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McDragon

Mud Hens??

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I believe they are refering to Lake Trout because they spend so much time down deep sometimes in the mud.

Tom

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That is what we call the mature king salmon as they stage and run the rivers after they lose the silver and take on a dark muddy to black coloration.

Here is an example of what we would refer to as a "mud hen" from Yankee Troller's Genny Sept 24/25 Report in the fishing reports section:

mudhen.jpg

Not a negative on the fish, just a nickname for the dark coloration they take on as they reach spawning time.

Tim

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Thanks Tim, I think your image got lost somewhere. But I get the reference. I've caught enough of the dark ones to remember the coloration. The meat also takes on a different color as well if my memory serves correctly. Not that nice pink you get from a King in the lake.

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Really? Does the flavor change along with the color shift? I think I've only had one from a run but that was out of the Salmon River last year. I didn't catch it so I don't know how far up the river it had gone.

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Really? Does the flavor change along with the color shift? I think I've only had one from a run but that was out of the Salmon River last year. I didn't catch it so I don't know how far up the river it had gone.

yes, once they stop feeding in mid/late august, they start living off of the stored energy reserves in their flesh for the spawning run. The longer it has been since they stopped eating the more the flesh deteriorates and the taste and texture goes with it. The meat turns white and mushy. A darkie tastes nothing at all like a summer silver feeding king. They aren't even comparable. I guarantee you, if you ever hear someone saying that Lake Ontario salmon taste like crap, their only experience has been eating mud hens out of the creeks.

Tim

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Good to know. I release most of what I catch anyway but I'll have to be particularly choosy if I keep a salmon now. Thanks.

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On the same topic, what about lakers? I kept one (my first) from a charter on April 30th and it was delicious. I had a grilled fillet from one caught by a buddy in July and it was flavorless mush. Does the season (water temp, maybe) change the edibility?

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On the same topic, what about lakers? I kept one (my first) from a charter on April 30th and it was delicious. I had a grilled fillet from one caught by a buddy in July and it was flavorless mush. Does the season (water temp, maybe) change the edibility?

Med size lakers from the Fingers are very tasty IF they have been kept cold from start to finish. I smoke the larger lakers , and all L.O. lakers & they are awesome that way! There are several different strains of lakers and this does impact the flavor some but the biggest way to insure good eating is to gill and gut and ice promptly and to remove the mudline after filleting or pick up your blade a hair when doing the skin side so you leave the dark meat w/ the skin. -Andy

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I smoked a batch of dark salmon and lake trout that were caught in early sept. And the salmon tasted awesome, but the lakers were so bad I gave them away. I had about 5 different people taste both fish and all of them said the lake trout sucked compared to the salmon. I used the recipe that someone put up on the open discussion section that had the maple syrup put on at the end of smoking.

[ Post made via Android ] Android.png

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yes, smoking is about the only way to make a darkie palatable. You wouldn't want to grill one. Especially if it was caught out of a creek. The ones that are starting to darken up in the lake in the 2nd half of august can still be decent, but from labor day on, no thanks.

Tim

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Ok, so they don't taste good, are only in the creek to spawn (and die), are hard to catch (legally) and are running out of energy so don't fight like when they're in the lake.

Why are people lined up to catch them then? Is it just a trophy thing? I realize that may be incredibly naive of me but

I've never fished for salmon during their run before.

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Ok, so they don't taste good, are only in the creek to spawn (and die), are hard to catch (legally) and are running out of energy so don't fight like when they're in the lake.

Why are people lined up to catch them then? Is it just a trophy thing? I realize that may be incredibly naive of me but

I've never fished for salmon during their run before.

Now that's a good point Mortigan! And a great question? So maybe we should let them spawn, do their thing, and stop all this combat fishing on the tribs?

Course there are a lot of folks who would be out of work if that happened?

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I'm not suggesting anyone stop fishing for runnning salmon. My first taste was driftboat fishing the Salmon River last year for steelhead and watching 40lb salmon swim by me - incredible! I'm just asking what I can expect from catching one, assuming I'm able. Do they still have the power to battle, assuming I'm using lighter tackle (just a personal preference). Can they be caught and released, leaving them the energy to finish their spawn?

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It's another way to get away from the wife.lol . Its also a bunch of fun.

[ Post made via Android ] Android.png

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Unless they have a boat and can chase em in the lake, that is the only time they get a crack at them, that and they are STILL put up a pretty good battle and are the biggest fish most people will ever catch in their lives. I've been boat fishing for em since 1996, but I started fishing the tribs in 1978 or so and once upon a time, I used to live for the September - May period when I could go out and catch salmon and steelhead in the tribs/off the piers etc.

Tim

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Other than the Salmon River, there is not a lot of natural reproduction going on anywhere on the south shore, so no point in not fishing for em and letting them spawn, 'cause it won't matter in most of the tribs. Besides this is a put and take fishery and is still and will always be dependent on stocking, so it wouldn't be right to not let the shorebound anglers get their shot at them, they paid for their fishing license same as I did.

Tim

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Good point. I've been lucky enough to have access to both this season (thanks to a friend's boat and a couple charters). Hope I can hook up in a creek and compare the two.

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Why are people lined up to catch them then? Is it just a trophy thing? I realize that may be incredibly naive of me but

I've never fished for salmon during their run before.

Mostly it's because it's fun!!!! I don't care for salmon most of the ways they get cooked, but smoked.... YUM!.

For lake fish, I use a liquid brine, but for trib fish, I use a dry brine, which firms up the meat nicely. So yes, I will eat "mud hens"

I wouldn't say they don't fight as much as out in the lake... I'd say they fight about the same (at least in my experience), only in the tribs, you're screwed if you plan to stay put when they decide to "go with the flow". At that point you need to start working your way downstream after it because you aren't going to drag it back up against the current. It's a whole different experience, actively drifting your bait instead of sitting on a boat watching your rods. I enjoy catching salmonids out in the lake and in the tribs. Two unique experiences that are equally fun and rewarding.

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Well, I've given away silver salmon to just about every neighbor on my street, fresh out of the lake caugth June - August and they all have said it was the best tasting fish EVER! :yes::yes:

I caught a few lakers and they are just flabby, why is that?? I don't think they have anywhere near the same texture as a salmon and I wouldn't even consider eating them.

As for river run chinook - forget that too, those things are nasty when they start turning dark.

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