Pickerel....does anybody do anything with them?

Discussion in 'Fish' started by danmcg, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Our lake is seeing a huge resurgence in the pickerel population over the last couple years, but nobody keeps them cause of all the bones.
    I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions or recipes as to what to do with them. I'd think they'd taste alot like a northern, but I'm not sure.
    I was thinking pickled pickerel, just cause it sounds cool :)
    fisherman93 likes this.
  2. hoser

    hoser Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    The only thing I've seen done with pickerel, was an older gent who chopped them up, put them in the food processor bones and all, and made fish cakes out of them.
    They weren't too bad, but not my all-time favorite either.
    Good luck in your search.
  3. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I always thought they tasted pretty good fried, but you must cut them into small pieces and take small bites to expose the bone. Then you can discard it. Frying it in Canola or Peanut oil allows for really high temps and you will see alot of the bones basically dissolve.
  4. Being from Michigan, I would assume you are speaking of northern pike?? There are several u-tube videos showing how to clean a northern pike and removing the Y bones, quite easy and you are left with nothing but great tasting fish.. I have also heard Walleye be called pickerel which are even easier to clean again u-tube will show how to clean one in about 2 minutes.
    fisherman93 likes this.
  5. 9manfan

    9manfan Smoke Blower

    Pickled northern is very good, also cutting out the Y-bones and frying up the fish is very good also,,,,,it's a good tasting fish, it just gets a bad rap because of the bones compared to walleye's,,,
    fisherman93 likes this.
  6. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That is my experience.They follow yellow perch spawn here on the magothy river and hit the same flashy lures.Rarely get above 2 pounds.
    You can find clean grass eel around here occasionaly and that is excellent.
  7. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Smoking Fanatic

    Yeah...throw'em back.
  8. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  9. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    pickle them, the y bones dissolve in the pickle...
    fisherman93 likes this.
  10. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    that's another good solution!
  11. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    thanks for the all the ideas everyone.
    TasunkaWitko, thanks your link was very helpful. I have never seen that method of filleting before.
    Anybody got a favorite recipe for pickling?
  12. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    got a good one dan, will have to dig it out, will get it to you later ok.
  13. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  14. Here's the recipe I use for pickling.......Works well for pike, panfish, white bass and small sheepshead or for you "southern folk", freshwater drum... I always fillet the Y-bones out of the pike I use but I think this recipe will soften or dissolve the bones. Not for sure though. I have tried many pickled fish recipes and this is the best I've found.


    1 quart fish fillets
    5/8 cup canning salt
    white vinegar to cover fillets

    stir well and place in refrigerator for 6 days stirring well daily. On 6th day rinse thoroughly in cold water. Pack fillets in a gallon jar....layer of fish, then layer of onions. Repeat until all fillets are in jar.

    Wine Sauce

    4 cups white wine (not cooking wine)
    2 cups sugar
    2 cups white vinegar
    1 Tablespoon pickling spices

    Mix well and pour over fish then store in refrigerator for an additional 5-6 days.
  15. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the recipes guys!! I'll have to catch a couple fish now and try it.
  16. Come on folks......Pickerel in Canada where I live are Walleye.  This is the best eating fresh water fish there is.  Before you all say chop them up or throw them out, do a bit of research first.
    fisherman93 likes this.
  17. Agreed, send them up here if you don't want them.  I just smoked 3 fillets, salt pepper and garlic powder,  no brine.  2 hours at 200, used cherry.  Turned out great.  little or No bones if they're cleaned properly
  18. smokeymoake

    smokeymoake Meat Mopper

    What is this Pickerel fish you are speaking of? Where I come from a Pickerel is a Walleye, and a Walleye is a Yellow Pike and a Yellow Pike is fine eating.
  19. freemason

    freemason Newbie

    why do so many people call walleye, pickerel? pickerel is a whole different fish. theyre in the same family as walleye and pike. but they are a little boney so most people don't eat them. for some reason people in Canada call walleyes pickerel but I never understood why.
  20. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Me neither, but they taste great (waleye).

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