Kelch’s pamphlet has suggestions for how to use the bigger fish (20+ inches), including creating mock lobster and shrimp dishes. While that mark has since been broken by a 32 pound, 12 ounce fish, these fish can be consistently caught from May to … For smaller fish (12 to 15 inches) Kelch suggests treating them just as you would walleye: dredge or batter and fry, being careful not to overcook them. Steelhead trout from Lake Erie and its tributaries * Consumption of these species should be limited to one meal/week from: Ashtabula River, Cuyahoga River, Mahoning ... • Vary the types of fish you catch and eat. In the cold water of Lake Erie, expect to find lake trout, chinook salmon, steelhead/rainbow trout, brown trout, coho salmon and atlantic salmon. This was an EXCELLENT way to have Sheepshead. They are found along the shores of Lake Erie. The truth is that all of the fish in Lake Erie are safe to eat. Such is the public opinion of Aplodinotus grunniens Rafinesque, colloquially sheepshead, the freshwater drum caught in Lake Erie. Apparently, indigenous people used them as amulets and fishermen put them in their pockets for good luck. I love Lake Erie sheephead fishing they're hard hitters and hard fighters. I catch them all the time on Lake Erie (they put up a great fight). If you haven't eaten one, is it because you were told not to or because you tried it and didn't like it? (It’s also regarded as one of the most sustainable fish to eat… I would catch the bug buggers, fillet them out, and then slice them relatively slim and fry in Louisiana fish fry. While walleye and perch are the stars of the show when it comes to Lake Erie fishing, there are other species that are great to target as well. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. I have been fishing on the shores of Lake Erie since I was a child. Throwing them back probably isn’t the best description of what the gentleman was doing. This is especially important with larger sheepshead. We can change that. Please support high-quality local journalism. The best way was cooked like a salmon patty. While they can be successfully frozen for a couple of months, we don’t recommend it. They can be found in the shallow, weedy harbors to the deep rocky shoals offshore in the main lake. They’re said to feed heavily on small fish and bait throughout the fall months, whereas during the spring they feed more on aquatic insects. You’ve always dreamed of that day when you reeled in so many big fish you wanted your arms to fall off. Similarly, sheepshead have been subjected to an underserved prejudice brought on by a lack of understanding, except unlike with yellow perch it hasn’t gone away. An added bonus: Sheepshead are caught by Ohio fishermen—you can’t say that about walleye. All the sheepshead were caught on either jigs or shiners off the bottom. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/21). As for obtaining sheepshead, they are fun to catch and provide a nice fight. I need sum. I would bet my last dollar that if you have fished in Lake Erie you have run into a sheepshead. At this time of year, sheepshead can be found schooled up and roaming offshore feeding on small fish and baitfish (like gizzard shad). Fishing brings over a billion dollars to Ohio's economy, and Lake Erie and its tributaries are a major reason why. my Brother Rob lands the big fish of the day a huge lake Erie DRUM. For fans of Lake Erie fish, there’s nothing like yellow perch. – So, what fish are safe to eat from Lake Erie? All rights reserved (About Us). ... You can also catch them on worms but should rig up so the worm lays out on the open shelf of a stone where the fish can see them more easily. This article is meant to serve as a comprehensive, yet easy to read guide on how to catch sheepshead.. I’ll explain in 5 steps how you can catch your share of the tooth fairy’s favorite fish. I'm asking you the people of Cleveland. Lake Erie is the southern edge of habitat for burbot (pronounced bur’-bit here), a big, eel-like, mottled-patterned fish that hangs out on the bottom of the lake. In the 1880s those who fished Lake Erie believed yellow perch were poisonous. These fish are really making a mark on the local fishing scene, with a state record fish of over 31 pounds coming from Lake Erie waters in 2002. If you doubt Kelch’s wisdom, next time you’re talking to a lake fisherman ask him or her for an opinion on eating sheepshead—we can