Great size for eating, Charlie. Have you fooled around with smoking fish? Being from the South, I was raised to fry fish. I've had some good smoked salmon, but haven't tried doing any myself. Takes real cool smoke from what I understand. Hope you slay 'em again tomorrow.
Nice when circumstances fall your way. Glad it came together for you all.
Weather has backed down the heat and humidity and a stiff breeze here on the patio. Not joking at all.....I almost need a jacket at 9:09 and still plenty of light.
If those fish aren't somewhat oily they don't smoke good. They get pretty dry. I know people who have tried to smoke crappie, it turned out more like fish jerky.
I smoke trout, salmon and when they come from cold water (in spring breakup the meat is firm) Sucker, Drum and Carp, Bullheads are good smoked. they are oily fish which keeps them moist after smoking.
Brine is simple, add salt to cold water until an egg floats. Leave the scales and skin on the fish, cut the heads off inside the gills and split them down the back bone. Place in a single layer of fish in a large pan (don't stack them on top of each other) and completly cover with the brine for at least 24hrs. I make a glaze of water and brown sugar, and brush that on the meat side when about half done.
You when they get dry, brush on some more glaze. You may need to do that 3-4 times.
A couple things about smoking fish.
1. You need to keep and eye on them. Depending on temp and ambient temp smoking time varies some from batch to batch. You can tell how it going by how firm the meat is. you want it just a little bit spongy.
2. Dont smoke fish in the same smoker as you smoke your other meats in. the meat may have a slight fish taste.
A old refrigerator, preferably all metal no plastic makes a dandy fish smoker.
Yeah Ralph...I posted my "numbers". Fish were there again this morning, but there were 2 other boats on my spot. We anchored just 50nyards feom them and caught fish almost constantly for 3 hours. Have to be 19" to keep. Bet we threw back 40 that were 18. Finally finished with our limit of 6 (2/person). No big ones, all 19-25".
Just got home. Unloaded the important stuff...fish guts down back, fish fillets in fridge along with the some beers that were on ice. Took a shower to get the "stink" off and have a cold one in my hand. Soon as it's finished I might pass out until tomorrow afternoon. Sure wish I didn't have a 2-3 hour drive to get there.
Mike, T2F is spot on. You don't smoke stripers, white fish doesn't "take" the smoke. I do salmon sometimes. It's fabulous. I grill striper with lemon, butter and Old Bay seasoning, or poach it and ceumble to make fish cakes.
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