Keeping and eating a limit of fish under about 22 inches can improve growth rates, increase a lake's capacity to produce big pike, and provide some truly wonderful dining.
Use the techniques outlined in this issue to catch fish, then follow the simple method of removing Y-bones demonstrated by In-Fisherman Editor In Chief Doug Stange at: Y-Bone Removal Techniques.
One of the favorite cooking methods of the In-Fisherman staff involves deep-frying fillets in beer-batter. Here's a great northern pike recipe by In-Fisherman consultant and Chef Lucia Watson. This batter puts a light, crispy coating on fresh moist fillets.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
- 1 ½ pounds firm northern pike fillets
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons beer
- 6 cups oil for frying
- 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil (optional)
- Rinse the fillets, pat them dry, and cut them into finger shape, about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. Keep them cold until ready to fry.
- Whisk together all the ingredients for the batter until smooth. Allow the batter to rest for about 15 minutes.
- Combine the flour with the salt, pepper, and cayenne.
- Lightly dust a fish finger in the flour mixture, immediately submerge it in the batter, shake off the excess, and lower it into the hot oil. Fry each batch 3 or 4 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a plate and let drain on paper towels.
- Serve this classic pike dish with tartar sauce along with fat wedges of lemon, or with malt vinegar.