Sadly, there was no icefishing season last winter in my corner of the Northeast. Even sadder, it meant that my friend, Cliff Horton, failed to provide me with any pickled pickerel–a wintertime favorite.

For three seasons of the year, we consider pickerel to be a nuisance fish (don’t hate me). Though they taste just fine, pesky Y-bones make them a chore to fillet so we just mostly cuss and throw them back. Come wintertime, however, pickerel are somehow transformed into the target species. Their flesh is decidedly firmer in winter, but I think it’s due largely to Cliff’s pickling recipe, which is simple to make and results in an awesome anytime snack. The best part, however, is that you don’t have to mess with the Y-bones at all. They’re dissolved through the pickling process. So here goes. Try it this winter.

Pickled Pickerel
2 tsp pickling spice
2 ½ tbs kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
1 onion
white vinegar

1) Cut fillets in to chunks
2) Fill 1 quart Ball jar approximately ¾ full with fish
3) Add, salt, sugar, pickling spice and sliced onion
4) Fill jar with white vinegar
5) Shake until all dry ingredients dissolve
6) Refrigerate 5 days [give it a shake the 3rd day]
7) Eat it right out of the jar or mix with a little sour cream and eat on a cracker as you would pickled herring