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Just got my new member welcome packet, and thanks! I've been reading the article "Cyprinus Carpio" by Bob Williamson. Very informative and enlightening.

On page 6, Williamson comments on carp physiology, mentioning Y bones, "Commercial processors and anglers who want to fry the filets usually make a series of perpendicular cuts across the filet. When done properly, the bones are dissolved by the hot grease allowing the fish to be eaten bones and all."

He also mentions red muscle mass, saying it can have a stronger taste due to the higher fat content in this tissue.

Now I've seen lots of different YouTube videos about cleaning and cooking carp. Some of them seem to result in very little meat because all the Y bones and red meat are cut away. Some even avoid the rib cage entirely, saying there's not enough meat there to bother with. So I have a couple of questions.

First, what experiences to people have with red meat and Y bones? Do you get rid of them, eat them, or some other alternative?

Secondly, can anyone recommend a video, or at least a photo showing the perpendicular cuts mentioned by Williamson? I'm not sure what kind of frying he is talking about, or whether other cooking methods (smoking, grilling, etc.) would produce similar results.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

Michael

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morning Michael and welcome to the forum.

let me start by just letting you know we are a group of carp anglers that are predominantly "catch and release" carp anglers, so im not sure how many anglers on here will be able to help mate.

secondly a question, why would you want to eat a carp ? there not exactly the tastiest fish that swims in your waters Ive heard, and take a lot of preparation even before you dispatch it for cooking.

the folks on here will be more than pleased to give you advise on how to rig up and catch this majestic sport fish but please, don't kill them.

 catch and release carp fishing in Europe is worth $ 7,000000000 a year so you can imagine what sort of impact that would have on this great country's sporting industry if we can educate fisherman to respect the carp as a fun fish to catch and let go.

 that said however,at least in my state of Connecticut , there is actually a creel limit and size of fish you can take for eating so im not going to get on me soap box and preach about it being wrong in your state.

best person to ask on here about this is our president lain sorrel who has worked tirelessly to get the creel limits imposed.

ill make you a deal mate, if you promise to put the carp back that you catch ill send you a nice tasty trout to eat instead lol.

most of the anglers on here love carp as much as there mum and dad , i know i do, and would love carp fishing in this country to become as popular as it is in my homeland of England but the only way this is going to happen is by respecting the carp as a fantastic sport fish that is awesome to watch swim away to fight another day.

      

 

 

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The Carp Anglers Group has always promoted the careful handling ad catch and release of Trophy sized carp.

However there is an abundance of small carp in many waters and taking an occasional fish for the table is not only part of the American heritage but unlikely to impact carp populations. 

Fish under 8-10lb are safest to eat as larger fish are more likely to have accumulated toxins such as PCB's (some states recommend limiting consumption of fish to one meal a week and to avoided if pregnant etc). 

Good luck with your fishing and please help us protect the bigger carp by releasing them unharmed.

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Thank you for the replies so far. I know there are differing opinions on killing carp, so don't think I have not given this much thought. There was even a discussion here on the forum where some members wondered whether catch and release was even legal in Montana, since the fish and game laws consider them a nuisance species, which by definition are not allowed to be returned to the water. I think the regulations are just poorly written, but obviously, opinions are all over the map.

In my home state of Colorado, carp are officially classified as a game fish, but there is no bag or possession limit as there is with other game fish. There are numerous carp in many of our lakes and streams, and they are seriously under-fished. The pond where I am mostly interested in fishing is deeply silted and not well-maintained, resulting in an overabundance of carp, which can successfully compete with most other fish in the marginal habitat.

As for size, I would not want to try cleaning a large carp anyway. I was thinking that around ten pounds would be eating size, and removing stunted fish would actually benefit the overall population. Williamson, in his article, quotes studies showing that reducing the overall population of carp in a body of water tends to result in larger carp in the long term, rather than more numerous ones.

Lee, you stated that carp are not exactly the tastiest of fish. Have you actually tasted carp, or is this just based on rumor? In my research, I have run across numerous stories and videos of carp being prepared into very delicious meals. People who dismiss them as bad tasting seem to be relying more on the American opinion of them as trash fish, rather than on actual experience. I don't know if this is your situation, but as I begin my experience with carp, I wanted to make up my own mind. If I believed all the negative rumors about carp, I would never bother fishing for these nasty, bottom-feeding trash fish that do nothing but ruin the habitat and kill off all the "good" fish. :-)

Thanks again for taking the time and effort to reply.

