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Thread: Pacific Cod: Yeah or Nay?

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    Default Pacific Cod: Yeah or Nay?

    The last time we utilized halibut charters out of Homer was 1987, just before we were transfered back to the lower-48. At that time fresh halibut cost about $4.00 per pound, and pacific cod could be had for pocket change. We caught some huge pacific cod while waiting for the halibut bite, but in each case the crew immediately threw the cod back. When I asked why, the deckhand said, "No one keeps those things". At that time I was pleasantly surprised by the excellent service we received from "Halibut King" (I don't know if they're even around anymore), and just accepted their evaluation of pacific cod as the status quo. However, since "transfering" all of the children to college, and permanently returning home to The Great Land, I have a potential problem with throwing back 25-30 pound pacific cod that are now selling for $6.00+ per pound in local stores. Is it still status quo to trash these fish and, if so, why?

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    worms I believe
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    Halibut can have lot's of worm's, if your bugged out about eatin a worm or two just hold the filet up close to a light so you can see'um, then pick'um out......That's similar to what the fish processors do only they have lighted tables that they put the fillets on. Otherwise cook the fish through and through

    Growing up in Juneau Tom Cod were considered a Trash fish and I didn't eat one for abpout 20 years or so, well come to find out they're pretty good on the plate.....So are the Grey Cod.

    Pacific Cod flesh isn't as flavorful or as firm as the Atlantic variety, but is still very tasty and due to the shortage of the Atlantic Cod the Pacific Cod is becoming a more sought after (substitute) fish.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Pacific cod are quite good deep fried, and the worms are mostly only an issue in cod that aren't cleaned immediately. I would bleed them right away, and then gut them within 30 minutes - cut into strips, batter in an Alaskan Amber beer batter, fry and serve! They also make waaaay better bait than herring (I say this from years of commericial experience), so even if I wasn't eating them I'd still keep them for bait. Depending on the depth, they may not be able to resubmerge anyways, so you may as well use them.

  5. #5

    Default I Love Them

    Pacific cod are good eating. Nice meat, big white flaky fillets. I took my son on a charter last May and he caught a huge one. I said, "keep it". A few bones, but it was awesome. My family liked it better than the halibut. My son liked it because it was big, he caught it, and it looked like it was smiling! I'll always keep a big one from now on.
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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    I agree with BM, Allot of fish have worms. Some more then others. once the fish is dead the worms will move out of the orgams into the meat of the fish. Cod for example seem to have allot of worms, but if you clean right away or just gut you can get rid of them. Cod does taste good. I like salted cod. fry it up with rice and veggies.
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    I always keep the cod. The filets taste great and the rest I use for halibut and shrimp.

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    Member Stickle Back's Avatar
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    cod is good but in my opinion halibut is better. I usually end up using the cod for bait. (since it is not considered a sportfish you can use the the fish for bait)they work really good. during the beginning of the year when salmon heads are hard to come by.

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    Member FISHFACE's Avatar
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    do you have to take off the fillets before useing it for bait or can you use the whole fish?
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  10. #10

    Default whole fish

    You can use the whole fish I believe, but some of them are huge. Charter boats use fillets or pieces of fillets.
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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Better than

    I like it better than halibut. Halibut just does not taste right to me. Would rather have lings cod 1st, rock fish, cod and then halibut.

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    cod as bait I cut into strips
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    Default Cod talk...

    Pacific Cod is the king of white fish. Fortunes have been made from it and wars fought over it. Caught, bled, and immediately iced, it is superior table fare.

    It feeds on oily bait, and during the winter and spring its flesh will be noticably soft. In the summer and fall and with a change of migratory bait, its flesh will firm up.

    Anglers usally don't seek cod, it's more a case of the fish finding you. When that happens, you can crank them in until common sense tells you it's time to let up.

    This fish is well worth the harvest...

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    We catch them off the dock out here or on our halibut subsistence sets as incidental catches. I don't know many that target them specifically, but we usually keep the ones we catch.

    As far as worms go, most saltwater fish have them. I pluck them off salmon fillets when they're hanging up drying. Fillets are examined for worms before being wrapped and put away.

    The nice thing about cod is that over-cooking or keeping it on the heat too long won't hurt it. Do that to halibut and it gets tough and chewy.
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    Talking hey author...

    you are confused with the atlantic cod, the history of which was written about by Mark Kurlansky in his excellent book "Cod".
    as far as i know, P-cod had never been a big money fish before the atlantic stock crashed, the west coast has always been more driven by the salmon, halibut and sablefish fisheries.


    btw, another vote here for the superiority of p-cod as table fare...i also prefer it to halibut, especially deep-fried.
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  16. #16
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    I like it better than halibut. ......
    Same with me and my whole family. Halibut is too dry for me.

    It used to piss me off that when we'd get into a bite of cod, the skippers usually like to leave.

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    Member Jan from Humboldt's Avatar
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    From what I understand about the worms is they reside more in the gut area and when you kill the fish they tend to migrate into the meat for some reason.

    The recomendation is to gut and gill asap after landing the fish to improve the quality of the meat... That is unless you like them little critters in the meat.

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    Default Big bucks...

    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    you are confused with the atlantic cod, the history of which was written about by Mark Kurlansky in his excellent book "Cod".
    as far as i know, P-cod had never been a big money fish before the atlantic stock crashed, the west coast has always been more driven by the salmon, halibut and sablefish fisheries.


    btw, another vote here for the superiority of p-cod as table fare...i also prefer it to halibut, especially deep-fried.
    The Pacific cod fishery in Alaska is worth 130 million. Statistic was printed yesterday in the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Sounds like big money to me...

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    Default cod

    Having been born and raised on Cape Cod, and from 13 generations of commercial fishermen there, Cod has been a true target fish both there and here for me. The one fish better than Cod is the Haddock----and how many people actually believe there is such a fish as a scrod? My great-grand father used to tell my grandfather about the barrels of lobster meat used for chumming up cod----boy, have time changed!

  20. #20
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Talking "alaskan" author

    what i said was that UNTIL the collapse of the atlantic cod fishery the west coast fisheries had been driven by salmon and other species.

    i was replying specifically to your statement that "fortunes have been made from it AND WARS FOUGHT OVER IT", a quote half-lifted from the back cover of kurlansky's book, which was about ATLANTIC cod. did you read the book, or just the back cover?
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