So we went fishing for real on Saturday. We had gotten the correct bait at the sportsman's shop, and (from the proprietor) the precise location where fish had recently been stocked and were biting. And I caught our first fish! It was a weird short little bass. He had very big, bulbous eyes, and was only about 5 inches long. So back in the lake he went. But then I caught a perch! He was very pretty. And at about 8 inches long, big enough to eat, so we kept him. Keeping him, in this instance, meant putting him in the old kitty litter bucket which was half-full of melting ice. This meant that for the next half-hour or so that we were fishing, there would be an occasional rustling sound from the bucket as the perch slowly froze/suffocated to death. "Do you want me to gut it now?" asked CJ after I glanced sadly at the bucket for the 10th time. Yes, sure. He "took care of it" out of my line of sight. It was a very pretty fish, with cool stripes on the side and bright orange fins. I think I would have felt less conflicted if it had been ugly. I am like most pampered first-worlders in this regard, sadly.
We ended up not catching anything else, and it was kind of cold and windy, so we took our one small perch home. We don't yet have a scaling knife, so CJ filleted it (while I read a book upstairs, under the covers). He had to do some online research to do so, but he did a great job. We ended up with a very small amount of meat, which I sauteed in a bit of olive oil and salt. The flesh was perfect, very little fishy flavor, mostly just really good, really fresh tasting. The texture was divine. Eating it made me want to go fishing again. But fishing is time consuming, and a lot of that time is spent staring out into space as you wait for something to happen. It is, frankly, kind of boring. CJ is still wicked into it, and is fine with it being his solo thing. Which it may be.