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Thread: How are skate on the table?

  1. #1
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default How are skate on the table?

    We had so much fun on the ling cod eatin' post I thought I'd wear this subject out some more...

    So for decades I have heard that "yeah, they take cookie cutters and make scallops out of skate wings and no one can tell the difference"...yeah right!

    So, we keep having the "I GOT A HALIBUT ON AND IT'S A BIG ONE" blues when we figure it out pretty quick that no head shaking = skate.

    So this year, my wife catches a big 44lb skate, and we decide we are going to try to eat it. So, my son and I, both experts fish fillet'ers of course, get to work. We find this weird chambered cartilage-like substance throughout the wings. After what seemed several hours of careful exploration, we decide that if we filet (finally I spelled that correctly!) all the cartiledge out, we have maybe 1/4" thick filets left, so we leave some in, ice then freeze the filets. So....we cook it and that cartiledge layer is about like trying to eal a Walmart placemat, kinda looks like one too...the flesh in between is pretty good but a little stringy, and NO ONE believes you can cut out cute little scallop circles and have something even close to as good as those. And, after all that work, we got about 6 lbs. of filets out of killing a 44lb "fish"...so, whatayathink, guys and gals?
    Last edited by Cap'n Ron; 02-17-2010 at 18:21. Reason: bold title

  2. #2
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Default

    Skates are edible once you remove the blades and laces!!!!!

  3. #3
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default skates on the table?

    Depends on the stripper wearing them...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Thumbs up Bay scallops

    There are several types of skates here in AK. You got the kind w cartilage in the wings. The type without cartilage is the one you were looking for and is actually quite good eating. I don't have a fish book here so I can't give you details on identifying them. If I can find the info I will repost.

    Try it again on the right type and you may find you like it. I've done it and it was good.

  5. #5

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    Skate... The other white meat.....i have heard so many people say ''their meat is like scallops''............i know a lot of top cooks and they couldnt make it happen....so someone please settle this for once and for all......thank you.....
    BONEYARDBAITS THE BEST HALIBUT, ROCKFISH GRUBS ON THE PLANET....''06'' WORLD RECORD LINGCOD ''08'' HOMER HALIBUT DERBY WINNER''. BOTH FISH CAUGHT WITH BONEYARDBAIT GRUBS WWW.BONEYARDBAITS.COM

  6. #6
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default Crack me up!

    Way to go Vince!

    OK, the skate we caught was classified as a "Great Skate"....I know there are others, all we catch (several each year) seem to be this same one. So, I'll look for some pictures on the AK Fish and Game site, maybe I can figure out which one has the "scallop" fame.

    If this one doesn't get much notice, maybe a thread on eating Tom Cod (don't even think it, Vince!)

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  8. #8
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    They tend to roll off the table unless you block the wheels

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Skate wings are excellent sauteed in butter and garlic. I've been saying this for a couple of years, but I'll actually take the time this summer to take a few pictures of how I fillet them and cook them. I'm no expert at it, but we've kept a few over the years and like them quite a lot.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default should be interesting...

    This should be interesting, thanks SWTom for the info, looking forward to more, I am pretty much in agreement with some earlier posts, in that I have heard the stories and thought about trying it many times but never got it done myself.

    I do remember a crewman cooking up some out at sea once and it was definitely good meat, not tough or stringy but good and I could see how it could be used to fake scallops, about the same as fake crab out of pollock though not convincing if you've had the real thing.

    Hope to get some good strategies for caring for and cooking up skate wings,

    I'll be out sharpening up my Pipe Cutter in the morning

    Shoot they are everywhere, Let's get this figured out, develop a "Copper River Skate" coop and market and we'll all be selling them for fuel money at the end of our "Other white meat" fishing trips

  11. #11
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    Shoot they are everywhere, Let's get this figured out, develop a "Copper River Skate" coop and market and we'll all be selling them for fuel money at the end of our "Other white meat" fishing trips
    There is already a commercial fishery for them in the Sound. We used to sell them back in the 90s. We only got about 30 cents/lb, but since we were catching them anyhow, it added up a bit at a time. It turned out that we weren't allowed to cut their heads and tails off as needed without a processors license, though, so that was fairly short lived. Apparently the new fishery in the Sound doesn't carry these rules (I think?), so we may give it another go at some point if we can work it with our sablefish longlining. There are LOTS of skates down there, so a reasonable harvest can certainly be sustained.

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    A close friend of mine who likes to eat everything he kills or catches finally cooked up a batch. He told me it was terrible and he would never do it again.
    So, like a lot of you I heard both sides of the debate and the only way I am going to end it is to try it myself.
    But we end up with so much halibut and have to give most away seems kinda stupid to keep something that is substandard. But, we plan on trying it first hand this year.
    Tennessee

  13. #13
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Commercial skates

    One year, when I was commericial fishing out of Wrangell, I took my boat down to Puget Sound for the fall and decided to longline for dogfish and skates. There was a fish company buying them in Bellingham, right next to the Alaska ferry dock. The dogfish didn't need to be bled, and could be thrown down on a layer of ice, and when unloading, they had thier guys unload them. The skates had to have at least 15" wings, and we would cut them off and bring them in. Dogfish we were paid 10 cents a pound, and skates brough in 15 cents per pound. I was running about 5 miles of longline gear a day, with one crew member. We ran about 5000 pounds every 3 days, and they required us to sell every three days. The dogfish were filleted out, and the fillet's were put in neat little packages for sale in England. (it was illigal to sell Puget Sound dogfish in the US because of the mecury content). They actually sent the fillets to a smoker, and they said they sell them in bars in Europe, much the same as we by pepperoni sticks here. The skates were put in a machine that stamped out the scallop looking circles. I know it, cause I seen it work. You toss a wing in, and this stamp comes down and makes about 20 perfect circles out of a 15" wing. You could barely tell the difference. And I know they sell them to resturaunts, as I can always tell when they have duped me. (usually about 1 out of 4 times.)

