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stump

Summer adventure season starting

18 posts in this topic

So, one of my bucket list items is catching and landing a 100+lbs halibut from my kayak.  Last several years I've been frustrated by such things as new babies and grad school keeping me from having the time during Washington State's absurdly short halibut season to get out and fish for them.  We typically get around 3-4 days a year to chase halibut.  I was all set to head out to Neah Bay right up until yesterday when the forecast (which hasn't changed since then) was calling for 5-8ft surf and 7-8ft swells.  Being in a kayak, for where I intended to fish, it's a beach launch through the surf zone to get out to the fishing grounds.  Even if I was willing to brave 7-8ft swells (and that's beyond my comfort zone) that surf height would almost guarantee I'd get flipped on the way back in.  I've never gotten hurt doing that (yet at least), but I have broken equipment.  So that's a no-go.  Grrr.  Just have to hope those conditions keep enough power boats in port to leave enough catch quota remaining for them open it up again next week.

 

Meantime, since I can't go to the coast I'm going to go to my church's annual men's retreat.  It will be a great chance to spend quality time with my best friend and many other good men from the church.  Bonus that it's on the south end of Whidbey Island, and there's a couple bays just 15 minutes from the retreat location that are supposed to be good for halibut fishing.  So, I'm bringing the kayak and fishing gear, and early in the morning on Saturday (halibut is open Thursday and Saturday this week) I'll head out there for a couple/three hours and see if I can luck into one.  If not I may try again Saturday evening if time permits.  I'll also try fishing for ling cod on Friday after work on my way to the retreat, and possibly on Sunday after the retreat wraps up.  Might as well have a go.  Never know if I'll get to fish halibut next week until Tuesday or Wednesday anyway.

 

Other trips planned for the summer include a bunch of crabbing from the kayaks with my family, and once the salmon are in I'll try to get out a few times a week before or after work for a couple hours each time.  Plus there's the Oregon Rockfish Classic (kayak fishing tournament) I've gone to the last several years that will be July 15 this year.  Later in the summer I'll head up to scout a new area for deer hunting, and since there's a decent chance for a bear I'll bring my rifle and bear tag along.  That spot will involve 14 miles of paddling my kayak plus a 1.5 mile portage in the middle of the paddle, and a 3 mile hike with 4000ft of elevation gain (each way).  Hopefully I'll get to take each of the 2 older kids camping and trout fishing at some point this summer too.  Then there is deer hunting in mid-October, and elk hunting in early November.

 

I'll try to update this thread throughout the summer with pictures and stories.  Hope I can be of some inspiration to other PWP's out there, and if not, I hope you all at least enjoy the reports.

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I hope you find joy in the Men's Retreat and are able to fish as often as you can, Stump!

 

Dianne

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Glad to see others with PD are out enjoying life as much as possible. I have found when I am traveling and doing what I love my symptoms are less severe and overall I feel a lot better.

Good luck.

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I'm so glad to hear that, Adam.  I think doing what you are doing can be so refreshing.

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Stump, what all you are planning takes my breath away!  You must be in tip-top shape,and good for you! :-)

How do you cook the halibut?  And the salmon and rockfish and trout?  What kind of crabs do you catch?

I had bear--just once-- and that was enough!  (I got part of the old bear, and that may be why it was....gross.)   :-)   Love squirrel on toast, though, and duck!

It's wonderful that you take your kids with you when you can.

We'll look forward to your reports-- In the meantime have a wonderful time at the men's retreat!

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6 hours ago, Linda Garren said:

Stump, what all you are planning takes my breath away!  You must be in tip-top shape,and good for you! :-)

How do you cook the halibut?  And the salmon and rockfish and trout?  What kind of crabs do you catch?

I had bear--just once-- and that was enough!  (I got part of the old bear, and that may be why it was....gross.)   :-)   Love squirrel on toast, though, and duck!

It's wonderful that you take your kids with you when you can.

We'll look forward to your reports-- In the meantime have a wonderful time at the men's retreat!

Not really tip top shape, but I try to do as much as I can anyway.  And getting in better shape is part of the point of that.

 

Cooking halibut is pretty dependant on personal tastes, but basically any recipe you could use any other white fish you can use halibut for the same dish.  If I get a decent amount of fillets I'll probably smoke some this year.  Other than that, I like some simpler baked or grilled dishes with a little butter or oil, a decent dusting with salt and pepper, some herbs (I like tarragon with fish though I do use others as the mood strikes), maybe a lemon slice and cook until just getting flaky.  Don't over cook it!  

 

Another dish my wife and MIL like with halibut is to dust the fillet with a salted/spiced/herbed flour, dunk in scrambled (raw) eggs then coat in bread or cracker crumbs and press into some shredded paramsean cheese.  Then pan fry until cooked through and serve with a nice salad of your liking.

