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Into the Outdoors - Walleye Wings

I have to start things off this week with an OOPS! In last week’s column I said that the season for walleyes opened on the upcoming Saturday. I had the date right, but the day was wrong. Ever since I retired, I have had a bit of trouble knowing what day it is. This whole lockdown has, apparently, made the problem worse. THIS Saturday, May 2nd, is the opening day. Have you ever heard of walleye wings? Up until last year, I had not. I was introduced to them by Capt. Brad Jordan of One More Cast Charters. Here is what they are. They are the little pieces of meat found around the fins on the bottom of the fish just behind the head. After fileting the fish, cut that meat out, leaving the fins intact. Skin them and fry them up. When you eat them, the fins serve as a little handle. They are nothing short of delicious. Sometimes, I like a little cocktail sauce myself. I like to make my own by mixing ketchup and horseradish. Here are a couple other tasty fish tidbits. The cheeks of walleyes make for a iight, sweet snack. Also, catfish have a nice little chunk of meat on the top of their head. A bit hard to skin, but with some practice, it’s not all that bad. I have been seeing more and more articles and videos about eating carp. I’m not referring to Asian carp, but rather to just regular old very day carp. For me, there is just something off putting about eating carp. Of course, if someone cleaned it and cooked it, I would give it a try. From all that I have seen and read, the flesh is really filled with bones, although there are methods to get rid of them. The fried filets certainly look good. Allegheny River legend Johnny Logue used to smoke them, and as I recall, they were very tasty. On another front, the Game Commission advises that it will soon be time to put up feeders for hummingbirds. Since they usually arrive around May 1st, late April is the time. As there are several concoctions that can harm the little guys, I stick to commercial hummingbird nectar. This spring, I have been noticing large flocks of goldfinches at my bird feeder. While I am used to seeing a few, I can’t remember seeing this many at one time. These birds stay around all winter. However, they lose their bright yellow colors. Therefore, they are often mistaken for sparrows and other similar birds. It is often said that you should feed thistle seeds to goldfinches. I have discovered that this not necessary. They love sunflower seeds. In fact, I have seen them pass up thistle seeds to get to the sunflower seeds. It seems that all birds like these more than anything else. I have put out birdseed mixtures, only to have the birds toss everything else onto the ground to get to the sunflower seeds. Now, that’s all I feed. The other day, I noticed some red-winged blackbirds at the feeders. While these birds are a fairly common sight, I can’t remember seeing them at a feeder before. These ones were even singing their beautiful song. I certainly hope that bear(s) don’t wreck my bird feeders, although I suppose that they eventually will. With the quarantine, and considering the tripe that’s on television, they have become a major source of entertainment for me.

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