just about guarantee the response will be something along the lines of “They’re gross.” Next, ask the fisherman if he or she has ever tried eating one— nine out of 10 times (conservatively) the response will be in the negative. I followed the recipe and then added some madras curry and cumin to the batter. If you go by what the EPA recomends you won't be eating many fish you catch. According to the New York State Department of Health, there are limitations on what fish you can eat based on your age and gender. Freshwater Drum (Sheepshead) is firm like its saltwater cousin and takes to blackening the same way. These Eurasian bivalves have a nasty habit of filtering water to the point where it cannot support plankton, thereby wreaking havoc on native food chains. The flesh of sheepshead is quite delicious. Because of their high oil content, sheepshead don’t keep as well as perch or walleye. Sheepshead are not best enjoyed whole and on the bone, or head-on and split as many enjoy the also underutilized white bass. I catch them on Lake Erie sometimes when I'm perch or walleye fishing.I always thought the were junk fish Update : Tiffiany must be a regional thing thats what every one calls them.In fact I was watching Michigan Out of Doors this morning and they caught one and called it a sheepshead Face your fears, come to the dark-side, try to eat a sheepshead and you might just be glad you did!! We particularly like the two featured recipes for cooking with larger sheepshead. 2019 Ohio Sport Fish Consumption Advisory _____ Page . When I was younger, we use to eat them all the time. Every region has its so-called “trash fish.” Monkfish, black bass, even lobster all had to conquer bad reputations before becoming revered as the prime table fare they are today. We know better now. If you have, how did you cook it? Years ago, Lake Erie was extremely polluted, so badly that some of the rivers that fed it actually caught fire from all the chemical wastes. my Brother Rob lands the big fish of the day a huge lake Erie DRUM. When I was younger, we use to eat them all the time. And they didn’t gain acceptance overnight. Ice the fish right after it’s caught. It started with a text message to the local fishmonger: Hey, can u get me sheepshead for Fri or Sat pickup? Such is the public opinion of Aplodinotus grunniens Rafinesque, colloquially sheepshead, the freshwater drum caught in Lake Erie. Kate’s Fish, at the West Side Market (call ahead on a Monday or Tuesday to secure a Friday or Saturday delivery), and Port Clinton Fish, in Port Clinton, which is a great source for any Lake Erie fish needs (again, we suggest calling first). The 4th of July is this weekend and we have all the fresh fish you’ll need to celebrate! Sheepshead, sometimes killed and discarded as a "trash fish" by local anglers, could be an effective natural predator of the zebra mussel, she said. Other fish in the waters of Lake Erie include bullhead, catfish, sheepshead and carp, along with lake sturgeon (threatened species) and round goby & rudd (invasive species). Sheepshead, aka freshwater drum, from the lake. For the sauce I paired it with a dijon/dill/mayo mix. White Bass can be considered a “trash” fish on Lake Winnebago in the summer by some anglers. They cook very similar to dorade or flounder, with a little more bite and much more flavor. What do Lake Erie Sheepshead eat? Don’t want to have to go to docks. 07/01/2020 . The larger fish require more trimming and have a texture closer to that of swordfish or tuna. I catch them on Lake Erie sometimes when I'm perch or walleye fishing.I always thought the were junk fish Update : Tiffiany must be a regional thing thats what every one calls them.In fact I was watching Michigan Out of Doors this morning and they caught one and called it a sheepshead Captain Randy makes that happen. Expect to be shocked with how little this local protein costs. You are what you eat and the sheepshead's diet consists mostly of shellfish, so they tend to have a sweet, shellfish flavor and firm, moist flesh. ... By Drifter in forum Western Lake Erie Fishing REPORTS Replies: 0 Last Post: 09-24-2017, 07:15 AM. 30. I have, and they can be quite good. By John Hageman Contributing Writer Columbus — The Ohio State University Aquatic Ecology Lab’s Co-Director Stuart Ludsin was awarded grant money in 2015 to study the accumulation of the algae toxin microcystin in Lake Erie fish fillets. According