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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw the video somebody posted on how to fillet it, and I really want to try it out. Just wondering how big they should be? I know a spot where I can catch dozens of them 12" or so and the biggest I've ever seen was 21".. Would 12" be too small to bother? Would 16 or 17" be worth while?

Thanks
Billy
 

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I would think if it's big enough to fillet you're good, I've tasted them out of cold water and they're good, but I've always heard when the waters warm they're not so good, so don't be disapointed if that's the case.

Greg
 

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I like keepin them in the 16-20 inch range and find them to be tasty all year long if filleted correctly... the skin stinks worse in summer but that isnt part of the fillets.
 

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The first, and so far only time i actually ate some we thought they were quite good. but of course any fish thats coated in fish crisp and fried in oil in a cast iron pan is good. we kept a few in the 14 inch range, they were ok, a little skinny though. but you get a few that size and you're set.
 

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I tried one I caught last week and I was surprised how good it was.There was alot of little bones but other than that it was good.
 

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I caught a 19"er last year in the Rocky Lake system. Floured it and fried it in butter and damn if it wasn't almost like halibut! Eat them up son.

James
 

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have yet to try one but the vid is interesting

 

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Scott's link shows walleye, also known as pickeral in Ontario. Here is one that shows filleting northern pike, a very close cousin of the pickeral:


The tricky part is the y-bone; here is another way to do it:

 

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I noticed a lot of reference to chain pickeral tasting good when taken from cold water. It could be that when caught in the cold seasons they taste better because the meat is preserved better. Summer catches can be just as good if the fish is put on ice immediately. I keep 2 liter plastic soft drink bottles filled with water in the freezer so I always have plenty of ice on hand and a cooler used strictly for fish that I caught. When cleaning them, do it in the shade keeping the meat out of the direct sun and refrigerate or freeze immediatley after cleaning. Avoid using a stringer or basket. Hanging fish over the side of the boat is not the best approach. The temperature of surface water can be much higher than what the fish has been living in. The meat starts to decompose on the stringer! In winter our catches are refrigerated on ice from the moment we catch them.
 

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I noticed a lot of reference to chain pickeral tasting good when taken from cold water. It could be that when caught in the cold seasons they taste better because the meat is preserved better. Summer catches can be just as good if the fish is put on ice immediately. I keep 2 liter plastic soft drink bottles filled with water in the freezer so I always have plenty of ice on hand and a cooler used strictly for fish that I caught. When cleaning them, do it in the shade keeping the meat out of the direct sun and refrigerate or freeze immediatley after cleaning. Avoid using a stringer or basket. Hanging fish over the side of the boat is not the best approach. The temperature of surface water can be much higher than what the fish has been living in. The meat starts to decompose on the stringer! In winter our catches are refrigerated on ice from the moment we catch them.
16 and 17 inchers are delicious up to 24 are also very good, over that they seem to get strong tasting like a mudsucker(more so the end of july to first of sept.) .try a nice beer batter they make awsome fish and chips.fillet them as soon as possible and throw the fillets in a cooler with some ice .after 20 or 30 you can fillet and skin them pretty quick.they are tasty all year long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I do it the way in this video


And always get quite a few bones, anyone know what I'm doing wrong?
 

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I do it the way in this video


And always get quite a few bones, anyone know what I'm doing wrong?
Billy, you may be making your cuts a bit too deep. Filleting without taking the y-bones just takes a bit of practice. You can actually feel the ridges of them with your finger before you start cutting, make sure your knife is surgical sharp, and keep an eye on the angle of the blade. Once you fillet one properl and avoid most of the bones, you'll quickly develop a feel for it. Keep on trying though, because cooked properly the fish are fantastic.
 

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just take your time and practice,learn the bone structure. I know it can be frusterating hackin up little bits of meat trying to get around bones,but thats how you learn.Make sure you have lots of light and a very narrow knife,and forget the videos! If you want some sort of reference I'd suggest a diagram showing the anatomy of a pickerel or a simillar fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Alright thanks guys. Atleast I can get the tail fillets boneless! Haha not much meat in that though
 

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Ine eating mine....August. Gut em right away, wash the slime off, keep em from getting hot. Rinse em in pond water a few times through the fishing session. Get em home, fillet and skin em. Rinse throughly. No unplesant taste what so ever.
 
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