Welcome to Outdoor Savages! We are a small group of friends that enjoys nothing more than to spend our free time in the outdoors. Here are the first hand accounts of our adventures. Enjoy!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Spearing by the Thousands

I had to get out Wednesday and take advantage of the beautiful weather. Clear sky's and air temps in the upper 40's made it a winter day not to be missed. I figured getting out would be good for me since the week before I put in 92 hours at my job.
The plan was to go fishing for some Atlantic herring. For these fish I use an 8lb. Spinning rod and a sebiki rig. I attach a 3/4 ounce cast master to the bottom of the rig for casting weight. The first spot I notice tons of spearing in the water. The first cast produced 2 of them, one snagged and the other hooked in the mouth. Every cast came back with a bait, but not one herring.
Spot number 2 produced nothing at all, however I was able to watch a few old squaw play in the marina. Water clarity was A+ at spot 2 so I stuck it out for 30 minutes.
Spot number 3 also was loaded up with spearing. Again no herring were to be found. After 20 minutes of fishing at spot 3 a large flock of common mergansers landed in the marina. They quickly went to work on the bait creating a blitz. If it were bass under the spearing I would have killed to fish it. After 10 minutes of watching these birds go nuts I packed it because they drove the spearing off.
For those of you that don't know the spearing, also known as silver sides, are edible. Prepare them the same way you would small smelt. I don't think they are as good but they aren't bad either.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Work Getting Done

    It has been a while since i have done anything at all.  The number one reason I have not done much is my outboard is not running correctly.  I was lacking the necessary funds to get the repairs done.  Well i am happy to report the motor will be getting worked on this coming week.  I am looking forward to some serious winter clamming and some late season goose hunting.
   I should not say i have  been doing nothing.  We have had some unseasonably mild weather and i have been out catching some Atlantic Herring in the marinas.  On one of my trips i was able to catch some spearing  on my sibiki rig.  Some of you people that live in "True New England" call them silver sides.  I Have always heard of people eating them, and  since these were bigger spearing i decided to give it a shot.  I did take the time to clean  and de-head them.  I simply floured the the bait and threw it in the frying pan.  To be fair the spearing did taste a little fishy, but the bones cooked down to nothing and it was like eating a micro fish stick.  I think i will be after a few more of these little guys.
    Now on to the Atlantic Herring.  I used to catch these fish in the winter, but we never thought of eating them.  They were used for bait to catch lobsters or eels.  I did catch a few in the local marinas along with the spearing.  I decided to give them a shot in the kitchen as well.  I have not heard much of people eating our winter herring.  I have tried pickled herring and it was bad.  I decided to Internet search it and i was surprised with the results.  It turns out The United States is about the only country where herring is not consumed.  I have to admit i am a little plate shy when i hear "great source of omega 3's"  which is one of the finer advertising points of herring.  I associate this with a very powerful fishy taste.  I did however think there must be something to it if people all over the world are chowing down on herring, and decided to give it an honest try.
   The first step was finding out how to clean these fish.  Herring have a lot of bones, or so I have been told.  A you-tube search produced several videos on the subject and i felt confident that i could make this work.  I also learned the the bones are not serious and after being cooked are reduced to nothing.  The herring were about 11 inches long and i made short work of them.  Filleting was pretty easy.  It is a messy job since Herring have more scales than Idi Amien has titles.  The Fillets do contain the little hairs bones and there is not much you can do about it.  I coated the bottom of a baking dish with butter.  I laid the fillets down and just sprinkled them with some salt and pepper and threw them in the oven for 15 minutes.  My final verdict is thumbs up.  It has the same taste as snapper sized blues.  I feel that i have discovered the hidden winter feast.  The boat probably will be employed to go catch herring upon its repair.
     The warm weather also put a huge damper on my ice fishing plans.  Even with the recent cold the state of CT has no ice.   Even with the recent cold, winds have kept the big lakes open.  My 7 inch lazer, flasher, and jigging rods are ready to go at moments notice so i am hoping for a little taste of winter.