Ice Fishing for Bluegill – CookIN’ Gone Wild Field to Table – S2 E2 | Indiana DNR
WElcome to CookIN’ Gone Wild Field to Table.
I’m your host Michelle Cain and today we’re going ice fishing at Trine State Recreation
Area. I’m sitting here today with Neil Ledet, he
is our district 2 fisheries biologist. Neil, what do fish do in the winter time? Are they
less active, are they eating less? Let’s just go into a little bit of the basic stuff. If you think about what’s happening in these
cold water situations, the metabolism of these fish are going way down. They’re feeding enough
to maintain their energy but they’re not feeding enough to put fat on like they would in the
fall months. As far as being in the season, it seems like we’re somewhat in the middle,
moving toward the end. Yeah we’re really in the middle of this ice fishing season. It
doesn’t mean you can’t catch fish, it just means that sometimes fish get a little more
finicky, guys are having to downsize the types of baits their using. it just becomes a little
different ball game as far as the fishing goes. You just have to adjust with the conditions
and what the fish are telling you what they want. Yeah, Listen to the fish. If you can, yeah! Now we’re going to talk a little bit about
equipment. I’m here with Ted Bohman, who’s the property manager of both Pokagon and Trine
State Recreation area. Lets start with just he bare minimum that you need to get out there
today and go ice fishing? The bare minimum, you first have to start
with the equipment. You’ll want an ice auger to cut a hole in the ice. If you’re lucky
enough and you don’t want to invest in this, if you go out on a day, like a Monday morning
after a big weekend of seeing ice fishing, and it’s not too cold, you can just kick open
a bunch of holes. You’re going to want at least four inches of ice to get out and safely
stand on. I’m a big person and as someone who’s actually fallen through the ice, I prefer
to be on top of it when I’m fishing. Absolutely. The next thing is a pole. And ice fishing
poles come in various shapes and sizes. But the bottom line is all you need in a pole
is a little reel, if you’ve never done it before get a bobber – they have ice fishing
bobbers, and then a hook. What kind of bait do we need to use to get
out there and get started ice fishing? In this area there are no regulations except
for here at the state recreation area. You can’t have bait based in water. Okay, so no fish, no leeches, no crawdads,
anything like that. So basically worms. No mayfly larvae either. Anything that’s water-based.
So what we have is maggots. We have various types. We have mousies, spikes, and waxworms. And it looks like you also have some different
jigs and lures and things. I do. There’s a wide variety. The original
baits were lead based. They’re in different colors, everybody has their favorite color.
In the last five years they’ve gone to tungsten-steel which is a heavier lure. So you basically
have the same size lure, but its heavier. The issue of trying to get your bait down
in the water on a windy day or if you’re fishing 20 feet down has now been simplified. Oh yeah, huge difference there. And it’s substantial on the ice and it goes
into your presentation to the fish. We’ve talked a bit about baits and lures and
I see there are some different rods here. Can we talk a bit about the differences between
this versus the basic ones you talked about earlier? Absolutely. When I first started, I had this
pole for years and then I went out and bought more like it. You go out on the ice, you’re
meeting new people and your learning new techniques. So I’ve gotten into this really sensitive
fishing where it’s just a noodle rod. I have no bobber I’m really looking at, I’m just
looking at the tip of my pole the whole time. And sometimes when the fish bites it will
pull down – it’s just like when you’re in the boat in the summer time, it pulls down.
Other times when the fish bites you’ll see you have slack in your line, it means the
fish is coming up. Its just that you’re learning a different technique. Well I guess we need to drill some holes here. Neil is over here with the gas auger, I’ve
got the hand auger and the gas auger, with the thickness of the ice is the ideal thing
to use. We’ve peppered the area with holes, now we’ve got to think about if you were in
a boat. The last thing you want to do is okay the fish have moved now I need to go drill
a hole looking for them. You put some pressure on this and all you do is turn this baby. Okay, you make it look easy. I think Neil’s
got the right idea over there. You’ve got about eight more inches to go. Holy cow! Oh, I’m stuck. This is ridiculous.
