• RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
tacklejunkie

Smoking suckers

Recommended Posts

The only time I have eaten smoked sucker, it maybe stayed down for 2 hours (I didn't make it btw)! Actually everyone that tried it (this was on fishing opener 08) had about the same results as me. Good luck though, I do hope your experience is 100 times better! I'm sure there's a way to make it palatable, heck some people think sushi is a delicacy!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no secret here, brine it and smoke it. taste is good. my favorite part is hitting the shallow streams during the spring run, you get to act like a kid again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

considering that last year was the first time i have smoked fish, i am far from an expert, but in my couple of batches, i did not come across any issues at all. maybe some more seasoned pros know of some. i am getting them from a clean lake system and only used smaller fish around 1 1/2 lbs. i did not think the taste was great, but far from bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can smoke them the same way as any other fish. However I like to get mine out of clean waters and not muddy places. I agree you dont really want the huge ones as they are hard to get done all the way threw. You could however smoke some bigger ones for a while and then can them in a pressure cooker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

have not done any in a while, but we soaked them overnight in brine and them smoked. as I remember they were good. again they came out of a clear stream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the last time I smoked a sucker the taste was fine, but the bones drove we crazy. The red horse suckers I used weighted around 4-6lbs each. there 2-3 times the bones more the any northern. I liked smoking northerns and sheephead, less bones to deal with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe suckers spawn first. I grew up in western Wisconsin and every spring we'd fish suckers for smoking and other people pickled them. The bite would start about mid March and go till mid April. I remember there was always snow on the ground when we were fishing for them.

They would come up from the Mississippi into the feeder streams like Rush river and the Trimbelle creek to spawn. You could usually spot fish them because the water from those spring feed streams are so clear that you could see the dark backs of the suckers outlined against the light colored sandy areas in the stream.

There are very good eating just a lot of bones to deal with, I guess that's why a lot of people pickled them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure walleyes spawn first, hence the reasoning behind not opening suckers to spearing/bowfishing before April 1st. Gives the walleyes a chance to clear out before the spears/arrows hit the water.

I've smoked suckers many a time and they always turn out fine. I've always done a wet brine process as stated above. Last weekend I smoked some trout/tullibees using a dry brine process and it turned out better than ever, so I'll try that this spring. The bones drive you nuts for sure, so this year I'm going to try canning the suckers after smoking. I've canned suckers before too, but never canned after smoking. Results were good, not great. Smoking them before canning should be excellent!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Smoking them before canning should be excellent!

+1 They are fantastic smoked, then canned. Wet brine works fine, but I use a brown sugar curing salt for a dry approach (this curing salt comes all together in one package). Use about a handful per four fillets. I stack them like this in layers in a cooler, refrigerate (16 hours), rinse well, pat dry, and smoke them for about 5-6 hours (until the top of the fillets crack open). If you leave the ribs in, pull them out before canning as they are too big to dissolve. After canning, you have completely boneless, delicious chunks of fish that will last the whole year--mine, however, were eaten up in a couple weeks smile

Ditto on suckers spawning before walleyes. In creeks here in the north, its northerns first, then walleyes, then suckers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you guys fillet them first?

I use an electric fillet knife and cut off both sides, wash each fillet thoroughly, then they get the salt treatment (with the skin left on). Most people smoke them with the ribs on, which I would too if I were not canning them, but because I do can them, I take the ribs out as I clean them (the ribs are too big to dissolve when pressure cooked). In other words, I clean these guys just as I would a walleye, crappie, etc., but I leave the skin on. After they are smoked, I just pull the meat off the skin and drop chunks of the fish in jars for canning. Works great.

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  

  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Here are some pictures from this years trip!
    • How do you keep ants off your feeders, especially hummingbird and oriole feeders? I've tried Toro and Raid sprays on the post but it seeks the birds don't like that smell either and i don't see many for a while. Has anyone else experienced that? Any good ideas?
    • I should’ve looked closer - I have an eyes open pic too. 😌  Tough to tell sometimes on my phone screen.  
    • Among other wilds that have moved into our urban areas, we can now add loons.  There is a breeding pair on the lake formerly known as Calhoun, mostly staying on the west and northwest sides.  But there is also a bunch of yearlings fishing the east side, numbering maybe six or seven and so unafraid that they come right up to the 36th Street dock and try to steal suckers being used for musky bait.  Maybe the call of the wild is not really so alien to the South side of Minneapolis, but it looks like the loons have moved in and can be heard calling from time to time. 
    • Sounds like you guys gave her heck up there to find them. I'd be praying thanks, too if I got that one on! ☺️
    • Quick recap:   Weather was too darn “nice”!  Upper 80’s - 90’s; no wind to speak of; mostly sunny. Water temps were anywhere from 64 - 71 depending on location and day.   We looked the lake over from end to end, marking up our map and returning to some places where we saw fish either later the same day or a couple days later.  We could literally see the transition from spawn to post spawn happening during our stay.  Being new to both muskie fishing and that lake, we spent time in dead water as much as good water but feel like we got a pretty good handle on how to go about setting up a more efficient return visit.  It was a lot work and long hours but I’d go back this weekend if I could so I must’ve enjoyed it.   A few pics as hoped for:
    • big dave 2 and leech, darn good lookin meals!!!!  Dave have a good weekend!!!!
    • Ok Dave have a good weekend. Hope you get over the whole butt hurt Leech deal! Not sure where you got that I don't like folks smoking or grilling things?  I know I do enough. Have fun! 🙂  
    • Heavy rains across northwestern Wisconsin last weekend and early this week have flooded some roads and caused washouts on some highways, roads, state parks, forests and trails. According to the National Weather Service the area has received 7 to 12 inches of rain from Friday through Monday.Several park system property or portions of properties are closed due flooding. Amnicon Falls State Park, closed temporarily but has reopened, though some roads, trails and observation areas remain closed. Pattison State Park is open for camping only; all trails, observation areas, picnic and day-use areas are closed. There are washouts on the dam that forms Interfalls Lake and Highway 35 over the dam is closed. A campground and horse trail are closed at Governor Knowles State Forest and the day use areas along the river at Interstate Park are underwater.Water was roaring over Little Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park.Photo credit: Gervase ThompsonAll rivers in the region are running extremely high. The falls at both Amnicon and Pattison are roaring, but road closures mean observing the falls now is challenging. The Bois Brule and Flambeau rivers are high enough that some canoe launches and campsites are underwater. The water is making its way downstream and the Lower Wisconsin River is running very high with all sandbars submerged and canoeing and kayaking not recommended. The river is expected to crest Muscoda this weekend at 40,000 cubic feet per second. .
    • I'm still going to smoke this fatty while camping this weekend whether Leech likes it or not.....😋       See you fellers on Monday........