"Erik? Are ready with the net?"The line stopped streaming out and I again began to pull the fish off the bottom.
"Um... Uncle Mike - there is no net in the boat."
"What do you mean there is no net in the boat?
"There is no net in the boat."I saw the fish as he broke the surface- a big pike With a splash he was gone the line was streaming back out again.
Before you went fishing with Dad yesterday you asked whether to bring a net. What did I say?
"You said always bring a net."
"Ok. So where is the net?"
"I couldn't find it."Long short - After three days of fishing without so much as a nibble my first and only strike was a lunker (for Shag Lake) pike. Luckily, I grabbed a rod & reel with a steel leader out of the random "grab bag" of gear in the shed. The fish was well hooked and I didn't think there was anyway to lose him. Taking a lesson from Morpheus mishaps of fishing without a net, decided to play him, wait until fish was exhausted, pulled him next to the boat and out by hand. Erik caught some of it on video.
My initial quick and dirty measurement in the boat was sufficient to determine legal size but inaccurate. Net-net: 27" - as documented below. Probably the biggest fish I've ever pulled out of this lake.
Which of course mandates the full-on detailed over-documentation treatment.
I'll spare the reader the horror of the fillet photos, unless Erik decides to post his iPhone pics shot during the entire gory mess. We used the "Boneless Four Fillet Technique" for dealing with the Y-bones using this YouTube as an instructional video. I was quite pleased with the fillets.
Next step - decide on a prep. This recipe looked good.
Tasty Northern PikeSurprisingly, fresh tarragon was not available at Larry's Supermarket in Gwinn. Neither was dried tarragon. So we made a few modifications - more olive oil than butter, more garlic, added some wine and ginger to the sauce. All in all - a great success. Served with a side of wild rice pilaf.
4 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 Green onion (finely chopped)
1 tsp Tarragon
2 northern filets
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 Tbsp lemon juice
In pan, melt butter add garlic, onion, parsley, and tarragon. Simmer for 2 minutes. Season fish with salt & pepper. Cook gently in herb butter sauce until fish flakes. Remove fish to serving plate. Add lemon juice to sauce heat 1minute pour over fish.
Erik makes up for the missing net faux pas.