Thursday, August 25, 2011

Northern Pike Y Bones

The guys had a good day out on the Mississippi yesterday.  Besides these three Northern, they had a lot of fun reeling in other pan fish, like bluegill, crappies, bass, and one of them even caught a dog fish.  Of course, they threw the dog fish back into the river, because it's a rough, inedible species. 

There are those who won't and don't eat Northerns because of their pesky bone structure.  Between their rib cage and the top of the back, there's an unusual series of bones, called the Y Bones.  These bones run from the gill area about 3/4ths the length of the fish to the tail.  My hubby, and other fishermen, have a slick way of removing these Y-bones.  To see how this is done, go to  When a Northern is properly de-boned and fried to a golden brown, it is one of the best tasting fresh-water fish in North America.

I came from a family of fishermen.  Grampa took me and my best buddy cousin to nearby rivers when we were little kids.  He'd tie long cane poles to the side of his car, and away we'd go!  Gramma would ride along and, because of her arthritic knees, would patiently wait in the car while we fished.  There was no room for sissies when we were around my maternal grampa.  He had us playing in the dirt, fishing, swinging from trees, hunting for frogs that gramma would fry for us, and he always told us we had to eat "this much" dirt if we wanted to be healthy.

That was what fishing was like in the 1950s, but today it's grown into a sophisticated sport.  When we go to a Cabela's Store, there are aisles of colorful bait, jigs and rigs, and lord only knows what all to tantalize the fish to the hook.  I'm so old-fashioned, it's embarrassing.  I just think fish want a worm or a wiggly night-crawler.....something with a little meat to it! 

It's been so darned hot this summer, we've not had our little boat out.  As soon as cooler weather gets here, I know we'll be hooking up and heading out.  A day on the river, or a lake, is enough to tucker the three of us out.  Even if the fish don't bite, a day on the water gives us fresh air.....the only natural energy booster.

I used to like fishing with a bobber, but I don't anymore.  It's more fun to hold my pole and feel the nibbles and bites, and that way I know just the right time to give my pole a jerk and reel in my catch. 

This time of year I get mighty itchy to head up north to the lakes.  Not a big lake, but one you can see across to the other side.  The big lakes are too choppy for our Misty Harbor. Yesterday while the guys were fishing, I spent time online looking for an affordable pet-friendly resort.  I'll be darned if I didn't find one. Now, all I have to do is coax the other two here to go.....and, just between you, me and the tree......that'll be an easy-peasy job for me!