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19 hours ago, (CT) Lee said:

secondly a question, why would you want to eat a carp ? there not exactly the tastiest fish that swims in your waters Ive heard, and take a lot of preparation even before you dispatch it for cooking

in answer to your question "Ive heard"

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Thanks for the honest answer. Right now, I'm eating pickles with hot sauce. I enjoy it very much, but not everyone appreciates it, unless they've experienced it personally. Cheers!

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On 3/8/2019 at 6:22 AM, michaelpthompson said:

Just got my new member welcome packet, and thanks! I've been reading the article "Cyprinus Carpio" by Bob Williamson. Very informative and enlightening.

On page 6, Williamson comments on carp physiology, mentioning Y bones, "Commercial processors and anglers who want to fry the filets usually make a series of perpendicular cuts across the filet. When done properly, the bones are dissolved by the hot grease allowing the fish to be eaten bones and all."

He also mentions red muscle mass, saying it can have a stronger taste due to the higher fat content in this tissue.

Now I've seen lots of different YouTube videos about cleaning and cooking carp. Some of them seem to result in very little meat because all the Y bones and red meat are cut away. Some even avoid the rib cage entirely, saying there's not enough meat there to bother with. So I have a couple of questions.

First, what experiences to people have with red meat and Y bones? Do you get rid of them, eat them, or some other alternative?

Secondly, can anyone recommend a video, or at least a photo showing the perpendicular cuts mentioned by Williamson? I'm not sure what kind of frying he is talking about, or whether other cooking methods (smoking, grilling, etc.) would produce similar results.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

Michael

Really don't know much about preparing carp to eat except this:  Nail the carp to a board of your choice, hold both over fire & cook 'til done, remove carp and eat board.....if I had a dollar for every time I told that jok.........um recipe............... 

I've posted these on here in the past before , but since the subject came up:

 

I came across one of these episodes years ago while TV channel surfing.  Now they're on youtube for your viewing pleasure.

A carp contest of sorts................

They waste no part of the carp...........................enjoy. :knifefork:

Oh and one last one, saved the best for last, LOL:

 

 

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Before I became a carp angler I caught my first carp on accident and decided I would take it home and eat it. It was a terrible idea, I'm sure people do like them, but to me, the meat was too soft and it also tasted like mud. I like mine on the end of my line from now on lol

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FWIW, the custodian of the science building at my Alma Mater said that carp kept his family fed during the Depression. They would catch the carp and put them in a spring fed horse trough for about two weeks to get the mud taste out of the fish. He also you need to get the mud vein out of the back or it will spoil the meat.

For me, if someone wants to keep a small carp to eat, I have no objection. That is better than shooting a bunch with arrows and leaving them to rot in the water or on the bank.

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On 3/9/2019 at 2:56 AM, (CT) Lee said:

...most of the anglers on here love carp as much as there mum and dad , i know i do...

so, you "lovingly" punch a steel bolt through mum's/dad's cheek; "lovingly" torture mum/dad for 10-20 min.; "lovingly" drag them underwater (or, other lethal environment) for an extended egocentric netting/matting/measuring/weigh-in/photo-op; then, magnanimously release them back into their living room ???

all you 100% C&R guys torture living creatures for your own entertainment -- ADMIT IT & LIVE WITH IT!!!   At least, I can tell myself I'm 90% honing my hunter/gatherer skills, for a 10% harvest.   Admittedly, anglers' ASTRONOMICAL financial impact heavily contributes to the protection/maintenance of said living creatures' habitats (so they have a place to thrive, to begin with) -- that's enough to assuage anyone's guilt & I'll get off my Devil's Advocate soapbox, before I get started on the laughable notions of "carp care"

...back to table-worthiness:

ALL the cypriniformes I've tasted (dozens & dozens of species) had sweet, mild, flaky, white meat riddled w/ intramuscular bones -- too inconvenient for most prissy, spoiled Westerners; excellent table fare for the rest of the World.  Carp are no different, but they are among the biggest, most voracious & long-living omnivores, so they will taste like their environment (progressively more so, w/ size).  It may be tough to find unpolluted waters where the mud they root in & vegetation they eat has no strong/unpleasant odor/flavor.  An excellent indicator of good "eatin' waters", is a large healthy crayfish population.

