Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Worms in halibut

  1. #1
    Premium Member jmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    At the end of the cul-de-sac
    Posts
    922

    Default Worms in halibut

    Took two trips for halibut this past summer and brought back several fish. My wife pulled a package out of the freezer tonight and thawed it for dinner. When going to skin it, there were worms (dead) between the skin and meat, and some more in the meat itself. Anybody else have any experience with this? I assume that if you cook this, you would be ok to eat it, but we tossed it. I am just concerned that we have so much halibut in the freezer that we would have to waste a good portion of it if filled with worms. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member Ripface's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    320

    Default

    I've come across worms in halibut before, but they were only found around the gut cavity meat. Being rather poor at the time, I just cut the worm sections out and looked at the rest of the meat intently. I didn't find it anywhere else. I've come across worms in fish from the Gulf of Mexico before, and they were distributed throughout the entirety of the meat, so I tossed the fish. One species in particular, the black drum, once they attain a certain size, are notorious for tons of worms everywhere.

    On a side note, I was fishing at the end of the Homer spit in June and a number of folks were catching fish that looked like cod (they had brown spots). Every single one had worms in them, but an Asian guy was keeping them, running up and down the beach collecting them as everyone was about to throw them away. I guess he didn't mind worms.
    "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey

  3. #3
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Wasilla, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    3,056

    Thumbs up 'buts and worms

    My experience has been that pretty much every halibut has worms to some extent (after all, look at what they eat...). Other than being not so visually pleasing, I have never found anything wrong with the meat. I just pick out the obvious ones and cook the hidden ones. They seem to be kind of relative to the size of the fish. The big fish have big, easy to see worms. The smaller fish have smaller, and harder to see (lighter color as well as considerably smaller in size) worms. The fish still tastes great to me. (just polished off a batch of halibut chowder yesterday!)
    AKmud
    http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j96/AKmud/213700RMK1-1.jpg


    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  4. #4

    Default Butt worms

    That's been my experience too, that all bottom feeders have worms. Oh, well, what's a little extra protein, more or less.

  5. #5
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    4,732

    Default Worms?

    Just two words: extra protein. As long as the fish is well cooked, fish with parasites is safe to eat. Now that would not be the case if you were smoking the fish. Gotta bea careful there, and freezing it first is a good idea.

    Highly unusual to find worms between the meat and the skin though...

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    Pretty common in most fish. Cooking kills thems.

  7. #7

    Default

    All Halibut have worms (but don't tell my wife) on a healthy fish they will only be near the gut meat. Some guides fillet the area over guts, I stop just short and dozen of times a year I get questioned on why I'm leaving that meat, some people learn more than they want to know about eating fish. Those fish in the previous post were Walleye pollack and they are filled with worms, all of them! I cut them up for Halibut bait, trawlers catch them to turn into surime (Fake Crab, fish sticks etc.) On some fish age has no bearing on if it will have worms, Halibut and True Cod are good examples, but it does lean to older fish having worms, but I've filleted 30 lb Cod that were worm free and 10 lb fish full of em. If you have eated at Skippers then you have ate plenty of worms (I was just there 3 weeks ago, Excellent fish).
    Frank
    Alaska Wildrose Charters and Cabins
    www.wildroselodge.com

  8. #8

    Default Worms

    I was told that the worms are in the stomach while the fish is living. Once it is dead it leaves the stomach and gets into the meat. I always remove the guts or fillet the fish within an hour of the catch. I have not noticed any worms. They are probably there I just try not to look.

  9. #9
    Supporting Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    4,823

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKTroy View Post
    I was told that the worms are in the stomach while the fish is living. Once it is dead it leaves the stomach and gets into the meat.
    100% correct. If you cut the stomach open you will see worms inside allot of times.

    Look at it this way cook them it kills them and you get extra protien
    Alaskan Bowhunters Association
    President
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK 99502

  10. #10
    Member cod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Ak.
    Posts
    1,088

    Default removing worms......

    Bigger (older) fish usually have more worm. I take my halibut fillets and toss them in a big bowl of cold (fresh) water if I see a few worms. Let it sit for half hour and most will leave the flesh and lay in the bottom of the bowl. Try it. It works. They must not like the fresh water (?).

