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They’re said to feed heavily on small fish and bait throughout the fall months, whereas during the spring they feed more on aquatic insects. This is especially important with larger sheepshead. I followed the recipe and then added some madras curry and cumin to the batter. Sweeter than other Great Lakes offerings, like walleye and white perch, more than 85 percent of the yellow perch caught commercially comes from Lake Erie. Every region has its so-called “trash fish.” Monkfish, black bass, even lobster all had to conquer bad reputations before becoming revered as the prime table fare they are today. Use the right recipe for the right fish. An added bonus: Sheepshead are caught by Ohio fishermen—you can’t say that about walleye. 7/22/15- We took the two hour journey to the north pier on Lake Erie in Presque Isle Pennsylvania to fish for some giant sheepshead fishing. A “do not eat” fish warning from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has been expanded and includes all fish from the Huron River to Lake Erie. Each time I asked if he minded if I kept one. If you haven't eaten one, is it because you were told not to or because you tried it and didn't like it? Forums > Michigan Fishing > Warm Water Species Fishing > Detroit River and Lake Erie > Freshwater Drum, tried it and it wasn’t bad Discussion ... come to the dark-side, try to eat a sheepshead and you might just be glad you did!! Can you get for this weekend? Subscribe to cleveland.com. Lake Erie is the southern edge of habitat for burbot (pronounced bur’-bit here), a big, eel-like, mottled-patterned fish that hangs out on the bottom of the lake. Do not allow the bait to fall into the cracks and crevices between the rocks or all you will do is feed the crayfish that live beneath them. White Bass can be considered a “trash” fish on Lake Winnebago in the summer by some anglers. 5. of . I catch them all the time on Lake Erie (they put up a great fight). You’ve always dreamed of that day when you reeled in so many big fish you wanted your arms to fall off. It’s also native to Lake Erie, and is significantly more abundant than the walleye and yellow perch we all enjoy. ... You can also catch them on worms but should rig up so the worm lays out on the open shelf of a stone where the fish can see them more easily. Expect to be shocked with how little this local protein costs. My wife and I moved to Ohio from New Orleans/Slidell Louisiana. my Brother Rob lands the big fish of the day a huge lake Erie DRUM. Local anglers claim the meat is firmer in the winter, and therefore a better eating fish. Why don't we eat sheepshead? #EatforCLE @wkyc https://www.wkyc.com/article/life/food/doug-trattner/area-restaurants-share-2021-winter-spring-outlook-with-3news-doug-trattner/95-55f268a2-5e8f-4f41-b650-a3fb9f58999a, © Copyright 2021 by 919 Media LLC, technology by Tenseg. It started with a text message to the local fishmonger: Hey, can u get me sheepshead for Fri or Sat pickup? But it’s unlikely you’ll meet someone who has actually tasted the filets. Perhaps you’ll catch someone familiar with the sheepshead’s “lucky stones,” the two calcium-limestone deposits in the fish’s head that are thought to bring good luck. Likely a different species, but the same reputation. Filet and skin the fish as soon as you’re back at the dock or at home. Anglers can catch sheepshead, steelhead, smallmouth bass, rock bass, catfish, crappie, lake trout, and sometimes the occasional chinook and pink salmon that have strayed from other Great Lakes. Why don't we eat sheepshead… 2019 Ohio Sport Fish Consumption Advisory _____ Page . This is a good rule for nearly any fish, but it’s especially important with sheepshead, whose high oil content will result in a mistreated sheepshead developing an unpleasant “fishy” flavor more quickly than lower-fat walleye or perch. – So, what fish are safe to eat from Lake Erie? The perch weren’t biting, but the sheepshead most definitely were. For the sauce I paired it with a dijon/dill/mayo mix. All the sheepshead were caught on either jigs or shiners off the bottom. So let’s stop calling the sheepshead trash fish and start eating it. While that mark has since been broken by a 32 pound, 12 ounce fish, these fish can be consistently caught from May to … Eat them fresh. Remove that too. For fans of Lake Erie fish, there’s nothing like yellow perch. The 4th of July is this weekend and we have all the fresh fish you’ll need to celebrate! Have you ever eaten a sheepshead? I have eaten perch walleye, etc. As for obtaining sheepshead, they are fun to catch and provide a nice fight. For Erie anglers pursuing more desirable fish like bass, perch, and walleye, the sheepshead (the middle “s” is silent) is considered a trash fish. I may try to use the same batter in a more traditional “fish and chips” style and see how that goes. Written by Anietra Hamper Dec 11, 2020. ... By Drifter in forum Western Lake Erie Fishing REPORTS Replies: 0 Last Post: 09-24-2017, 07:15 AM. We know better now. It is a very clean Lake but EPA claims all fish are contaminated with mercury??? Years ago, Lake Erie was extremely polluted, so badly that some of the rivers that fed it actually caught fire from all the chemical wastes. The truth is that all of the fish in Lake Erie are safe to eat. Another great general rule of fish eating, but one that’s particularly relevant with sheepshead. They were awesome. I have eaten perch walleye, etc. Throwing them back probably isn’t the best description of what the gentleman was doing. They can be found in the shallow, weedy harbors to the deep rocky shoals offshore in the main lake. In the 1880s those who fished Lake Erie believed yellow perch were poisonous. According to the New York State Department of Health, there are limitations on what fish you can eat based on your age and gender. Nibble This Charters offers fishing options for one of Lake Erie’s most overlooked game fish; the sheepshead or freshwater drum. A study on sheepshead (fresh water drum) as table fare. But, some of them should only be eaten about once a month, and a few should be eaten less frequently than that. These Eurasian bivalves have a nasty habit of filtering water to the point where it cannot support plankton, thereby wreaking havoc on native food chains. Like most game fish, drum fillets have just a few pin bones that you can eat or remove. Sheepshead, sometimes killed and discarded as a "trash fish" by local anglers, could be an effective natural