went to the new oceans east yesterday, saw two citations get weighed while I was there one big 74 lb black drum and one small (in comparison) spot just over a lb. we inquired as to the fate of the drum, he said he was going to give it to his neighbor?
Yeah I was gonna say that even though you don't see them when you first hold the fish, wait till you start pulling some of those scales back. mmm tastey:barf: I won't eat anything over 10lbs unless it is a smooth skinned or smooth scaled fish. All those hard scaled fish have too many problems as they get bigger.
You ever try to eat one that big? I did once, the first big one I caught years ago, it was a 51lb. Red that I caught off the beach near ramp 27. That was the last one over 8-10 lbs. that I caught wasn't released. That's why they created the release citations!! That was a really old fish that was still breeding stock!! What an Idiot!! Give me the spot any day!!
A lot of people don't realize that large fish, especially drum, aren't good table fare. There are only a few fish, 10 lbs plus, caught in the bay that are good to eat. Most fisherman knows that the smaller sizes are the best eating. I love rockfish b/w 18-27 inches for eating. The bigger ones are still good, but the smaller ones just taste better. I guess when people catch giant fish, they think fish dinners for a month, and ends up throwing it away a week later.
I had never thought that the bigger fish didnt taste good because they were older! Wow, I dont mind admitting the stupidity, but thats actually pretty true when you think about it. What other fish taste nastier with age, aside from drum arent that good when they get older? I happen to think that the smaller spot are very good myself and never thought of it that way! Every day ya learn something new
I have cleaned and eaten an eighty# black drum that was very good every way I prepaired it.(blacked,panfried,deep fried and grilled) Last year I caught a 48# red drum off seagull and there is a great difference between the two, red's for me will go right back into the sea. The few sharks that I have caught over 80# were very good also, the trick with sharks as we all know is to bleed and gut them as soon as you catch them. The larger catfish are good but you almost have to double filet them( there muscle mater fibers are tuf but the meat is tasty. Cobia and stripers can be cleaned in the same way( remove the red meat from the middle of the filet and such) As for the worms all fish have worms mahi mahi, kings, sword, striper, amberjack and even grouper) you can just remove that section of meat it does not harm the rest of the fish. I worked in a freash seafood resturant for many years and have cut worms out of all the fish I listed. Hope this helps.
You notice that not that long ago NOT ONE large speckled or grey trout went back in the Bay. Now, the spec and grey fisherman that target and catch the larger ones ... put a good many of them back in the water.
The same was true for Red Drum and Black Drum. Now, you have much tighter regulations on Reds up and down the coast from Maryland to Texas that force folks to put the big ones back, but gradually, over time fisherman learned that the BIGGER ones were the better breeders and best left in the water.
Snook in FLA were the same. People used to keep more than they needed years ago, and now the snook, while still a table-targeted fish, is revered ... especially the larger ones and most make it back into the water to breed and fight again.
One day, hopefully sooner than later, I hope the same will be done for Flounder.
You've probably all listened to fishing stories from "back-in-the-day" spun by ancient mariners of 45 long years who will say with a straight face that they used to be able to catch 100 flounder in this spot, and you could keep all you wanted, and there wasn't a size limit so we used to fill coolers of them and only clean the top-side ... and NOW WE CAN'T CATCH ANY.
D'uh. If you're not part of the solution ...
Or the other great line from the peanut gallery you've probably heard ... "It's a shame you have to throw a nice one like that back" ... as you release a 12 1/2" flatfish.
And, I'm not against keeping a fish or two for dinner. I make an honest effort to catch / eat one flounder a week, but at some point, isn't 8 probably more than enough ...
The more that stay, the more that will be on the way.
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