Sucker fishing

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Section10
Sucker fishing

Greetings from a new member.  A friend of mine catches suckers by the washtubful in April coming out of Lake Superior and smokes them.  I expect to go with him and have been looking at pickling and canning recipes.  I haven't had suckers since i was a kid, but except for the bones, they were good fish.  I'm hoping the bones will be taken care of in canning & pickling.  I am always looking for recipes that do not contain sugar since I have no sweet tooth at all and don't care for any sweet taste.

philaroman
philaroman's picture
keep the smaller fish &

keep the smaller fish & RELEASE THE BIG BREEDERS!!!  they're not as tasty, anyway & big bones are especially not palatable, even if softened enough to chew

hot-smoking & canning are essentially slow-cooking methods -- as long as a high-enough internal temperature is reached, parasites & bacteria are taken care of

on the other hand, cold-smoking & brine-pickling are preservation techniques -- THE FISH IS UNCOOKED!!!  you really need to know what you're doing, or you'll get sick...  no such thing as a low-salt recipe -- use plenty of it (Sea/Kosher/Plain -- NOT IODIZED!!!) & you may also need tiny amounts of other sodium compounds as preservatives...  unless you can learn from an expert, do extensive research!!!

P.E.T.A. sucks!!!  Plants are living things, too -- they're just easier to catch!

Section10
i pickle smelt every year and

i pickle smelt every year and use some sugar, but I would like to try it without for the suckers.  Salt is no problem.  I like salt.  I can eat sugar, but I'd rather not.

philaroman
philaroman's picture
don't need sugar

it's only there for flavor -- it's not necessary for the pickling process.  I always leave it out (even, gravlax), just because I think it's safer for any kind of DIY fish preservation

P.E.T.A. sucks!!!  Plants are living things, too -- they're just easier to catch!

Susquehannock
Susquehannock's picture
Eating suckers

To be honest, I've always just baked suckers. Not to say that there's anything wrong with other methods- there isn't, and I'd certainly be interested in trying something like pickled sucker- but they're good baked, and even if you don't cook them to mush, a lot of the smaller bones soften up.

Susquehannock

Beverly riffles
Roughfish recipes

For those somewhat uninitiated to the practice of eating Rough fish, I might mention that in 1982 the Wisconsin DNR published a preparation/ cookbook for rough fish. It's called  "A fine kettle of fish." It's 63 pages and is on line. I'm not much up on linking stuff but if you punch up Wisconsin DNR rough fish you can get to it. Hope this helps some. My mother was full Czech. They knew what to do with a three pound carp during the Great Depression. It was not catch and release, it was catch and in the grease! All the best to all those who dip my favorite redhorse bait, garden worms on a number 6 mustad hook, this spring.  

Dave.        

 

Corey
Corey's picture
A Fine Kettle of Fish

Yes! We actually have that article listed under "Rough Fish, Crayfish, and Turtles; How to prepare Them - And Why" on the Links page of roughfish.com.

Beverly riffles
Recipes

That's great, I printed it off when I was still working and have it as a three hole notebook document. I also have some of those old game warden association cookbooks and of course the nearly romantically written Doug Stange. Article  "That sweet sucker thing" or something to that effect. Food preparation and handling the fish after catch are very important parts of teaching folks the value of all fish, especially the wrongly disdained rough fish we love so much. For those who want to really understand the value of rough fish as food,  find and read "How I Came To Know Fish" by the Czech author Ota Pavel. It will put fishing for carp  in the Czech Republic on your bucket list.

Dave

Section10
I've never even seen a carp

I've never even seen a carp in these waters in the western UP of Michigan.  I have rarely seen stream lampreys only in very small and very remote clear streams.  Not often, though.  I worked for a private firm that did surveying for the US forest service and we got sent into the worst places doing section corner remonumentation.  There are still remote places around here although they are not all that extensive.  I have been on big rivers in places that have shown no sign of humans at all.  Not even a cut stump anywhere.  One place I found 12"+ long leeches in a remote pond that were an intensely bright orange.  There are still a few places around here that I don't think anyone hardly ever goes.