red muscle; aka, grey meat; aka, blood line; aka, lateral line, is essentially a sensory organ w/ much more blood flow, nerve endings & oil -- it's a softer, more delicate, stronger-flavored meat.  I rather like it in smaller fish, well-stored & cooked soon after capture, but it spoils MUCH faster then the rest of the fish (hence, the fishy reputation) -- best to cut it out of bigger fish, stored longer (esp., for grinding/fishcakes)

for all the "bone-dissolving" techniques/recipes (scoring/frying, canning, baking), research what Mid-Westerners do w/ suckers -- plenty info. out there...  works fine for carp <10# (pref., <5#)

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11 hours ago, philaroman said:

so, you "lovingly" punch a steel bolt through mum's/dad's cheek; "lovingly" torture mum/dad for 10-20 min.; "lovingly" drag them underwater (or, other lethal environment) for an extended egocentric netting/matting/measuring/weigh-in/photo-op; then, magnanimously release them back into their living room ???

yup.....

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First and most directly related to the thread. I found the meat to be quite good. Only had it once as I was learning about carp in general but still good. 

I ignorantly just filleted the carp like I would a normal large mouth or bluegill(hindsight I see better ways to prepare them). Fried it the same way as well. Small bones but in my opinion nothing to worry about or try to go around. 

 

Second and not related in reference to the above. 

On 3/10/2019 at 10:20 AM, philaroman said:

all you 100% C&R guys torture living creatures for your own entertainment -- ADMIT IT & LIVE WITH IT!!!   At least, I can tell myself I'm 90% honing my hunter/gatherer skills, for a 10% harvest.   Admittedly, anglers' ASTRONOMICAL financial impact heavily contributes to the protection/maintenance of said living creatures' habitats (so they have a place to thrive, to begin with) -- that's enough to assuage anyone's guilt & I'll get off my Devil's Advocate soapbox, before I get started on the laughable notions of "carp care"

 

Rationality and reality are often confused by the human brain. As we like to tell ourselves one thing when there is clear evidence of another. 

I will say that you are likely to be more correct than you are not in the 'torture' process called catch and release. However that is a far step from what you are telling yourself about your 'reality.' That fact is that your Hunting and Gathering skills are NOT AT ALL necessary in this world if you are using a computer to post your thoughts on eating types of meat. You can tell yourself what you do is so much better however I would be more likely to put us on an even playing field. Torturing for brief periods in numbers or killing small numbers. 

If I have taken you out of context or I have misunderstood the point of the first half of your post please let me know. 

If you would like to have a personal conversation on the matter I would love to hear your thoughts more on why catch and release is bad or why we rationalize it to be ok. Or even on the topic of hunting and gathering as possibly being a necessity in the world today as I am genuinely curious of all opinions that are not my own. 

 

On another secondary note. Your review of carp was fantastic. I don't have the proper level of intelligence or experience to think of or speak of any meat or food to that level. 

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Thanks everyone for the informative bits of your messages. I never intended this question to be a debate on catch and release. Fish are managed differently in different areas. Apparently, many of you are primarily sport and/or trophy fishers, and that makes sense when carp need to be protected. We have such fish here in Colorado too. Our official state fish, for instance, is the greenback cutthroat trout, and by law must be released immediately, except under extremely limited circumstances. It was once nearly extinct, but is now being restored to greater population, in part by catch and release. And most other game fish have bag limits appropriate to maintaining their population. It's a balance.

However, in Colorado, none of this is true of carp. Carp are overabundant in many waters, and certainly not endangered in any of them, as far as I am aware. We obviously fight the image many people have of carp as a bottom feeding trash fish that destroys habitat and crowds out other fish, just as those of you "back east" do. But I could eat my fill of carp every day without affecting their population in the least. There are some who advocate killing every carp  you catch because they are so prolific. I don't agree with that, but it illustrates how different our situation here is. Perhaps in the future, carp will become more popular at the dinner table and will have to be protected, but that is not true today.

So for now, at least I desire to catch a couple of ten pounders and try my luck at cooking and eating them. I'l keep you posted. And yes, I will release the larger ones.

Thanks again for the gracious and informative answers.

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I just finished a Hunter Education class this past Saturday. Only one chapter out of ten deals with hunting. Chapters 1 and 2 deal with game laws, ethics and responsibility. Chapter 9 deals with conservation; surprised? "Carrying capacity is the number of animals that the habitat can support all year long." Hunting and fishing are two ways that populaltions are controlled. The state of Tennessee has a 43 page booklet on fishing laws. Why? Each body of water is different- requiring different limits, seasons, etc. One size down't fit all. Which is worse- catching and releasing a fish or shooting it with an arrow and throwing it on the bank while still alive? Two British professors did a study and found that hooking a fish is not what everyone thinks.

