I had bluefish for dinner... - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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I had bluefish for dinner...

And I'll do it again!

The striper fishing this spring has not been good. Most of the party boats have been only landing single digits when it comes to keepers on a trip, often times no keepers at all, and occasionally no stripers at all. I've made 3 trips and caught no stripers. However, on my third trip(this past sunday) I stopped and grabbed some steel leader as the bluefish have been hot lately.

The bluefish has a terrible reputation as a food source. Most consider it too strong flavored for eating. They've got teeth that will chew through a chain mail glove, and do a number on nets so most boats gaff them. I'm not a big fan of waste so I promised myself if I was going to catch bluefish I was going to eat them. I figured the last time I ate it I was probably 13 years old and probably wouldn't have enjoyed a tuna steak then either.

When I go on a party boat I always bring my own cooler and several frozen half gallon jugs of water. I have the mates add some salt water to the cooler and it keeps everything cold. My two bluefish in the 20-25 inch range got their gills cut and dropped into the icy water immediately after they hit the deck. Then I had the mates filet them when we arrived at the dock, while I dumped the water and rinsed the blood out of the cooler. put them right back on the ice for the ride home. Once home I went to work like a surgeon, trimming every piece of dark red meat off them I could, put them in a ziplock bag and into the fridge. Monday before leaving for work I added about a pint of milk to the bag, I was told this would help with the oily fish flavor.

After work I dropped the filets in a pot of boiling water, removed it from the heat and let them poach for about 5 minutes. Then I flaked the fish and added it to the fish cake recipe I posted for stripers last year.

I won't pretend like this is some gourmet recipe or miracle cure for strong flavor, but it made them more then edible and I won't shy away from keeping or targeting them more often. I will try some other ideas next time, I'm thinking some citrus and chili on the grill could work. We shall see!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 01:23 AM
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Re: I had bluefish for dinner...

The 3 to 5 lb fish are excellent to eat. The bigger ones tend to be more fishy tasting but are good too.
My favorite way is fileted put on foil slice onion and some green peppers sprinkle some paprika a few pats of butter and squeeze a fresh lemon. Wrap the foil and toss it onto the grill or oven. Grill I leave 7 minutes a side oven I do 350 for 20 minutes. Just eat the white meat but make plenty.

Blues do not freeze well and are best eaten fresh.
To me it taste no different if I bleed them out or not. Proper handling is the key. Sitting out on the deck in a burlap sack is a no no.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 01:33 AM
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Re: I had bluefish for dinner...

I heard the same about bluefish being terrible table fare. I went on a trip for blues at the Delaware river inlet a while back and caught a pile of them at 10+ lb. Just filleted them, brined them in a mix of salt and brown sugar and put them in the smoker. They turned out great, really no different than salmon
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I had bluefish for dinner...

Quote:
Sitting out on the deck in a burlap sack is a no no.
I can't believe how many times I've seen photos like that posted on the internet. How can you expect anything that sits on the deck in the summer sun for a few hours to taste good?

I've heard many people suggest smoking them, especially the larger ones.

I froze a handful of the cakes uncooked. I'll defrost and try them two weeks or so. If good I'll have a way to save some for the winter months.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 10:41 AM
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Re: I had bluefish for dinner...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave3
I heard the same about bluefish being terrible table fare. I went on a trip for blues at the Delaware river inlet a while back and caught a pile of them at 10+ lb. Just filleted them, brined them in a mix of salt and brown sugar and put them in the smoker. They turned out great, really no different than salmon

This!!!! Buddy of mine smokes all his blues. He uses a recipe that includes honey, brown suger, maple syrup, Teriyaki, and a couple dry seasonings.... Literally, it's like fish candy. I would pay $100 to the man who ate it and said he didn't like it (and I'd have no worries of losing any money)

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2015, 09:29 AM
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Re: I had bluefish for dinner...

They can be edible if you go through all of the steps like BlkKnt62 described. Not sure why, but the meat gets strong once it is frozen. I too hate to waste anything, if I come home with bluefish and can't eat it all while it's fresh, it becomes dog food, they don't mind at all!

Catch & release is for guys who don't know how to cook
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 02:12 PM
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Re: I had bluefish for dinner...

I always cut the dark out. Good fresh off the grill but my coworkers and myself love them brined and smoked!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 02:13 PM
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Re: I had bluefish for dinner...

I always cut the dark out. Good fresh off the grill but my coworkers and myself love them brined and smoked!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 11:41 PM
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Re: I had bluefish for dinner...

Bluefish are great fighters and great to eat. Absolutely no need to go through a big process--bleeding, soaking in milk etc. Best to ice them while fishing but that goes for any fish. I like to lay a fillet on foil sprinkle with fresh lemon, old bay and butter and grill. They don't freeze well like flounder and stripers but we prefer them fresh to flounder and maybe even stripers. I only keep what we will eat fresh and release the rest.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 12:39 PM
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Re: I had bluefish for dinner...

When I used to surf fish I would keep smaller ones. Poached the fillets in lemon and old bay, chill & break up the meat, and eat with cocktail sauce. Was a decent substitute for shrimp or crab cocktail. I also used to slit the throats and bury them head down in the sand for a half hour or so before putting them in the cooler.
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