Carp Lemonade

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Published on: Jul. 2, 2004

Last revision: Nov. 16, 2010

them easy (although skittish) prey for bowfishermen. Shooting fish with a firearm is illegal in Missouri, but it is legal to shoot nongame fish, including Asian carp, with a bow.

In Europe, a popular method for catching silver and bighead carp is to make a large, fistsize doughball that slowly disintegrates into tiny pieces.

The doughball is suspended below a large bobber. Several small hooks on short leaders are tied to the line just above the doughball, making a nest of hooks around the bait. A carp will bump and mouth the bait trying to knock off pieces small enough to swallow, and often becomes hooked.You have to be patient and not set the hook too early, because the bobber might bounce and pull under many times before the fish becomes hooked.

Here in Missouri, fishermen report catching many bighead carp on trotlines when using cheese for bait. Likely these fish also hook themselves while trying to dislodge small particles of cheese.

One of the easiest ways to catch an Asian carp in Missouri is when the fish "volunteers" by jumping into your boat. If you spend much time on the Missouri's big rivers, it will happen to you. When it does, you know it's time to make lemonade.

Cleaning Asian carp

Remove the fillets from the body of the carp (1) as you would any other fish. Cut around the ribs, leaving them attached to the skeleton.

Lay the fillets skin side down on a cutting board and cut them in half lengthwise, cutting through the skin (2). Remove any fatty belly meat from the fillet. It has a strong flavor.

Skin the fillet halves by laying them skin side down on the cutting board and slicing the meat from the skin, starting at the tail section (3). An electric knife works especially well for this, but any sharp knife will do.

Remove and discard the dark red meat from the fillet halves (4).You now have delicious white meat, but there are still Y-shaped intramuscular bones hiding inside.

Cut the rib cage section off. It is now boneless so you can use it without further preparation.

The Y-bones (5) lie lengthwise at an angle through the fillets. Slip the fillet knife in between the bones and cut strips that contain two or three bones, taking care to not cut any bones. It won't take long to understand exactly where

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