OUR NUMBER ONE RECOMMENDED FISHING PUBLICATION:
|Photo by Peter Griffiin http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=5451&picture=cooked-fish|
SPORT FISH OF THE GULF OF MEXICO
by Vic Dunaway and Kevin BrantAAB RECOMMENDED FOR KEEPING ON YOUR BOAT OR WITH YOUR TACKLE BOX
ISBN 13 978-0936240183
8.3 inches by 5.3 inches, .o5 inches thick, fits most larger tackle boxes. Available on Kindle, Book run about $12.
At last an actual fishing book about the hottest salt water fishing area in America, the Gulf Coast. The illustrations are priceless when it comes to identifying what's on your hook or in your ice chest. Identifying what you've caught can keep you in compliance with fishing regulations and save you many headaches. Fish identification is also handy when you are wondering whether or not to keep that fish you've never seen before that you just brought up while targeting another species. This guide also rates each species for game qualities (what kind of fight the fish gives) and edibility. One complaint that some readers had about the book was that the authors seemed to have never encountered a fish they didn't deem tasty.
Such fishermen have usually mastered Cajun cooking, which makes alligator quite tasty. It is true that some gulf fish are easier to prepare and lend themselves to a variety of preparation methods. Unfortunately the book doesn't get very deep into fish preparation. So you will want to develop some local knowledge on the most desirable species. But its all good, and if you master Cajun cooking you can make everything in the ice box that this book labels edible, tasty. Here, let me fix the book's one flaw for you right now. Buy yourself a Cajun Cook Book like the one below.
All right now you are ready to cook whatever you land, just like us Cajuns with confidence that you can make it taste great.
One of the things that we love about the book SPORT FISH OF THE GULF OF MEXICO is that the book also identifies quite a bit of the typical "by-catch", non game species that you are liable to pick up. This is where advanced Cajun cookery comes in. We have uses for some of those "rough fish" like certain species of drum and even gar fish. These can be gutted and scaled, wrapped in cheese cloth and boiled in Zataran's Crab Boil ( a Louisiana spice product that I've found as far north as Maryland). The meat can then be flaked off the skeleton in great quantities and is often indistinguishable from Blue Crab. If you ever eat "crab stuffed flounder" in New Orleans and are pleased with the price, there was probably a recent run of flounder in nearby waters and the stuffing was Zataran's boiled rough fish. Real blue crab would always be the most expensive ingredient in such a dish, because there is so much hand labor involved in cleaning blue crab and you get so little meat per unit. The rough fish can be had for pennies a pound as "by-catch" and properly prepared can not be distinguished from blue crab prepared the same way. Those pesky sting rays have edible "wings'. scaled and skinned , a cookie cutter can make "scallop" shaped chunks of wing which fry up just like "scallops". You found inexpensive scallops in a restaurant, you probably just ate sting ray. Well, I'm digressing from the book review too much.
This tackle box recommendation book will insure that you get to shore with a box full of legal edible fish. You can either find other sources of information on what's best and easiest to prepare or learn Cajun cooking and follow our national motto; "don't worry bout nutting!"
The book is a bit light on fishing technique how to information but does provide basic tackle and preferred bait information for each species. If your name doesn't end in "aux" or exhibit other Franco phonic tendencies and you weren't born on the bayou in a Lafitte skiff's "picking box" ( used to separate by catch from the trawl contents and sort target species by size), and you fish the Gulf Coast, you need this book.
Of course we wouldn't presume to sell this book to "Registered Cajuns". The true "Registered Cajun" simply walks down to the waters edge , opens his ice box and announces to the fish that "it would go easier on you if you just surrender now and jump in the box."
"Yankees" (anyone from north of Baton Rouge) have difficulty believing this story until they see it for themselves. This practice is rarely observed by Yankees and almost never spoken of in their presence because us Cajuns really don't like to show off and we don't want to be accused of telling "tall tales". We think of such stories as simply "objective truths".
Really if you fish down here on the Gulf Coast you'll want this book in your tackle box.
Click on the book cover to order