When most anglers fillet rockfish they discard the rib bones and belly meat. The strip of flesh has too many sharp bones to safely eat, and many fishermen think the belly portion of the fillet has little use.
Instead of tossing the rib meat, I marinate them and use them for lingcod bait the next day. Tipped on a lead-headed jig, these strips of rockfish meat are “Lingcod Candy.” We use them on the boat daily.
Preparing Lingcod Candy is very simple. It starts with the filleting of you days catch of rockfish. Here’s how easy the process is:
Step 1: When filleting rockfish, I cut through the rib cage, slicing the fish from the gill plate cover to the tail.
Step 2: A single slice is used to remove the fillet from the skin, which is left still attached to the fish carcass.
Step 3: I then trim the belly meat and rib bones from the fillet.
Step 4: The scrap of ribs and flesh, which most anglers discard, is one of two key ingredients for Lingcod Candy. I place the rib meat in a plastic bag, and then douse it with a generous amount of Pautzke Nectar or Halibut & Rockfish Nectar. Red is my favorite. I use it more often than the Purple, Blue, Yellow and Orange Nectar.
The Pautzke Nectar adds a potent scent lingcod and halibut love. I also add several squirts of Pautzke Liquid Krill. Krill is an important part of the ocean food chain, and makes all baits more effective.
After curing overnight in the Pautzke Nectar, the Lingcod Candy is ready to fish. It absorbs the colors, and the salmon egg scent from the Nectar. You’ll notice the bait has changed from pale white to a reddish color. Added to a large jig, these pieces of rockfish flesh are extremely effective in catching lingcod of all sizes.
While fishing, I keep the bag of Lingcod Candy in a small ice chest. At the end of the day, it goes into the freezer for a future trip, while I prepare a fresh batch of Lingcod Candy for the next day.
Editor’s Note: Andy Martin is a full-time Oregon fishing guides and saltwater charter boat captain. His web sites are wildriversfishing.com and brookingsfishing.com.
Special thanks to Joey LeFebvre for taking the photos for this FireBlog!