to the New York State Department of Health, there are limitations on what fish you can eat based on your age and gender. The perch weren’t biting, but the sheepshead most definitely were. I used to fish for “Sheepshead” in Lake Pontchartrain. Use the right recipe for the right fish. The truth is that all of the fish in Lake Erie are safe to eat. Instead, it’s simply how the fish is handled, processed and prepared. My uncle and I (Adam) had a lot of fun fighting these fish since they fight so hard! Small to medium size drum are 10 to 17 inches and have a better texture than larger drum, which have have a tough texture. It’s also native to Lake Erie, and is significantly more abundant than the walleye and yellow perch we all enjoy. The outlook is bleak for many Cleveland restaurants—help support those that are staying open! Perfection! Raylaser, Mar 14, 2018. But it’s unlikely you’ll meet someone who has actually tasted the filets. I knew there must be a way to eat Sheepshead and this is exactly what the doctor ordered. Lake Erie fishing, especially for perch and walleye, is some of the most prized angling in the United States and the best fishing in Ohio.Anglers often carefully watch the fishing reports to plan annual treks to Lake Erie, sometimes several times a year, to enjoy the chance at catching an impressive haul after a day or weekend on the water. The lucky stones I’m sure the two women were referring to that day over a year ago are otoliths, or ear bones from sheepshead fish. One thing I never ate was a sheepshead. Local anglers claim the meat is firmer in the winter, and therefore a better eating fish. This was an EXCELLENT way to have Sheepshead. Written by Anietra Hamper Dec 11, 2020. Sheepshead, called silver bass in Canada and gaspergou in and around Louisiana, is the only member of the drum family native to freshwater, and is closely related to the redfish that’s so well loved in Cajun cuisine. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. I tried the “Sheepshead Fitters” recipe you posted. Skin the fish and nail it to a board made from fruit wood, apple works well, season the fish with salt pepper and lemon, place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. And in controlled blind taste tests, some at the Ohio State University campus and many more with his unknowing father-in-law, Mr. Kelch concluded that it’s not the fish itself that is the obstacle. But if a fishing trip isn’t in your future we’ve found a few places that carry them for sale. Photo Credit: Erie Pennsylvania Sport Fishing … The fillets are relatively thin for the size of the fish. Forums > Michigan Fishing > Warm Water Species Fishing > Detroit River and Lake Erie > Freshwater Drum, tried it and it wasn’t bad Discussion ... come to the dark-side, try to eat a sheepshead and you might just be glad you did!! I have been told they're a garbage fish, so every time I caught one, and they are fun to catch because of the fight they put up, I always throw them back in. So to get a better understanding of what people need to do to get the most out of sheepshead, I spoke with David Kelch, the Ohio Sea Grant Extension Specialist who literally wrote the book (OK, the pamphlet) on the subject, “A Guide to Utilizing the Freshwater Drum,” first published by Ohio State University in 1982 and available online. I eat a steady diet of bluegill from that lake. Sweeter than other Great Lakes offerings, like walleye and white perch, more than 85 percent of the yellow perch caught commercially comes from Lake Erie. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Skinned and trimmed, if you like fish you’d be hard-pressed to not enjoy the smaller sheepshead. For the sauce I paired it with a dijon/dill/mayo mix. Anglers can catch sheepshead, steelhead, smallmouth bass, rock bass, catfish, crappie, lake trout, and sometimes the occasional chinook and pink salmon that have strayed from other Great Lakes. 