Eating freshwater fish

steve2

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A bit controversial I know but when and why did people in this country stop eating freshwater fish?
Last night I was chatting to a friend and we have both in the past eaten freshwater fish that we have caught.
Throughout the world people eat freshwater fish so why don’t we?
The Victorians had gudgeon and bleak picnics where the fish went straight from the river into the pan. Up until the 1950’s or later many fishing books had recipes on how to cook your catch.
We are quite happy to fish from our polluted seas so why not how rivers and lakes.
With a never-ending growth in population in this country will farm reared freshwater fish be back on the menu some time soon. After all at the moment it is a virtually untapped source of food.
 

mikench

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I have no idea but it is illogical and bizarre! I am told that many freshwater fish taste unpleasant and should be purged of what and where they eat in clean water first! I was amazed to learn that all fish in matches were killed not for the pot but to weigh them and this practice only ceased 20 years or so ago! I have eaten pike in France and carp in Poland and properly prepared they were delicious! Mind you many bland ingredients taste delicious when butter, garlic and herbs are added , even snails!!!!
 

thecrow

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I have eaten the odd Zander that has been deep hooked as they rarely survive it.

I have seen Carp and Bream on fishmongers slabs in the past but I refuse to believe that all are from farms located abroad.

I would have no objection to farmed coarse fish being on the menu but how can a check be kept on where those fish on the slab have come from? imo it will further increase the chances of fish being stolen and sold to fishmongers leading to even less stock in our waters.
 

Peter Jacobs

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Some freshwater coarse fish are very tasty and are eaten in Europe and Scandinavia where you will almost always find Pike, Perch, Zander, Grayling and Carp on the menu, depending on the area.

That said,the rules and laws there are somewhat different to those existing in Englandand Wales where the fish in still waters belong to the riparian owner, and on most club stretches of river and canals there are rules that prevent the taking of fish . . . . .

Personally I find Pike pretty tasteless unless you make them into fish cakes and add a lot of herbs or spices; Grayling I think are one of the tastiest on their own as well as Zander. I would regularly eat those, by choice, on a menu in both Norway and Sweden.
I only tried Carp a few times and found them to be a rather “sour”taste to be honest.


Here at homeI think a there are simply many alternative options to “fishing for the pot” which, coupled to the more stringent rules and laws, makes the eating of coarse fish prohibitive.
 
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peter crabtree

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I think it’s just a sentimental British trait not to eat certain creatures.
We don’t eat horsemeat, dogs etc whereas other countries do.
 

sam vimes

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I've eaten grayling and trout in the past, but I've not had a grayling for at least 25 years. I recall trying carp once, it came from a mates garden pond.

I was amazed to learn that all fish in matches were killed not for the pot but to weigh them and this practice only ceased 20 years or so ago!
No chance, I have no memory at all of fish being routinely killed in matches. Though standards of fishcare, and keepnet design, have improved hugely over the years, keepnets have been used for at least the 35 years (+) I've been fishing. I'm pretty sure that they've used for a lot longer than that. I'd suggest that the routine killing of fish to weigh in at matches goes back further than living memory.
 

rayner

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I have a friend who regularly buys trout from fish mongers, I once said to him fresh water fish are not the tastiest and not a patch on sea fish.
He told me that he'd tried a few different fresh water fish and they were all given the ceviche treatment by him and all were delicious, he told me the one fish he preferred and I was astonished.
 

Peter Jacobs

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I have a friend who regularly buys trout from fish mongers, I once said to him fresh water fish are not the tastiest and not a patch on sea fish.
He told me that he'd tried a few different fresh water fish and they were all given the ceviche treatment by him and all were delicious, he told me the one fish he preferred and I was astonished.

I really do enjoy eating ceviche dishes when in southern France where it is very popular, and almost all species of fish benefit from the process.

However, you really tend to taste more of the curing liquids than the original fish; the citrus juices, the onion, salt and spices . . . . .

I imagine that Grayling Ceviche would be very nice . . . . I must give that a try oneday, out of interest though, what was you friend’s preference?
 

David Gane

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I'd like to think that the reason most of us don't think about eating fish we catch is more than sentimental. I love my fishing and realise that if I eat what I catch today it won't be there tomorrow.

I'd hope that our sport increases our awareness and concern about environmental matters. This is an overcrowded country and if we ate the fish we catch it wouldn't take more than a year or two to denude our rivers of most of their life. I guess that all we'd be able to do then is play Fish Sim on our X Boxes.
 

JJW

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Re Fish being killed for weigh ins in matches. I've heard of the practice, but it died out a lot longer than 20 years ago. I think it was probably the 60s or early 70s it was last done. I remember hearing Keith Arthur talking about it on his radio show a few years ago. They used to have size limits like in sea angling.

