Fish On! Secret to Enjoy Spanish Mackerel

My second favorite “noise” aboard — after the diesel is quiet and the water is sluicing past the hull, is the ziiing our trolling pole makes when it’s “Fish On”!

Yum! Fresh fish for dinner!  We were fortunate enough to hear that ziiing not once but twice while sailing yesterday … two Spanish Mackerels on the trolling pole with a silver spoon lure. Fishing Pole  Usually Spanish Mackerel are about 1 – 3 lbs, not huge fish.

Spanish Mackerel is one of the more common fish we catch, but some people don’t like to eat them, saying they taste “fishy”.   I don’t like “fishy” fish and I love Spanish Mackerel.

Of course, the fresher it is, the better.  We’ll be feasting on ours within hours of catching them, David cleaned them while we were still out sailing.  (Note:  Spanish Mackerel is also a “bloody fish” – they’ll fight and flip around and no guessing where specs of red will end up.)

While we were still in Belize, the first edible fish we caught trolling was a Spanish Mackerel.   We were lucky to be buddy boating with a couple that’s favorite fish is Spanish Mackerel.  Mike taught David the “secret” to cleaning Spanish Mackerel (although I don’t think it’s a “secret”, it’s just another thing we didn’t know!).

Spanish Mackerel differs from Cero Mackerel in that the yellow spots on Spanish Mackerel are round spots, on Cero Mackerel, they're elongated dashes.

Spanish Mackerel differs from Cero Mackerel in that the yellow spots on Spanish Mackerel are round spots, on Cero Mackerel, they’re elongated dashes.

The “secret” is to cut out the bloodline before you finish filleting.  What do I mean?  Here are a few pics illustrating — if you don’t like blood & gore, don’t look.

First cut behind the gills as usual.

First cut behind the gills as usual.

Filet the fish as usual.

Filet the fish as usual.

Now that you have a fillet with the skin on, take the skin off which will expose the bloodline.

Now that you have a fillet with the skin on, take the skin off which will expose the bloodline.

The bloodline is very obvious - you'll see it the minute you start cutting the skin off the fillet.  Now just cut it out - this usually makes 2 smaller fillets out of one larger one, but that's fine.  Just be sure to remove all the red meat.

The bloodline is very obvious – you’ll see it the minute you start cutting the skin off the fillet. Now just cut it out – this usually makes 2 smaller fillets out of one larger one, but that’s fine. Just be sure to remove all the red meat.

Rinse in a VERY light solution of fresh water and lemon juice -- be careful, if you have too much lemon juice, you'll have ceviche -- which is a treat in itself.  But if you want to bake or grill the fillets, you don't want the lemon juice to

Rinse in a VERY light solution of fresh water and lemon juice — be careful, if you have too much lemon juice, you’ll have ceviche — which is a treat in itself. But if you want to bake or grill the fillets, you don’t want the lemon juice to “cook” them first. I rinse them in fresh water if I’m not going to cook them for a couple hours.

How about you?  Love Spanish Mackerel or hate it?  Try removing the bloodline & let us know if your opinion changes.  Leave a comment and share.  Cheers!  Jan

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Always like to let mackerel and most other fish set in salt water solution for a couple of hours before cooking. Never tried the lemon juice approach. Will add it to my to list. Merry Christmas to you and all the family.

    • Hi Ron! Soak it in salt water solution? How much salt water — is it a mix of fresh & salt water? I want to try it your way too! Cheers! Merry Christmas to you & all your family as well! HUGS! Jan

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