A week and a half ago we had a successful fishing adventure, we went up to Half Moon Lake here in Michigan and fished for Rainbow Trout. As luck would have it we got one, a hair over legal size, yes merely one but it was a successful trip none the less. Because of other things going on I had to wait to smoke him until today so he took up residence in my freezer until I took him out to thaw. Today was the day, I brined him this morning for about an hour and a half in my standard fish brine, why change a good thing right?
Previously I had not smoked a whole fish, and that was the plan to smoke the whole gutted fish, but I decided since I had forgotten to remove his gills when I cleaned him and he still looked rather surprised I had to smoke him without his head. In reality there is nothing edible in there anyways.
After his stint in the brine, I pulled him out, did not rinse him and stuffed him with some lemon wedges and onions and tossed him on an oiled smoker grate. I then smoked him at 190°F over some apple wood, I usually smoke fish over alder, but had heard that trout was excellent over apple wood and I was not disappointed. Using my PID controller for my electric smoker it was easy/effortless to maintain temperature and once the smoke was rolling it was time to sit back and let him cook.
After about 2 hours I retrieved him from the smoker and using a technique I had recently learned I grabbed the spine with on hand and the fish with the other and gently removed the spine and all the bones from the fish, it worked great.
As if smelling the sweet smell of the apple wood smoke all morning wasn’t good enough, eating it was incredible. It was done just right, flaky. It was smoky but not too smoke and the apple wood complimented the lemon well and trout well, it was not fishing but it was fish. It was in a word awesome, so trout beware I am coming for you. If I only fish for one thing for the rest of the year it will be trout.