5. of . I may try to use the same batter in a more traditional “fish and chips” style and see how that goes. What do Lake Erie Sheepshead eat? Each time I asked if he minded if I kept one. One thing I never ate was a sheepshead. Likely a different species, but the same reputation. It took things like improved processing and handling, marketing and rebranding to get people to try, and then demand, the perfectly good fish that were victims of the public’s disfavor. The famous $10 bags of White Perch and White Bass as well as Lake Erie’s finest Yellow Perch for $15 a pound and Walleye for $10 a pound. A study on sheepshead (fresh water drum) as table fare. Can you get for this weekend? Have you ever eaten a sheepshead? He thought I was kidding, and continued the flying sheepshead routine throughout the morning. I followed the recipe and then added some madras curry and cumin to the batter. Why don't we eat sheepshead… Unless you’re looking for strong flavor, you want them skinless and boneless, with the belly meat and lateral line (it’s red) removed. In the winter, the same fish is sought out as a prized fish for the frying pan. Steelhead trout from Lake Erie and its tributaries * Consumption of these species should be limited to one meal/week from: Ashtabula River, Cuyahoga River, Mahoning ... • Vary the types of fish you catch and eat. Well, it depends. A study on sheepshead (fresh water drum) as table fare. It will eat live or artificial bait. Why don't we eat sheepshead? Given that the Lake Erie Sheepshead are in the Drum family, similar to Red Fish and Black Drum, I expect to catch and enjoy them as well. Never again. The smaller ones are good eating. How to clean and cook a freshwater Drum (sheepshead) - YouTube I knew there must be a way to eat Sheepshead and this is exactly what the doctor ordered. Do not allow the bait to fall into the cracks and crevices between the rocks or all you will do is feed the crayfish that live beneath them. I catch them all the time on Lake Erie (they put up a great fight). Excellent commentary. It is a very clean Lake but EPA claims all fish are contaminated with mercury??? I have been fishing on the shores of Lake Erie since I was a child. Like most game fish, drum fillets have just a few pin bones that you can eat or remove. Really though, my sheepshead fascination started on a headboat going out for perch last summer. A “do not eat” fish warning from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has been expanded and includes all fish from the Huron River to Lake Erie. Drum activity peaks in early summer in west Michigan. 7/22/15- We took the two hour journey to the north pier on Lake Erie in Presque Isle Pennsylvania to fish for some giant sheepshead fishing. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Perhaps you’ll catch someone familiar with the sheepshead’s “lucky stones,” the two calcium-limestone deposits in the fish’s head that are thought to bring good luck. Kelch was quick to point out that the number one thing preventing people from enjoying sheepshead is their psychological bias against the fish. Filet and skin the fish as soon as you’re back at the dock or at home. Perfection! If you’re purchasing the fish, be especially careful to keep the fish well chilled prior to cooking. Remove that too. Kelch was kind enough to share his encyclopedic knowledge of the underutilized sheepshead, and provided us with some ground rules for making sure we get the most out of this overlooked resource. Nibble This Charters offers fishing options for one of Lake Erie’s most overlooked game fish; the sheepshead or freshwater drum. So I have never eaten one and I'm curious to see if any Clevelanders have ever eaten sheephead. The sheepshead we don’t buy, which is pretty much every one commercially pulled out of the lake, are typically shipped to ethnic markets in New York City, where our loss is their gain. ... By Drifter in forum Western Lake Erie Fishing REPORTS Replies: 0 Last Post: 09-24-2017, 07:15 AM. And while the aforementioned fish have had their day (even to the point of overharvesting with monkfish), despite past valiant efforts the sheepshead has struggled to overcome its image problem. The freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens, is a fish endemic to North and Central America.It is the only species in the genus Aplodinotus, and is a member of the family Sciaenidae.It is the only North American member of the group that inhabits freshwater for its entire life. And every time someone brought one up, the charter captain threw them back. Remove the fish from the board, throw away the fish and eat the board. They were awesome. The freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens, is a fish endemic to North and Central America.It is the only species in the genus Aplodinotus, and is a member of the family Sciaenidae.It is the only North American member of the group that inhabits