Winter in Lithuania means spending weekends on frozen lakes while trying to attract a silvery fish that smells like fresh cucumber.
Lithuanians love smelt and use vibrations to lure the small, slippery creature into nets through fishing holes drilled through the ice.
Two smelt-fishing commemorative coins were issued last month by the central bank of the country that is sandwiched between Belarus, Latvia, Poland and Russia’s Kaliningrad region.
Standing on Lusiai Lake north of the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, smelt-seeker Nerijus Grusnius says it’s been a good season for fishing this year.
Reviving traditional smelt fishing methods, people in Lithuania sing and hammer the ice with wooden mallets to create the enticing vibrations.
The ice covering the lake must be at least 16 centimeters (6.4 inches) thick for people to navigate safely while loaded down with fishing gear. Last week, it reached 22 centimeters, or 8.8 inches.
“It was a bliss,” Grusnius said.