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Turtles

Discussion in 'Northeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by steelmagoo, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. steelmagoo

    steelmagoo Enjigneer

    I'll be cooking up my second turtle ever tonight. Made a big pot of excellent soup out of the first one last week. Been getting them out of a private lake in Geauga County. I've been using 4/O saltwater circle hooks on 30 lb steel leader attached to 80 lb dacron and hanging the rigs from fallen trees. Cut bluegill for bait. I think I'll be rigging up with steel cable crimped directly to the hook from now on because I've lost a couple rigs at the leader. I would be interested in anyone's favorite recipes or rigs.
     
  2. Hetfieldinn

    Hetfieldinn Staff Member

    I ate some good turtle last summer. The cook cut it into chunks, put pieces into a pot, covered the chunks with seasoned water and simmered them for about an hour. He then drained the pieces, dusted them with flour, and fried them up. I was surprised at how good it was.
     

  3. "I can tell you how to cook them but then I'd half to kill ya" :eek:

    Nothing beats fried snapper...
     
  4. Yes, fried is the best! You can cover just about anything in breading and deep fry it and it will be good. I like it shredded and mixed with BBQ sauce. Just simmer it a few hours in water, you can season the water if you want, then shred it and mix with BBQ.
     
  5. Those suckers are tuff sons of guns. Got one down in N.Clumberland 15-18lbs. this year, shot her in the head w/22, put her in a plastic bag and wrapped it and put her in again and twisted it. Put her in the tourpac of the bike drove for 45 mins. got home and she was out of the bag. I slit her throat and hung her up to bleed all night and the next morning she was still bitting. Cut the head off and put it about 20ft away and kept checking to see if it was coming after me. That was only the 3rd one I've cleaned in 20yrs but they are sure tasty for as hard and ugly as they are.
     
  6. steelmagoo

    steelmagoo Enjigneer

    Hard to kill for sure! On both of my turtles I cut the head off right after getting them home then hung them by the tail to bleed out. In the morning they were still moving with some coordination. After scalding with boiling water to clean, still moving. After cleaning and quartering and skinning, still moving. Muscles still twitching while rinsing and putting into bags. I'm not sure I have identified all 7 reported types of meat, but there certainly is a variety. Red meat on the legs, lighter meat on the neck, white backstrap meat between the ribs and shell. The backstrap is the hardest to get at since the ends of the ribs AND the backbone are fused to the shell. The first one took me at least an hour to clean and figure out the anatomy, the second about 40 minutes. I spent a lot of time trying to gut the things without breaking anything open, like the bladder. If that happened I think I would have been done.
     
  7. I like to keep them alive in water and change the water till it stays clean before I "harvest" them for the table ;)
     
  8. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

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    Very Informative guys.;) Never had any turtle, but you are making me want try it.:cool:
     
  9. steelmagoo

    steelmagoo Enjigneer

    I went turtle-ing this weekend. Got another big one, keeping it alive for a while to clean it out as some have suggested. This guy is one mean hombre, snaps at anything close. He got out of the cooler at my house and wandered over to the neighbors fence which set off his dogs. I was a little embarrased when he knocked on my door late last night and asked me if I knew anything about the big snapper trying to eat his pets. Something broke the hooks off a few of my rigs this weekend. I had 5/0 Gamakatsu nickel plated saltwater hooks on 1/16" diameter steel wire rope baited with cut bluegill. These were big, beefy hooks. Checked them about an hour after setting them out and found 3 of the hooks were snapped off. Two at the shank and one at the bend in the hook. I'm ordering some Gorilla hooks from Cabela's for this weekend. Not really sure I want whatever broke the hooks in the boat with me, though.
     
  10. rockbass

    rockbass Banned

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    Turtle = Damn good eatin! :D

    Here is a twist some of us guys do for turtle catching. if ou are going to get them out of creeks, just simple walk through the water reaching with your hand under every rock/tree in the water. Also look for hooles in the banks and reach in them too. also root systems that have been undercut from high waters. Just be careful! sometimes you will grab a snake or muskrat. ;) you would be surprised how many or how big even some turtles are in the smallest of creeks. usually smaller feed creeks for rivers and larger creeks are good. They say that if you go before I think noon, the turtles are head first in the holes. then they start to turn around. That is when it gets tricky. Good luck if you try it. :eek: For those of you who do it or have seen it done, it is really a site.


