Fish recipes and how to clean and care for freshwater fish. Click on links to recipes and articles.

Jeff's Authentic Walleye Shore Lunch Recipe! No Foolin!

Walleye - Removing the Lateral Bone Line

Walleye Easy Pan Fry

Walleye, Baked Fish Recipe

Rainbow Trout Baked

Northern Pike - Basic Overview

Northern Pike - Remove The Y Bones

Walleye Beer Batter

Northern Pike - Blackened Pike

Coconut Northern Pike Delight

Pike - Pickled Pike

Duck Recipes

Northern Pike - Fish Boil Northern

Smoked Fish


Morel Mushroom Soup

Northern Pike: Removing the Y-Bones Easy and Clean!

Northern Pike Ready For Cleaning This 21 inch Pike (left) is perfect for most of the recipes we use. You can use larger Pike if you want, but we really encourage releasing the larger fish and utilizing some of these over-abundant smaller fish.
Right: Begin by filleting the fish and removing the rib bones as you would with Walleye or other freshwater fish. There's no difference in cleaning these fish up to this point. Once you have taken the fillet, notice the line of light bones visible between the center line and the top (fishes back) of the fillet. We call these Y-Bones, but there is really no "Y". The shape is more like the letter "L". Northern Pike Fillet

Left: These are the fillets before removing the Y-Bones. The basic fillet process is the same for most of the fish we catch in Northern Minnesota. To learn more about filleting fish click here.

Northern Pike Fillet with Y Bone Removed

Left: These are the fillets with all of the Y-Bones removed. Notice the small notches in the Pike fillets. This is all there is to it. With a little practice, these bones can be removed in just a few seconds. Pickled fish lovers can save the strips and use them for the pickled fish recipe included in this section.

To begin removing the Y-Bone, use the tip of your knife to make a cut just above the top of this line of bones. The tip of your knife will begin touching the bones where they turn in the direction of the fishes back. Don't cut through them! Your second cut should follow this line of bones as they turn toward the top of the fillet. Now you will see the entire row of bones exposed from one side. Your third and final cut is to slip the knife under this row of bones and simply follow the same angle as cut 2, cutting the bones out from the opposite side.

The finished fillets are cut into thirds. This is the perfect size for most of the recipes we use at home.

Note: I've updated some of this information. Click here to see an improved version and watch for additional updates as soon as the fishing season opens and I can legally obtain a Pike for new photos.

Northern Pike Fullets Cut Into Three Pieces Each

Pickled Northern: The old stand-by for all of us who love pickled fish. If you are a pickled fish fan, Northern Pike is the perfect fish to use for pickling. Finished pieces are firm and sweet. Great for parties and makes a great snack too.

Starting Brine Phase 1: 1 Cup Salt per Each 1 Quart Water.  Fish pieces soak for 2 Days Exactly.

Vinegar Brine Phase 2: Drain starting brine - Do not rinse fish pieces. Soak in White Vinegar, completely covered for 24 hours. After 24 hours, Drain Vinegar-Do not rinse fish pieces.

Northern Pike pieces in preliminary pickling brine.

Left: Northern Pike Fillets cut into pieces about 1 inch square. Use a large plastic bowl and cover with enough liquid to completely immerse all of the pieces.       Right: Final solution, use a large pickling jar or plastic container like this Tupperware bowl, be sure pieces are packed loosely and completely covered with liquid. During the final stage, the fish is ready to eat after about 5 days. But the finished product will last in the refrigerator for several months.

Pickled Northern Pike in Final Brine Solution

Finishing Brine Phase 3: Mix 4 Cups White Vinegar, 3 Cups Sugar Heat to dissolve Sugar - Let stand until cool Add 1 Cup White Wine (Silver Satin preferred but other "sweet" white wines will work) 1/4 Cup mixed pickling spice Let mixture cool thoroughly before adding to fish. Layer fish pieces and sliced onions in jar and cover with pickling solution recipe leave covered with pickling solution and let soak for 1 week before eating. Fish will last for several months in refrigerator.

Smoking Fish - Basic Salt Brine Recipe Basic Brine Mixture To Use As Dry Brine To Use As Wet Brine

Smoked Tulibees

Watch Jeff walk through the whole process on video. Smoking Tulibees January 2011.

5 Lbs Canning/Pickling Salt
2 Lbs Brown Sugar
2 TBSP Onion Powder
1 TBSP Garlic Powder
1 TBSP Mace
2 TBSP Oregeno

This recipe makes several batches of smoked fish and can be used for other meat too. Mix thoroughly, store in well sealed zip-lock bags.

For me, 1Gallon size freezer bags with 1-1/2 cups of powder in each is perfect.

In large plastic bag, add about 1 cup of dry mixture and shake moistened fish in powder until coated liberally. Add small portions of dry brine as needed to avoid mixture becoming wet or "slushy". Coating should be uniform and heavy. For larger, whole fish, add powder to inside of body cavity.

Place fish in suitable plastic, crock or glass container. While curing, store in refrigerator. Curing time depends on personal taste, 6 to 12 hours depending on size of fish and salt taste desired.

Use a clean crock, glass container or plastic pail. Do not use metal container. Mix 1-1/2 cups of powder in about 8 cups of water, stir until mixed thoroughly.

Check for correct mixture by dropping in a peeled potato or fresh, un-cooked egg. The egg or potato should float easily. If either will not float, add small amounts of powder until they do.

Place fish in liquid and use a glass plate to keep pieces completely submerged. Soak 8 to 12 hours. Keep chilled, stir occasionally.

*For either method, remove cured pieces of fish from brine, rinse in cold water and place on paper towel covered cookie sheet(s). Keep fish refridgerated and let dry until outer skin feels dry to the touch. Once ready, smoke fish for about 2.5 hours at 220 to 240 degrees.