striper filets

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greyhackle

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After fileting the stripers we caught Friday and putting them in the cooler. I was impressed how thick and meaty they are. Also there was hardly any red line in them at all. In fact I see no need to trim them. I have never seen striper filets like these before. ( not that I'm an expert) The red line must have something to do with how healthy they are. Its going to be a great year. Also the filets Dworwood had from his smallmouth were impressive. Sorry no filet pictures.
 
That red muscle is the "slow twitch" muscle they use when they are slowly swimming around, and is used all the time. It is highly vascular compared to the muscle they use for short bursts of chasing down prey (think duck vs. pheasant), which is why it is red in color. The healthy fish probably actually have more red muscle than the skinny fish, but there is so much more white flesh on a healthy fish it is not as visible.
 
Also on a thick healthy fillet it is easier to " ride a little high " with your fillet knife and leave much of the red meat on the skin . So nice to see all the pictures of fat healthy Stripers and fish in general at the lake !
 
This year, we are planning to fillet a lot more fish-- some of which we will eat while at LP and some we plan to take home with us. What's the most efficient method to bleeding the fish out and stowing them away while fishing so that we don't have to slow down much when the bite is on, while also maintaining a clean boat?
 
cut both gills with a pair of scissors Let it bleed out before putting in Livewell great way to keep a clean fillet board good luck
 
cut both gills with a pair of scissors Let it bleed out before putting in Livewell great way to keep a clean fillet board good luck
Thanks- do you pin it down when you make the cut, or do you knock it over the head to stun it first? Last year my brother had reached into the live well and apparently 1 wasn't quite 100% dead and he caught a spine to his knuckle. (thanks for the advice) when you bleed yours out after cutting the gills, do you get it on a stringer back in the lake to bleed it out in the water?
 
The humane way is to stun it with a blow to head or spike it in the brain (like they do with tuna). I always have a big glove sitting next to the livewell to handle the fish. If you don't club it or spike it, just lip the fish with one hand and cut the gill with scissors with the other, toss it in the livewell... When the fishing slows down or the livewell is getting full (sooner if it is warm out) take them out of the livewell and put them into the cooler to filet later. I do this with all fish I catch from trout to tuna, it really improves the quality of the flesh...

When the fishing is really good, I usually stop fishing after we have 20-30 fish that need to be fileted, and pull to shore for a filet session. Breaking them up over the day makes it so we can fish into the evening and not have that hours long chore to take care of before we can go to bed!!!
 
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