Saturday, March 6, 2010

Minnesota Caviar

When most people talk about ice fishing, they are refering to sitting over an 8 inch hole with a fish line and hook dangling down through the ice. You can't see the fish and you only know you've got something on your line is because the rod's flag pops up. This can be done just sitting out on the bare ice or in nice little houses with windows, T.V.'s bunk beds and card tables.

In my family, ice fishing means dark house spearing where you are sitting in complete darkness leaning over a gaping 1 ft by 2 ft hole in the ice watching huge northerns come into your hole and go after the poor bait fish dangling from the ceiling or your wooden decoy. When you see the northern come into your hole, you quietly grab your spear and prepare to throw it into the water and hit the fish just behind the gills. It can be very boring for a long time and then extremely exciting. I went spearing many times as a kid but have only partly speared one fish. I didn't hit it well enough so my mom had to retrieve the spear and hit it again in order to bring it home.

My mom took Tyler and Tony to her house for the weekend for one last winter hoorah. Ice fishing, downhill skiing, and ice skating were all part of the weekend plans. Tyler speared 3 northerns and really enjoyed it.

Through out the year, Friday Fish Frys are a tradition at my mom's house. When my grandpa was alive, he always did the frying. Northerns are very bony fish, so it is always a process to pick through and get out all the bones. Even while eating fillets, we would hear the warning, "Watch for bones!" However there is one "part" of the fish that has no bones; the eggs! Many of the fish are females who are getting ready to lay their eggs in the spring so they are plump full of delicate fish eggs. The eggs are definitely my favorite!
I can't eat the traditional batter fried eggs, but enjoy them pan fried in a little bit of olive oil with sea salt and black pepper. Mmmm! A special breakfast treat!


e&e said...

That *almost* looks good. When did you take those photos?

Fish fries at Grandpa and Grandma's are one of my favorite childhood memories. Remember Grandpa's apron that said "Bossman"? He would always yell at us for running by the stove as he fried. My mom also loves the eggs (with Western dressing), but I never did. I remember gathering around their old white-top table, looking for the bones and pulling them out of my mouth.

Sigh. What great times.

Mike and Katie said...

The pictures were from just a few days ago. Bonnie posted on FB that she had just caught a bunch of fish. I knew mom would be cleaning them so I called her to save me some of the eggs. She brought them to me the next time she came.