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Mike Stark

Cleaning Lakers

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so i kept my first lakers today. i was wondering; what is the best way to clean them? im new to eating and preparing trout. any help would be great.

thanks,

mike

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I do mine just like I do a walleye. Cut around the head behind the gill plate. Take the tip of your knife and go down the back bone just to it. Then after the ribs go through the hole thing and then cut over the ribs with the tip.

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I clean them just like northlander. Once the filets are cut, I like to cube 'em and put 'em in a batter of 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon of baking soda and enough beer to make it about the consistancy of pancake batter to make thin pancakes. Heat up the ol' FryDaddy to 350 an deep fry 'em until they're golden brown and floating. 3-4 minutes. My kids used to call this "the good fish"!

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A new way I just had is to gut and gill the fish then basically make steaks out of it. Without doing any filleting make about 1 inch cuts from right behind the gills all the way down to the tail. Season it how you like it and broil it on a cookie sheet with tin foil for about 15 minutes on each side.

Good Eatin

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 Originally Posted By: finnbay
I clean them just like northlander. Once the filets are cut, I like to cube 'em and put 'em in a batter of 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon of baking soda and enough beer to make it about the consistancy of pancake batter to make thin pancakes. Heat up the ol' FryDaddy to 350 an deep fry 'em until they're golden brown and floating. 3-4 minutes. My kids used to call this "the good fish"!

Yeah, because they were sneakin' the left over beer while you were frying the fish ;\)grin.gif

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I don't know why I do, but I just knock off each side and take the ribs out after each fillet is free. I only do it that way on trout and salmon. On walleyes, crappies, etc I slice around the ribs and leave them on the carcass. I don't think anyone mentioned leaving the skin on. For frying I'd take the skin off but I don't fry oily fish like lake trout. I either grill, bake, or smoke them. In any case I leave the skin on.Where did you get the trout from? There are different strains of lake trout around and this in combination with the fish's diet may create variance in meat color. Usually the darker (more orange) the meat is the better (in my opinion). If the meat is pale or whiteish looking I'll send the fillets to the smoker. That's my preference anyways.

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Baking a Lake Trout whole at 350 for an hour in Alum Foil is

great. Try baking trout and Whitefish, you will like it.

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The smaller fish we just clean as stated like walleye and fry up just like them in a 50-50 mix of Shore Lunch and Fryin Magic.

The larger fish we have kept for eating or smoking we have filleted, removed the ribs but left the skin on. These are great on the grill/broiler or in the smoker.

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When those of you who grill lake trout do it, how do you do it?

Wrapped in foil?

How high or low do you have the grill?

How do you season it?

Do you put butter in with/on it?

How long(a.k.a. how many beers do you drink before it is done grin.gif)?

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We wrap it in foil, skin side down. Spices can vary tremendously. Sometimes it's great with just some light oil, a little garlic and some light salt and pepper. Other times we've done the oil, salt and pepper thing and also sliced onions and tomatoes over the top before sealing it up. That's good, too. We also developed a recipe that calls for sauteeting morels in unsalted butter and drizzling that over the top of the fillet after the grilling is complete.

So many recipes, so little time. Regardless of grilling recipe, we usually use medium heat and check the fish with a fork periodically. We also do this in the oven using the broiler. It doesn't take a lot of time to grill/broil fish, and overdone fish is a BAD thing. grin.gif

Beer? Nobody I know drinks beer. \:o

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As you can see it depends how you plan on cooking the trout.

If you plan on smoking a larger oily Lake trout you'll want it cut in steaks.

That'll allow some of the oil to drip. The skin and its meat layer dose not have an offensive flavor like Great Lakes Chinook Salmon.

If you have a leaner trout and its main forage is not smelt or ciscos but rather insects you'll see red meat. I mean bright orange here, not pink or a tint of orange. These lake trout can be prepared anywhere from sautéed in butter, deep fried, fillets smoked skin side down to retain the oils, fillets boneless or with ribs in a tinfoil boat, or Steaked and grilled.

A trout that isn't that lean red meat but somewhere in between fat and lean I'd smoke in steaks, fillets in tinfiol, grilled steaks.