Yeah I’m a little stuck in there. You’re right about at the edge. Oh, see? Look at that. So what we’re going to do is I’m going to
throw two mousies on. Okay. And the mousie larvae has this little tail,
that’s where they get the name mousie. So I’ve got my long pole and you’ll notice
the reel is just like the reel on a regular rod. And I’ve got a tungsten-steel bait which
is heavier but is comparative in size to what I threw down before. So this is a pretty cool little thing we’ve
got here. It’s on a sled, blocking all the wind, my own little ice fishing house. I like
it. Maybe this is why I never really ice-fished before, I didn’t have a little fancy shanty.
It’s always the thing about fishing, the quiet. And the cold, its a little cold, I’m not going
to lie. Yup. So I believe we were calling this, what, the
sweedish pimple. And uh… Hey I got a fish on again! Did you hear that? He’s got a fish on. Darn
you! One of the things with the Vexilar is they
get caught in it.It’s just a little bluegill. Hey Michelle, the fish just kind of follow
me! Are you kidding me right now? No. There I go, okay. There’s a big school of them down here. Well, you know. The wind and… there’s always
a reason, right? Ooh! I got me a fish! Yay! Bluegill! Hey Michelle? I caught another one too. Nice! All right Neil, it looks like you need
to head down this way. Okay, I’m going to set him right over there. I got another one Michelle. If it’s big enough to eat, keep it! I’m keeping them all! I’ve got to filet those fish later! So it’s already been more productive than
steelhead fishing. Per pound, not so much. I got another one Michelle. Holy Cannoli! I just got my bait back in.
Slow your roll! It’s cold out here, but it’s been a good day
ice fishing. So I want to thank both Neil and Ted for taking me out. It’s been a good
day, we caught some fish and if you get a chance to go out ice fishing, we highly recommend
you take someone with you and teach them a new skill and hopefully they have a good time
too. It’s really cold out here so I’m ready to go inside, warm up, and clean and cook
these fish. We managed to catch 15 bluegill on lake Gentian
in just a few short hours. I’ve already filleted the fish using a basic fish filleting technique.
If you don’t know how to do that you can check out the video at the link below. So today
we are going to be making a crispy bluegill in a red curry sauce. The first thing you
are going to do is cook your rice. So we have jasmine rice, coconut milk and water, fish
sauce and turmeric. All you’re going to do is take this over to the stove and get started.
We have our coconut milk and water in here brought to a boil for our rice. Now we’re
going to add our fish sauce, turmeric, stir it around. Go ahead and add the rice and let
it cook for about fifteen minutes covered. We have our bluegill fillets here and as you
can see they are really thin so we are going to go ahead and bread them. This is just flour
with some season salt, your next step is an egg wash. So it’s egg and milk. And then the
Panko bread crumbs. make sure its coated real evenly. And that’s it, it’s as simple as that.
I’m going to bread the rest of these and then we’re going to take them over and fry them
up. As your rice is cooking we are going to cook
the bluegill. I have some grapeseed oil here that’s on medium-high heat, and really we
just need to cook this until its crispy because we’re going to cook this the rest of the way
in the curry. So one to two minutes on each side. Once the fish are nice and golden brown we’re
going to take them out of the pan and make our curry. I’m going to add in about half
of our coconut milk. Stir it around. It gets nice and frothy and that’s exactly what we
want. Keep stirring that. let me go ahead and add the rest of the coconut milk and stir
that in. Then I’m going to add in the water, stirring as you go, red curry paste, fish
sauce, and brown sugar. Once everything is incorporated you’re going
to just lit this simmer and reduce down for about five to seven minutes and then we’ll
add in our fish. Our curry sauce has reduced down so we’re
going to add in the fish and let it cook for another five minutes and then we’re ready
to go. Here is our crispy bluegill in red curry sauce.
And we just garnished with a little bit of green onion and some cilantro. I’m going to
go ahead and take a bite. It’s really good. the curry gives it a lot
of spice and flavor without a lot of heat. If you wanted to add a little more heat you
could add some cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper. But if you don’t, it’s perfect just
the way it is. For the full recipe you can go to our website.
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I can’t wait to see you next time on CookIN’ Gone Wild Field to Table. I am strong like bull! …Don’t put that in