    For ponds or lakes though, of course limb lines or jugs are best for turtles. :p
     
  11. Its called noodling. maybe because thats how your knees feel when you arent quite sure what you have in your hand. Keep your thumb against the side of your palm at all times, and keep your hand against the overhead cover if at all possible. Keeps them from getting the hook on there beak into your hand. I have even caught big Cats this way. Now that is fun!
    ..
    Huntinbull
     
  12. rockbass

    rockbass Banned

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    Are you sure it is called noodling for turtles?? I know that is what they call it for catfish. some I think call it "losin a finger" :p :D


    We just call it plain old going turtle hunting!
     
  13. call me a *****, but i dont stick my hands near snappers. specially blindly sticking them under roots. I do plan on trying to catch and cook one this summer though. thanks for the input.
     
  14. I was fishing in Canada with my Dad and saw two huge turtles in the shallows. I used one of the oars and managed to keep one from swimming away while another boat came in and netted the monster. It struck the oar and bit a triangular piece out of it about 4 inches each side. :eek: Took it back to camp and weighed it. 55 pounds! Unreal. I had to leave befor they made the soup :mad: but the owner of the camp wrote and said the soup was great and that was the largest snapper ever brought into camp. Wish I could have got the shell as a rememberence. :(
    A good friend makes the soup and then cubes the meat, coats it and deep fries it. Fantastic! :)
     
  15. I'm with Dadura.
    I was with Steelmagoo when we found the broken Gamakatsu's. I wouldn't go rootchen for this behemoth unless I was using bin-Laden's hands.
     
  16. steelmagoo

    steelmagoo Enjigneer

    Shortdrift got me hungry. My turtle (Myrtle the Turtle, we call it) I got this weekend is just about ready for the axe. Cubed and fried it shall be. When my wife was a kid living in Meredosia, Ill. they had turtle on occasion. She says they used to fry it on the bone like chicken. Somehow her mom did it so it wasn't to tough. I might give that a try with one of the leg quarters, after I ask her mom for the recipe. Maybe she ran it over with the Chrystler a few times, I dunno.
     
  17. I'm open for a dinner invite :D :D
     
  18. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe fishn and flyn

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    I have 2 questions, 1 How in the world do you cut open the shell?
    The second is in the past week I have seen around 10 of them either crossing the roads or smashed there. Seeing them smashed really ticks me off just for the fact they are not speedy creatures so they must be ran over on purpose. Is it migration tiime?
    Had turtle stew one time years ago cooked in some kind of tomato sause. Delious.
     
  19. steelmagoo

    steelmagoo Enjigneer

    The carapace (back shell) can be cut from the plastron (bottom shell) where they meet by sliding a knife between them. They are connected by tough membrane but not fused.
     
  20. steelmagoo

    steelmagoo Enjigneer

    Got two more this weekend, which makes 5 so far. Keeping one in a cooler and the other in a tub for a few days to clean them out. One is about 10 lbs and the other about 8 lbs. Row V. Wade and I lost a monster at the side of the boat that had to be close to 20 lbs, scary big. Fried some of the last one I caught, very good with cornmeal coating. Also made some crock pot soup: some of the soup meat I deep fried and some I parboiled. I think deep frying helps tenderize it. I'm going to try Longbow's recipe (from another thread) with the next one.

    Tackle: 1/16" dia steel wire rope in 5 ft lengths, both ends looped and secured with crimped aluminum ferrules. One end has a 7/0 Owner Gorilla live bait hook in the loop, I put a snap hook in the other end. I run the snap end around a tree and attach to the line. The snap is good because I can easily remove the rig when I get a turtle or won't be back for a while. It is not practical to unhook an angry snapper in a boat, in the dark and expect to keep all your body parts. I have also tried the rig on a jug, but without success yet. Seems like they pull it all over the place but don't get the hook set.

    Bait: Cut fish. I've also heard about using beef neck or groundhog meat.

    Noodling: No. Oh hell no.