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Discussion in 'Fishing General Chat' started by Master Baiter, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Master Baiter

    Master Baiter Well-Known Member

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    As age catches up with all of us and our ailments, aches and pains.
    We do have a lot of knowledge put together in our many years of fishing. We can tell you how to collect your bait and what lures and gear to use. Because we are not retailers or sponsored by fishing manufacturers . So young or old experienced or not. I know everyone has something to share that someone would love to know. So who wants to start the ball rolling
    Wally
     
  2. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    An excellent topic, Wally.

    As you say, we have a wealth of combined knowledge resulting from many years of fishing and yet we don't know it all. One of the questions that I have been meaning to ask for a while is: 'what do you all do with your catch?'

    I know a lot of fishos are catch & release only, but I think most of us do like a feed. What is your favourite way of cooking? I'm a bit partial to baked whole fish, especially the likes of barra and also smoked slabs of mackerel. Until I tried redfin a couple of years ago, I can't say I was overly fond of many freshwater species, but it may have been in the preparation & cooking?

    Share your culinary secrets if you have any.

    Jeff
     
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  3. creekboy

    creekboy Well-Known Member

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    x2. My preference for cooking fish is very simple. This works for fresh or salt water fish. I always scale and fillet all fish, roll fillet in plain flour and ( this is the secret ) fry in melted butter flesh side down for 2 to 3 minutes , turn fillet over and add a light sprinkle of brown vinegar to the flesh side and cook 2 minutes. Give it a go, you might get a surprise. Cheers, creekboy. (Lyall)
     
  4. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    Mine see lots of options used. Baked (but not flathead) in stir fries, grilled, etc but my preference by miles with flathead is a common fish and chips with salad meal. I use a fabulous batter made with self raising flour which is light and fluffy. The best part is, it's crazy simple. Our trout are usually smoked but I like a small one pan fried whole, in butter and lemon juice. No more is needed.
     
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  5. creekboy

    creekboy Well-Known Member

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    I also enjoy a small Trout cooked that way,Noel. Cheers, Lyall.
     
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  6. Master Baiter

    Master Baiter Well-Known Member

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    I only fish for the table, the recipe I use mainly is for the only freshwater fish I take. Sorry dont enjoy the natives so all go back. I think that there is many many versions out there.The reason for a lot of fillits is because most of the ones I catch are all small
    Perch, trout – the taste won’t be the same, but both delicious
    Makes 2 servings
    16 to 20 small perch fillets
    1 cup flour seasoned with a teaspoon each salt and pepper, for coating the fish
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter for cooking the fish
    3 tablespoons mild olive or vegetable oil
    Sauce
    4 tablespoons butter
    1/4 cup strained lemon juice
    1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
    One 12-inch non-stick sauté pan or skillet

    Immediately before cooking the perch, flour the fillets on both sides, shaking off the excess flour.Heat the butter and oil in the sauté pan on medium heat. When the butter bubbles begin to subside, slip in the perch fillets, flesh side down. Cook for 2 minutes, gently shaking the pan to prevent sticking.Turn the fillets over using a spatula and cook another minute on each side. Turn one of the filets over and check to see that it is tender and not rubbery-raw by pressing with a fingertip. Cook a minute longer if necessary, then transfer the fillets, skin side down, to two heated plates.Discard the cooking fat and add the butter for the sauce to the pan. Allow the butter to foam up and heat, then add the lemon juice, swirling the pan and allowing the lemon juice to evaporate slightly for a few seconds. Swirl in the parsley and immediately pour over the fillets on the plates.Serve with plain boiled new potatoes or white rice.
    Cheers Wally
     
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  7. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    Sounds good Wal. But I don't think we could cope with 8-10 of our flathead fillets per serve. The old reddie is a pretty sweet fish though. I, like you am not impressed with natives at all to put on the table.
    Sharing culinary techniques is also part of the game.
    My favourite batter involves, and I guess it as a little less than half a cup of self raising flour. That's more than enough for two decent fillets. Add a small qty (less than a teaspoon) of any veg oil
    available
    and I like a sprinkle of garlic powder thrown in, and blend the three together. The flour will take on a crumbly appearance. That's the slowest part of the process and takes a couple of minutes only. Roll the fillets in a bit of plain flour and let sit while you slowly drizzle in cold water until the batter starts to become slightly runny. The plain flour becomes the adhesive to keep the batter on the fillets. When dropped into the deep fryer (190celc) the batter expands and becomes as its name suggests, a light batter as in less soggy than may others due to being self raising flour.

    Enjoy.
     
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  8. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tips, fellas.

