entering the pond. Now that I think about it the pond may have better drinking water than the well.
So long story short, we decided last night to eat some of the fish we caught and they were good.
Catching them was extra fun because a bull frog decided the bobber Eugene was using had to be prey and would go after the thing and try to swallow it (this frog had a rather large mouth but not large enough to the bobber). We found that while frogs can learn but have short term memory loss-it stopped hitting on the bobber after it tried to eat it something like 10 times in a row but after not seeing the bobber for 5 minutes would forget and hit on it again several times before ignoring it.
After having fun with the frog for a bit we got back to fishing using the magic grub. Eugene tossed a line in and within 30 seconds had a fish on the line. He played the fish for a couple of minutes and than landed it. The fish was well hooked but did not get the grub. We put the fish on the bank (we had not planned on keeping any of the fish so did not have a bucket or a stringer to keep the fish we caught in some sort of sane way) which amazed the dogs. Nate could not keep his attention away from the fish on the ground. I do not think he had ever seen a fish just lying there. And he figured out this was potentially food so I had to keep him from picking up the fish and carrying it away. A couple of minutes later Eugene caught another fish and decided to call it a night and I picked up the two fish and carried them up to the house and put them in the kitchen sink where they could not get into trouble flopping about.
Than I put newspaper on the table on the deck and on top of the papers a large cutting board. Eventually, Eugene came up from the pond and prepped the fish while the dogs and Storca mingled all excited that Eugene was killing non vegetables on the deck.
He cut off the heads, gutted and scaled the fish and than sent them inside for me to wash and cook. I opted to bread them and than bake them. I had breading left over from making jalapeno poppers last night and it was nothing to make a milk and egg wash. So I preheated the oven to 350˚F, rinsed the fish dipped them in eggwash and than breading and baked them for 20 minutes. Served them with an arugula salad and basmati rice and it was a delicious meal.
We will be eating more of our fish in the future. Who knows maybe we will sell some eventually as well.