Smoke 'em if you Caught 'em - LJ 10/20/18

Discussion in 'Southern California Inshore & Islands Fish Reports' started by kurtisw, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. kurtisw

    kurtisw Newbie

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Kurtis
    Boat:
    13ft Trident Yak, Bandito II - (22ft Cuddy Cabin "Bandito" SOLD)
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    FB_IMG_1540079715913[1].jpg

    Been too long since I posted.

    I missed you guys. Well, not really, 29.6% of you guys are bored dickhead trolls (you know em), the rest of you are good people that just want fishing info. So here it goes.

    Short:


    La Jolla is still loaded with bonito, even though the 1/2 day boat counts dipped a bit. Pt Loma is getting them.
    - Fun fishing
    - Weather warm and perfect. More of the same for the next week+
    - Water around 67 if that finder is accurate.
    - Crowds are dropping a bit, less yaks at launch
    - Worked just West of the closed zone, North of Children Pool
    - 48 to 78 ft of water (10 fathom line)
    - Yak 3 to 4.75 mph paddle troll speed

    Long:

    Sold the family boat after 25 years of SD fishing. Picked up a nice craigslist fishing Kayak after one trip with buddies yak, to get my salt fix. Been to LJ a few trips recently.

    Headed out at 6am from La Jolla shores ramp. Paddling at gray light with feathery offshore Santa Anna winds at my back was pretty zen. Different from the push of a V8 fishing rig.

    Before the sun heads over the La Jolla hills I put out a blue and white Rapala like troller. Take a sip of coffee and within 3 minutes of the lure entering the Pacific the line is zipping off. This continues for about 3 hours. Around 10 fish, kept 4. Solid size and great fun on 20lb. Another larger model actually got airborne as it hit the lure.

    Got'em on troll and also landed a few casting jigs (Braid Slammer 3-4oz). Remember Braid lures, before the colt craze... They still work fine. Landed YFT last week, YT a trip ago and Bonito this weekend. Casting on working fish and birds.

    Done and headed in at 9:30am. The stoke was high and didn't even feel like rigging up for bass. Another buddy was using the Halco and cleaned up on the troll also. Some of the yaks were surprised, having a slow day on bass and zero bonito. But they are around.

    After years of tossing back Bonito it was time.

    Bled 4 of the bigger ones as they were landed then put on about 10 lbs of ice at the front of the yak. Those soft Costco cooler bags for $7 make for the perfect Yak kill bag. You know the ones, every Costco loving soccer mom in Del Mar has one.

    Trimmed, left skin on and then did a 4.5 hour brine mix bath. Another 4.5 hours on the smoker. This made for a brilliant tasting smoked bonito. Take care of these fish and they will take care of you! This batch came out a good as last weeks Yellowfin tuna smoke fest we did.

    Simple 4.5 for 4.5 Smoked Recipe

    Brine
    • 1 Gallon Water
    • 1 cup rock sale
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • splash of Teriyaki
    • Boil and cool mix
    • 4.5 hour soak in frig or cooler (rough time, +- some is ok)
    Smoke
    • Coals, get them to a point of ash edges, top with Pecan Wood Chunks
    • Soak some wood chips in water, remove and add for extra smoke over the next few hours
    • Let fish drip dry on smoke rack before adding to hot smoker
    • Add to smoker
    • Stoke hourly to maintain a temp
    • 4.5 hour smoke 170 degrees
    • More or less depending on if you want crispy or just a bit firm
    Eat

    Smoked cream cheese dips work great with this. Google a few.
    Or
    Use as a fill-in for tuna salad, sandwiches or on tostada



    bonito.jpg

    Overnight Tribute Trip - Two Weeks ago.

    Side Tuna Trip.
    10-12-19

    Took a trip overnight on the Tribute at Seaforth. Limits of fun small YFT, YT and Skippies for our group of guys.

    That was a great boat to fish on, solid crew. The boat took 15-20knot winds all day from 6 am into the evening as the lighting storm/rain rolled into SD. We fished the one choppy day for weeks and still got limits style fishing. That was the dedication from the crew all working the fancy binocs to find kelp.

    Tight Lines Players

    20181012_151357[1].jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
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  2. the SLIDER

    the SLIDER https://multimediabylj.com

    Location:
    Dana Point
    Name:
    L J
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    arima - the SLIDER
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    Sounds about right.

    Clean informative thread. Thanks for the smoked fish recipe.
     
  3. ssrmr2

    ssrmr2 Member

    Location:
    Cypress
    Name:
    STEVE
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    17' montauk "Anger Management"
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    nice report. thanks for the brone recipe if the weekend works out I may try it
     
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  4. Reel hip

    Reel hip Meet my "Well known Member"

    Location:
    San Diego
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    Doug
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    As one of the few. 29.6 % . I appreciate your report. Bonita has gotten a bad rap A lot has changed since the burlap sack days.

    SMOKE EM IF YOU GET EM !
     
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  5. kurtisw

    kurtisw Newbie

    Location:
    San Diego
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    Kurtis
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    13ft Trident Yak, Bandito II - (22ft Cuddy Cabin "Bandito" SOLD)
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    True, burlap sack and sunny 75 degrees for 6 hours makes for bad any fish.

    Bleed, ice, fast. We are lucky the fleet has been good adding RSW.
     
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  6. ror_sal

    ror_sal "I'm too drunk to taste this chicken"

    Location:
    San Diego
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    Rory
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    fish and chicks
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    Thanks for the detailed report!

    Don’t be scared to eat some of that as sashimi and poké while you’re waiting on the brine and smoke. Just stick a good loin in the freezer wrapped in a little plastic wrap. Once it’s firm, just slice or cube it up. Just as good as any sashimi. Little different taste and really rich.
     
