Thursday, September 4, 2008
When I was a kid my father and I spent as much time together out on the water as we could manage -- and most of this time was spent fishing. During the summer we used to do pretty good with king mackerel and spanish mackerel. The kings are big (3-4 ft.) and the spanish are small (1.5-2 ft.). Now, I like pretty much any fish and mackerel are no exception for me, but most people I know don't care much for mackerel (or bluefish) -- unless it's smoked. Back then, dad received a smoker as a gift (i think) and we tried smoking our catch in it. I can say without any reservations that that first batch of smoked mackerel we did was the first great culinary achievement of my life. It was delicious -- and so delicious it was almost addictive. All during my teens I had the "L'il Chief" fired up doing it's thing in the summer months.
My good friend and Maine Guide, David Cassidy recently invited me to go along mackerel fishing in Stonington harbor. I had always wanted to fish for mackerel up north because you can do it up there from a dock or pier or bridge pretty easily (in the south we'd have to head offshore). We half-filled a 5 gallon bucket with Atlantic Mackerel (@1-1.5 ft.) in no time -- and it seemed like a lot of fish (to clean). Dave didn't have too much of an interest in them that day as he and his family had recently gotten their fill, so he sent them home with me. Luckily, after a little shopping around I found the exact same model smoker may dad and I used to use when I was a kid -- the "L'il Chief". Here's how it all looks....
Posted by peter frank edwards at 5:10 PM