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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This week the winter chum run has begun, first 10 casts I landed my first one of the season this winter. Second day went out and got this bad boy, (actually it's a girl!) 15lb monster chum salmon.

Chum is on the low rung of salmon but it is still delicious. I much prefer sockeye, king or silvers but chum are big and tasty also. I save a few here and there for eating fresh (bake them in the oven, about 15 min at 350') but smoke most of them.

Thought I'd share some photos and see if anyone else here in the NW is fishing!

The chum spawning colors are pretty ugly to look at but the meat is just fine even if it doesn't look appetizing initially...



This one was outta the Nisqually river.



Filleted out:



Brined them last night and pulled them out this morning and put them on the smoker racks to drip dry overnight, they go in the smoker tomorrow AM about this time! I smoke them usually for around 5 hours or so depending on how long I can control the initial cool temps and still get smoke from the chips.



 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Brine is per gal/water:

1.5 cups of Kosher or pickling salt (must be non-iodized)
2 cups of brown sugar
1 cup of soy sauce and/or teryaki sauce
garlic
red pepper
black pepper
lemon slices or lemon juice
white wine
a little worchester sauce

and anything else I feel like tossing in at the moment, sometimes sesame oil or vinegar, or other spices...

and for chips I use primarily Alder chips. Sometimes I add a small amount of cherry and apple also but alder needs to be the dominant wood for salmon.

Smoke on!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
smoker is going, cleaned her out and got a 'dry' smoke going to prep. Chips soaking, will have the finished product tomorrow!!

I'm addicted to smoked salmon...
 

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Dang AA, that sure looks good.

I think I'd threw a few pieces on the grill with the marinade and call it good. Is that a viable option?
 

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Looks great. When I lived over there we always said that when the tide was out the table was set. Sure do miss going claming and setting crab pots.Sea bass caught in deception pass tasted really good also.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yeppers, they grill up just fine! wrap in some foil with the skin still on and dust 'em with some spices and lemon slices, toss them on the grill. We do it that way occasionally but usually it's in the oven to save time.

The kings, silvers and pinks I usually just fillet out and vaccuum seal, I put away probably 150 lbs of salmon last year! we still have some left, working through the last bit of it now. Going to fill the freezer up again with chum, did not get to fish for kings this fall run.

Maybe some steelhead in a bit, winter run is starting on the Cowlitz down south; got a friend who runs a guide service that owes me a trip or two.

fish is in the smoker now, got 3 hours on them so far; kinda pissed, my smoker went up to 200' on the lowest setting for some reason, I may have 'cooked' it more than I wanted. Still looks OK though, will probably be on the dry side I'm thinking. Will have to watch the temp better on the next batch, oops...

eventually I will build a nice cold smoker, cold smoked is light years ahead of regular smokers but takes about two weeks to complete.

Should get back to the river tomorrow or monday for sure, should be a fresh run coming in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
2/day for everything salmon except pinks, 4 pinks/day. So 6/day total if you're lucky. Never been that lucky. and pinks only run on odd years, sucks.

Chum will run for about a month total, good quality fish are about 3 weeks total at most. Last year I fished almost every single day (all year!!) and chum I literally got my two every day for an entire month almost. This year I've less time but I will still hit them pretty good. Edible fish are in the river until mid January when they turn to zombies and get real nasty.

plus, I have a lot of friends that like to fish but don't like fish so some days I've gone home with as many as 16 fish!! My filleting skills got pretty damn good last year!

I laugh when I see the crunchies that scold fishermen for 'killing' poor innocent salmon.

you do know that they die and float back out to sea right? so if I kill them a week early, what's the problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
aww yeah.... finished! first batch of the season, turned out just right. I was hoping I hadn't nuked 'em too hard. A tad on the overdone side but freakin' delicious! munching some right now, I can never tire of salmon.





and some ready to freeze for later on when the fish are scarce...

 

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2/day for everything salmon except pinks, 4 pinks/day. So 6/day total if you're lucky. Never been that lucky. and pinks only run on odd years, sucks.

Chum will run for about a month total, good quality fish are about 3 weeks total at most. Last year I fished almost every single day (all year!!) and chum I literally got my two every day for an entire month almost. This year I've less time but I will still hit them pretty good. Edible fish are in the river until mid January when they turn to zombies and get real nasty.

plus, I have a lot of friends that like to fish but don't like fish so some days I've gone home with as many as 16 fish!! My filleting skills got pretty damn good last year!