    For many years I would only pan fry fillets or slap them on the bbq and still do at times, but I've been drifting away from oily, fatty methods of cooking mainly because the bride reckons I will end up with a gut like a poisoned pup.

    I've experimented with various Aussie timbers to find what I like for smoking fish, redgum, ironbark, mountain ash, ti-tree and grey box being the main natives and they all have distinct flavours. Some are a bit too overpowering, especially redgum & ironbark and are more suited to smoking meats rather than fish. Mountain ash is a very subtle flavoured smoke, but the pick of the smoking timbers for my taste has got to be apple tree mixed with a small amount of coconut husk. During my travels through apple growing country, I would always seek out some of the dried branches from the annual pruning, but now that there is a big following in Australia for smoking meats, vegies, cheeses, sausage and of course fish, the apple farmers can see the value in the cuttings. They used to burn all the prunings, but now they sell them to retailers like Bunnings to be chopped and bagged. I would prefer to buy my smoking wood from a farmer than hand over my cash to retailers who also sell imported products like hickory and mesquite.

    The idea of steaming fish appeals to me and I'm going to have a crack at it - I think most fish would steam okay.

    Jeff
     
  9. blair

    blair Well-Known Member

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    I have been using koppers logs for smoking fish and for some reason I don't feel well for a while after eating:confused: , Just kidding NEVER go near smoke form koppers, logs treated whith arsenic or something nasty , I presume any timber treated whith chemicals would be harmfull.
    I will give the apple tree and coconut a go next time I am smoking trout. have had mixed results from my trout smoking.
    Some good cooking tips there guys, I like to skin my fillets before cooking whith rapala filleting knife (exept for roundish fish like flatties) I find them to taste better that way.
    cheers
     
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  10. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    We take much pride in our smoked trout, whether larger fillets or small whole fish. I was once a shop butcher by trade. Though I never liked the job; I learned quite a bit. Like most I guess, I am limited to hot smoking. Few would have the facility to cold smoke.
    We start by brining our fish.
    There's a good reason for this:
    If the fish was frozen beforehand, and freezing doesn't affect the finished product, after brining and smoking, it can be refrozen.
    If it's not brined it shouldn't be refrozen. ​

    To make the brine, you can use ordinary cooking salt and it's fine; I do most times, but if you're on good terms with the local butcher, he will give or sell you a small bag of what we always called 'flossy salt' but it could have a different name today. For proportions; in a 200gr coffee jar put 3decent table spoons of salt and the same of brown sugar. Fill the jar with warm water and stir to dissolve all. When cold, pour into something like a baking dish, put fish in and leave fillets for half to 3/4 of an hour. Small whole fish take longer as the salt can only get in through the inside belly.
    Drain before putting into smoker.
    Many people use too much wood chip and the result can be too strong. I personally dislike any of the Australian gums as they are too acidic or whatever it is. They can create a bitter taste. In contrast to Jeff, having tried many types; my favourite is American red hickory. It's actually hard to find. The Australian one, as used in axe and hammer handles etc., is white in colour and leaves the fish with a more pungent taste but still not as harsh as the gum chips or sawdust. You can smoke anything of course, but typically, some products are better than others. The more oily types and trout excel without peer, are better than dryer fish meats. I've tried tailer and dislike them. The Australian salmon is little better. Flathead are far too dry and even though the taste is OK, it's a bit like eating cardboard. Though we occasionally refreeze them, there's no doubt our favourite smoked fish is served hot, straight out of the smoker.
     
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  11. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    Noel, I had a neighbour in Ceduna with a smokehouse in the backyard all set up for cold smoking and we used mallee stumps that were in abundance in the broad acre cropping country. My neighbour would put the word out that he was going to start smoking on a certain date and blokes from around the area would bring in big snapper and mulloway frames, whole fish (mainly tommy ruff), chickens, pork legs and large slabs of pork belly, mutton, sausages etc. I only use a cooker/smoker these days and really miss the results of a cold smoker - should build one, I guess.

    You are spot on with your info about the brine and it is part of the smoking process that I believe can turn an ordinary outcome into something really special. Over the years, I have experimented with various mixes until I found what I was after depending on what I was going to smoke. For fish, I use the basic mix as you described, but with chicken wings & drumsticks I reduce the amount of salt dissolved in the brine and add a generous helping of teriyaki sauce to give a different flavour and generally I only use cherry tree sawdust.

    I found a source of excellent smoking timbers from a mob in Vic who carry & supply a good range of products.
    https://www.aussiebbqsmoke.com/

    Anybody thinking about getting into smoking their catch and looking for info, check out the above site.

