Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption
 


       Downsizer Forum Index -> Fishing
Bugs

Size matters...what do you measure yours against?

My dearest and I have a trip planned, presently, mainly but not exclusively in the hope of meeting up with our first mackerel.

It's only my second ever fishing trip and in the unlikely but most welcome event that we do catch anything I am a bit perplexed as to what is legally but also ethically acceptable size to keep the little chaps for the plate or freezer.

Some of the charts and sites I have googled say 30cm Shocked which seems terribly optimistic, while others say 20cm which sounds more achievable eg http://www.sussex-sfc.gov.uk/minimum_legal_sizes.htm but I would like to be as sure as possible before setting out.

So - can anyone point me to/confirm up to date reliable advice, for this or other likely species? And what are your own personal guidelines on top of that?

Other advice most welcome too, bearing in mind I at least am a complete newcomer to this, but this is the bit that's really confusing me at the moment - I have worked out that any we want to release again shouldn't be handled and we will be optimistically prepared for dispatching...the HFW Bassgate scandal is still too painfully fresh in our minds for anything else Wink
RichardW

Try here


But sizes do depend on local rules.
Justme
Jonnyboy

30cm seems to be the most used minimum. It's also the min size mentioned in the RC fish book.

Good luck!
dpack

ethical imho is eat it if if isnt going to get better
dispatch of fish is tidy if one uses either
hard blow to base of head
or
this one is neat but tricky ,finger in mouth ,thumbs on back of neck ,twist outwards to pull medula oblongata from brain and break spine
not good with fierce fish
or
hard bite behind the eyes
Bugs

Thanks for the sizes JB & Justme. It looks like perhaps the local (it will be Sussex as in the link I gave) acceptable size is 20cm but good practice is 30cm as in your two figures. My confusion is because I could have sworn mackerel as sold in supermarkets (bless me) wasn't 30cm+ Confused

I forsee us coming home hungry at this rate - if you don't mind my asking, what sizes do you normally wind up with?

And Dpack, cheers, I'm with you on all that. I actually just came across the finger in mouth technique today...my only other catch was a garfish which I was so startled to see I had to get TD to dispatch it for me (definitely not one to trust your digits with!).

I am determined not to be embarassingly girly this time, but I think I will leave the bite behind the head for a little further up the road to carnivorism Shocked
Jonnyboy

To be honest I just throw back the ones that look small and haven't damaged themselves too badly on the hook Embarassed

main problem I find is that the speed and ferocity with which they hit the hook often results in 'damage' so I sometimes knock them on the head before even starting to remove the hook.

Not very scientific I'm afraid.
dpack

i was thinking of conger as fierce but my first garfish gave both me and yellow dog a startle
the hands on no weapon way is very useful when all is slippery chaos and the priest is missing
,my other hint is good gloves and a meshnet (or other soft cloth) cos many fish have sharp bits and are well wriggly
mihto

Oh boy here we go again.....

Size: If two fish make one meal they are just on the lower acceptable size for macrel. Three fish for one meal may do for trout but too small to make sense in macrel.

Getting them off the hook unharmed is not easy. Catch and release in macrel sounds good, but MIND YOUR OWN FINGERS! They have some nasty spiked finns on the back and they wriggle like crazy. Breaking their neck before you take out the hook is the best way for you as well as the fish. Do not let people kid you with a neck bite Smile . Everyone has their own sense of pulling the leg of a newbie.

A macrel will pull hard and seem big but actually turn out to be rather small. Anything approaching a kilo is great. If you can avoid using a net to bag them, do. They will entangle themselves to the point of desperation of the fisherman, and MIND YOUR FINGERS!

Fry them, boil them, smoke them. They are lovely food, serve them with a cucumber salad, new potatoess and sour cream. Ask for recepies!

Enjoy the fishing and welcome to the macrel club.
RichardW

Hav ejust found our local bylaws for all things fishing

HERE

says 200mm for makeral

Justme
judith

mihto wrote:
Fry them, boil them, smoke them. They are lovely food, serve them with a cucumber salad, new potatoess and sour cream. Ask for recepies!


Recipes please, mihto Very Happy
mihto

judith wrote:
mihto wrote:
Fry them, boil them, smoke them. They are lovely food, serve them with a cucumber salad, new potatoess and sour cream. Ask for recepies!