predator of the zebra mussel, she said. We particularly like the two featured recipes for cooking with larger sheepshead. Unless you’re looking for strong flavor, you want them skinless and boneless, with the belly meat and lateral line (it’s red) removed. These fish are really making a mark on the local fishing scene, with a state record fish of over 31 pounds coming from Lake Erie waters in 2002. I followed the recipe and then added some madras curry and cumin to the batter. Face your fears, come to the dark-side, try to eat a sheepshead and you might just be glad you did!! The fillets are relatively thin for the size of the fish. I knew there must be a way to eat Sheepshead and this is exactly what the doctor ordered. I eat a steady diet of bluegill from that lake. Remove the fish from the board, throw away the fish and eat the board. Excellent commentary. While walleye and perch are the stars of the show when it comes to Lake Erie fishing, there are other species that are great to target as well. (It’s also regarded as one of the most sustainable fish to eat… Sheepshead, called silver bass in Canada and gaspergou in and around Louisiana, is the only member of the drum family native to freshwater, and is closely related to the redfish that’s so well loved in Cajun cuisine. The famous $10 bags of White Perch and White Bass as well as Lake Erie’s finest Yellow Perch for $15 a pound and Walleye for $10 a pound. Never again. We can change that. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. If you doubt Kelch’s wisdom, next time you’re talking to a lake fisherman ask him or her for an opinion on eating sheepshead—we can just about guarantee the response will be something along the lines of “They’re gross.” Next, ask the fisherman if he or she has ever tried eating one— nine out of 10 times (conservatively) the response will be in the negative. Skin the fish and nail it to a board made from fruit wood, apple works well, season the fish with salt pepper and lemon, place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Photo Credit: Erie Pennsylvania Sport Fishing … I have been fishing on the shores of Lake Erie since I was a child. For smaller fish (12 to 15 inches) Kelch suggests treating them just as you would walleye: dredge or batter and fry, being careful not to overcook them. I have been fishing on the shores of Lake Erie since I was a child. You are what you eat and the sheepshead's diet consists mostly of shellfish, so they tend to have a sweet, shellfish flavor and firm, moist flesh. In the cold water of Lake Erie, expect to find lake trout, chinook salmon, steelhead/rainbow trout, brown trout, coho salmon and atlantic salmon. Given that the Lake Erie Sheepshead are in the Drum family, similar to Red Fish and Black Drum, I expect to catch and enjoy them as well. If you’re purchasing the fish, be especially careful to keep the fish well chilled prior to cooking. More accurately, he would melodically sing “bringing in the sheep, bringing in the sheep,” while attempting to hurl the fish from starboard to port over the shade cloth protecting us from the sun. 5. of . It will eat live or artificial bait. Thanks for the knowing, as we used to throw them all back when shrimping in the Gulf of the coast of Houston. Please support high-quality local journalism. Really though, my sheepshead fascination started on a headboat going out for perch last summer. They cook very similar to dorade or flounder, with a little more bite and much more flavor. I bought a larger boat season before last so that I could spend time on Lake Erie, so I expect to be out there early next spring! Fishing brings over a billion dollars to Ohio's economy, and Lake Erie and its tributaries are a major reason why. Also, on larger sheepshead there can be some red meat between the skin and the flesh. The best way was cooked like a salmon patty. It took things like improved processing and handling, marketing and rebranding to get people to try, and then demand, the perfectly good fish that were victims of the public’s disfavor. Kelch was kind enough to share his encyclopedic knowledge of the underutilized sheepshead, and provided us with some ground rules for making sure we get the most out of this overlooked resource. Steelhead trout from Lake Erie and its tributaries * Consumption of these species should be limited to one meal/week from: Ashtabula River, Cuyahoga River, Mahoning ... • Vary the types of fish you catch and eat. The smaller ones are good eating. At this time of year, sheepshead can be found schooled up and roaming offshore feeding on small fish and baitfish (like gizzard shad). What do Lake Erie Sheepshead eat? Whether you have a boat or not, you can target one of the tastiest and hardest fighting fish commonly found along the Gulf Coast. I fish Highlandtown Lake in Columbiana Co. which is an electric motor only Lake. Freshwater Drum (Sheepshead) is firm like its saltwater cousin and takes to blackening the same way. They are found along the shores of Lake Erie. A “do not eat” fish warning from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has been expanded and includes all fish from the Huron River to Lake Erie. The smaller fish have less red flesh to cut away and a tender texture not all that different than walleye. The freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens, is a fish endemic to North and Central America.It is the only species in the genus Aplodinotus, and is a member of the family Sciaenidae.It is the only North American member of the group that inhabits freshwater for its entire life. Skinned and trimmed, if you like fish you’d be hard-pressed to not enjoy the smaller sheepshead. When I was younger, we use to eat them all the time. The best way was cooked like a salmon patty. Apparently, indigenous people used them as amulets and fishermen put them in their pockets for good luck. I need sum. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. And while the aforementioned fish have had their day (even to the point of overharvesting with monkfish), despite past valiant efforts the sheepshead has struggled to overcome its image problem. ... By Drifter in forum Western Lake Erie Fishing REPORTS Replies: 0 Last Post: 09-24-2017, 07:15 AM. And they didn’t gain acceptance overnight. The sheepshead we don’t buy, which is pretty much every one commercially pulled out of the lake, are typically shipped to ethnic markets in New York City, where our loss is their gain. 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