A Day In The Life Of…

18 Sep 2014
3 min read
Thorsten Hagen, fish master at the Müritz lake district in Northern Germany, describes his day as a fisherman.

Early in the morning we go out on the water, in the summer sometimes as early as 4am. I get into my boat at the Fischerhof Röbel. The Müritz is quiet, mist wafting across the water, except for a few birds, everything is still quiet. Pure fishing romance! It’s one of the reasons why I have chosen this profession. But it’s not really a profession, it’s a calling. Even as a teenager I was fascinated by going on the water with the Röbel fishermen.

Today we have to check the bow nets and apply the gillnets. The first trap is reachedquicklyand the fish wriggle around in the boat. They are sorted within seconds. We take only selected fish, the little ones can swim on. In the traps we find eels, pike, perch, tenchand whitefish.

We continue to the next trapsuntil shortly after 6am. And then the gillnets are applied. These are meant for catching whitefish. The population of these tasty fish is increasing from year to year, also thanks to the restocking by the Müritz fishermen.

When all traps are checked and the gillnets are in the water, we go back to the harbour. Now the preparations must be made for the sale, which begins at 9am. The smoker is fired up and the counter carefully stocked with fresh fish.

After almost five hours of work it’s 8:30am and time for our deserved breakfast break. Now the other colleagues have already arrived at the Fischerhof, and we discuss the coming day over a coffee.

At 9am it really gets going, the first customers come in and ask for fresh fish, smoked specialities or they might want a tasty fish bun to eat on the go.

It’s always a challenge to advise the customers, especially in our unusual varieties that we offer. No wonder, because who’d know what to expect when they hear the names Beißbölter or Kräutermorizaner? The Müritz fishermen have crafted delicious varieties out of native fish. I myself am the co-inventor of one of the specialties. Together with Jörg Jaenisch we have invented the first baking fish fillets of whitefish such as roach or sinkers​​. Here on the Fischerhof! The name Beißbölter came later.

And of course I am proud that through the online shop of the Müritz fishermen, Fischkaufhaus.de, our zander and eels are sold throughout Germany. We fishermen don’t just catch fish, but we also think about the future. Every year we restock millions of whitefish and thousands of eels in the Müritz to have something in our nets in years to come. Our fishing plans are constantly reviewed and adapted to the population.

Sustainable freshwater fishing has been going on for decades, even before the term existed.

It’s approaching 4pm and it’s back on the water. But a colleague takes over, for me it’s closing time now. The gillnets are now removed from the water, some fish is taken from our commercial department, and the next day is being prepared.

What’s my fascination with this profession?To be with the wind and the weather out on the water, the direct contact with nature, which is the allure of fishing. Even and especially in the autumn when the fishing starts on the smaller lakes with large towed gears. The profession has, however, changed dramatically. Formerly the fishermen were only on the water. Today, the sale on land is part of it. But the contact with customers is fun, it’s great if you can bring customers closer to the delicious products.

Because the fish from Müritz is a special food item. Even though it hasn’t got an official organic seal, it’s as natural as it comes! When you see the dedication and effort to get the fish from the clear Müritz onto the plate, how many steps are necessary and how much handy work goes into it, then you can really appreciate the value of the fish!

For more information, visitfischkaufhaus.de