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Re: A Pond Log by QA
Quarter Acre #512745 10/14/19 12:11 PM
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I deep fried just over a pound of HSB fillet pieces last weekend. Bottom line...Very Good!

I wish I had taken pictures of the raw meat and the fried end product, but I was in too much of a hurry to get the cleaning process over with and the fish went from the fryer pretty much to the mouth. So, your imagination will have to do...

I had read that the red meat should be removed from the fillets and imagined it to be a fairly simple task, but the red meat in my fish was rather marbled in the outer meat (not just a simple strip that could be cut off easily). So, I left it in the fillets as apposed to butchering up the fillets and wasting a third of it. Not to say that a third of the meat was red, but removing it would have also removed plenty of white meat too as I'm no master with a filet knife.

I do simple cooking...

1.) Fillets were chunked into thumb-sized pieces, bagged and put in the freezer...

2.) Thawed, drained, dipped in egg, white floured once, and fried.

So, no extra steps in marinading or any seasonings...just plain fried fish! I did have ketchup on hand just in case, but it was not necessary.

I did not get ANY "fishy", "muddy", or "pond" flavors like I have with some catfish or frog legs. I was very pleased and my vegan daughter even tried some (I think knowing that the fish were humanely raised helped her cheat a bit).

I'm also very glad they did not taste the way fish food smells! lol I can't brag enough on the results. Some people will only eat crappie and say bass even taste fishy. I don't understand any of that, but if your one of those with more perceptive taste buds with regards to fresh water fish...try some HSB...it certainly won't kill you.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: A Pond Log by QA
Quarter Acre #512786 10/15/19 08:08 PM
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QA, this post made me so hungry! Congrats on the harvest and great tasting fish.

Re: A Pond Log by QA
Quarter Acre #512793 10/16/19 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted By: Quarter Acre
I had read that the red meat should be removed from the fillets and imagined it to be a fairly simple task, but the red meat in my fish was rather marbled in the outer meat (not just a simple strip that could be cut off easily). So, I left it in the fillets as apposed to butchering up the fillets and wasting a third of it.


Make a "V" cut at the end of the red meat in HSB and "unzip" like a zipper. We had a guide at Lake Texoma show this to us. This video shows how to do it.

To us, it greatly improves the taste and quality of the meat. Takes no time.

Re: A Pond Log by QA
Quarter Acre #512802 10/16/19 07:51 AM
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Excellent video Jlud! That's pretty much what I was expecting to see, BUT...

My fish did not have that easy strip of red meat, but rather a lighter marbled pattern to the outer layer of white meat. It would have been very time consuming to surgically remove 5 to 10 patches of meat from each fillet.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: A Pond Log by QA
Quarter Acre #512807 10/16/19 10:42 AM
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QA - I haven't filleted HSB but I think the video showed him not pressing the knife hard against the skin. This would leave the marbled section and a thin layer of white meat with the skin. Then the red strip could be zipped out. I easily could be wrong but that was my take from video.

Re: A Pond Log by QA
Quarter Acre #512811 10/16/19 12:14 PM
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Good video. I use that exact technique on walleye to remove (zipper) the red meat and pin bones. I do not press the knife down hard on walleye either when I seperate the fillet from the skin or the "zipper" method does not work very well. Even leaving a little of the white membrane can make it hard to zip.

Last edited by Bill D.; 10/16/19 02:19 PM. Reason: clarification


You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!
Re: A Pond Log by QA
Quarter Acre #512814 10/16/19 01:03 PM
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We do it after we have separated the filet from the skin.

Re: A Pond Log by QA
Quarter Acre #512832 10/16/19 07:19 PM
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I wasn't aware of the zipper technique but like roundy and Bill D. I don't press hard to the skin so that most of the red stays with the skin. I use the same method for catfish where instead of skinning I remove the filet with skin from the fish and then remove the filet following the same technique. I filet with a razor sharp rapala knife that my bride knows better than to mess with. smile

Whether that red strip needs to be removed depends on one's tastes and tolerances. I had a colleague of Asian descent who remarked about being hungry for fish. I gave him some fileted crappie but when I later asked him how they were he said they were bland and didn't even taste like fish. So I asked him what kind of fish he liked and he replied carp. Anyways the next spring when carp were piled up below a low water bridge I caught a few with my fly rod and dropped them off as whole fish on my way home. I never heard the end of how good they were and he did indeed appreciate the fish and my effort to catch them for him.

I know people who don't remove the red band on HSB and I think their tastes might prefer it that way.