  7. grahams98

    grahams98 Member

    Location:
    Dexter, OR
    Name:
    Steve
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    Thanks for the report. I had some smoked YT on the San Diego several weeks ago that was really great that has me hooked. Will try the brine as I have been meaning to smoke some of the YFT I have in the freezer.
     
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  8. PacificPredator

    PacificPredator Captain

    Location:
    LBC
    Name:
    Brad
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    29' Phoenix Sportfisher
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    Great post and info, got me hungry!
    thanks
     
  9. Killin n grillin

    Killin n grillin x-h20 certified

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Rob n Emily
    Boat:
    87 Montauk ,Grady 180
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    Thanks for the great informative write up kurtisw ! I too had to find out for myself .As I have been returning to sender my bone yard catch for years now,only to find out it's totally true these fish get a bad rap .I think a lot if stems from people regurgitating stories of failed attempts at success keeping the meat quality good or just horrible recipe's when eating these fish .With the the bonito having reputation as an oily fish, for my smoke i chose to try a dry brine in an attempt to keep the meat firm, remove some of the oils ,but not the flavors.What I is found preparing the fillets is key .With the fish still firm from being iced, i filleted them in 1/4's removing the lateral lines,bones and all the skin as well as the rib cage ect. and cleaned up any remaining blood line that remained so the filets were totally clean .This step is key as those parts of the fish have a distinctly fishy taste especially on the bones .My dry brine ingredients are as follows

    The Dry Brine Ingredients
    3/4 cup of brown sugar to a 3/4 cup of kosher salt (or 1:1 ratio) also 1/4cup of reg granulated sugar and a 1/8 cup of sea salt ,mix ingredients well in a bowl then put a layer of your mix in a pyrex so you can cover your filets making sure that all of your filets are completely covered as you layer .Cover pyrex in plastic wrap refrigerate for 4-5 hours .Remove lightly rinse to remove salt sugar cure. Place on metal pan lined with towel to dry filets for 2 hours ( i place in oven with no heat on to dry)

    Time to Smoke !
    I used a Traeger pellet grill using a mix blend of smoke pellets from Costco so it has digital temp control which i set at 180 for two hour smoke ,let cool a bit and Enjoy!

    For the meal we ended up making a homemade version of surf and turf tacos (which were dynamite) mind you this a weekday meal not a gourmet meal by any standard but delicious none the less (excuse the mess) and the smoked bone is even better today the day after at room temp than it was last night .This will be great as a sammich or on a crackers mad as a dip as above ^^^ or as just plain smoked fish . Check it !!!

    Salt cured dried and ready for the smoker
    IMG_1603.jpg IMG_1606.jpg IMG_1609.jpg IMG_1611.jpg IMG_1612.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
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  10. kurtisw

    kurtisw Newbie

    Location:
    San Diego
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    Kurtis
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    Will try poke and sashimi next time. Co-worker made ceviche with it and its great too.
     
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  11. kurtisw

    kurtisw Newbie

    Location:
    San Diego
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    Kurtis
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    Lots of people like the dry style, its is on my list to experiment with, Costco ribs to start on this weekend! Then circle back to fish after my next score.

    Agree, all the bits of bloodline need to be trimmed well for optimal taste.
     
  12. karlow

    karlow Twins 2017

    Location:
    Duarte/Covina
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    karl
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    20' skippy Topless /17' whaler Wet Ride (sold) /18' Outrage
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    That looks great! For my smoke these days it 3 hours wet brime, Rinse about 15 - 20 min to dry and glaze and 3 hrs in the smoker. It's an electric smoker. Its set for 225, but its under powered and spends most of it time around 190F or so. The main problem is cleaning all the racks and crap! I use a water tray with chopped garlic onion amd lemon when I smoke.
    Good eats!
     
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  13. Grandpa

    Grandpa Old Guy

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    Ron
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    I just tried cold smoking (160 to 165 degrees)
    a load of BFT bellies.
    Took a little longer (about 3 hours vs. 2).
    Best bellies yet. More moist and flavorful.
    Side benefit was the clean up after.
    Much easier than at 200 to 225 degrees...
     
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  14. Bradleyjbush

    Bradleyjbush Newbie

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    bradley
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    That smoked fish looks really good!! Thanks for the detailed report! I cant wait to get a yak and try out PL.
     
  15. plj46

    plj46 I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
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    jim
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    What would the internet be without trolls ? and 29.6 % ? it's probably more like 85% :jig:
     
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  16. Sea Pro Pete

    Sea Pro Pete Newbie

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    Great and informative report and all other's comments,but best title ever..!.
     
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  17. kurtisw

    kurtisw Newbie

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Kurtis
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    I like the term "cold smoke". The 160 to 180 has been rough target. It varies over a 4 hr period. The eyeball and poke test at hour 3 and 4 is how I check it.

    Fillet thickness and temps make it vary. Recently I have done 4 big batches testing.

    That picture has some dark filets at the top. A simple teriyaki bath, 4hrs and then smoke. It was sweet and the wife loved it. Candy bonito.

    Going to experiment with more of that, plus test thin strips to get a batch of firm end like texture across the entire strip.
     
  18. slayrider

    slayrider Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    So Cal
    Name:
    John Pawlak
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    Coastal Kayak
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    Great write up...never had any luck smoking them but will try again...thanks
     
  19. Dannyak

    Dannyak Newbie

    Location:
    Torrance
    Name:
    Steve Dann
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    Another good use of bonito is to chop it up and make spicy bonito out of it. Virtually indistinguishable from spicy tuna. You just add mayo, siracha, and sesame seeds. You can drop it on rice in a bowl or roll it with cucumbers, sprouts, avocado, and sushi rice inside nori. My wife stopped telling me to throw back the bonito when she tried this.
     
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