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Thread: Flatfish ID, please.

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    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Default Flatfish ID, please.

    Anybody able to tell me what type of flounder or sole this is? I have checked online and have my doubts about most on the NOAA list on this link under the Pleuronectidae Family.

    http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/race/media/..._by_family.htm

    A few of these were caught by me in 30' off the dock with bucktails, marabous, chartreuse curly tail grub and knife jigs with bait.

    Kind of like a Starry Flounder but not sure due to more oval than diamond shape. Has a smooth belly side and a a rough pebbly upper side. Only one had belly spots, the others were white.

    TIA - Steve
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    Where did you catch it? Very odd. Looks almost like a summer flounder or a plaice species from the Atlantic side. Always cool to see different species!

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    A buddy told me we have about 50 varieties of flounder. I know there is a book that has all the details of the various varities, but I don't recall the title.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Color can be so variable on flats, about all you can go by are "meristics," the arrangement of body parts like fin rays, maxillae and eyes. Based on that I'm betting rock sole, though there are some species out there I haven't seen yet.

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    Thanks so far, guys.

    I will look up Rock Sole for further info.

    Rudy, caught off the dock and beach on Prince of Wales Island, SE AK on the west side near Craig. Port Saint Nick Bay.

    The jigs were just bottom bounced towards shore on the retrieve. I caught Coppers, Greenlings, and two types of flounders on those jigs. Perhaps a baby halibut, too, as it looked EXACTLY like a halibut only 12 inches long.

    Did some quick searching and found the book and a probable ID confirmation - Looks like Rock Sole it just may be. Thanks BB!

    The key identifier not found on other flatties -

    LOOK FOR: right-eyed; lateral line arches abruptly above pectoral fin.


    All mine have the rainbow arch on the lateral line which other flounders lack.

    The book
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    Your photos are of a rock sole with spotting. Bonus they taste good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wendigo View Post
    Bonus they taste good.

    Highly doubtful on that. Never had a good flounder in AK.

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    The key with flounder is you have to fillet them and cook them up as soon as you've caught them. They release and enzyme and turn mushy after a few hours, but cooked up fresh they aren't bad.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Northern rock sole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    The key with flounder is you have to fillet them and cook them up as soon as you've caught them. They release and enzyme and turn mushy after a few hours, but cooked up fresh they aren't bad.
    That's true of yellowfin sole, but rock sole are great freezer keepers. Because of their low fat, they keep in vacuum sealed bags for a long time. We put away a bunch each summer and eat them all winter. Firm and sweet all the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    That's true of yellowfin sole, but rock sole are great freezer keepers. Because of their low fat, they keep in vacuum sealed bags for a long time. We put away a bunch each summer and eat them all winter. Firm and sweet all the way.



    Thanks again, BB!


    Good to know about them. Have heard the Arrowtooth goes south when cooked. Being from the Carolinas, we would wade in sneakers at night with a Coleman lantern and flounder gig at slack tide at our summer home/fish camp cabin on the coast back in the late 60's and gig the doormats. Talk about good eating. It's the East coast answer to the halibut.


    Looks like some Rock Sole won't be getting tossed back in September when I go back up there.


    This link on Iki Jime - Japanese method of killing fish was tested for improving/preserving the quality and flavor of fresh caught fish.


    Very enlightening. http://www.cookingissues.com/index.html%3Fp=1802.html


    and the Iki Jime website is, IMO, invaluable to all anglers who keep and eat their catch. I practice this locally and will take my iki Jime kit to AK this fall.


    http://www.ikijime.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolinaboy View Post
    Have heard the Arrowtooth goes south when cooked.
    You have no idea just how far south they go when cooked until you have cooked one. A nice looking fillet disintegrates into a mush that looks a lot like wet sawdust. The change is stunning.

    Big_E

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    Quote Originally Posted by akfishdude View Post
    Northern rock sole.

    Looks like more like a Southern rock sole to me. Translucent blind side.

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    Couple of more pics. Shows the arching lateral line on both sides and one without spots on the blind side.
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    and the blind side arching lateral line.
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    I love Rocksole, and think it's fantastic. There are a lot of great sole in Alaska. Arrowtooth founder is one thing (horrible), but there are plenty of tasty flatfish. Rex Sole is the best fish I've ever had, but deep. Dover sole is good, but a pain in the butt to deal with and deep. Rocksole is awesome. English sole is good. Flathead sole is ok, but not great. Sand Sole is good. Those are the good ones imo. Starry flounder isn't very good. Arrowtooth as others have said is horrible. Alaska Plaice is not very good imo. I kind of like Yellowfin, but someone else didn't like them. They are just bony, and I fry them whole (well headed and gutted with slits cut in them to fry better, then debone the meat).
    I've often thought if that there could be a sport fishery for Rocksole. If they were on the east coast folks would be going crazy for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akbrownsfan View Post
    I've often thought if that there could be a sport fishery for Rocksole. If they were on the east coast folks would be going crazy for them.
    Oh yeah. We usually save our rock sole adventures until we have kids or new anglers around, then take out the light tackle and fish them with small jigs. Hot action from strong fish. Things get real entertaining when scattered halibut in the same waters grab a jig! From what I've seen back east, if they had fish like rock sole in the numbers we have, there would be a whole charter fleet built around them and lots of folks making good livings on boats. Here they're about 99.9% misunderstood and ignored. More for me!

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