Station: [13] Fishing

Meow, as I’ve always said: man doesn’t live by bread alone, er … sorry, I mean, cats don’t live by mice alone. Now and then, I need a bit of variety. Mmmm – yummy fish, sooo tasty! Positively scrumptious! Those poor weavers never eat anything but bream with potatoes. And yet there’s eel and perch out there, and carp and pike, Meow, so delectable. Let's see what else I can rustle up from the old fish traps in the fishing boat. 

Just look at that old tomcat, too lazy to chase mice, so he goes after the fish scraps instead. You little pilferer! 

Meow, succulent pikeperch, out of this world!

Pikeperch? You’re a gourmet, I see. We have old Hübner from Frankfurt an der Oder to thank for those. Our tenant, that is. He brought some juveniles with him and released them into the lake. Sticklebacks, too, for the others to feed on. It's important to maintain your fish stocks. Otherwise you can forget about fisheries – even the fishers in Steinhude agree with that.

Meow, ...

Indeed, the fisher folk generally stick together – thick as thieves, they are. Thick and sticky as the tar oil they use to paint their boats and nets, so the water doesn’t damage them. The type of boat you see in the yard only exists in Steinhude. 

It’s a punt and a sailing boat in one. Of course, the water's shallow, less than a metre and a half deep – barely five feet. Everyone here has a boat like that, one without a keel, if only to carry the peat. 

But you don’t make much money from fishing. 

Luckily, the summer months bring enough visitors to Steinhude, and they enjoy taking a boat trip out on the lake. That’s a service the fishermen provide with their boats. And then, of course, there’s selling the fish, and our famous local eels. 

Mmm! Eel! Meow

Yes our eels, they sell like hot cakes, and not just in Steinhude. On more than one occasion, I’ve walked all the way to Hanover with a few other women, carrying panniers and baskets full fish, both smoked and freshly caught. But the folk there haggle over every last penny, even though our goods are the very best quality.

Photo: © Fischer- und Webermuseum