 

The best part of the halibut, bar none, is the cheeks (ling cod too, though it needs to be at least an 8lb ling before the cheeks are big enough to bother cutting out).  For that I get really simple.  Melt some butter (or use bacon fat), sprinkle the cheeks with salt, sautee some garlic in the butter (if I want to be fancy add some fresh herbs to the butter too and sautee until fragrant), then cook the cheeks until barely cooked through, turning after a couple minutes.  The flavor is a really good halibut fillet flavor, but with a texture more like scallops.

 

Ling cod and rockfish often get cooked the same as the halibut above.  I'll also use them for fried fish (though cabezon is my preferred species of frying as it holds up best to frying, and isn't as good as just a baked/grilled fillet) and will serve the pieces as either fish-n-chips or for tacos.

 

Salmon usually gets smoked.  If not there are a few baked fillets I've done, but none were remarkable enough to note.  I did make rilletts once with some salmon I got from a hatchery.  Because they were spawned out fish they weren't worth grilling or baking.  So I smoked half the fillets, and poached the other half.  Then shredded them and mixed them with sour creme, lemon juice and zest, salt, butter, green onion, and parsley.  Then packed the mix tightly into jars and topped with melted butter.  Keeps for several days (maybe up to a week) in the fridge and freezes very well.

 

Trout, if I keep them, which I only will if they are wild or are a holdover from a previous year's stocking, typically get baked or grilled whole as they're too small most of the time to be worth filleting.  Best is if you have a campfire to wrap the fish in aluminum foil with butter, onion slices, a lemon slice and any herbs/spices you want and toss that on some coals.

 

Predominant crabs out here are Dungeness Crabs.  They taste very similar to Atlantic blue crabs, but are about 4 times the size.  We also get red rock crabs sometimes.  They definitely aren't as good, but still very much worth keeping.  In the Puget Sound the limits on crab for sport fishing is 5 per person per day, minimum 6.25" carapace, male (never seen a female that was a legal keeper at that size anyway) and hardshell only.  Red rock are 5" minimum, either sex, limit of 6 per day.  You're allowed 2 traps per person and up to 4 traps per boat.  2 traps is all I can manage on the kayak anyway.

 

Only bear meat I've had was made into sausage.  Bear meat is something (when served as a steak or roast at least) that most people either love or hate.  I think a lot of it has to do with how the meat is cared for from the moment the shot is fired until it gets frozen.  Just like with deer and elk you can ruin otherwise fantastic meat if you don't keep it clean and get it cold quickly.  The other big factor is the bear's diet.  Because they're omnivores the time of year and the food available makes a huge difference as it can vary considerably during the year.  In the spring they're often feeding on forbes, grass, and whatever else they can find.  By fall depending on where they live they might be eating berries all day long, or spawned out salmon.  If there are people nearby they might be eating garbage.  A spring bear that's been eating flowers, forbes and grass will probably taste sort of close to grass fed beef.  A berry stuffed bear will have a sweeter taste and probably have a very dark meat.  A bear eating spawned out salmon will probably taste like a tidal mud flat, and a garbage eating bear will probably taste like, well, garbage.  If someone gets bad bear meat, whether due to poor care or poor diet, they usually fall into the "hate it" camp and never try it again.

 

One thing about bear meat (and also cougar/mountain lion meat - which I've been told is like the best pork you ever had) is they should always be assumed to contain trichinella parasites.  So, cook it accordingly.  Minimum temperature to kill the parasites is 137F, but that must be held for about an hour.  160F will kill them basically instantly.  In between is, well, in between for time at temperature.

 

Had squirrel stew once which was quite good.  Rabbit can be really tasty too.  Haven't duck hunted yet, but would love to if I could find the time.  I live in the best county in all of WA for duck hunting.  But too many other hobbies right now.

Edited by stump
proof reading

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Mostly self taught.  Mom taught me some, but mostly it my own experiments.

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Well, I think that is a wonderful talent, Stump!  And thanks for taking the time to write out the details that you did.

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Wow Stump, you sure do make those fish entrees sound good, you really must be quite a cook!

I'll pass on the squirrel and rabbit dishes though .........I'm a vegetarian, do eat fish though.......

 

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Stump, your adventures are very interesting.  Hiking, hunting, trekking, kayaking, fishing and now cooking.  You could do a reality show, but the camera and production crew would rob you of the quiet and solitude that you seem to seek in nature.  Keep up the good stories please.  And be safe!

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Yep, nothing like Nature for quiet and solitude, I so love those 2 things!  Hard to come by these days.  We have to make it "happen."

Well, said Jb...........as always!

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Men's retreat went well.  Main topic was perceverance, and Hebrews 12:1-2.

 

Got out for halibut Saturday morning.  Didn't catch anything, but it was very good to get out and give it a go.  Thinking about a thunder run out to the coast for (likely) final halibut day on Thursday.