  11. #11

    Default

    Fact of life. For all fish and most mammals for that matter, whether you can see them or not.

    We always skin before freezing, then hold the pieces up to a bright light. You can see them in halibut, cod, etc, and just pick them out with the knife point. That's standard in fish processing plant too, BTW.

    Sure better to get it done before your cook, or worse, your dinner guest, discovers them. On behalf of the guests, I always double check with a bright light after thawing, too.

  12. #12

    Default

    You definately get worms in halibut on occasion, other fish more often. Cleaning them fast help, and whatever does get in the meat you can catch by "candling" the fish... thats the name for the process of checking the fish for worms over a bright light.

    The processors just candle fish to get the worms out before the consumer sees them for store bought fish.

    One of the best things about hunting or fishing for your own meat is that you learn the real processes and what is in what you eat... If you just shopped at the grocery store you may never know.

    How many people eat burgers and steaks and have no idea how to process an animal, or what it is like to bleed, skin, and bone a big animal like a deer, moose, elk, or cow.

    Its not always pretty... but it sure is better.
    Alaska Fishing Forums : They are my addiction!

  13. #13
    Member patrickL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    1,011

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Gray View Post
    100% correct. If you cut the stomach open you will see worms inside allot of times.

    Look at it this way cook them it kills them and you get extra protien
    Mind me asking how you know this? I find it hard to follow how the worms aren't in the meat at the time we catch them but in the stomach and then migrate to the meat. No offense intended as I'm just curious.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    144

    Default

    I don't remember if it was a previous thread on this topic or somewhere else that I read it but from what I understand, being frozen for 48 hours or cooked well kills the worms. I've only noticed worms once in a fillet of halibut, I just picked out the ones I could see then cooked the fish like normal. Last year on the charter I went on, buddy got a very large Ling-cod, when it was filleted up its stomach was full of worms. It's a bit disturbing but shrug nothing you can really do about it, just pick em out of the meat.

  15. #15

    Default

    Here's an old joke among scientists you might not have heard:

    You know how you can spot a parasitologist?

    They're the people who wash their hands BEFORE they go to the bathroom.

  16. #16
    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    348

    Default

    I always gut my halibut once killed, and never keep the meat around the gut cavity. When you're catching 80+ lb fish, missing the bit of meat around the gut is no big deal.

    If my wife saw this thread she'd probably never eat her favorite fish again!

  17. #17
    Member JR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    1,390

    Default

    Almost 100% of halibut have worms on the white side under the guts. We just don't take the meat or we take it and remove the worms.

    I have had worms fall out of a piece of fish while eating it. It does not bother me by I remember my Mother leaving the table and not finishing dinner one time.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Seward, AK
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Like others have said... Most all fish have worms. Cod seem to have more worms than others. I have found that bleeding fish by cutting the gills will make most of the worms move towards the belly meat. In doing this I rarely see worms in my fillets. If they are still there who cares it is just more protein. Either way always bleeding your fish is a great practice to get into. I see people all the time who don't bleed their fish and when they fillet them there is a bunch of coagulated blood in the fillets. That is nastier than some worms in my book.

  19. #19
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Fairbanksan in Aleutian Hell
    Posts
    1,288

    Default

    I've managed to minimize worms in halibut by putting them on a cable stringer and cutting the wrist of the tail to the bone and letting them pump themselves dry while continuing to fish.

    Also when I cut the fillets off I stay well away from the stomach area. If you are seeing grey membrane on your fillets, you are getting too close.

    Finally, I skin and inspect the fillets before wrapping and putting them away. I've found probably three worms in the last couple of years out of a couple hundred pounds of fish using this process.
    Now what ?

  20. #20

    Default

    I'm just curious if anyone out there has noticed a correlation between the time of year and the worm population in halibut. This is the first year that I've fished this early for halibut and in the last month or so have caught quite a few. I have looked pretty carefully at all the butt I've caught and cleaned and I haven't seen a single worm in any of them. Even with some of the gray membrane attached right by the stomach. Notice that I say I haven't "seen" any. I'm not saying there aren't any there that I can't see.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •