I have a question. When you guys go fishing, do you keep just the fillets, or just gut 'em like me?
Living around fishing holes where it's "combat fishing" for salmon. I have the displeasure of seeing so many fish carcasses with alot of edible meat on them still. Many of them with about half the edible meat...I shake my head in disgust. Anyone who loves fish should try boiling the heads and eating the cheeks (brains aren't half bad either). Very tender, and very flavorful. I'm not so sure about other species of fish though.
Another yummy part of the salmon is actually the belly. That's best for smoke salmon strips. I'd safely say about 50% of the salmon carcasses I see laying on the banks of streams still have this part on them. A lot of people don't even bother gutting the fish, just cut off the fillets, which is, in my opinion about half the meat.
I guess my real question is, how do you guys butcher and prepare your fish (whatever species it may be)?
My answer is, I gut the fish at the location. It then depends on what my mood is, I either have a salmon fry, or salmon bake, then boil the heads and the eggs if there's eggs.