Posts Tagged ‘ESP Boss’

Set Your Hook

Fish Cleaning 101

The Easy Way To Clean Fish: ESP Boss’ 4 Step Process

Have you ever done a Google search for cleaning fish? You’ll come up with a million and one ways to clean a fish! Holy cow!

Some fish really do have a specific way that you have to clean them, like catfish. But for your garden variety, run-of-the-mill trout, I wanted to share with you ESP Boss’ 4 Step Process.

Before you begin, make sure the fish is clean of mud, bait, and other nasties. You’ll need a sharp knife and a cutting board. Running water is a help, but not required.

If any fish still have the hook in them, set them aside for last!

Here’s how we take care of a fish that has swallowed the hook and we can’t get it out: put TWO of the metal stringer hooks through it. That way, we can tell it apart from the others!

I prefer metal stringers to rope!

Step 1

Insert the tip of your knife at the anal fins. Cut the fish’s stomach area all the way until you reach the gill cover. You want to cut completely through the skin, but not into the spine.

You want a sharp knife and a stable surface.

Step 2

With your fingers, remove the insides of the fish. It’s best if you reach in toward the head, firmly grasp the entrails and pull them out working towards the anal fins. Run your finger firmly along the inside of the backbone to clean out the vein that runs along the bone.

Step 3

Rinse the cavity of the fish. If you have running water, great! If not, rinse out the cavity in a pan of clean, cool water.

ESP Boss rinsing a trout in camp. Don't dump that dirty water in camp or it'll attract all manner of beasties and bugs!

Step 4

With the fish laying on a firm surface (so you can see one eye), slide your knife up and under the gills. Firmly cut through the backbone so the gills stay attached to the head.

The gills stay attached to the head.

Discard guts and head. Or, save the head to use to catch crayfish!

And that’s it! Because trout don’t have extreme scales, there’s no need to remove the scales or skin. We typically cook them using the Fish Basket BBQ recipe.

Readers Weigh In:

  • How do you clean trout?
  • Any tips or tricks that I could share with newbies?

Mystery Mondays: Night Kayaking

Fireworks in Prescott, AZ 7/4/2010

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you all had a safe, fun holiday. I think that ESP Boss & I have just found a brand-new holiday tradition that I wanted to share with you.

Kayaking by LED lantern light to watch fireworks!

ESP Boss saw a flier in a local sporting goods store about renting canoes to go out on Willow Lake in Prescott, Arizona, to watch the fireworks. Since that sounded like our type of outdoor adventure, we left the barbeque a bit early to load the kayaks.

Besides the kayak, life vest, and paddle, here are some supplies that you’ll need:

  • Insect repellent. We used Off! Clip On Mosquito Protection and it worked great. There were bats swooping all over munching down on the skeeters but we didn’t get a single bite!
  • Coleman LED lanterns (2 for the front of the kayak, 2 for the back)
  • Battery operated LED light stick (2)
  • Long-sleeve tee-shirt or button-up tee (for when it gets chilly!) I was really glad I had brought mine because just before the fireworks started, a slight breeze came up and I got chilled. With it, I was able to enjoy the show and not be too cold.

Before you launch, be sure that you turn on the LED lanterns and push them as far into the bow and stern of your kayak as they’ll go. For extra glow, we had two lanterns in both the front and the back.  We had these really cool red, white, and blue, LED light sticks that were about 10 inches long and ran off 2 AA batteries. They fit perfectly under the knee pads of the kayaks for 360 degrees of glow. (We picked them up on clearance at Walgreens; when we went back to get more, the store was sold out!)

Isn't this a cool photo of ESP Boss?

In fact, David, a new friend we met at the lake called us the red fireflies. And we had several people tell us how cool the two kayaks looked floating on the water during the fireworks!

You can ONLY get amazing photos like this if you're on the water. (And lucky with the camera!)

For all you kayakers, if you’ve never kayaked in the dark, you are totally missing something. If you are going night kayaking, here are some tips for you:

  1. Check your local boating regulations to find out what the rules are about night boating. Here in Arizona, you must have a bow and stern light for any boating after dark.
  2. Check the batteries before you leave! Nothing is worse that getting to the lake and having a dead flashlight.
  3. Bring warm clothes — just in case you get chilly.
  4. Wear your life vest! In many states just having it in the boat is enough. But if you tip out in the dark, you want to be wearing that life vest not having it float away in the black!
  5. Bring a headlamp so you can use it to light up that path you’ll be paddling along.

A few more photos of fireworks:

We were close enough to hear the "WHUMP" as the fireworks were launched.

Happy Independence Day!

Mystery Monday: Kayaking Adventures

ESP Boss kayaking, Father's Day 2010

Happy Father’s Day!

About three years ago, my folks hosted a Rotary Exchange student from Brazil. While this was an interesting experience all the way around, one of my favorite parts was getting to do all types of brand new adventures in my own backyard.

One of the first things we did with Diogo was rent kayaks on Watson Lake. Needless to say, I was hooked! I bought a red 10 foot kayak (a Perception Prodigy) and starting heading to the lakes. Soon after, ESP Boss decided he couldn’t let me have all the fun, and bought an identical kayak as well.

Now, Dad & I are getting set for our next big adventure: an overnight kayaking trip! Much like backpacking, we’ve got to figure out how to get all our gear into the storage spaces in the front and back of our yaks.

And that brings me to how we spent our Father’s Day: ESP Boss decided that he wanted to test out some different kayak models. Luckily, our one & only local sporting goods store Manzanita Outdoor offers kayaking testing every weekend.

The first yak ESP Boss tested out was a Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Kayak. He said it was okay, nice and roomy, easy to paddle, and with a hatch for dry storage. (Our Prodigy kayaks don’t have any dry storage.) But, he wasn’t overly thrilled with it because it seemed kind of tippy and not really stable.

(If you’ve ever seen ESP Boss get into or out of a kayak, you’ll know that stability is a must. That man ALWAYS gets wet!)

The second kayak was a Native Watercraft, Ultimate 12. The kayak was super steady (a good thing) and had a large cockpit. That’s a really good feature for ESP Boss since he get’s kind of claustrophobic if he has to put his legs into too small a space. It had a ton of storage too! And a really comfortable seat.

The problem with the Native kayak was that it paddled more like a canoe than a kayak. ESP Boss said that it didn’t cut through the water very well and it had problems with tracking (going in a straight line).

The third kayak of the day was a Dirigo by Old Town. It had lots of tie-downs for cargo and a dry hatch in the back. Of the three, this seemed to paddle as close to the Perception Prodigy that he already owns. One really cool feature was a built-in cup holder that is molded into the deck. When the cup holder is in the seat between your legs, you always bump it and send the water bottle rolling around the cockpit of the kayak. It also had a little tiny dry storage well — perfect for a cell phone or small camera.

The biggest thing that made ESP Boss not like this kayak was the width of the cockpit. Old Town makes excellent yaks, but the cockpits do tend to run a little narrow.

But, the good news is that ESP Boss did find a kayak that he really loved. The fourth kayak of the day. ESP Boss got in, paddled away from the shore, and turned to me suddenly and said: This is it! This is the kayak I like!

And the lucky winner?

The Perception Prodigy 10.0. Yep, the kayak he already owns!

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