Scales, jewels, pet food and soup: Never waste a big fish
THE introduction of bag limits and the popularity of catch and release has helped preserve valuable fish stocks.
But well before anglers started restricting their catch numbers, a large fish was never wasted.
Apart from its importance for food, a big jew served many purposes.
Before refrigeration, my pop and nana used to salt the fillets and store them in a cool place after an initial meal or two.
The dried out scales were kept to cover the kids' school books.
The small jewels found inside a jew's head were removed and cleaned to become part of a future necklace.
What remained was also put to excellent use.
The insides of the fish became pet food and the head and spine of the filleted fish made a tasty soup ideal for winter.
It's amazing how resourceful our forebears were, through necessity and a generational trend to be frugal.
These days, fish skeletons continue to make excellent bait for crab pots or dillies, ensuring a second use.
Fish scraps obtained by the water's edge are also devoured by pelicans and seagulls, who can benefit from a productive catch.
It's important to stop and consider how to maximise every catch.
Tailor fillets, often tasteless after being frozen, make an irresistible bait for bream and larger tailor.
A slab of tailor is ideal to tempt a predatory jew, which can offer a wealth of options for like those like my wise grandparents.
This article is part of a Fishy Tales series focusing on unusual experiences and adventures.