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Thread: Wormy Cod from the spit

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    Default Wormy Cod from the spit

    We have noticed that cod from the homer spit tend to have worms in the belly area. If you take a boat out into deeper water do they have as many worms?

    Also, how big do they tend to get in deeper water and what is the best tool and bait/lure to fish for cod? Wouldn't mind getting a few, I think they are comparable in taste to halibut. Don't have a boat but was wondering anyway if there were not as many worms in deeper waters.

    Would it be a possibility to cast from shore in Seward or Whittier and get some cod with not as many worms, or is it all the same?

    We were up here before and noticed the pollack were wormy than the flounder and cod from the spit so we were letting them go. Are they just as wormy in deeper waters? I know you eat lots of pollack in fish nuggets and fake crab from the store.

    Any bits of info help. Thanks,
    ESF

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    All fish have worms, with cod it's just more visible. Location and depth are seldom a factor.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Just cut the worms out. I've found worms in pacific cod, pollock, halibut, and ling cod and I'm sure the rockfish have them as well though I haven't noticed them. They are fairly easy to see and remove. If you miss any, they'll die when you cook them.

    I've seen no difference between prevalence of worms and water depth or location. The K-bay cod seem to be the wormiest, but the cod out of Resserrection Bay and PWS also have worms. Most often the woms are concentrated around the stomach. I did catch a pollock that was riddled with worms litterally from head to tail, that one was released after filleting :O
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    Pull them out and put some Ragu on them. Kachemak spaghetti.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I don't find the ones from deeper waters in K-Bay to be quite as wormy. The ones at the end of the spit eat fish guts all the time from the pipe that dumps fish guts from the processors on the spit. It dumps out right between the last two pilings of the ferry dock. You can se it boiling when it spews out at a low tide.
    Anything used for halibut seems attractive to cod jigs or bait.
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    are you weeding through the pollack for cod? or are you catching pollack?
    the pollack are almost always wormy, cod, even off the end of the spit, are not as bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    are you weeding through the pollack for cod? or are you catching pollack?
    the pollack are almost always wormy, cod, even off the end of the spit, are not as bad.
    This was a couple years ago when we came up before, but we were weeding through the pollack to get to any fish. Fun to catch though. We were getting them with pixies and herring.

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    You can put fillets on a light box or something similar to shine light under them & pull worms out with tweezers. They all have them

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    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Just cook them for extra protein!

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    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Funny story I have about Cod and Worms. Years ago my neighbor and I set out for Halibut in the skiff. Everywhere we try it's an immediate Cod bite. Finally we caught 3 chickens. We come home and start cleaning the Halibut when an other neighbor come over. "Is that all you guys got" well, we caught maybe 30 cods we say. Where are they those are the chicken of the sea he says. Next time save a couple for me. So, about a week later we limit on Halibut and bring home a few Cod. Well, my fishing partner who's wife is a home economics teacher comes home and my neighbor says I've prepared dinner and have a nice bottle of Chardonay to go with it. What's for dinner? Well, I made a nice salad, I have baked potatoes in the oven and were having Cod, the chicken of the sea.
    So where's the Cod? It's draining in a calender in the sink. She goes to look and white WORMS are all over the kitchen counter. She shuts off the stove and says your taking to Michael's restaurant I want no part of that Cod.

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    The cod we got up there last summer out in the Inlet looked terrible. Covered with sores and looked FUGLY. I want no part of eating one of those. Too many other good fish to choose from

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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliffhanger View Post
    Just cook them for extra protein!
    I agree! roll um in bread crumbs and fry the **** things, the worms die and they taste the same as cod....Like fish....

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    That is about all that I could hook up with last weekend. I filleted a couple of them and used a couple for bait. The fillets looked really nice. We cooked them next to some fresh halibut and it was close to as good as the butt - very good I thought. I filleted them right away and there was no worms in the meat that I noticed. They were caught in 200 foot of water between Jakiloff entrance and Pogi.

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    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    You mean Seldovia entrance and Pogi? Jakolof is way far north of Seldovia...

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    No - I meant Jakolof. I fished from Tutka out to pogi over the last 3 days or so.

    I trolled next to you at the bluffs on Monday afternoon. I was the little white searunner with the green top.

    I scrounged up 4 halibut from 5 to 15 pounds in several hours and had 1 takedown in front of seldovia on the king rods - it broke me off so not sure what it was for sure - only had it hooked for a minute. Most of the cod we caught were between the red marker and the spit coming off of jakolof, but we did catch several between there and pogi on a couple of the soaks. There is a lot of cod under the power line that crosses over tutka.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    The cod we got up there last summer out in the Inlet looked terrible. Covered with sores and looked FUGLY. I want no part of eating one of those. Too many other good fish to choose from
    My observations has been very similar to kgcpr's. The cod I have caught in shallow water near Deep Creek and off the spit have been covered in sores and parasites that made the gills look brown instead of red. I am pretty tolerant of "fish problems" but it was nasty.

    I have caught cod in deeper water by the green buoy that is only a mile away fromt he spit and the cod there looked very clean and no issues.

    Worms are in every cod. I'd guess half of the labor in a cod fillet operation is people using the mentioned light boxes to pick out the worms. You can't let that bother you. Otherwise you are going to starve!

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    Product Type of insect contamination Action Level
    Canned sweet corn Insect larvae (corn ear worms or corn borers) 2 or more 3 mm or longer larvae, cast skins, larval or cast skin fragments, the aggregate length of insects or insect parts exceeds 12 mm in 24 pounds
    Canned citrus fruit juices Insects and insect eggs 5 or more Drosophila and other fly eggs per 250 ml or 1 or more maggots per 250 ml
    Canned apricots Insect filth Average of 2% or more by count has been damaged or infected by insects
    Chocolate and chocolate liquor Insect filth Average is 60 or more insect fragments per 100 grams (when 6 100 g subsamples are examined)
    Peanut butter Insect filth Average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams
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    Hops Insects Average of more than 2,500 aphids per 10 grams
    Ground thyme Insect filth Average of 925 or more insect fragments per 10 grams
    Ground nutmeg Insect filth Average of 100 or more insect fragments per 10 grams
    Ground cinnamon Insect filth Average of 80 or more insect fragments per 10 gram




    The Food Defect Action Levels: Levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans is a publication of the United States Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition[1] detailing acceptable levels of food contamination from sources such as maggots, thrips, insect fragments, "foreign matter", mold, rodent hairs, and insect and mammalian feces.
    The publication details the acceptable amounts of contaminants on a per food basis, listing both the defect source (pre-harvest infection, processing infestation, processing contamination, etc.) and significance (aesthetic, potential health hazard, mouth/tooth injury, etc.). For example, the limit of insect contaminants allowed in canned or frozen peaches is specified as: "In 12 1-pound cans or equivalent, one or more larvae and/or larval fragments whose aggregate length exceeds 5 mm."[1]
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    I'd add that it is my personal opinion the "nasty" cod I mentioned would have been above my personal defect level especially when you can catch cleaner cod...


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