I laugh when I see the crunchies that scold fishermen for 'killing' poor innocent salmon.

you do know that they die and float back out to sea right? so if I kill them a week early, what's the problem?
So I take it you don't consider yourself to be over possession, with 150lbs. of salmon in the freezer, or in possession of 16 salmon in a single day, taking your limit every day for a month, etc. etc.,

Even though this is a firearm's forum, I find it hard to keep my comments about your fishing "habit's" to myself, but I will, and just for the record, saltwater fishing, especially salmon, is just about my favorite thing, have caught King's and Silver's from Santa Barbara to Alaska, I like to chase them in the river as well, but only close to the ocean, taken a few King's at bouy 10 when I lived in that vacinity for a few years, where mold and mildew are the state flowers, didn't chase em inland much further than that,

It only takes very few days out of the salt before the meat isn't worth harvesting, ya they just die and float back out to sea, after they have done what they came inland to do, lay and fertilize their eggs, I would hate to ask how many razors you take home from Long Beach, I'm sure it would only be 15 though, since that's the possession limit, and you seem to be a genuine sportsman, concious of bag/possession limits, and all those other silly crunchy rules, right?

Don't pay any attention to me, I'm sure I just misunderstood something somewhere, no one would ever proudly brag about being a habitual poacher, on a public forum no less, I'm sure the F&G doesn't monitor this site like they do the fishing and hunting sites anyway,
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
absolutely not, I follow the law. There is a 40lb unproccessed limit, I stick to it. I smash my barbs as required when required. I throw back the foul hooked salmon even when nobody is watching. The fish I catch plus the fish my friends catch are 100% legal and fair hooked, wildlife conservation is paramount. I'm working towards my master hunter here in WA. But whether there's the exact same amount of salmon in my freezer or spread out between a dozen friends randomly makes little difference to me. Besides, if you want to know the truth, I'm literally the worst fisherman ever, no joke. I catch significantly less than most others on any given day, I joke about it it's so bad. Chum and pinks give me a break to that.

I hope that clears it up, my friends don't come fish just to provide me with extra fish, they still keep them and either let them go to waste in their freezers or give them away. Most days I'm alone anyway, it's short bursts where I get others' fish to add to my own stash. The few times I've come home with a dozen fish are just that, a few times, and bragging rights, not the norm. Just saying it's amazing to see that much sustainance at one time.

Same with hunting, I could have gunned down a hundred deer, elk and bear but I follow the season and every other reg like it's religion. I want to keep our game healthy and plentiful so I can enjoy my hunting and fishing privelages for a lifetime.

Cheers,

AA
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Went out with a co-worker/buddy who owns his own guide service and hit up the nasty again today. Very slow run so far this year, very bad. Indians are netting the crap out of them, cutting down the run even more. At least we got some!

Went out right before first light and headed upriver in the boat, didn't hook anything until 10:30 but it was a monster 15lb + beautiful chrome chum, had some good color to it, not too dark. Fresh outta the ocean, still had sea lice on it!

Next one didn't hook until after 2pm, very slow day but at least successful.

I'll get some pics loaded up here in a few...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
iodine stands out with a really unpleasant metallic taste; it's enhanced with the brining and the smoking process. Trial and error discovery I suppose.

It's easy to find, pickling salt, sea salt, kosher salt all are non-iodized and readily available. I hit up the Asian market for bulk size containers of sesame oil and teryaki/soy sauce in 1 gal cans for cheap.

My phone is not cooperating, still trying to get pictures up of this last beautiful fish. Still brining, temp outside is holding at a perfect 40' F. Going to pull them out in a bit and let them drip dry today, will get them smoked up tonight.

Fish on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
finally, cripes; my phone sucks. Here's my fishy and the other one we caught; had 3 poles in and 4 licenses but could only fill 1/4 of the limit. Still a VERY good day, these are some of the nicest chum I've seen; big and bright! The photo doesn't even come close to doing them justice.

Don't know why I look so angry in the photo, I was happy as a pig in poo!





 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Meat was beautiful and dark, more red than most kings or silvers I see!

filleted out and chunked it up and tossed him in the brine









 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
oh my, this is the best batch I have ever made! just pulled it out of the smoker and chilled it in the fridge, doubt there will be any left by end of the week....

this one tastes better than most king smoked salmon I've had, holy smokes....

18 hour brine, a 15 minute soak/rinse, a few hours to drip dry and then 5 hours in the smoker at low temp between 100-150, finishing at 160'F for a little bit.

damn, wish you guys could taste this, I've made a huge leap forward in the recipe!!!

mostly, it's about the smoker itself and controlling the temp.. and having good quality fish to start with. If you wouldn't eat it fresh, don't smoke it either!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
forgot the throw up pics of the finished product, oh so tasty!!!





went yesterday again to check the river, still nothing but zombies swimming around; no fresh chum, bummer. last year was on fire, this year, nothing!!

at least the pink run this coming summer is projected to be above average again...
 
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