• Ratfish

  • Have questions about Saltwater areas, boats, gear or techniques? This is the place for them.
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 #231607  by riverhunter
 Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:12 pm
Hi guys so I do not know anyone that eats ratfish but a few years ago I did see a few Asian fisherman catching and keeping ratfish. I am not discriminating Asian anglers but they were Asian coincidentally so my question is what is everyone's take on ratfish. I don't plan on eating just wanting to hear others thought about this weird looking specimen.
 #231610  by Shad_Eating_Grin
 Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:05 pm
nasty fish with a poisonous spine, if I recall correctly.

Ratfish liver oil is supposed to be an excellent lubricant, if I also recall correctly
 #231710  by riverhunter
 Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:11 pm
That is probably the reason they were keeping them. After I asked what they did with them they looked at me a little crazy so now that you mention the liver oil being a lubricant that can be why they gave me the look as if saying "we don't eat them" lol but without an actual answer which they did not give me who really knows. Maybe something they learned as they looked to be older gentlemen
 #231737  by Bay wolf
 Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:52 am
I lived in the far east for many years so I can draw a few conclusions that might possibly shed some light:

Not knowing exactly what ethnicity the older men may have been, I can only answer in general terms however.

Having fished in the orient, I've found that any fish that is caught is kept. There is always a use for it, and seldom is anything wasted. Unlike many western cultures, asian cultures utilize most all parts of the catch. (We've all seen the infamous fish head soup portrayed in the movies) Fish oil is a multi use product. Used for lubrication to medicinal purposes.
The meat of less desirable fish is often dried and ground into powder and used for seasoning. I've even noticed here, in the US, that these traditions continue even when the fishermen catches fish that they have never encountered in their native country. So, I'm not surprised to read about the strange look, but I think it was more of (why wouldn't you keep it) kinda look! My 2 cents worth...
 #231760  by riverhunter
 Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:39 pm
great info. I was very curious on this. Never did i ask ethnicity as that really shouldnt matter but they did look like they were from the orient and i know that fish is a big part of their lifestyle so knew that they werent going to waste. I was more interested as well if they keep why dont we all keep them as they are the most abundant fish in the puget sound. Ill have to loom into the oil and its uses and maybe it can be useful for me as well someday. Maybe next time i encounter i will think twice before releasing
 #231763  by Bay wolf
 Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:41 pm
It's ok to ask for more details. Most people are happy to share aspects of their culture, especially if approached with respect.
I've learned a lot from people from all over. And have turned some of those simple question sessions into life long friends. I'll ask around and see if I can dig up some more info too. Stay curious and keep an open mind!

Found this: http://ratfishoil.com/
 #231809  by salmonkiller
 Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:25 pm
Neah Bay- 2000’ish…..

My friend and I were staying on the boat in the Neah Bay marina… While waiting for the sun to set we drank heavily and I decided it would be a great idea to bait a hook with a nice sized herring. then free spooled it to the bottom. I set the clicker, put the rod in the rod-holder and we both continued to hang out with Makers Mark….

About 15 min or so passed and then click-click-click……rat-fish on!!!…. I grabbed the rod and hauled in about a 3 pounder… I had never seen anything like this in person….its eyes where glowing in the evening light…. My buddy who was 3-sheets attempted to get the hooks out with some pliers as it flopped on the deck of the boat. After a brief battle between drunkie and rat.. the rat was back in the water…...

Next day we went out and got our Halibut, Sea-bass and lings, took the boat out and headed back home. My friend told me during the drunkin battle the rat fish actually stung him!! He then showed me his hand where the stinger got him!!! It was all red and swollen and looked like it was infected…. He said it had been throbbing all day but he didn’t want to say anything….

I steer clear of those things!!!
 #244097  by Beef_Weasel
 Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:12 pm
The liver oil from ratfish is so packed with antioxidants you can leave it in a jar outside for 100 years and there will be no oxidation. It in my opinion is 100% the best tool oil on earth and is used medicinally for many purposes. The main being decalcifying tge pineal gland. To extract the liver oil remove from fish after bleeding out, cut into small chunks with ceramic knife, put in glass jars, freeze foe a day to burst cell walls then put in fridge for a say and the oil seeps out. I repeat the process until it stops weeping then collect all oil and filter down a few times with coffee filters. Whether you are using it on pliers or yourself one liver will last quite a while as most medicinal dosages average 3-5 drops a day and most tools take about the same. On acerage the ratfish is around 60% liver and the liver is around 60% oil. The rest gets thrown in a stinky horrible aerated barrel for fertilizer. Dogfish liver is processed the same. They both acerage $40 / oz in the medical world.
 #244107  by TrackerPro16
 Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:57 am
Ever since I found out I am 18 percent Asian I have been looking for reasons to take offense at any 'Asian' remarks! :fish: [biggrin]
I would try one of those.
There is a certain 'snob' factor here in the US about eating things that are commonly eaten in other countries. Insects are one thing that is on that list. I will try just about anything 'once' to decide for myself. I was surprised when I tried carp cooked a few different ways that it was quite good. Particularly when smoked.
I am planning to try sand shrimp and sand crabs deep fried in the near future.
 #244111  by Maltby
 Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:06 pm
Yeah, we’ll im half Norwegian but I won’t touch Lutefisk...my heritage be damned.
Anyway, years ago I won a fillet knife in the ugliest fish category at a fishing derby by catching a ratfish.