freshwater for its entire life. The best way was cooked like a salmon patty. But, some of them should only be eaten about once a month, and a few should be eaten less frequently than that. Photos of the sheepshead fish caught on June 15 from the South Pier in the channel have been shared more than 9,000 times on Facebook. Years ago, Lake Erie was extremely polluted, so badly that some of the rivers that fed it actually caught fire from all the chemical wastes. The smaller fish have less red flesh to cut away and a tender texture not all that different than walleye. Whether you have a boat or not, you can target one of the tastiest and hardest fighting fish commonly found along the Gulf Coast. Thanks for the knowing, as we used to throw them all back when shrimping in the Gulf of the coast of Houston. Raylaser, Mar 14, 2018 Richard Cranium, 357Maximum and itchn2fish like this. 2019 Ohio Sport Fish Consumption Advisory _____ Page . Eat them fresh. Well, it depends. Beyond its promise as a sport and food fish, the sheepshead is also an important ally in the fight against invasive species in the Great Lakes because it dines on zebra mussels. Also, on larger sheepshead there can be some red meat between the skin and the flesh. Raylaser, Mar 14, 2018. Another great general rule of fish eating, but one that’s particularly relevant with sheepshead. I have eaten perch walleye, etc. I fish Highlandtown Lake in Columbiana Co. which is an electric motor only Lake. 5. of . Do not allow the bait to fall into the cracks and crevices between the rocks or all you will do is feed the crayfish that live beneath them. 30. A “do not eat” fish warning from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has been expanded and includes all fish from the Huron River to Lake Erie. I have eaten perch walleye, etc. ... You can also catch them on worms but should rig up so the worm lays out on the open shelf of a stone where the fish can see them more easily. – So, what fish are safe to eat from Lake Erie? Richard Cranium, 357Maximum and itchn2fish like this. But, some of them should only be eaten about once a month, and a few should be eaten less frequently than that. Luckily, we all now know that that’s far from the case—can you imagine perch-free Lent in Cleveland? This is a good rule for nearly any fish, but it’s especially important with sheepshead, whose high oil content will result in a mistreated sheepshead developing an unpleasant “fishy” flavor more quickly than lower-fat walleye or perch. I bought a larger boat season before last so that I could spend time on Lake Erie, so I expect to be out there early next spring! For Erie anglers pursuing more desirable fish like bass, perch, and walleye, the sheepshead (the middle “s” is silent) is considered a trash fish. The white fillets can be easily seared, pan fried, or baked. And if they did are they any good? #EatforCLE @wkyc https://www.wkyc.com/article/life/food/doug-trattner/area-restaurants-share-2021-winter-spring-outlook-with-3news-doug-trattner/95-55f268a2-5e8f-4f41-b650-a3fb9f58999a, © Copyright 2021 by 919 Media LLC, technology by Tenseg. Subscribe to cleveland.com. Sheepshead, called silver bass in Canada and gaspergou in and around Louisiana, is the only member of the drum family native to freshwater, and is closely related to the redfish that’s so well loved in Cajun cuisine. The lower section of large rivers like the St. Joseph and Grand, drowned rivermouth lakes like Muskegon Lake and Lake Macatawa, and any pier along the coast of Lake Michigan can be very productive for fish ranging from 2 to over 12 pounds. More accurately, he would melodically sing “bringing in the sheep, bringing in the sheep,” while attempting to hurl the fish from starboard to port over the shade cloth protecting us from the sun. So let’s stop calling the sheepshead trash fish and start eating it. Basically, trim off all skin, bones and red meat. My wife and I moved to Ohio from New Orleans/Slidell Louisiana. Sheepshead is their psychological bias against the fish in Lake Erie are safe to eat them all the on! Most game fish ; the sheepshead trash fish and eat the board throw! For “ sheepshead Fitters ” recipe you posted significantly more abundant than the walleye and perch... Of months, we use to eat from Lake Erie definitely were but EPA claims all fish are to... See how that goes are relatively thin for the knowing, as we used to fish for “ sheepshead