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Thread: How big/small?

  1. #1
    Member ChuckD's Avatar
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    Default How big/small?

    My son (he's 6) wants to go back to Hillberg tomorrow. I don't mind it's always fun anyways. But I got thinking, what is the smallest fish you keep out of a lake for frying up?
    We usually only end up keeping 1 or 2 but I I've told him that have to be at least 12", AND, if their smaller they need to get back in the water as quick and safe as possible to get bigger so we can catch them the next time.
    Saying that, while I was in Nebraska, my buddy and I would sit on the bank and catch smaller stockers and fry them up as we caught them as we sucked down some cold bevvies
    I'm sure different fish have different sizes for keeping and I'd like to know those as well, but we usually only fish lake trout for now.
    And, is there fish that are to big to keep? Barring regulations.
    Good luck tomorrow fishing and if you see a red quickfish III at Hillberg stop by and say hi.
    ChuckD (sorry for the typos. Had a few winter ales)

  2. #2
    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    Within regulation, I keep whatever I want to eat only. I don't worry about smallness, as much a huge fish. I think the trophy size fish rarely as good table fare as younger ones. I like to cook up some spicy sausage when I first get there, save the grease and throw filets in that while fishing, keeping in mind the regs and limits at all times.

  3. #3
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    When I lived back in Ontario I used to love eating little Brook Trout. Some of the best fish I have eaten have been little 6 inchers gutted and fried in butter. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
    As for Lake Trout I have been guiding for them on Great bear Lake for 15 years and the biggest fish we would keep for shore lunch are 28". The average size is about 26 to 34 inches there. The reason we keep 28 inchers is that that is the right size for the guide and two guests for lunch. Lake Trout grow slowly up here in the North and need to be looked after if we want to continue fishing them. I know Alaska's Laker fishing is nothing like ours here in the NWT but the conservation principals are the same. If you are fishing a lake where the bulk of the population is 16 to 22 inches with some larger fish thrown in harvest those in the 16 to 22 nch range while releasing the bigger ones. Same thing goes if the average size is 20 to 26 inches. harvest 20 to 26 inchers.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post
    My son (he's 6) wants to go back to Hillberg tomorrow. I don't mind it's always fun anyways. But I got thinking, what is the smallest fish you keep out of a lake for frying up?
    We usually only end up keeping 1 or 2 but I I've told him that have to be at least 12", AND, if their smaller they need to get back in the water as quick and safe as possible to get bigger so we can catch them the next time.
    Saying that, while I was in Nebraska, my buddy and I would sit on the bank and catch smaller stockers and fry them up as we caught them as we sucked down some cold bevvies
    I'm sure different fish have different sizes for keeping and I'd like to know those as well, but we usually only fish lake trout for now.
    And, is there fish that are to big to keep? Barring regulations.
    Good luck tomorrow fishing and if you see a red quickfish III at Hillberg stop by and say hi.
    ChuckD (sorry for the typos. Had a few winter ales)

    For me, how I'm going to eat them is the big question. By the time trout get up to 12" or so, I'm filleting rather than head and gutting. It's a texture and moisture thing for me. If I'm pan frying, I don't want them bigger than 8-10".

    Same applies for all species. We have drawn some pretty deep lines in the sand on halibut. It's different when you're paying for only one or two trips on a charter boat and trying to maximize meat in the freezer for your buxx. But when you live by the ocean and have your own boat, you're more likely to keep small fish than big ones, just cuzz they're more moist and tender. We call anything over 50 pounds Tourist Fish and usually let them go. Anything between 20 and 50 (and we keep darn little of it) is carefully labeled in the freezer for frying and chowder. Fish under 20 pounds are our mainstay, and much more versatile on the stove. Truth be known, for our tastes the best halibut of all are between 5 and 10 pounds. That raises the hackles of some folks, but they're welcome to stay home and not eat at our house.

  5. #5
    Member arrowslinger's Avatar
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    Sorry it's not about trout, but I agree with brownbear, we usually rent the whole boat and do rock fish after halibut. We don't care about big ones. If we get one that's fine but if we limit on 20 -35 pounders quick, we are out and searching for other fish. Not having my own boat, and not being real close to the halibut producing waters I can't go for the 5 - 10 lb.'ers. after renting the whole boat. If it was practical I would. Those big ones get dry and the portions that flake off after cooking are too big and grainy. Hard to get flavor into those big flaky guys too.

    O.K. for the trout that we do keep it's around the 10 inch mark. Seems allot of the bigger wild ones (over 18 inches get kinda mushy and blah tasting under the ice in the winter on the lakes we fish in the valley). So we snap a couple shots and toss them back. However, we are not big on trout eating anyways. Lots of catch and release on the wild 'bows in the lakes. Not that I ave anything against keeping them, we just don't enjoy them as much as we do our salmon. JMO

  6. #6

    Default I concur with the above...

    Seems like (for the most part) the smaller fish of quite a few species, are better eating. Seems true for halibut, pike, lakers & veal (same principle!). However, it doesn't seem like size matters for salmon, tuna, mahimahi, wahoo (live on Kauai). I will say that one thing that is vital is the care of the fish after caught, i.e. bleeding the fish. That has LOTS to do with the palatable issue; halibut, tuna, salmon being the prime examples. Frosts me to go on a charter and the crew doesn't bleed those fish, just toss them in the box (no ice either). I had an eye opener this last summer in Homer. We got about a 90 lb. halibut and it was hog-tied on the deck, no fishbox, bleeding, or ice (charter). When the fish was cleaned later the meat had a red tinge to it, and couldn't get all the small blood "lines" out of the meat. We went fishing again on a private boat with a friend and jigged up limits of halibut in the 10-20 lb range. Had no ice, but we bled them and when cleaning at the dock, that meat was prime and almost bright white. Now, months later there's a notable difference in the taste, texture, moisture. Sorry to hi-jack the thread!
    Jim

  7. #7
    Member ChuckD's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for sharing

    Well I got the go ahead to pick up another mr heater.
    I think next time we get out I'll take a small pan, butter, and a little seasoning and fry them up as we catch them. Can't wait!

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