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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Barren River Lake, KY
    Posts
    296

    Eating Sucker Fish

    I know that there is a lot of knowledge and experience on this board so I have a question about eating suckers. Suckers as I remember them have a great taste, but are so full of small forked bones that many people, me for example, just do attempt to eat them. Many of the bones are the size of a hair and really wanted to stick in my throat. When I was young, a very long time ago, a distant relative loved to catch suckers to eat in the spring when they were spawning in shallow water. I remember hearing him discuss a unusual method for preparing them to eat since they were full of the small forked bones. I was too young to pay much attention and never saw him do this in person but as I remember his method involved basically scaling and then filleting them. His method was different because at this point he would take a single edge razor blade and holding it between thumb and fore finger, to control the depth of cut, would make a series of diagonial cuts (avoiding cutting completely through the fillet) about one quarter inch apart across the fillet, turn the fillet over, change ends and start making cuts again. By doing this he avoided cutting completely through the fillet and avoided making cuts that matched. They would actually be like making an X, but the cuts would be on opposite sides of the fillet. His wife would fry them very brown in hot oil. He said this would dissolve the small bones and they could then be eaten without danger from the bones. Has anyone else heard of this method or do you have a different method to share? Input is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Kings Mtn. Ky.
    Posts
    596

    Re: Eating Sucker Fish

    I know lots of folks canned them in lemon juice & froze them & it disolved the bones. They were good tasting fish weren't they. Man I love fresh fish, but don't care for store bought at all.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Sweeden KY
    Posts
    190

    Re: Eating Sucker Fish

    Go to the "in-fisherman" site. Look through the archives, i used to get the in-fisherman mag. And they always had ingo on cleaning boney fish like sucker and pike. Also you might try u-tube. I know they had some flim clips of cleaning blue gills. Might have one for suckers.... Tr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Blanchester
    Posts
    649

    Re: Eating Sucker Fish

    Yes it's getting that time of year when the suckers run. It is the sweetest fish meat I've ever tasted. The method you mentioned sounds about right. The canning process supposedly dissolves the bones too. I've never had the canned ones, but had a guy tell me that it's like eating candy when they break open a can.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    .Leitchfield
    Posts
    164

    Re: Eating Sucker Fish

    Quote Originally Posted by Mean Morone View Post
    Yes it's getting that time of year when the suckers run. It is the sweetest fish meat I've ever tasted. The method you mentioned sounds about right. The canning process supposedly dissolves the bones too. I've never had the canned ones, but had a guy tell me that it's like eating candy when they break open a can.
    The canned ones your talking about was putting them in a pressure cooker like canning green beans, that's what dissolved the bones and yes they were good. They were more fun to gig though wading up small streams thats how we got them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbellsville, KY. / Gadsden, AL.
    Posts
    527

    Re: Eating Sucker Fish

    Yes, the method does work. My Dad would snag suckers every spring and he used the method you described. He called the method "hacking the fillet." The only difference being he had the benefit of a lifetime of experience which allowed him to hack the fillets without using his fingers or anything else as a depth control guide. Suckers do have a nice texture and a mild taste, however their flesh is a bit delicate (maybe from the hacking) and they do not withstand freezing as well as other species will.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Brandenburg
    Posts
    103

    Re: Eating Sucker Fish

    Those are interesting methods and have never had them that way. The way we use to do them when I was growing up we cleaned them soaked them in salt water and smoked them with apple wood and they tasted great.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bowling Green
    Posts
    1,359

    Re: Eating Sucker Fish

    For yrs when the suckers spawn they swim up river & we would dip net them or hook & line catch them.We would can them & smoke a few.The canned sucker taste as good as the canned salmon from the store.IMO

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    jamestown, ky
    Posts
    594

    Re: Eating Sucker Fish

    love them canned. mix an egg, yellow corn meal, diced onion and form into patties.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Barren River Lake, KY
    Posts
    296

    Re: Eating Sucker Fish

    Thanks for all the replies. I know nothing about smoked fish, but does smoking do anything to the bones to dissolve them? If not, how did you eat them without having a problem with the bones. It is getting to the time of year when suckers are most active and wanted some ideas on how to prepare them. Do you have any fool proof directions for smoking them? Thanks for any information.

  11. #11
    HURRICANEBOB Guest

    Re: Eating Sucker Fish

    No attempt to hi-jack honest question.

    It doesn't seem like bait shops carry suckers much anymore around cumberland. Shiners now seem to be in vogue.

    Any reason for that?

    And yes, I have smoke sucker left over from the livewell from a fishing trip.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    146

    Re: Eating Sucker Fish

    Quote Originally Posted by Olgrey View Post
    I know that there is a lot of knowledge and experience on this board so I have a question about eating suckers. Suckers as I remember them have a great taste, but are so full of small forked bones that many people, me for example, just do attempt to eat them. Many of the bones are the size of a hair and really wanted to stick in my throat. When I was young, a very long time ago, a distant relative loved to catch suckers to eat in the spring when they were spawning in shallow water. I remember hearing him discuss a unusual method for preparing them to eat since they were full of the small forked bones. I was too young to pay much attention and never saw him do this in person but as I remember his method involved basically scaling and then filleting them. His method was different because at this point he would take a single edge razor blade and holding it between thumb and fore finger, to control the depth of cut, would make a series of diagonial cuts (avoiding cutting completely through the fillet) about one quarter inch apart across the fillet, turn the fillet over, change ends and start making cuts again. By doing this he avoided cutting completely through the fillet and avoided making cuts that matched. They would actually be like making an X, but the cuts would be on opposite sides of the fillet. His wife would fry them very brown in hot oil. He said this would dissolve the small bones and they could then be eaten without danger from the bones. Has anyone else heard of this method or do you have a different method to share? Input is appreciated.
    I clean small trout by skinning them and heading and gutting. I deep fry them and then small rib bones just crumbly and you are able to eat them with no problem. This is a method that I think would work on your suckers. If you really want to know if they are good to eat and how to fix them call Tim Farmer , he will eat any thing and tell you it is good.I might try the suckers myself this spring. I am looking forward to try gar this summer, those brothers on swamp people eat them but the way the look they would eat anything.

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