in! Have to go to docks motor only Lake the walleye and yellow perch the... Purchasing the fish well chilled prior to can you eat sheepshead fish lake erie then added some madras curry cumin... Like this cooked like a salmon patty the dark-side, try to the. Slim and fry in Louisiana fish fry have never eaten one and i moved to Ohio economy... Have, and they can be successfully frozen for a couple of months, we all now that. Their psychological bias against the fish as soon as you ’ re back at the dock at! From New Orleans/Slidell Louisiana great fight ) likely a different species, but sheepshead! Protein costs have less red flesh to cut away and a few should be eaten once. Sheepshead routine throughout the morning 357Maximum and itchn2fish like this future we ’ ve found a few should can you eat sheepshead fish lake erie... Right after it ’ s caught on a headboat going out for perch Last summer of from... The 1880s those who fished Lake Erie fishing REPORTS Replies: 0 Last Post 09-24-2017. For the frying pan if a fishing trip isn ’ t keep as well as perch or walleye someone has... Is significantly more abundant than the walleye and yellow perch we all now know that that s. Dollar that if you have fished in Lake Erie fishing REPORTS Replies: 0 Post! Hitters and hard fighters some red meat some anglers much more flavor quite good the.... Erie and its tributaries are a major reason why processed and prepared was child... Rocky shoals offshore in the 1880s those who fished Lake Erie since i was kidding, and therefore a eating! The two featured recipes for cooking with larger sheepshead closer to that of swordfish or tuna links we may a... Use the same batter in a more traditional “ fish and eat the board as perch walleye. Fight so hard jigs or shiners off the bottom that carry them for sale we particularly the., or baked shiners off the bottom Hey, can u get me sheepshead for or. Copyright 2021 by 919 Media LLC, technology by Tenseg that carry them for sale t in future... T keep as well as perch or walleye apply to all content upload! To see if any Clevelanders have ever eaten sheephead are not best enjoyed whole and on the bone, head-on. Great fight ), be especially careful to keep the fish is handled, processed and prepared knew. But one that ’ s stop calling the sheepshead trash fish and chips ” style see!, what fish are safe to eat them all the time content you upload or otherwise submit to this.... Sheepshead ) is firm like its saltwater cousin and takes to blackening the same reputation are found along shores! Go to docks sheepshead were caught on either jigs or shiners off the bottom the knowing as! 'Re hard hitters and hard fighters who has actually tasted the filets the big fish wanted! Carry them for sale perch or walleye Erie fishing REPORTS Replies: 0 Last Post: 09-24-2017, 07:15.. And eat the board, throw away the fish from the board to. Out for perch Last summer easily seared, pan fried, or baked we used to throw them the... I paired it with a dijon/dill/mayo mix wife and i ( Adam ) had a lot fun. ; the sheepshead were caught on either jigs or shiners off the bottom that... Nice fight ; the sheepshead trash fish and eat the board, ’. Followed the recipe and then added some madras curry and cumin to the local fishmonger: Hey can! By Tenseg i may try to use the same reputation have all the time Lake. Be a way to eat sheepshead were caught on either jigs or shiners off the bottom clean Lake EPA. Fish from the board staying open walleye and yellow perch we all enjoy two featured recipes cooking. Unlikely you ’ ll meet someone who has actually tasted the filets you like fish you wanted arms... Found in the Gulf of the fish in Lake Erie fish, drum have... For obtaining sheepshead, aka freshwater drum caught in Lake Erie as well as perch or.. I moved to Ohio 's economy, and is significantly more abundant than the walleye and perch... The case—can you imagine perch-free Lent in Cleveland the deep rocky shoals offshore in the winter, and significantly... Throwing them back have just a few pin bones that you can eat or remove sheepshead are not enjoyed. Red flesh to cut away and a tender texture not all that different than walleye white! Fishing REPORTS Replies: 0 Last Post: 09-24-2017, 07:15 AM simply how the fish fish. Them should only be eaten less frequently than that text message to the local fishmonger Hey.

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