 

I was very worn out Sunday night, but at least that meant I was able to sleep well.

 

jb49 - It's the solitude that I'm after in many cases.  If not it's the chance for a shared experience with my closest friends.  Camera crews would ruin that.  So, you all will have to settle for reading my reports and seeing the occasional photo.  😀

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I have taken the mantra have PD will travel and been fortunate enough to do so...Since my DX I have been to Italy with my mom & sister. Thank God we took her because she could never go now with the medical issues. My husband & I renewed our 25 Anniversary wedding vows on the beach in Hawaii. I highly recommend the wedding vow renewal-even in your backyard. The whole for better or worse sickness & health part takes on a whole new meaning with a life changer like PD.  I'm going to keep going as long as can! I'm going to keep hiking those trails! 

Keep fighting my friends!

 

34158347140_6a8fec5409_z.jpg

 

LAD

Edited by LAD
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There will be quite a few friends coming over on Sunday afternoon.  To start getting ready for that I have a brisket soaking in a brine solution in my fridge.  I had hoped to give it closer to 9 or 10 days in the brine, but the 6 I was able to make happen will have to do.  Rather than boiling it like true corned beef I'll be smoking it.  That's closer to pastrami, but I won't be doing the traditional pastrami coating of peppercorns and coriander seeds on the outside.  So it will be somewhere between those 2 types of meat.  Hoping it turns out well.  If not, at least it won't have cost a fortune.  I got the brisket for $2.32/lb, so even with all the salt and spices that went into the brine I'm only out maybe $35 if it doesn't work out.  Hate to lose even that much, but at least it's not some hideously expensive cut of beef, or worse yet a precious elk roast.  I'd cry if I ruined something like an elk roast.

 

BUT, if this does turn out well I'll give another couple tries before hunting season.  Then if we get another elk (I'm really hoping Thing 1 draws an antlerless tag) I'll see how it works with corning an elk roast.  If I get a bear I'm going to try making bear bacon if at all possible (e.g. if it's fatty enough, and if I cut it correctly in the field).  If not, corned bear roast is high on the list to try.

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Brisket turned out fantastic.  

 

Next time I'll let it brine longer - it was obvious when I cut into it that the brine hadn't fully penetrated to the middle yet.  Typical brine time for the size of brisket I had would have been 10-15 days and I only gave it 6-6.5 days. Otherwise no changes.

 

Definitely going to try this with some game meat when I have more available.  Next up though, I think, will be a pork belly and making my own bacon.

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Spent the last 3 days crabbing in the Puget Sound from my kayak.  Started Saturday morning and wound up spending the night at our friend's home since we didn't finish cooking that days catch until pretty late.  Turned the pots again after church on Sunday, then headed home to atke care of the chickens.  Monday morning (today) went back and pulled all the pots and called it a weekend.  Didn't do nearly as well as I'd hoped, and I think that more than once someone else took crab from my pots, but we still wound up with around 15-16 keeper size Dungeness crabs.  For those not familiar, 1 dungie is a pretty large meal for my wife and older kids, and 1-1.5 makes a meal for us guys depending on what else is being served.  Compared to the blue crabs on the east coast, it would take a good 3-4 blues to equal the meat on one dungie.  If I can get a picture or two from DW I'll post them.  Shared a bunch with our friends.  Rest we still need to shuck and freeze, which we'll do tomorrow.

 

Got the kayak fishing tournament on the Oregon coast coming up in just under 2 weeks.  Before that we're heading to Idaho for a few days.  Going to take the kids to a waterpark one day and hit a lake the other couple of days.

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21 hours ago, stump said:

Spent the last 3 days crabbing in the Puget Sound from my kayak.  Started Saturday morning and wound up spending the night at our friend's home since we didn't finish cooking that days catch until pretty late.  Turned the pots again after church on Sunday, then headed home to atke care of the chickens.  Monday morning (today) went back and pulled all the pots and called it a weekend.  Didn't do nearly as well as I'd hoped, and I think that more than once someone else took crab from my pots, but we still wound up with around 15-16 keeper size Dungeness crabs.  For those not familiar, 1 dungie is a pretty large meal for my wife and older kids, and 1-1.5 makes a meal for us guys depending on what else is being served.  Compared to the blue crabs on the east coast, it would take a good 3-4 blues to equal the meat on one dungie.  If I can get a picture or two from DW I'll post them.  Shared a bunch with our friends.  Rest we still need to shuck and freeze, which we'll do tomorrow.

 

Got the kayak fishing tournament on the Oregon coast coming up in just under 2 weeks.  Before that we're heading to Idaho for a few days.  Going to take the kids to a waterpark one day and hit a lake the other couple of days.

Good luck! My son is a kayak guy. No fishing though. He just got back from Belize and told me a kayaking adventure he had out on the ocean -- he gave me gray hair! To be that young....

Enjoy!!! 

 

LAD

 

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