Recipes please, mihto Very Happy


Will do. Just on my way out for another afternoon of trout fishing. Guest from Germany; anything to keep them happy!!!

Will get back tomorrow.
Bugs

Jonnyboy wrote:
To be honest I just throw back the ones that look small and haven't damaged themselves too badly on the hook Embarassed

main problem I find ...

Not very scientific I'm afraid.


Seems fair enough...the natural world has a bad habit of not reading the guidelines doesn't it? Laughing - thanks for that, it's reassuring.

dpack wrote:
i was thinking of conger as fierce but my first garfish gave both me and yellow dog a startle ... my other hint is good gloves and a meshnet (or other soft cloth) cos many fish have sharp bits and are well wriggly


I'm glad it's not just me then! I will be very careful, thanks Dpack.

Also cheers Justme for your local guidelines - seems there are genuine regional variations then.

mihto wrote:
Enjoy the fishing and welcome to the macrel club.


Thanks Mihto. Some interesting tips there. I will steer clear of recipes until the time comes though. I very much enjoyed our last trip simply for the seaside and challenge of learning, so any catch will just be icing on the cake really Smile Not quite sure what "Oh boy here we go again....." means? Being, as you rightly say, a "newbie", this is the first time this question has been asked here to my knowledge? Confused
mihto

/quote]Not quite sure what "Oh boy here we go again....." means? Being, as you rightly say, a "newbie", this is the first time this question has been asked here to my knowledge? Confused[/quote]

Oh dear, I'm sorry if there was a misunderstanding. What I meant to say was. Oh boy here we go again. Macrel time ALREADY? We are some weeks behind you up here, and macrel fishing has not reached my concious level yet. I need to put the fishing rod with the right lure connected in the car: on my way home from work I drive along the fjord and then keep an eye open for the schools of macrel. The trick is then to stop the car in a safe place, sprint back and catch a few before they are gone. Not very elegant, but it gives us some nice dinners.

As far as Downsizer goes I'm a newbie as well. I also struggle to keep my balance in a language that is foreign to me, and without a spell check I'm bound to stumble sometimes. However, my experience in fishing, foraging and animals in general should make up for my lack of manners. I would love to be of help; please feel free to ask any question within my range of knowledge!
dpack

that is an elegant way to fish Wink
mihto

judith wrote:
mihto wrote:
Fry them, boil them, smoke them. They are lovely food, serve them with a cucumber salad, new potatoess and sour cream. Ask for recepies!


Recipes please, mihto Very Happy


Now for some recipes: a must with macrel is the simple sour cream sauce: an ample helping of sour cream mixed with a teaspoon or two of sugar and a liberal sprincling of chives. Goes with any kind of macrel, trout or salmon.

Then the cucumber salad. Cucumber sliced in thin slices. Put in proper amount of salt and ground pepper, then sugar and white vinegar to taste. Also a must with other fat fish.

Boiled, cold macrel. You need water for boling, amount depending on the amount of macrel. Salt to taste, quite a bit. Whole black peppercorns, slices of onion (s), a laurel leaf, sugar and vinegar. Boil for 10 minutes to get a nice taste. Put the macrel in the water and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool the macrel in the brine and serve cold with small potatoes, cucumber salad and sour cream sauce.

How do you people prepare macrel, apart from standard frying or boiling?
[/b]
Bugs

mihto wrote:
Macrel time ALREADY? We are some weeks behind you up here, and macrel fishing has not reached my concious level yet.


Ah right! My apologies - being overparanoid Embarassed - your English is a tusen times better than my Norwegian (bet I've mis-spelled even that) and I bet it gives my English a run for its money too.

I'm still not sure we will actually come home with anything - not just skills but the weather has turned a bit more grey and cool - does that make much difference? Because it takes us over an hour to get to an appropriate beach, we can't go very often, so my learning curve is going to be very long Sad so I am sure I will be holding my hand up for more advice soon!
mihto

He he. Tusen times is just fine. A German friend once told me he refused to say tusen takk (meaning a thousand thanks). To takk (two thanks) should be plenty.

