After going out with the kids from school as part of culture week last Thursday, I was really keen to go out and give it a go myself. Nick + Dana were heading out fishing this afternoon and Marie and I joined them. Was nice riding out on the snowmobile, though pretty bumpy without much soft snow, and good fun going across patches of ice. We headed way past where we went with the kids last week and ended up a good 10-12 miles north east of Tunt up the Kuskokwim river:
After driving through the old ice holes Nick had used on Sunday, it didn’t take long for Marie to catch a fish – note Dana in the background hadn’t even got her gear setup yet!
But, after hooking my first fish, I couldn’t then get it reeled in due to ice on the line. After it got off the hook, I re-baited and dropped again, then got this decent sized pike a couple of minutes later:
Although it was still going along with the idea of cutting a hole and throwing in a fishing line, it wasn’t quite as traditional sitting or resting on the snowmobile whilst fishing! But, a little before Marie had taken this photo one of the locals had ridden up with a bunch of kids and his wife in a sled on the back telling us we were fishing in the wrong place. When I asked him where the right place was, he smiled and pointed further up the river and simply said “Where we caught 300 fish. We were blessed today.”. Thought he was pulling my leg, but sure enough their sled was packed with fish to the point of having tarpaulin over the top to stop them falling out!
Coming back the temperature had started dropping, so we didn’t waste much time getting home. It really was cool riding back along the river coming home with the sun low on the horizon, knowing you’d been out and caught your own dinner. One of the books I’ve been reading is about the native cultures and stories of Alaska and one of the ideas the eskimo have is to only take what you need, so I was quite happy with only catching the one fish in the couple of hours or so we were there. As Marie still had fish in the freezer, she gave her’s to us, and Nick + Dana ended up with two fish. Not sure who’s were who, but these are the two we’re going to figure out how to cook tomorrow – that’s a 12″ rule to show their size!
Never had pike before, so will be different. Kat might give Martina a call and see if she has any traditional recipes we can try out. But, I’d really enjoyed getting out of the village for a little bit, and gonna try dragging Kat along next time too