Carp Lemonade

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Published on: Jul. 2, 2004

Last revision: Nov. 16, 2010

a better source of Omega-3 fatty acids (the "good chloresterol") than salmon.

The only drawback to eating bighead and silver carp is that they have lots of intramuscular bones. All carp have these Y-shaped bones. They remain in the fillet in two rows, one above and one below the lateral line. A carp fillet also contains a strip of red meat along the lateral line. This should be removed, much like the "blood strip" of a striped bass or white bass.

By the time you clean a bighead or silver carp, the remaining fillets will only be about 20 to 25 percent of the weight of the fish you caught. However, because these fish are so large and plentiful, you can still put a large amount of high-quality meat in the boat. For example, 150 pounds of silver carp jumped into my boat one day. After cleaning, I had 30 pounds of great meat.

Scoring the fillets of some "bony" fish chops up the bones. If you then fry them in very hot oil, the bones dissolve to the point that you don't notice them. Scoring, however, does not work with Asian carp larger than about 2 1/2 pounds because the bones will be too large.

The fish we catch on the Missouri River average between 12 and 15 pounds. The Y-bones on a 15-pound Asian carp can be up to 4 inches long. These are much too large for scoring, but they are large enough that you can easily remove them from the cooked flesh. Take care to not cut through the bones when cleaning the fish because that will simply make the big bones into lots of little bones that are annoying or even dangerous. triangle

Harvesting Asian Carp

Bighead and silver carp are abundant in the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and their larger tributaries.They usually frequent slow-moving water at least 8 feet deep.They often can be found in the calm water behind wing dams.

Bighead and silver carp are filter feeders, so it is hard to capture them with traditional fishing methods.Very rarely will one strike a lure. Bighead and silver carp can be captured during the paddlefish snagging season and during the nongame fish snagging season by jerking a weighted treble hook through the water in areas where the fish are abundant.

Bighead carp have a habit of feeding by skimming the surface film, which makes

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