    Jeff
     
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  12. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    Interesting Jeff.
    It surprises me that over time the timber ingredient for smoking has changed in the wrong direction. Originally, sawdust used to be the most common form; today it can be almost axe cut sized chips. Chain saw sized chips are one thing; I can at least cope with them. Though I much prefer sawdust, it's hard to find in many timbers today. To burn large chips to the point of producing their most effective smoke; the burn process needs to be extended. This in turn affects the meats and most significantly, fish, by drying out more than desired.
    I rarely smoke chicken these days, for no known reason. Will be happy to try your suggestion. I guess you simply serve- as is after smoking. I have never tried cherry wood but it sounds good.
    The only issue I have with cold smoking is that I can't enjoy the meats hot, immediately after smoking. A nice brown trout; still moist, fresh from the smoker has no real equal. N.
     
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  13. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    I do all my smoking in a spun steel camp oven these days, Noel. I've got one of those rectangular stainless steel box type smokers, but the bride doesn't go much on smoked fish & meats so the box smoker is just another bit of gear relegated to the back of the shed somewhere. Like you, I prefer to eat it hot as soon as it's ready, so the camp oven is plenty big enough for a decent feed for myself. I line the bottom with alfoil, a small amount of sawdust, usually a mix of fine and coarse, a rack for the fish or meat, sit it on one of those butane single burner stoves for 20 minutes - right to go. I'm salivating just thinking about it as I type.

    I think the reason for all the big chunky bits of timber being marketed these days is due to the huge portable smokers that have become popular - some are trailer mounted.

    Jeff
     
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  14. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    I only use the original metho burner that came with mine, but it's interesting that you too use 20 minutes burning time. Anything over that is to me an overkill/cook. I also use the foil etc just as you do.
     
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  15. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    Noel, the thing I do like about cold smoking is that the flavour permeates right through on some of the thicker whole fish and cuts of meat, but when it comes to thinner fillets, you just can't beat the hot smoking for flavour and convenience. I also like doing my own smoked oysters when I'm down in South Oz. I tried smoking squid, but it turned out too tough to chew and I expected that - made good bait though.

    Jeff
     
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  16. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    Agreed to first statement. I guess the principle difference is the time involved.
    Apart from tyres, there's few things tougher than squid gone wrong.
    If you go south to SA, is that a permanent move?
    If there are better than Coffin Bay oysters I'd like to hear of them. Perhaps the world's best?
    I assume it's because they are only in pure sea water and never get any estuarine stuff.
    Were you at all affected by the fires up there? N.
     
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  17. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    We want to sell our mining operations before making a permanent move, Noel, plus a lot more discussion between the bride and myself as to where. Ideally, I want to be within casting distance of the water, but she would prefer somewhere like the Barossa or a location not too far out of Adelaide. The trip next year will be a recon mission to finally decide where we will spend the rest of our days.

    Apart from smoke from the recent fires, we were not affected. A mate down at Baffle Creek lost his fences and luckily his shed, boat and gear survived. The blame game has started up here now with the state opposition pointing the finger at government for introducing tougher land clearing legislation, land owners blaming the greenies, the tree huggers blaming the rural fire service, me blaming the neighbour's cat simply because I can't think of anybody else to blame and it goes on & on. The country is pretty dry and parched out here where we are and hopefully we will get some big gully raking storms this week to reduce the fire risk.

    I fully agree with your opinion of Coffin Bay oysters, with Smoky Bay oysters coming in a close second.

    Jeff
     
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  18. blair

    blair Well-Known Member

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    you blokes are making me hungry whith your smoking recipies and fresh seafood I better go out and catch some!
    Glad u weren't affected by fires jeff and baffle creek came through ok, my "island" suburb Kariong has been completely surrounded by bushfire once and nearly almost surrounded another time, felt like I was in a war zone or something ,gas tanks etc exploding in nearby farms while I watching from my roof at night, I blame idiot enviromentalists 99% and my neighbours dog 1%(just kidding about dog)for this happening by not allowing burning off previously which would have made the fires controllable.the firefighters really risked their necks bravely facing and fighting the flames. The only smoke I want to see round here is off my reels drag.
    Next time I see a bush fire coming I might quickly go and hang some fillets of nearby tree branches, might come out quite tasty:D
    Hopefully u will move somewhere near some good fishing spots jeff that will my pre requisite if I ever move.
    tight lines
     
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  19. reelaxation

    reelaxation Well-Known Member

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    I fillet and prefer bake them in foil with butter, garlic and some chilli on the BBQ - but time and not having a working BBQ means more often than not I just fillet, crumb and fry my catch. Add some home made chips and fresh salad its a winner for me- shame out of the 6 of us only 2 will eat fish (my step-daughter and I).
     
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