Weather does not matter, except cold wind and rain is making the fishing experience an ordeal. Make sure that the tide is on its way up before you start fishing. Try different depths: sometimes the macrel goes high in the water, sometimes deep. When using a lure, give the rod a proper tug now and again. The changing movement is irresistible. If you are rather inexperienced with throwing lures, get some cheap ones for a start. Once the macrel are on the move they will go for just about anything that moves and cheap lures will save you money. If a lure works well, write down the name and the make in case you lose your newfound friend.

Good luck!!!
Bugs

I guess at least starting from tusen gives you room for manoeuvre..."to takk" could be a pretty pointed reply!

Last time we went it rained most of the day but I was having enough fun learning to put up with it - it looks like this time risks showers but there should be sunny intervals and at least I won't come back strawberry-coloured.

mihto wrote:
Make sure that the tide is on its way up before you start fishing.


That's handy - I believe we hope to arrive just around low tide so that gives us lots of time to look around and prepare ourselves first, and we don't need to rush back.

Thanks very much for the tips - you never know, I might be trying out your recipes yet (been vegetarian for half my life so there is plenty of learning to do there too...)...there might even be pictures Shocked Laughing
Jonnyboy

Don't forget the disposable barbeque!
sean

Jonnyboy wrote:
Don't forget the disposable barbeque!


Portable re-usable barbecue burning lumpwood charcoal made from wood sustainably harvested from a local coppice, surely?
mihto

Bugs, we are waiting for your mackerel story!

Did you go, what did you catch, what did you use when or if you caught anything?

Spurred by your initiative I tried for some mackerel myself and let my German guests have a go at it as well. The surprised "yelp!!" from my friend must have been heard to be believed; it was his first mackerel ever and it was a big daddy who gave him a good fight. After that I was relegated to cleaning.

Thank you for reminding me not to look at the calendar but just test the water. We had a terrific day: sunny, windy with some drops of rain to make us finish the ball and go home to the fishpot.

Why don't you British ever come to Norway to fish?
Bugs

mihto wrote:
Bugs, we are waiting for your mackerel story!

Did you go, what did you catch, what did you use when or if you caught anything?


Hmmm...it isn't one to keep you awake at night Laughing - we made our trip and my beloved (Treacodactyl of this parish) caught the first one that we saw landed on the beach that day. Hurray! And he was well over the recommended size (the fish, I mean..).

We took him home and fried him simply. I had a forkful while TD polished off the rest - that's the first time I have ever eaten mackeral and I was surprised at how mild and tender it was. Not nearly as much of a challenge to eat as I was worried about. I would be very happy to eat it again.

Unfortunately that was the last of our catch for that day. We were mostly spinning with lures. TD's catch was with a strip of defrosted garfish. Later on, some boys who obviously were regulars came up and settled themselves on the jetty (which we were wary of as it was slippery and indeed one of the boys fell in at one point!) - they were using feathers and caught quite a lot. Others came up to fish the beach from the other side of us, also with feathers, and also caught a few, so it seems there were quite a few fish about, but that we weren't casting far enough or with the right bait. Next time we will try a bit more weight I think and feathers.

But apart from feeling intimidated later in the day by people casting a bit close to me (I ceded my place to them and left TD to it at that point) I really enjoyed the day and my first taste of mackerel and I look forward to trying again late in the summer when it's a bit less busy.

Quote:
Why don't you British ever come to Norway to fish?

Is that an invitation?! Cool Thanks very much for your tips, I am looking forward to putting more of them in to practice in the future.
Jonnyboy

Excellent news Bugs, a successful trip and loads of useful info gleaned from the locals behaviour for next time.

Mackerel that fresh will be delicate and not overpowering at all. Plus as it's early in the summer its oil content will be lower than an autumn fish
Bugs

Jonnyboy wrote:
Mackerel that fresh will be delicate and not overpowering at all. Plus as it's early in the summer its oil content will be lower than an autumn fish


That's interesting - I think if we get to go back for another go it will be early September, I should expect that to taste a little more challenging then?

Lots of fun learning about new stuff again Very Happy
Jonnyboy

I wouldn't say challenging when it's that fresh, but it will certainly give you a better dose of omega 3. Very Happy
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Fishing
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home