Feeding Frenzy

A couple of months ago, when we first saw the property for the first time, the only thing that mattered to me was, ” There’s a fishing hole!! Is there fish in it??”

I pretty much imagined us catching our dinner every night, daydreamed about sweet blue gill, fat bass and singing catfish fillets. We never really saw any fish in either pond the next 4 times we visited the house prior to closing, and each time my hopes of casting for dinner dimished.

After we moved in, I took a lesson from our friends, Charlie and Patsy, who have a fishing pond of their own and have harvested catfish the size of my couch. They fed their fish! So off to the the tractor supply & feed store we went and bought 50 pounds of catfish feed.

The first day of feeding, nothing.

The second day, nothing.

The third day, a couple of visitors.

Fourth day, more.

By the fifth day, the fish were coming fast and furious the moment the food we flung into the pond left our fingers and even before the pellets hit the water (I’m convinced that they have a water snake who’s on lookout duty).

And they began coming, hundreds and hundreds of them.

The small 6″ bluegill would dart in and out. The tilapia would travel in groups (sleek swimmers, they are!) and would chase the bluegill away.

Then the big mack-daddy carp would come. The mere presence of the carp would scare the tilapia and bluegill away! These guys are about the size of my leg. All they’d have to do is open their mouths, swim at the surface and scoop up food like a net. (I wonder what carp tastes like….I’ve never had one and I’ve never heard of anyone enjoying filet of carp. Anyone???)

The first day that we moved, we released Soup and Scotch our pet aquatic turtles┬áinto the pond – they’re both about the size of a lens-cap (yeah, only a photographer-geek would make that comparison, huh?)

And we spotted both of them in happily sunbathing in the pond! See? Here’s Scotch!

Okay, closer look….

At the other pond in front of our house, we haven’t been able to see any big fish yet.

But if you throw a piece of bread in the pond near the edge, you’ll see gazillions of small mosquito fish attack the bread! These lil’ guys will stay little and eat the larvae of mosquitos. Love ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. I’ll feed them bread every single day if they keep the mosquitos away.

Unfortunately, a certain someone likes to try to catch them and eat them.

Who, ME?!

Since it’s been raining about 30 minutes every single day, pretty lavender colored wildflowers have popped up.

We like those too.

Comments 32

  1. Maureen

    You’ve certainly gotten yourselves a piece of heaven! I have to say the turtle photo was a bit of a stretch. :)

    Love the dog.

  2. Molly

    How lucky to have a fish pond! My cousin describes carp as tasting like salty mud. :-) That said, it can make a delicious Hungarian fish soup; here’s just one of many home recipes: http://www.chew.hu/halaszle_1.html For the peppers, look for gypsy peppers, not regular green bell peppers.

  3. Kevin

    Apparently, carp does taste muddy and not very desirable, but their taste can be improved by catching them, keeping them alive, and putting them into a small tub with free flowing fresh water. after a week like that, apparently the muddy flavour gets washed out of them.

    not too sure if its worth the trouble though!

  4. Stephanie S

    When you filet carp there is a red line of extra oily flesh (the “mud-line”) in the middle of the filet which should be removed before cooking. It’s what makes the fish taste strongly of mud. Carp also have many small bones in their flesh.

    Hopefully the turtles will flourish in their new pond life!

  5. anelle

    There were a lot of people where I grew up that ate them, and I’ve heard some do like them. We always threw them back when we caught them because my dad said it did not taste good. I do think there are some that can enjoy them, but it always sounded like too much work for us to get them to taste good.

  6. Jen da purse Ho

    catch a carp and let us know! i was told carp tastes disgusting…but i’m curious now. esp since they are taking over our rivers/ponds. hahah.

    i love your house. When can i move in? lol i promise to clean and eat well. lol

  7. Janina

    Carp is regularly eaten in the region I live, it is even considered a delicacy! It is right that the preparation is a little bit of an effort, but I think it is worth it.

  8. mccutcheon

    We used to have carp on christmas evening. it’s okay. I’m not a big fan though so now that I make my own christmas dinners I go for turkey. but carp is very prominent here in Austria. I personally think it’s by far not as disgusting as catfish :/ yuck.

  9. lior shapira

    Carps are used to make jewish ‘gefilte fish’. It originates in eastern Europe. You grind the fish, bones and all (nowadays the supermarket does this for you), until its very thin. You mix it with onions, carrots, make patties and cook them in water until ready. The heads and spines(?) of the fish are usually added because of the gelatin, to thicken the cooking water, and the resulting gray mess is served with carrot garnish.

    I kind of like it, my grandmother makes it sweet (adds sugar, very polish of her), but its mostly holiday food, traditional.

    cheers, lior

  10. andrea

    Pretty sure Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has an episode of River Cottage in where he cooks carp for a bunch of snobby rich people who had them living on their property…

  11. Alan

    My dad caught a big carp when I was a kid. He smoked it in a smoker and the results were delicious.

  12. Maggi

    Carp – the only place I see it is at the Asian supermarket (no joke) for like $1.99 a pound! Well, now I understand the cheap price, but I don’t understand how you have never tried it before. lol!

  13. Meredith

    Great pond. FYI, I hope those turtles are native to the state where you live. Releasing non-native species into the wild in most states is illegal and also irresponsible. Non-native species creat havoc in environements where there are already established populations of similar species. Also, your pet turtles have been hand fed since they were hatched and have no idea how to support themselves in the wild, so likely won’t live very long.

    1. SteamyKitchen

      Thank you for your concern. Yes, of course they are native. They are doing just fine, the 2 we had before were fed feeder fish and shrimp. The new one we just got eats pellets we are throwing out every day.

  14. Shirley

    RAINING EVERY DAY FOR 30 MINUTES????
    Jaden I am so freaking jealous!!
    We’re in the middle of what will be forever known as the drought of 2011. We’ve busted drought and heat records left and right for weeks and weeks. Our pond is dead and dry as a bone! UGH!! What I wouldn’t do for some rain.

  15. Jen

    Jaden,
    There is a restaurant back home that is famous for it’s carp.
    If I could drive there tonight to get some, I would. It is all in the preparation. As someone else posted, keep the fish alive in clean water for a few days to lose the muddy taste and make sure to remove the mudline, also mentioned. Now, when you prepare the fish, cut several little cuts in the sides of the fish. These are going to catch the breading and will fan out like magnificent chips. Make a breading…cracker meal, egg wash, the usual. Serve with jacket fries, a creamy slaw, plenty of pickles and rye bread. From the medium size fish you get a tail section and then the filet section. That filet section is so, so good.
    I do hope you’ll try it. If you can pressure fry it, all the better. P.S. If you’re really wanting the authentic breading, you can order it from Joe Tess in Omaha NE. I was once in Canada discussing this very topic with someone sitting next to me. It was SO random….at the same time we both blurted out Joe Tess and how amazing it is!! Small world.

  16. joey

    Jaden you have got a gorgeous place there! How wonderful to have a little fishpond right by your house. I live in a flat in the middle of the city and I have to bring my daughter out to see live animals, haha! :)

  17. Inez

    Last Summer in Japan, while staying several traditional inns I had several carp dishes, including carp sushi, all of which were delicious with no muddy flavour. Most often this was while we were staying in mountainous regions where carp were still kept traditionally in the canals. I too was very dubious when first offered the carp sushi, having heard about carp having a muddy flavour. It was truly fabulous.

  18. Dee

    Gorgeous photos! A fish pond?!?! Jalouse! And the last pictures is just summer heaven–too cute.

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