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 Quote:
Yeah, because they were sneakin' the left over beer while you were frying the fish ;\)

Oh no! The parents are always the last to know! grin.gif

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hey thanks for all the tips. the lakers came out of b-side. they are still frozen whole. i have not got any time to clean them up. sounds like ill just clean them up like a walter and see what the meat looks like.

thanks again!

mike

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Mike, all the lakers I've cleaned out of Bside have that sweet orange/red meat. Mmmmmmm, this is making me HUNGRY! grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

I clean the fish right when I get home, and if we're not eating them that night I shrink-wrap them for the freezer using a Foodsaver vacuum-packer.

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catfish,

im going to find out tonight if they are still good. i just left them frozen outside. my guess is that they will be just fine. this will be my first lake trout i have eatin. im looking forward to it \:\)\:\)

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They will be fine. The skin keeps them from getting freezer burn for quite awhile. Takes a long time to thaw them long enough to clean them with getting REALLY cold fingers, though. grin.gif

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I catch lakers on Superior. Most of the bigger ones have tape worms. They creap me out. I hate over done fish, so to get over the thought of those tapeworms turning from clear to opague when you hose down the table, I only fillet mine leaving the entrails intact.

I have heard that the color of flesh has more to do with diet than species strain. Insect and arthropod eaters have pinker flesh(best eating). For big butter balls, I like to fillet them leaving skin on. I cover the fillets with horseradish and mayo mix and grill until flakes just start to seperate and horsradish just starts to brown. The skin sticks to the foil leaveing a boneless, skinless serving. Bon appetit, Hans.

One more thought, I have heard most of lakers on Bside have pinker flesh. If they are eating lots of scuds and bugs, this could explain their reported preference for smaller baits. I have watched them from my dads perch high on the west end of Bside picking up insects off the surface, but have yet to be able to entice one on top. I also noticed most walleyes I catch throw up many smelt when thrown in the livewell, but haven't heard of lakers doing the same. Any thoughts?

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Well, I've only found one Bside laker winter or summer with bugs in the stomach when I cleaned it. The rest were empty or, if they'd been feeding, were packed with smelt. And all the Bside lakers I've ever cleaned had that nice orange/red flesh when raw.

I know lakers eat bugs, too, on any lake, so I don't know if that explains a possible preference for smaller lures in Bside lakers. I should also add that the only preference I've seen in Bside for those smaller lures was from the 1-3 lb eaters, which is why I downsized my lure offerings in the first place. I've caught good numbers of fish on big lures, fish of, say, 4 lbs and up, but have never caught one of the smaller fish on a bigger lure here. So I tend to keep things a little smaller because I'll catch eaters and the big ones will grab the smaller lures, too.

Somehow I think that has evolved into the shorthand that "Bside lakers prefer small lures."

Anyway, I think when we're talking about inland lakers (leaving aside L.S. and its two distinct strains), it's more complicated than diet alone. It's hard for me to believe that it takes a bug diet to make orange/red meat when so many of the lakers I've cleaned from Bside in the last years are feeding on smelt.

Just my. $.02.

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I can't believe there is a large population of lakers not utilizing the smelt either- that's why I prefessed my statement with "I have heard" looking for first hand info from you Bside regulars. In the BWCA, my limited experience has been most of the lakers in small lakes have the pinker flesh. It's only on the bigger lakes where I have seen the yellow meat. I would most definately consider Bside one of the bigger lakes. Anybody seeing yellow mushy meat on Burntside? How about Snow bank? Any summer or winter differences? Hans

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Well,

I was cleaning my half frozen lakers Sunday night when I got home. What happens when they are half frozen is, you get a few thin slices that depart from the main filet.

True to my laker sickness, I picked up a thin slice about 2 inches long and tasted it. Not bad, so down the hatch it went. Just like sushi.

New recipie??

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Low maintenance recipe, at least. That oughta appeal to you. grin.gif

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LOL! \:D

I couldn't find Emiril in the Yellow Pages!

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Did you try under B for BAM!? grin.gifgrin.gif

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Too loud for that time of night!

Nick dropped off a chunk of laker he smoked today. MMMMM, he's got er down. He's been practicing on Atlantic salmon so he wouldn't ruin any precious laker.

He was nice enough to give me the recipe too. I smell smoke this weekend.

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I'd say something like: "The only smoke anyone will smell this weekend is stfcatfish burning the lakers on Bside," but of course we know what the laker gods rain down on that kind of attitude, and it ain't rainwater. grin.gif

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