Last edited by jpsdad; 10/16/19 07:22 PM.
Re: A Pond Log by QA
roundy #513204 10/24/19 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted By: roundy
QA - I haven't filleted HSB but I think the video showed him not pressing the knife hard against the skin.


That's the key to butchering a HSB. Don't shave tight to the skin - leave a bit of meat - 3/16"-ish.

Then it's easy to remove the dark strip that runs down the side along the pin bones.

Re: A Pond Log by QA
Quarter Acre #521882 05/29/20 02:19 PM
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First log entry of the year...The HSB fillets from last October were well recieved by my guests even with the red meat intact...However, I just fried the last of it up a few weeks ago and it was a bit fishy tasting. I guess it does not age well in the freezer with regards to the red meat flavor. I can assure you that fillet chunks were mixed and randomly bagged so it was not a case of "one bad fish". Lesson learned...eat it all soon after harvest.

Next, and more recently, I caught the first HBG out of the pond by accident. I was checking the Lily and APW hanging baskets and had caught this guy hanging out in one of the buckets...

[Linked Image]

Nice and fat, but more importantly...no parasites. The HBG have always had the little yellow grubs attached to their fins and such. It's nice to see the complete absence of the buggars. Hopefully this is a sign of times to come.

I have added water lilies to the hanging baskets...Attraction, Colorado, Perrys’ Baby Red, and a Liou. The smallest of the 4 (Perry's and Liou) are struggling to get established and grow. The fact that these two were barely a morsel to begin with, the aoccational crawdad that finds the bucket, and the HBG that are apparently liking the solitude of the buckets...it's a wonder they are still hanging on.

Anyhow, I hope to do a little fishing in the pond this weekend, checking DO levels (get back in the habit), trapping some craws, and I may throw the net out and see how many tadpoles I can catch in one throw. They have been biblical this spring...leftovers form last year, I suspect. I am betting 50 to 100 in one throw! I guess I will throw them back unless someone needs some bullfrog tads...come and get'em. I am on the fence wether they are good or bad because there are sooooo many of them.

Have a good weekend!


Fish on!,
Noel
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Re: A Pond Log by QA
Quarter Acre #521900 05/30/20 06:36 AM
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Great up update QA. Really good fish in the photo too. Looks > 9" maybe close to 10". did you happen to measure it?

Re: A Pond Log by QA
Quarter Acre #521981 06/01/20 07:52 AM
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I did not measure it. I was not expecting to see it. It was likely 9" long. I did get out and set the crawdad trap with an overnight catch of 50, one adult male FHM, and a few very small HBG. I added a few more craws from the results of throwing a 7-8' net...I could easlily get 20 tadpoles per throw and could have done much better, but the higher densities of tadpoles where over the underwater rootwad stuctures which is not good for the net...don't ask me how I know...I learn the hard things the hard way!

Boiled and on the menu for tonight...

[Linked Image]

I also did some DO testing and I must be doing something wrong. My aeration runs at night now (about 9pm to 5am). I checked it Saturday morning around 8am and it was around 4ppm at the surface and closer to 3.7ppm at 4 foot deep. I am currently removing crawdads to reduce the murky water with hopes to increase the aeration run times along with reducing turbidity...maybe this will help the DO levels too. The pond has always struggled with murky water, low DO and low feeding activity...I think the three are related. Last fall I thought that I might have too much biomass in the pond, but I could not catch more than a dozen 1/2 pond HBG over the course of a week fishing every day for an hour each...so, I threw them back in thinking that overpopulation was not the problem. I did remove several HSB, but added 10 more 10" HSB shortly after.

I fished for a 1/2 hour saturday at feeding time using earth worms and did not get a bite. The fish were not feeding well at all. My wife was with me which meant the dog was there too...I am sure this added to the lack of fish activity. My wife has one volume and uses it nonstop (practically)...bless her heart. Channing is a great dog, but weighs 90 pounds and substainially adds to the movement of the dock.

Last edited by Quarter Acre; 06/01/20 08:16 AM.

Fish on!,
Noel
Re: A Pond Log by QA
Quarter Acre #521983 06/01/20 08:34 AM
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Love boiled crawfish!


8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 107




Re: A Pond Log by QA
Quarter Acre #521990 06/01/20 09:45 AM
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That's a nice mess of crayfish.

I don't make any attempt to be quiet on the dock at feeding time.
When the fish hear someone on the dock, no matter the time of day, they come up to see if they're going to get a snack.

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