    I did the fishery for about 4 months, and made just enough to buy more bait and fuel to do another trip each time. It was fun, and made me an excellent longliner for when I brought the boat back up in the winter. I would never do that again....

    I don't mind eating them, but they aren't as good as real scallops. I tried the dogfish, but I like to keep an eye on my mercury levels.... lol!

    Claude
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  14. #14

    Smile

    I've tried it and its not too bad to eat. I would rather just throw em' back and go back to fishing.

  15. #15
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    After years of hearing all the hype, I had to try it, spent an hour sharpening a piece of 1" pipe for my "cookie cutter", successful harvest on a nice day, brought the wings back (on ice) and pounded out a few dozen FAKE scallops, skinned them, and then even took some and cut the center membrane out, sauteed up a little butter threw em in the pan and WALAH!
    imitation scallops that tasted like the just like MUD texture was ok at best, but the taste was definitly not there.
    i might have to try it again some day as that was 20 years ago, or maybe not, as I type the taste is comming back to me.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by denalihunter View Post
    One year, when I was commericial fishing out of Wrangell, I took my boat down to Puget Sound for the fall and decided to longline for dogfish and skates. There was a fish company buying them in Bellingham, right next to the Alaska ferry dock. The dogfish didn't need to be bled, and could be thrown down on a layer of ice, and when unloading, they had thier guys unload them. The skates had to have at least 15" wings, and we would cut them off and bring them in. Dogfish we were paid 10 cents a pound, and skates brough in 15 cents per pound. I was running about 5 miles of longline gear a day, with one crew member. We ran about 5000 pounds every 3 days, and they required us to sell every three days. The dogfish were filleted out, and the fillet's were put in neat little packages for sale in England. (it was illigal to sell Puget Sound dogfish in the US because of the mecury content). They actually sent the fillets to a smoker, and they said they sell them in bars in Europe, much the same as we by pepperoni sticks here. The skates were put in a machine that stamped out the scallop looking circles. I know it, cause I seen it work. You toss a wing in, and this stamp comes down and makes about 20 perfect circles out of a 15" wing. You could barely tell the difference. And I know they sell them to resturaunts, as I can always tell when they have duped me. (usually about 1 out of 4 times.)

    I did the fishery for about 4 months, and made just enough to buy more bait and fuel to do another trip each time. It was fun, and made me an excellent longliner for when I brought the boat back up in the winter. I would never do that again....

    I don't mind eating them, but they aren't as good as real scallops. I tried the dogfish, but I like to keep an eye on my mercury levels.... lol!

    Claude
    Meat went to England for fish & chips, belly flaps went to Germany and were smoked, skins were sent to korea for leather products, fins went to china and japan for soup or to be dried. They pretty well used to entire fish. Back in my east coast fishing days we used to cut the heads off of "green eyes" with the entire guts attached and "pickle" them with formaldehyde and sold them to medical schools, a dogfishes reproductive system is very close to a humans, so i guess they practiced/operated on them. Look on ebay for "shark in a bottle" i used to bottle the pups and we sold them to the tourist stores up & down the east coast. The gillnet dogfish fishery was a very nice and profitable fishery until our friends at the No More Fishing Service(NMFS) shut it down with useless rules and bad science.

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  17. #17
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    Default Commercial Problems

    I know they have tried opening some serious fishery in the Gulf for these but one of the main problems is Halibut bycatch. Which is enough reason for me to not have anything to do with it as yet another low value meat product at the expense of wasting very high value fish as bycatch.

    Not sure how, but the guys who have worked on it are refining the process of setting gear for Skate and not catching Halibut in the the mix but it cost them enough bycatch in the learning that I don't think there is a lot of excitement opening it up more or developing more market for these among Fishery managers.

    If you've got one on board sportfishing tho I would love to hear more of what you are doing as in ways to cook it? Marinate, Tenderize ?

  18. #18
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    kodiak - For what it's worth, when we fished skates commercially, they were always a side species that we kept while targeting halibut. The same will be true if/when we do so in the future. I have a sablefish permit, while my father has halibut IFQs. We fish them together so that we don't have to turn loose halibut as bycatch. If we can, we'll keep skates while we're at it.

  19. #19

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    So I asked this question on a previous thread regarding skates and never got a definitive answer. How do you clean them, specifically? Then how are they prepared? Incidentally, I know a lot of folks kill them when the catch them. (I guess because of the cruel joke the skate played on them) We always just release them. Sometimes they swallow a hook so deep I just cut the line and leave the hook in. If they were tasty, I might be inclined to keep one if I knew what to do with it, and how to do it.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Skate wings are excellent sauteed in butter and garlic. I've been saying this for a couple of years, but I'll actually take the time this summer to take a few pictures of how I fillet them and cook them. I'm no expert at it, but we've kept a few over the years and like them quite a lot.
    I agree. And the secret to them being good is cooking them on 475-500 F just until they start to flake. Too low of heat and they turn to mud and taste like it too. Too hot and they burn up. Now I don't target them so I don't keep many of them, but they are good if prepared correctly.

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