I've eaten trout I caught from a commercial put-and-take fishery . I wouldn't dream of taking home wild fish for the pot - trout or coarse fish.
 
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O.C.F.Disorder

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Well we used to farm perch and they are apparently very tasty. I love catching a trout or two for the pot but that is as far as it would go.
 

bullet

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I think it may be because we are surrounded by oceans which contain delicious crustaceans and fish.
Out of the Coarse fish , I've tried Zander, Pike and Grayling. All were bland, with a poor texture, IMO.
I wouldn't bother with any of them, but the Zander was a bit better than the others.
 

fishcatcher60

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When i was a kid my dad used to take me on his works matches although he never fished himself.
At the end of the match there was always 2/3 fella's collecting all the eels caught.
I can remember my mother was never best pleased when we took some home.
They both liked the eels though but there was just too many bones in for me.
I also tried a pike once but didn't rate that either.
How times change.
 

whitty

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Re Fish being killed for weigh ins in matches. I've heard of the practice, but it died out a lot longer than 20 years ago. I think it was probably the 60s or early 70s it was last done. I remember hearing Keith Arthur talking about it on his radio show a few years ago. They used to have size limits like in sea angling.

I've eaten trout I caught from a commercial put-and-take fishery . I wouldn't dream of taking home wild fish for the pot - trout or coarse fish.
Fish were carried to a weigh point,after which they attempted returning them,which obviously was a flawed method and many must have been lost,but because in the days of size limits,not that many over the said limit were caught,often few fish were actually taken to be weighed. On a worse note I watched a few BAA begins being fished on the Severn,in the early days of weights of barbel,the amount that were dropped,or laid on the sandy banks was disgusting,I was stunned because at the time I was match fishing myself and our weighing was far more humane.
 

sam vimes

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Fish were carried to a weigh point,after which they attempted returning them,which obviously was a flawed method and many must have been lost,but because in the days of size limits,not that many over the said limit were caught,often few fish were actually taken to be weighed. On a worse note I watched a few BAA begins being fished on the Severn,in the early days of weights of barbel,the amount that were dropped,or laid on the sandy banks was disgusting,I was stunned because at the time I was match fishing myself and our weighing was far more humane.
There's no doubt that fish care in matches was abysmal by modern standards, and I'm not that impressed by current standards of fish care in matches. However, can you, or anyone else, honestly say that they have actually seen fish deliberately killed for a weigh in at a coarse fishing match? I definitely have not, not in any match I fished, or observed, from the early eighties to the turn of the century (when I gave up match fishing).
 

xenon

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had baked carp once, in Budapest (where it's on every restaurant menu) It was just like a Pathe Gazette newsreel-in no hurry to repeat the experience.
 

S-Kippy

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I dont know when the practice ended but certainly all fish in the World Championships were killed. Never heard of that anywhere else.

As for eating coarse fish I think that was born out of necessity many, many years ago and gradually died out. I've tried all the usual suspects none of which ever made me want to try them again. I recall one half decent pike and a reasonable grayling....the rest were a waste of space.

Given the chance I'd try a zander but I doubt the chance will present itself and I would never kill a corse fish just to eat it though I'll take the odd sea trout/salmon if I'm lucky enough to get one.
 

fred hall

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I did once have a perch circa 1lb grilled and it was excellent. However.............
The last fish I caught and deliberately killed to be eaten was a hapless jack pike of about 3lb taken circa 45 years ago from a loch in Dumfries and Galloway. It was 1 of 3 occasions if memory serves me correctly when my late wife accompanied me fishing. We were staying with relatives at Kirkcudbright and one of their neighbours, a retired gentleman, fancied himself as a gourmet chef. He asked me to catch him a pike for a French pate recipe that he wished to try.
Pike duly took a small roach I had just caught, was landed then bashed to death with the wife's Scholl sandal. Don't know why but I was never fully forgiven for that. Dead pike was handed over asap to the chef and the following day we were invited to try the resultant pate.
It was bl**dy awful and my conscience has never fully recovered.
 

iain t

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I can remember in the 60's my Granddad going fishing for dinner. Dishes including Pike, Perch, Eels, Trout. The last time i ate Pike was back in the late 60s. It was a way of life for his generation with food shortages caused by the wars. Before his time( he was born in 1897) Everyone ate course fish. I have no idea why this practice died out in England. Maybe pollution, i don't know. I know it is still popular across Europe.
These days the only course fish i eat is Trout.
 

thecrow

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Before I had transport the only way I could fish anywhere but local was to go on bus trips with local clubs, matches were invariably held on these days although I didn't take part in them preferring to fish on my own, I cannot recall any fish being killed rather the catches were weighed on scales taken to each anglers peg, this would have been over 50 years ago.

I don't know about big matches but in these small club matches that happened each time there was a match.
 
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