Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
cbrooks

eater size northerns

38 posts in this topic

Doesn't matter what species I'm fishing, I seem to catch at least a few pike. Which is a good thing other wise I would be getting skunk alot of the time. I've never keep the pike I caught and I was thinking of giving them a try for the frying pan. What is a good length for eaters 18 to 24 inches? Should I pickle them? At what size would you consider to big to keep (the ones with trophy potetial)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

people normally pickle them... because then the bones get soft and you don't have to really worry about deboning a northern.. seeing as they are quite the pain in the a$$ to debone...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

20 to 24 are good eating, one thing you may want to look at also is the color of the fins, the yellow fins have a yellowish meat that I don't find as desirable as the red finned fish that have a more clear and pinkish meat that you'll never be able to tell the difference between in a pile of eye fillets, the Y bones take some practice but its nothing once you get it down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah 20-24 is a good range. Smaller than that there really isn't a whole lot of meat and larger than that they would be getting fishy. Plus every lake has plenty of fish in that size range, not many lakes have plenty of fish larger than that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer 4-6 lb'ers for filleting as you get nicer sized fillets and it only takes a fish or 2 to feed the family, pickle the 2-4 lb'ers, and let the larger ones swim. I would say eat or release standards vary by lake as some lakes are full of 24" fish and others that receive lighter fishing pressure will have high numbers of larger fish.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Muskiefool,

Do you know if the fin colors vary by lake or are multiple subspecies present in some lakes? Some of the lakes I fish also have pike with green fins as well. I was just looking at some pictures and noticed most of the fish I caught were either green or red fins.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never noticed the meat color or should I say make the connection between the meat color and the fin color, that's a pretty good observation. I've also noticed that the yellower colored meat wasn't as tastey as the pinker/whiter fillets.

I tend to keep northerns in the 3-5 pound range for eating. I've been eating them since I was a kid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

last year I had some with those yellower fins and I got this when I filleted them : anybody know what causes this? hopefully this isnt in violation of the picture posting rules but i don't know how to describe it

073.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i don't think it's a disease, i'm thinking something from the liver or something in its diet that causes a yellow stain? It only showed up once I cut it open, didn't show yellow on the outside

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is what happens when you cut into the internal organs. I think the kidney or gallbladder. not sure. be sure to clean the fillet right away as it is not very good tasting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was told about the fins and difference in quality of meat by an old timer about 6-7 years ago, Ive seen both come from the same lake and even on the same spot.

I theorized it came from Crayfish but thats just a hunch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats a good point. I never paid much attention to the fins before but will do so going forward. It would be interesting to know if it is diet/other living factor related or if they are separate subspecies like the difference between a redfin and siskiwit laker.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only keep a few to eat each year, mostly through the ice and generaly 3-8 pounders. Summertime we keep anything over 33" and donate to the local Taxidermy school. Anythting 40 or better goes on our walls grin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's nothing I hate more than pickled fish. GROSS.

Scandinavian food is weird.

That said, pike that are caught, filleted, and fried the same day are fantastic. I never keep ones over 24 inches.

Pan fried, batter/breaded, with whatever seasonings you happen to like is the way to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you really mean you kill all the pike you catch over 33, I hope you stay in Iowa. Or perhaps I misunderstood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I keep them, it's 24" or less for three reasons:

-under 24" are so common anyway

-not very tasty when larger than this

-at mid 20's" they can start to eat the larger prey and have a chance for trophy size someday

Keep waiting for that 42" plus fish. Would love to get a replica mount done someday if I ever get the chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No we don't kill them all but mount worthy ones go to the school for the class to learn on. 40+ though will go on my wall, and the next 8 pound + silver to. We donate 6-10 a year rest go back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's nothing I hate more than pickled fish. GROSS.

Scandinavian food is weird.

That said, pike that are caught, filleted, and fried the same day are fantastic. I never keep ones over 24 inches.

Pan fried, batter/breaded, with whatever seasonings you happen to like is the way to go.

i agree... pickled food is disgusting.. im polish.. and my mother loves pickled herring.. YUCK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to keep them from 20 - 24 inches. Anything bigger goes back. They taste great in a good beer batter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm Prussian and pickled herring or pickled pike is top shelf stuff around here...mmmm good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm Prussian and pickled herring or pickled pike is top shelf stuff around here...mmmm good.

Prussian.. Polish.. almost one in the same...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prussian.. Polish.. almost one in the same...

