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Thread: Identifying AK saltwater fish

  1. #1
    Member Ripface's Avatar
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    Default Identifying AK saltwater fish

    I was hoping some of you could help me out to shorten my learning curve on identifying the fish that are caught in Alaskan saltwater. I was hoping there was a thorough website out there with some good images (photos or drawings) of all the fish I could expect to catch out there. I know my salmon and a few other fish, but I found that myself and quite a few others fishing at the end of the Homer spit last summer could not identify, specifically, every fish that was caught down there. Some were saying I was throwing back tasty fish, but they weren't sure. I kept some of the flounder I caught, but lately I've heard that flounder aren't good eating, but they were my favorite fish to eat in Texas (different species, I know). I would even buy a book if someone could recommend a good one. Thanks.
    "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey

  2. #2
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    Default Fish finding...

    ADF&G wildlife notebook; those are your keywords to type in on your search and up it will come. Click the URL and then click into fish. You'll learn it quick this way...

    http://www.alaskanauthor.com

  3. #3

    Default

    Eschmeyer's book is a pretty good one. I've caught P. cod, pollock, a couple species of sculpins, and yellowfin sole off the end of the Homer spit. Those sole seem to swarm over the shallower water out there. I kept about 10 of the bigger ones I caught and filleted them. They were decent eating. There is a commercial market for yellowfin sole, so somebody's eating a whole lot of them. The cod and pollock were swarming with worms throughout the meat, but made great halibut bait the next day.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0618...01#reader-link
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

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    Default

    Nick next time don't fillet the yellowfin. Just head and guy them, cut off the fins, but then just roll in flour and pan fry with a liberal use of some salt. It is very good IMO than!

    The book nick mentioned is very good as well!

  5. #5
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    There are
    Rockfish-Looks like a bass, stomach probably exploded
    Lingcod-Nasty looking teeth
    Tomcod-Three Fins
    Halibut- No brainer
    Starry Flounder- Halibut with striped fins
    Arrow tooth flounder - Flounder with nasty teeth
    and Double uglies- everything else
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  6. #6
    Member fishin 45's Avatar
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    Default

    Double uglies are also known as mother-in-law fish because they have huge mouths and are sooo ugly. They are called Irish Lords also. The fishing regs have a pretty good picture of various fish too.

  7. #7
    Member Ripface's Avatar
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    Default

    I know I caught a double ugly (Irish lord) down there. Are they good to eat?
    "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey

  8. #8
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default most "irish lords" are not...

    the fish most often called irish lord or "mother-in-law-fish" is the great sculpin. true irish lords are often caught in the kelp or deep around coraline algae reefs. there are two species, a brown and a red, both quite pretty.
    "pacific fishes of canada" by Hart is another excellent resource for fish I.D. up here.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

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    Default Lord, they loved it...

    I have seen Oriental's cut the puffy flesh behind the Irish Lord's head consumed as raw sashami...

    http://www.alaskanauthor.com

  10. #10
    Member DanC's Avatar
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    Default Ugly fish

    I had to laugh about the reference to "double ugly." That must be a universal term that crosses all language barriers. I was catching some sculpin-looking fish in Greenland. The locals all called them "ugly fish." They may be a relative of the fish caught in Alaskan waters - I don't know because I haven't caught any in AK. They were good eating for hungry kayakers though. We ate them like the locals do: boil them in sea water and then pour them out on a rock and pick out the meat with your fingers. There are no dishes to wash that way and if you use a rock below the tide line your kitchen gets cleaned too.

  11. #11
    Member Jan from Humboldt's Avatar
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    Default Peterson Field Guides

    This is probably one of the most detailed guides for fish that you could wish for

    A Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes

    http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/...eNumber=681977

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