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13 hours ago, (TN) Cannonball said:

 Which is worse- catching and releasing a fish or shooting it with an arrow and throwing it on the bank while still alive? Two British professors did a study and found that hooking a fish is not what everyone thinks.

Which is worse? I would vote for shooting the fish with an arrow and throwing it on the bank.  That poor fish will die, whereas the hooked & released carp will probably survive just fine. Is there a link to the study referenced?  I found a study that's interesting:  "Fish cannot feel pain say scientists"   https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/9797948/Fish-cannot-feel-pain-say-scientists.html

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Fishin' Ain't So Bad.

 

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On 3/9/2019 at 7:36 PM, pacarper said:

I've posted these on here in the past before , but since the subject came up:

Wow, thanks! Those were amazing. I think the purists among us were horrified at the ways the carp were treated, being dropped on the ground and such, and certainly at the third one, but I found the whole thing fascinating. The Japanese and Chinese people in these videos had an ultimate respect for the carp as a part of their cuisine.Seems like the water quality of the carp's habitat and the preparation and cooking techniques made a huge difference in the taste of a fish that gets so much derision here in the States. I liked the whole presentation. Much faster paced and complex compared to the US version of Iron Chef. I may even have to try some simpler versions of some of those recipes.

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Welcome to the Carp Anglers group Michael !!! 😎

As for eating the carp here in Colorado, as you have noted already, we have many lakes that are overpopulated with small carp <10 lbs, many stunted in growth.  We also have plenty of lakes jam packed with even smaller carp, even more stunted <7 lbs Eat away ! I do respect your decision to release the larger fish and would highly recommend releasing all grass carp in Colorado (CPW stocked those for algae control at considerable cost) and mirrors of any size and all/any MA quality fish.  

IF you have any questions about carp fishing here in Colorado, do drop me a message. I see you are a regular on FXR, what's your handle there? I admit, I am USELESS at remembering names !!!. Do drop into the Colorado forum here on the website, tell us a little about yourself....

http://www.carpanglersgroup.com/forum/index.php?/forum/215-co/ (Main Colorado Forum section)

http://www.carpanglersgroup.com/forum/index.php?/forum/216-co-meet-greet-questions/ (Meet and Great section)

There are  now a steadily growing number of CAG members from Colorado. We are generally all active on various facebook groups, if you are active there, drop me a message/friend as well.

Best Regards & welcome again ! 


John

Edited by (CO) JohnFinney

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Thanks for the welcome John. On FishExplorer, I am michaelpthompson. Michael Thompson on Facebook.

Got out fishing Tuesday afternoon in eighty degree weather. Carp were jumping all over, but none took my bait. Then our Colorado Spring rolled in with a blizzard. Nothing unusual for us.

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Some folks know how to prepare carp for the table:

https://www.joetessplace.com/go/home/

"It's as simple as that. Joe Tess Place began as a neighborhood tavern in the 1930s. The main attraction became the Famous Fish Sandwich itself. Cut carp portions were fried in a skillet, placed in a cookie jar and sold for 15 cents. Ever since, the humble carp has been the driving force behind Joe Tess Place. From its simple beginnings, Joe Tess Place is now a successful family restaurant in the tradition of friendly service and high quality fresh fish products. "

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"Catch and release" of common carp and silver carp is technically illegal in North Dakota, so if you catch a carp while fishing for something else, you may as well learn how to cook it.  

I think the easiest way, is to just fillet the fish, remove the red meat, put the white meat through a meat grinder on a fine setting, season it up, and make fish burgers.  If caught in clean water, carp (without the red meat) is very mild in flavor, and takes on the flavor of whatever seasoning you use.  You don't need egg or any binder for the fish burger, the ground meat seems to stick together pretty well.  Or, you could just fry the ground meat and make fish tacos.  I don't notice any of the Y-bones after grinding.  

Others have suggested cutting the meat in domino-shaped pieces, and pressure canning in a mason jar.  I have done this, and the little Y-bones seem to disappear.  It's claimed that the canned carp tastes like canned tuna, and I can confirm that.  

Regarding mercury, at least on measurements done on local fish, channel cats and carp have less mercury than, say, northern pike or walleye.  However, after a carp gets over 24 inches or so, the mercury level is higher, so I only use carp less than 24 inches for food.

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