Great gramps just rolled in his grave. shockedgrin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This almost calls for a favorite pickling recipe post, there is nothing better than pickled fish and a few crackers if done correctly !!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • nice story, fishing has a way of easing the pains we have. even when we hurt like crazy when done for the day we are looking forward to the next outing.
    • way to go, guys yep, the toms not about to give up even though its close to closing time have seen several strutters the past couple weeks and heard gobbles yesterday while fishing
    • great job. makes it 5 for 5 for team 5 congrats on a nice tom, 57 and that willl give our team score a boost
    • One More Cast      Photo by:  Roger Abraham   If any of you out there are regular readers of my tales, you have followed my recent struggles with back and knees.  I can’t put a name to this drive I have to be on the stream as of late.  It borders on obsession. I guess in my mind if I am healthy enough to fish the world is right with me and I am not getting old and feeble.      Today I was a witness to that I am not the only one.  Lots of anglers and hunters live to go out into the outdoors. .  It is what drives them.  It makes them feel alive.  It is their passion.  I told my fishing buddy Abe today my thoughts.  I told him how I was feeling a little old.  I guess my 60th birthday coming up next month makes me feel mortal.  Abe laughed and said I was a young buck compared to him.  Abe turns 76 this year.     Abe told me tales about catching big trout in tiny streams in Wisconsin and out west.  The twinkle in his eye when he reminisced I had seen before in many trout anglers.      We fished a stretch for 2 hours.  I sat down and rested often.  Abe kept on fishing. He got hung up in a box elder branch and lost a lure.  Abe told me box elders trees were his nemesis when he fished.   He asked me which tree was my kryptonite.  I told him, "ones with branches."  We both had a chuckle and continued fishing.   I thought to myself this guy is really driven.  I hope I am like him at 76.     We got to the vehicle and Abe wanted to continue fishing.  Abe’s waders sprang a leak earlier and he fell in the water a couple times.  He was quite wet.  He wanted to change in to dry clothes before we continue.  Abe peeled off his wet shirt and there were two things stuck to his chest.  He could tell by my questioning look he needed to tell me what was up.     Abe told me he had been having heart problems lately and he was supposed to be wearing a heart monitor.  He left it in the car because he was afraid of getting the electronics wet.  Here I have been whining about being old and the guy I was fishing with left his heart monitor in his vehicle.      Abe reassured me that he was in no danger and he could continue fishing.  I started brainstorming on a place to fish where it was not so hard walking.  Now that I knew he was not as healthy as he looked I wanted an easy place to fish.  I knew the place and it was upstream 5 miles.     We arrived at the well manicured field.  It looked like a golf green.  I picked the area because the farmer kept sheep and goats on the land and the weeds and brush were gone because of the goats.  We walked and fished.     Abe told tales of the old days and of fish lost and landed.  I walked a little forward to fish and looked back to check up on Abe.  What I saw when I looked back scared me and I immediately asked Abe if he was ok.  Abe was laying flat on the ground face down.  I thought the worst and he could tell by my face.  He told me to calm down.  His back was acting up and he needed to straight it out and that was the best way to do it.   We fished a little bit more and he took a photo of me.  He liked the lighting. He told me it captured the essence of trout fishing.  He did not have a camera.  I let him use mine.  He was not camera savvy and needed an impromptu lesson on how to use it.   We drove to his car and we talked about our love of the outdoors. We shook hands and headed our separate ways and promised to fish again soon.  As I drove home I smiled and thought about how I am going to be when I am 76.  I hope I am like Abe and my eyes still twinkle when I talk of chasing trout and I am still driven to make one more cast.
    • The past week has had me having multiple close calls and missing a brute at 45 yards.  Tonight I talked my dad to give it another try and there were birds in the field when we got there.  Birds ended up leaving as we tried to sneak in.  A short 20 minutes later they were back and we watched and worked the big group of toms and hens for more than 2 hours before we got one to commit.  Dad shot him with his 20 gauge at 48 yards,(this thing shoots an awesome pattern).  The 3 year old was down and only flopped a few times.   Nice 1+ inch spurs, 10" beard and heavy.  A good evening for sure!
    • Sorry to disappoint guys, but this tom was not my first bird of the season. Apparently that's part of the rules. The score won't count towards the team. I don't have any measurements for the jake I shot so we will have a zero from me.    At least my freezer is full. 
    • Way to  go 1957 !! Congrats!!
    • sugar is not a drug. 
    • Another good day today out on Superior ,,,, Had my first double and triple in the new rig today ,,, the day didnt start out with perfect weather but the fishing more then made up for it ,,, The mud  covers a lot of water but fishing the tea  colored water and edges of the mud paid off ,,, the cohos grew 5 inches  from eating this years smelt,,,, had some go 23 inches today 
  • Our Sponsors