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Thread: Dogfish/bowfin

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Dogfish/bowfin

    After I saw it done on YouTube a few times a few weeks ago I had to give it a try...it was now on my bucket list. Have I been throwing away hundreds of baby duck eaters and feeding them to the turtles a
    all these years not knowing they are good eating...I think not..yuck! I ended up catching one a few days ago and filleted it. They have always been a dull green and a lot bigger so I’m guessing this one one must have been a juvenile with its unique coloring? It was maybe 3/4 lbs at most. The fillets smelled like dead rotting shad...like most of the catfish I catch after filleting them. Well I had an idea of doing the same brine mix I tried last winter fro most my deer meat. I read that it removes nasty smells, rotten Tastes, and kills bacteria so I gave it a try. The brine was water, vinegar, and salt mix. I soaked it overnight in the fridge with ice cibes added of course to keep it freezing cold. In the morning I gave it a sniff test. The rotten smell was completely gone but it smelled of strong vinegar even after I washed the fillets off. I did notice the fillets were coming apart like the vinegar was Disintegrating some of it. I then soaked it in milk from that morning till about 5 pm. The fillets still had a very slight smell of vinegar and almost a thick coat of milk that absorbed into the meat. I washed off what was left of the fillet pieces and raised it under cold water till it was clear. I re smelled the fish. It still had a slight vinegar smell and was quite stringy and seemed like it was going to be tough. I dried the pieces off with a paper towel, washed the pieces in egg, and dusted with beer batter shore lunch. I pan fried the pieces for about 4 minutes in oil and gave them a try. The meat tasted good! It had a lemony taste...must have been from the vinegar. Almost tasted like hush puppies (with a zing)when I was a kid. I had two other taste testers that were afraid to try it but gave me thumbs up after eating. It’s not something I would go out of my way to make again but a fish I thought wasn’t edible tasted better than, sheepshead, gar, Striped or white Bass...or mushy crappie for that matter. I have made catfish without the soaking and it literally tasted like dead rotted shad so I will definitely soak my future stinky catfish in brine. I’m sure if I left in milk longer it would have neutralized all the vinegar smell and taste out of it.

    I also tried sunfish row. Removed it fresh and dusted it with shore lunch and fried it for about a minute. Tasted like I was eating batter...did nothing for me. A bigger pice had some grainy texture like grits but still no taste.





    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 05-23-2019 at 09:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Ease off the vinegar a bit, or use the weaker concentration kind, and it'll do better for ya.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit chat. This ain't no retirement home.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I thought the same. I’ll try apple cider vinegar...and less of it, next time. The regular vinegar was a little strong and I believed I used too much in my water salt mix as well.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I want to try pickling some as well. When it gets hot here I can catch dozens of them in a day.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplebeards View Post
    I thought the same. I’ll try apple cider vinegar...and less of it, next time.

    That, or malt vinegar. Even if doesn't all rinse out, its the right flavor of what you'd expect for fish.
    That's what the seafood places have on the table or those 'to go' packets.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit chat. This ain't no retirement home.
    EVERYONE!!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    The roe of the bowfin, what we call Choupique , is used to make Cajun Caviar , the raw eggs are salted ...don't fry them . The meat is used to bait your crawfish traps or as fertilizer...it's edible but not worth all the trouble to make it so .
    If you want Cajun Caviar making instructions I can find them.
    Being cajun I've eaten a lot of strange stuff ...crow, woodpecker , nutria , alligator ,frogs, sheepshead , gar , buffalo ..... But choupique... I could never find an easy way to make it Taste good, way more trouble than it was worth.
    If you like caviar...there is a nice little market going on for the stuff down here , the fishermen take the roe for caviar production but the meat goes to cat food and fish meal production , very little is consumed by anyone I know. Although My brother and I have tried . After a good cleansing smoking may be a method to try . The fish is very oily .
    They are fun to catch on a rod and reel , be careful they have a mouth full of sharp teeth and will bite your hand ...I know !

    I believe if you were able to catch , clean , prepare and enjoy Choupique that will earn you an offical
    "Honorary Cajun " membership card... it certainly earns my respect !
    Gary
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  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    I tried one here last year. I filleted it.

    The meat is very white and mild. No smell or anything. Flavor is extremely mild. No fishy flavor or smell at all.

