Here they are thawed out. I usually brine them before freezing, but I don't believe these were. When I filet out a carp, I look at the color of the main part of the meat. It should be light in color, either light tan or light pink. If it's darker colored, brown or red, (I have caught some that were dark purple all the way through) they get pitched into the woods for the coyotes.
This second pick is the mud veign, just under the skin. It is quite oily and when smoked usually ends up turning mushy. I try to remove most of this. Because of the high oil content of this, it does soak up smoke like a sponge, so when making pate, I usualy leave a little on, and these were little guys, so it was dificult to trim without destroying the filets. I have smoked them leaving this on before, after smoking it flakes off with a knife pretty easy. Just depends how much time I have to spend fussing with them.
Here they are trimmed down to the pink with a little brown left on.
Next, cut into managable pieces and into the brine. I usualy just use a simple sslt water brine and season before smoking, but today I decided to try adding the spices to the brine.
Here are some of the spices I like to use
I also have a season salt that has a heavy celery taste I like to use aswell, also sage. I used to add rosemary to the steaks before smoking, but would leave a bitter aftertaste. Maybe adding it to the brine will give the taste without the bitterness, we'll see. In the fridge for tonight.