Re: NANFA--roughfish recipes/ how to clean 'em

R. W. Wolff (
Sat, 10 Jan 2004 03:52:20 -0600

Don't bleed a fish, what ever that is , anyways. I heard of bleeding turtles
out, but most of us never did that. I know a few who chopped their heads
off, then nailed them to a tree by the tail and left them hang over night.
Good way to let the coons and possums be fed instead of yourself. Not to
mention the people who insist on letting their cats run wild. The fresher
the meat before frying or freezing the better. Soaking in milk of salt water
overnight in the fridge is fine for strong flavored fish, no cats, possums
or coons in there, I would hope =).

Gar and bowfin do not have bones, well, they have a spine and rib cage.
Fillet them, and that is all meat. Just like a bass, without those funny
little side bones that stick out above the rib cage off the spine at a
perpendicular from the bones that run vertical in a fish off the spine. Bass
and other sunfish have these, if they are big enough, similar to Y bones in
pike and suckers.

Carp I am not sure of, only cleaned one for my lizards to eat. However,
never met a fish that had bones I could not feel with a good fillet knife.
The fillet knife ( other than electronic ones) is how you pull the Y bones
out of pike. Use the electronic knife to lop the fillets off the spine and
rib cage. Then pull out the trusty "ol' time fillet knife" to do the
delicate cuts, cutting out Y bones, cutting off the blood crud and gut
casing attached just below the spine. You can feel the base of the Y bones
by running your finger along the fillet on the "inside" in the area that was
near the spine. Just find this line of stubs, then run the knife down along
these, you can cut the sliver with the Y bones right out.

One last thing, there is a difference between a " mud line" and a " blood
line". A mud line is around the lateral line, and in certain waters fish
have a gray brown colored meat here. Cut that out. IF it is red or pink,
leave it be. That is just a coloring from eating a diet of crustaceans and
insect larvae. The red or pink line on that area is often called a blood
line. This has a stonger flavor, but is of the fish, not of the muck on the
bottom of that fishes home. Sometimes the inside of the hollow where the
guts are along the spine have a dark red/black bunch of crud. This is also
called a blood line, and can be sliced off the fillet along with the gut
casing with a good sharp fillet knife.

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