Smoking is good for you

Thursday has been muggy and moist, the air hardly circulating at all. It feels thundery but nothing comes of it. Hardly the best conditions for fishing but we had agreed that we would try a mark out West in the evening. Now as it turned out there was a last minute change of plans which meant I headed off on my own. A further change happened as I drove past the foot of the holy mountain, the wind was getting up and the rain started to fall with a surprising force. Maybe the low, rocky mark I was thinking of fishing was too dangerous tonight after all. I whipped the wheel hard right just past Louisburg and rolled on into Roonagh as the light faded.

A stiff westerly was blowing across the pier making it easy to fish and only 3 other anglers were busy when I arrived. Some Mackerel were present and I was quickly into fish on my usual set up. Squally rain and the wind seemed to keep other anglers away and only a handful ventured down for a look and not many landed a fish.

I ended up with 15 Mackerel to take home, enough without over-doing it. It was dark by the time I trudged back to the car and drove slowly home in the mist, thinking about the meaning of life and that kinda stuff. us anglers tend to drift into fairly deep thoughts at the drop of a hat, it must have something to do with being grounded in nature.

Back home I filleted the fish. Mackerel don’t keep well and leaving them overnight was not an option. The fillets rested in the fridge until today, when I dusted down my faithful old smoker and got to work………..

The smoker is a custom made job, a present from the engineering department of a papermill in Finland (don’t ask, it is a long story). It’s fashioned from a length of stainless steel pipe, sealed at one end and with a hinged lid on the other. Inside there is a grill running the length of the unit. Woodchips go on the bottom and direct heat is applied to the outside of the pipe causing the chips to smoke and cooking the fish which have been placed on the grill.

The fillets were placed on the grill and the smoker positioned on top of my camping stove. I had to do the job in two batches but they came out perfectly.

So that is dinner for tonight sorted out. Those of you fellow anglers who don’t yet smoke their catch should seriously consider investing in a smoker. A bit of home smoked salmon or mackerel is a real treat!

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