Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by KEM, Jun 8, 2011.
I just knew you'd prove me wrong. Strong wrk Dave.
Cant wait to try my new flutter and sparkle pink bead for these critters. I hear they are really good if you cook them in foil, with lemon and garlic, some rosemary, olive oil and butter. Then after the first 3 min. you add some peppers and onion (already reduced in white wine) mixed with white pepper and sea salt. Grill for another 7 min. then take the fillet out of the foil and throw it away. Then serve the foil (still hot) and garnish with fresh chopped chives - enjoy.
The slime will still add lots of flavor to the foil and your buddy's wont know the difference.
I think thats actually true, when I was working on a charter boat in alaska I lost 15 bucks to one client who bet me he could cook a humpy and the lodge cook could cook a silver and I would mistake one for the other. That guy was an amazing cook, and I have seen lots of guys try to cook fresh humpy and it come out tasting nasty, Bleeding the fish and getting it on Ice asap is a key to keeping the fish from mushing.
If you can make a humpy taste like a coho without smoking it though. watch out bobby flay.
I use a similar recipe for western WA waterfowl.
i have to admit coho are my favorite salmon. that said, pinks caught in the salt are mighty tasty. treat them as you would any salmon you catch and keep. fillet, rinse, onto foil, little bit of lemon, and on the BBQ. simple is what cooking fish is all about that way you don't mask the delicious flavor of this tender treat. save the spices for somthing that needs to have its natural flavor masked, treat you salmon to a 'clean' way of preperation so that true flavor can be savored. without a doubt, pinks are the mildest flavored salmon you will ever enjoy.
pinks caught and kept in fresh water, forget it, not worth the effort.
Heres my system, and i only fish for these in the salt, i have a stringer, really just a short rope tied to a stick. the fish gets cut while in the net and transfered to the rope and slid down for bleeding, after 5 minutes, its removed and stashed deep in ice. i'm not shy on ice and my 100qt cooler is 2/3 full when i start fishing. the boat remains slime and blood free. these fish when handled right like this, are great table fare like any other salmon, no kidding. when i'm filleting them, i cannot even hardly hold them as they are that cold. nothing like an evening summer bbq with a fish that was swimming not an hour earlier. i'm still eating the last runs smoked fish. found the secret finally to preserving them, atleast for me anyways. i vacuum pack the skinless smoked fish, and i put the packs in boxes, like shoe boxes, for freezing. no more freezer burn, guess adding the box did the trick for me.
Gearhead, you ever had a sealion take one off of your stringer?
Beach fishing last pink season I initially kept a stringer on my belt, until I realized how disastrous it could be when I'm wading waist deep with fish dangling by my legs, and sea lions chasing hooked fish into shore.
One can keep the quality of those ocean fresh pinks even better by gutting and gill them immediately after bleeding and before placing in the ice (and yes belly pack them with crushed ice).
If the pink is still actively feeding (they often stuffed with things like krill) the digestive acids will continue to do their jobs and you will get "belly burn" if not gutted immediately. Pinks have delicate flesh and by carefully selecting ocean bright fish with loose scales and taking the best care of them possible the are excellent tablefare. The fresher the better; if I'm going to grill one it is the night that I caught the fish. The rest of the fillets going directly into the brine and the smoker the next day. The time to freeze them is after they are smoked and then be sure to vacuum seal the pieces. As always the best smoked fish is when you start with the best fish possible.
If I smoke pinks treated as above I (and those that enjoy my smoke fish) rate the resulting smoked product immediately behind Columbia spring Chinook, kokanee, other fresh spring Chinook/summer steelhead and head of the other Chinook and coho.
The further from that ocean bright condition or the more one scrimps on taking care of the fish once the fish is killed the poorer the quality of the pink flesh will be.
This is the most important thing when caring for all fish for best flavor. Gutting and packing the belly with ice is the best way to insure the highest quality product.
Good idea on the boxes in the freezer, I might have to try that. I also need a better vacuum sealer system. Anyone have any one's they like?? I remember years ago gear fishing sockeye in AK and bringing a bunch vacuum sealed back with me. They lasted forever without ever burning. Would be nice to have that capability now since I don't get as much time as I'd like for meat fishing.
I'll try again this year....
Hooked, gutted, and on ice.
I've done it before but the
fish just weren't up to snuff
for my taste.
BBQ them extra firm and see
how it goes down.
I still don't like the crowds.
Go Fish -
I hear you about the crowds. If you are going to try a pink again (and everyone's taste in fish vary) try the very brightest fish you can get your hands one.
The 2011 forecast of 6 millions pinks to the Sound is actually larger than the 2009 forecast (5.1 million). Oddily folks did not seem to mind that the 2009 forecast was way off - actual run was more than twice the forecast. The spawning escapement to the rivers was between 9 and 10 million along with a catch of 2.6 million (2 million for the commercial fleet and 600,000 recreational) so the actual run was in the 12 million range. Easily the largest return since 1963 and several times larger than what in the past was consider to be an excellent retrun.
It is somewhat asuming how quickly a record run becomes the expected norm.
I have BBQed Pinks often. Because they are soft, I tend to cook just a tad longer to firm them up but they are very good to eat if taken care of properly as soon as they are landed. I always have a cooler in my vehicle and as soon as I get one, if I plan to keep it for dinner, I bleed, gut, and gill it immediately, regardless of how they are biting. I've seen guys hang them on a stringer or just toss them on the beach and go right back for another. I can't imagine what they taste like after an hour on the beach.
They are also very good smoked. Even though Sockeye is my favorite, I'll settle for these as they are readily available and only five minutes away rom my house.
then don't eat them. i personally didn't harvest pinks when catching them 10 miles out in the pacific (in far better shape than inside puget sound) because i preferred coho and chinook.
some people like them, many do not. i might fish for them a bit this summer, but i won't be bringing a cooler.
enjoy fishing for them if you want, but i wouldn't feel obligated to harvest any if you don't like them.
If you don't like them then don't eat 'em. If you don't like crowds go somewhere else. If you don't like fishing for them, don't. Pretty simple, really.