    The texture on the other hand is what got me.

    The texture is "cottony". Very soft and mushy. It falls apart - but it is nither flaky nor firm and meaty what-so-ever. It reminds me sort of ground turkey with less flavor.

    I don't recommend eating it fried, grilled, or broiled.

    The old timers here would boil the meat then grind it up and mix it up into a mix just like tuna patties - then fry it golden brown. The typical mix is cooked meat, bread crumbs, chopped green onion, some parsley, a blob of mayo, an egg, and old bay or your favorite seasoning. I have a feeling it would be very good like that. That's how I will do it "next time"...

    The other traditional way is to smoke the meat, grind it, and make smoked fish dip out of it. I think it would probably be good this way too.

    Thanks

  8. #8
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    Catfish I catch and eat doesn't smell rotten in any way... smells clean and has a very mild taste. Filet, cut out the mud line, dip in egg wash, then seasoned flour then fry!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    It’s where I catch them is why they stink so along with their food source. In shallow, stagnant nonmoving water in the hot summer usually.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplebeards View Post
    It’s where I catch them is why they stink so along with their food source. In shallow, stagnant nonmoving water in the hot summer usually.
    Anything will taste like mud coming out of there.

    Our lakes get warm here, so I try to do my freezer filling fishing in the winter when the water is cold.
    You can tell the difference in taste.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit chat. This ain't no retirement home.
    EVERYONE!!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    AKA cyrpress trout, mudfish. Possums or buzzards won't eat 'em here. Ravenous predators.
    "My main ambition in life is to be on the devil's most wanted list."
    Leonard Ravenhill

  12. #12
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    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    I learned that you could fillet them, and using oak pegs to peg the fish on an oak board ,place it in front of a campfire keeping it well basted with butter seasoned with your favorite spices.






    When the fish gets done, throw away the fish and eat the board.
    Tom
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    Did I ever mention that I hate to trim brass?

  13. #13
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    The vinegar was starting to pickle it. That was why it was falling apart. I have not tried it yet but I have not caught any in a long time. That has been my hold up. I mainly fish for catfish and that is about it anymore. I can't stand and cast my poles like is needed for bass fishing. Now all I do is either anchor up or troll for catfish. Hardly any casting doing it that way.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hogtamer View Post
    AKA cyrpress trout, mudfish. Possums or buzzards won't eat 'em here. Ravenous predators.
    You know something has to taste bad if possum and buzzards won't eat them .
    Those are some of the most prehistoric looking fish still around.... I believe they can gulp air when the water gets depleted of oxygen . There was a shallow lake we used to fish in that was infested with them , middle of summer , low oxygen and low water level , they were easy to catch...
    it was like fishing in Jurassic Park... Hook an 6 to 8 pounder on a little Zebco spinning reel and the fight was on !
    Certified Cajun
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I have lost about a dozen in the last week. Their mounts are hard as a rock so my hooks always come out unless my hook jets caught in its tounge or farther down its throat. I caught about an 8 or 9 pounder an hour ago. I just got done filleting it and the meat literally has no smell at all. Nice, clean, huge fillets! No need to vinigar soak this stuff. I’ll let it soak in salt water over night and freeze. I’m still wondering if I should soak it in milk?

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Do some soaked in milk and some not and see if there is any difference.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I got some last year and fillet them and for me they where like almost like catfish when I ate them. Did not use vinegar just flour and salt and pepper. If I get some this year I will scale them and then fillet them see how that works out.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    The general advice I see everywhere is:
    Don't freeze it. It makes the texture worse.

    But.... I have never frozen any to see for myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplebeards View Post
    I have lost about a dozen in the last week. Their mounts are hard as a rock so my hooks always come out unless my hook jets caught in its tounge or farther down its throat. I caught about an 8 or 9 pounder an hour ago. I just got done filleting it and the meat literally has no smell at all. Nice, clean, huge fillets! No need to vinigar soak this stuff. I’ll let it soak in salt water over night and freeze. I’m still wondering if I should soak it in milk?

  19. #19
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    Best way to freeze fish is in a block of ice. Thaw under running cold water. Texture stays really good that way.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I freeze fish with water in the bag with the fish,I cover the fish . lay flat in the freezer.When I thaw it out I put it in cold water. It is just like fresh fish .
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

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