mistreci

The controversial albie

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I have accidentally caught a few albies from shore. It is a very nice looking fish. I have released the ones that I have caught as I didn't know anything about size limits or the type of the fish. I was told they are generally considered not good to eat. Since then i have done a lot of online research but I can find a lot of different opinions, some say it is great, some say it can't be eaten and other stuff like that. 

 

First thing I want to know is what are size limits on false albacore, if any are they posted somewhere? I can't find them anywhere in the mass.gov website

 

Second, what about eating, cleaning, cooking them etc. Are they good to eat? Why do so many people say it is not a good to eat fish?

 

Thanks! 

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Albies are beautiful and the most fun fish to catch that I've yet to target.

 

There are recreational no size/bag limits on false albacore in Massachusetts, or anywhere along the East Coast for that matter, to my knowledge. 

 

I tried albie once this year - it was caught from the surf and bled immediately, but it was a a fairly warm day around 60oF, rain was coming down sideways (freshwater on the meat - no good), it spent an hour and a half on the sand before being filleted in the rain (it's a long story), and then spent 3 days in the freezer before being improperly defrosted by yours truly, improperly chopped up and turned into poke by yours truly, and then consumed by yours truly. After that experience, I'd rate it moderately - no, it wasn't so foul that my cats wouldn't eat it, and no, it was no harakami bluefin cut. I'm used to oily and fishy-tasting fish such as mackerel and gator blues (both among my favorites for the table), and the albie was no exception. The meat was a slightly off-color (probably due to improper care) and the texture somewhat mushy (also probably due to baking in sand/freezing solid/defrosting too rapidly) - I'd say very similar to mackerel except for the blood-red color. It was not repulsive, however - it tasted alright on its own and a bit more palatable in the poke. I feel that, if it had been immediately bled, filleted, stored on salty ice, and eaten sashimi-style within an hour or two of being caught, it would have been really nice. I'm not confident as it the flavor or texture holding up to cooking, but I'm curious enough myself to try it again correctly in the future. 

 

No reason not to try it if you can care for the meat properly - you might be pleasantly surprised. 

 

Welcome to SOL!

 

Tight lines,

 

Dan

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First, welcome to SOL. Second, congratulations on 1) catching your first albies and (more importantly) 2) not taking any chance and releasing a fish that you weren't sure of the regs...

 

But anyway, as mentioned above, there are no regs on false albacore - and they are only one of two tunas where no permit is required in order to possess. 

 

These fish certainly do gain mixed reviews when it comes to their culinary qualities...but with any tuna/mackerel fish, bleeding them immediately is key. Icing them as well - eating any tuna that isn't prepped correctly increases the risk for histamine poisoning...my brother had that once and he thought he was having a heart attack. Other than that, the rest is up to your own taste buds

 

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Welcome aboard. Besides what's already been mentioned, you might do yourself a favor in the flavor dept by removing the mushy, rust-brown meat directly around the bloodline. It's the fishiest with poorest texture. After that, there's some detailed preparatory recipes available online that allegedly yield a poor to good result on the table. Some like it. Others baby it with perfect care from sea to table and still think it comes out lousy. Different strokes..it's food.

 

As for sashimi, there's always a risk when eating raw fish other than bluefin, which hasn't been blast frozen to -60F to kill parasites. (Bluefin supposedly doesnt have Anisakiasis) But many people do it with fish all the time and most have no problems. Anisakiasis (parasitic roundworm) not so fun though. Bon appetit!

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The oilier the fish, the more it needs immediate bleeding, icing, and the deletion of dark lateral line meat. Don't let the dog or cat get at that dark meat, it's extremely rich with carbohydrates, and they make themselves sick. Little tunny (false albacore) are an extreme example of this. 

 

Even sushi chefs with a lot of practice candling fish to look for parasites and their eggs can mess up occasionally. I'd eat it cooked, not otherwise. 

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If I hook an albie bad (once a year or so), it gets bled immediately, gutted and iced. It makes absolutely fantastic sushi. I drink too much alcohol for worms to want to live in me, so there's that.

 

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48 mins ago, BrianBM said:

Unrelated thought.  I wonder how it would do as an ingredient in gravlax?  And would the brine that develops from the gravlax process kill roundworms? 

I don't think it would work for gravlax, I'll  stick with sockeye for mine.   

Edited by FizzyFish

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