Nothing at all wrong with fillets of fresh and properly bled humpies from the salt. Zillions of pounds a year are caught commercially for canning. As opposed to chum, which are commercially caught for non-human consumption only (I think?).
Hot coals are the answer. I'm not much of a fish nazi so any type of seared salmon (as long as it's fresh) tastes great to me. Free radicals are yummy. Damn... now I'm hungry and my lunch meeting isn't until 1.
I really don't see the prejudice against pinks taken in the salt as long as they're not nasty estuary fish...and I've never seen or eaten one of those, so...
Knock them on the head, bleed them, gut and gill them and keep them cool. They are a different salmon from the standpoint of tablefare, just as a chinook is different from a coho is different from a chum. You need to treat them differently when you cook them as they all have different qualities. As for what they are like in the rivers, I couldn't say.
And believe me when I say I'm picky about the eating qualities of fish...
Nothing wrong with fresh Pinks from the salt on the Barbecue. Nothing wrong with fresh salt Chums either as long as you bleed them well and keep them cold as soon as you land them. You can even keep them tasting good by freezing them right away wrapped in saran wrap and then put into seal a meal bags to keep them fresh if done within hours of catching them. A good fast freezing freezer is a must for this. Some freezers out there are not up to the task.
River caught fish after they start to color at all is what I can not stand to eat no mater the type of salmon.
All this talk of eating Salmon makes me glad for the nice Sockeye and baked potato lunch made from left overs from last nights dinner that my two fishing partners of Amie and Julie cooked up for me last night
They are thick in PA. I have some buddies that report they are so thick in the eastern strait that it's hard to get down for kings on Hein and Mid Channel Bank. By the way, if you haven't heard, the King fishing is off the hook around the area, especially the San Juans, and the Banks like Mid Channel, Partridge, etc. A Canadian friend of mine fished Constance last weekend and hooked a 31, 22, and 19. The pinks are on there way, and the rain this weekend will add fuel to the fire...it's gonna be great.
Dismal return scheduled for the Skagit that they can't even call it a fishery this year but there is supposed to be 1.3 million of them coming back in the south sound area. Heres a pic of us 2 years ago with a double header off a well known point when a school of them started coming in on the incoming tide. Everyone on the beach was hooking up from the tip of the point down towards the river inlet. Have a good step ladder (I used a plastic milk crate), stripping basket, intermediate line and make sure you can throw out 70-100' of line. Do a 5-10 second count down when you see porpoising fish cast ahead of them and you'll likely hookup. Throw pink, pink or pink flies. Sometimes Chartreuse works but generally throw anything that wiggles (maribous, leeches, wooleys) in size 2-6.
BTW, these fish BBQ'd up really nice since they were bonked and bled immediately. I usually slice the throats into the gills just below the lower gil plates and it will pump like someone slit the jugular. Point is to cut em fresh while the heart is still pumping as it will reduce the amount of lactic acid build up into the meat.
I salt em heavily overnight and then barbeque the next day. Smoking em turns out good too.