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What's the best tasting rockfish?

10 (8.5%)
6 (5.1%)
0 (0%)
15 (12.7%)
4 (3.4%)
3 (2.5%)
5 (4.2%)
3 (2.5%)
6 (5.1%)
42 (35.6%)
4 (3.4%)
They all taste the same to me
20 (16.9%)

Total Members Voted: 117

Topic: Best Tasting Rockfish?  (Read 18812 times)

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Northern Boy

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What do you reckon folks? I have to say I've only eaten most of them once or twice, but the Chinas were definitely the best, followed by grassies.


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I like the Blacks for Fish 'N Chips but my favorite is Ling. Was that considered "other"?
The fishing was so good I thought I was there yesterday!


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I voted another for Quillback, to me they tasted like lobster, but my days of retaining them are now over after finding out that they live to 95 yrs old at 2 ft. I dont want to eat a fish with a century's worth of toxic buildup, not to mention respect for a fish that has survived longer than myself in the cold murky depths of the Cali coast.

Northern Boy

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I like the Blacks for Fish 'N Chips but my favorite is Ling. Was that considered "other"?

Lets keep this Sebastes only. At least until I've tried Cabezon!

Northern Boy

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So I should be focusing my fishing efforts on Vermilion then!?

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I wish I could help, but I'm still figuring it out myself.  I will say my favorite so far are cabezones, with lings a close second.

I've heard that verms are not the best, but have not verified it. 

There was a grass I ate that was nasty, but it could have been my cooking.  Had great luck with blues and blacks.

Some say size comes into play too...  smaller being tastier.  But I suspect it's more to do with how you cook it, and getting it on ice asap, etc.


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I prefer smaller lings, the big boys tend to get wormie..... :smt011



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I think they are all pretty yummy.
Cabs have a distinct texture, very fine grained.
Blacks & Blues are quite good.
I've had good and bad Verms. I read in a few places that Vermilion fillets don't hold up to freezing well, so I try & eat them fresh. The ones I've frozen seem just fine though.

I did notice that in the last few years the table quality of the fish I catch has greatly improved. I used to just toss 'em in the tankwell in a clip. A few hours sitting like that, even with splshes of water, and the meat quality deteriorates.
Now I put them in a heavy burlap coffee sack, liberally doused with water until I'm back at the truck, where they go into a ratty old duct taped ice chest, the Fishcooler, with ice. With this system, even fish that are 3-5 hours old rarely have rigor, and the meat is cold when I fillet 'em.
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My chinese grocer says gophers are the best steamed.

My japanese barber says blues are the best eating of the bunch.

my WASP buddy says vermillion are the best.

I find that if you keep them cool, get them in a cooler as soon as you can, most are great to eat.  I tend to like Olives as they fight well and yield a nice fillet for their size.  For the same reason gophers, chinas, coppers need to be large if Im in a fillet mood but generally use them whole if I keep them at all.
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I voted for gopher

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I like whatever anybody cooks for me. I can't cook. OK. I chose black RF.


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I have to agree with you Allen.  My Chinese in-laws tend to believe that the rarer and harder to obtain something is, the better it must taste (bird's nests, shark fins, abalone, rare mushrooms, etc...)  At least any fancy Chinese celebration/banquet I've been to, that's been the case.  Therefore, yelloweyes and canaries must taste better than must other rockfish and cowcod must be the ultimate in rockfish cuisine.
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I think the choice depends on how it is prepared.

Steamed Whole Chinese Style - Blue, Black, Olive, china

Deep Fried Fish Tacos - Cabezon, Vermillion, Ling

Ciopino - vermillion, ling

Smoked - cabezon

Grilled - Blue, Black, Olive,

Braised - Any

I am going to break tradition here, but from an eating perspective, blues and blacks rule. From an angling perspective, lings and verms rule, IMHO.  :smt005 The best all around fish is the olive - fights like a SMB, is easy to fillet and tastes almost as good as a blue/black.

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Freddie refuses to eat Olives!!!!!!