May 07, 2005

Phylum Chordata Subphylum Vertebrata Class Actinopterygii Order Beloniformes Suborder Belonoidei Family Belonidae Species Belone Belone

You always hear people who go out fishing say it and I'm no different: it would be fun even if you didn't catch a thing. Watching the waves, seeing the sun on the water and the clouds, a few birds flying around, it can seem like fishing is just something to do with your hands while your consciousness breathes in the natural world. And then, they start biting! These feisty beasts the beak pike like to spear their prey. They hit fast, and either they're hooked or they leave you wondering if that really was a fish, or was it a weed or a rock or just wishful thinking. A few times they would fly out of the water as they tried to skewer my lure from below. Fredrik was getting some bites and then I got one one my hook. He fought like a cross between a northern and a swordfish, dancing on his tail, running fast to the side and then I had him in my net and the hook came loose. There's no substitute for a net! His back was dark dark green and his sides and stomach shiny silver (like the stomach of a Rapala lure), good length, thick body. Then the wind came up, big waves hitting the breakwater and it started to rain so we went home. Cleaned the fish, washed the filets, dipped them in flour and fried the meat in a hot skillet.

The beak pike or horn pike or horn fish depending on if you are in Sweden, the south of Sweden or Denmark, spend winters in the Atlantic and then go to the beach at the Danish/Swedish coast and lower Baltic during the spring and summer to lay low and soak up some rays. The latin name of the fish is belone belone and the English name, needlefish. It amazes me that this fish can roam the high open seas of the North Atlantic and weather hurricaines and then come back to exactly this spot where I am standing and fishing. Another quite amazing property is that this fish has the same smell as good fresh clean fish in Minnesota-- the scent in the air after you've brought in a few bass or crappies or northerns. Beak pike aren't as slimy as northerns but the taste is almost exactly the same, just a little creamier. Yum!

We're going to go out again tomorrow if the weather is right. Fredrik was a little annoyed that I caught one and he didn't, but I told him it was only fair since last year he got one and I got skunked. Anyway, kids do tend to have better luck fishing and that is as it should be.


At May 07, 2005 9:07 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Here's some other names for the beak pike:

Danish Hornfisk
Dutch Geep
English Garpike, Greenbone, Hornfish, Needlefish
Finnish Nokkakala
French Orphie commun, Aguglia, Agujo, Aiguille de mer, Aiguillette, Orphie vulgaire
German Hornhecht, Grünknochen, Hornfisch, Schneefell, Sturmfisch
Greek Zargána
Icelandic Geirsili, Hornfiskur
Italian Aguglia
Norwegian Horngjel
Polish Belona pospolita
Portuguese Peixe agulha, Agulha
Russian ???????????? ??????
Serbo-Croat Iglica
Spanish Aguja, Agulla, Ahulla, Corsito, Guya, Lanzón, Saltón
Swedish Horngädda, Näbbgädda
Turkish Zargana


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