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Swordfishing Discussion of Swordfish Fishing. World Record: 1182 lbs - Chile - Report Your Catch!

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Old 08-18-2009, 08:59 AM   #1
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Default Worms in Swordfish/General Questions

I know we have discussed this one before, but after catching a fish last week, I got curious about the worm discussion again.

My general understanding is that they are basically in every swordfish. (I'm talking about the thin white ones in the meat). They can be anywhere in the meat, but have a higher density in the belly meat. I usually pop out the pieces that I see before I cook and throw out steaks if they are extremely wormy. I imagine that when you cook the fish, the worms die, but what if you accidentally ingested one alive? My assumption is that they aren't the type of worms that could survive human stomach acid, but what do I know... Just fishin for any scientific information or plain old opinions about these worms.

On a side note, I did see a different parasite (at least I think it was a parasite) in the fish's body cavity somewhere around the stomach. It looked almost like a yellow caterpillar and was squirming all around. Kind of a freaky creature.

Last general question: What portion (if any) of the belly meat is discarded from commercial catch? I assume fish is sold to the markets as a core, but do the markets sell every piece of meat? I usually wipe or cut off the slimy coating and the rest cooks up just fine (maybe even better than the rest).
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:53 AM   #2
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Fish parasites generally cannot survive in a human. I'm sure there are exceptions, put they're pretty rare. Every sword has worms.
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:05 AM   #3
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I don't believe any of the parasites found in fish are harmful to humans. Worms are the reality in many fish we eat from grouper to swords to AJs to hoos. Grouper worms are the easiest to simply pick out. With AJ's I just don't take the fillet all the way down to the tail. With hoos, just double check the belly meat. Same with swords. A lot of the smaller white worms in swords and hoos I believe disintegrate during cooking. However, for aesthetics, I am always mindful of removing any worms, any unsightly meat, bloodlines, etc. In fact, I do all this before I package and quick freeze my fillets. I know some people who freeze a whole fish or large fillet uncleaned and then do the fine cleaning after thawing and before preparing. I like to make my nice clean portions before they freeze.

On a final note, I caught a small tiger grouper in the Gingerbreads a couple of years ago. They are neat. When I was looking at it, it had this crustacean like parasite in one of its eyes. It looked like one of those nasty shrimp with claws, but about an inch long. Grossed me out. I tried to carefully pry it away but it would not come out. Finally, I took my pliers and ripped it out except the tail ripped away from the head and the head, still alive, dug into the eye socket out of sight. Gives me the heeveejeebees thinking about it.

Laters.

Juani

Last edited by Captain Juan; 08-18-2009 at 11:28 AM..
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:29 AM   #4
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I do like Juan as far as cleaning before freezing.

Its pretty common to see worms, some more than others and generaly
in the belly meat.

Several months ago we got a nice fish. I always cut the stomach open to see the contents. This was a first for me. Full of squirming worms!!
I grabbed a bunch with my filet knife and made like i was gonna eat them
and made one of the guys gag and then I start heaving Almost caused a chain reaction!!

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Old 08-18-2009, 10:36 AM   #5
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I'm gaging right now!!
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:41 AM   #6
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I haven't noticed too many in the swords I've cut. A lot of those thin stringy things are actually connective tissue sandwiched between the muscle clusters. Kinda look like worms, but not.

I also prefer to do all the trimming before vacuum-packing & freezing. I'll often give some steaks to co-workers or friends, who may not necessarily know how to trim the meat before cooking. So I just make it easy for 'em... thaw and cook.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Juan View Post
On a final note, I caught a small tiger grouper in the Gingerbreads a couple of years ago. They are neat. When I was looking at it, it had this crustacean like parasite in one of its eyes. It looked like one of those nasty shrimp with claws, but about an inch long. Grossed me out. I tried to carefully pry it away but it would not come out. Finally, I took my pliers and ripped it out except the tail ripped away from the head and the head, still alive, dug into the eye socket out of sight. Gives me the heeveejeebees thinking about it.
Those are parasitic isopods. They are common in drum and grouper. The genus is Lironeca. Not to hijack the thread but they are a very common parasite but are usually associated with the gill chamber. However, I have caught many redfish with them all over their body. I have seen them on the eyes, like you have seen, but on other memebers of the grouper family. I remember seeing them on a red hind in the Bahamas. Nasty looking little critters.

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Old 08-18-2009, 12:09 PM   #8
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They look like little lobsta's.....yummee !
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:07 PM   #9
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I got some recipes!!!
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:20 PM   #10
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Deep-fried isopod poppers?
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:40 PM   #11
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BH. That's it, though I thought it had some claw-like grasps near the head.

It was nasty because it was affecting the eye. Come to think of it, I have seen critters in the gills, but they seemed much smaller than what I saw on the grouper. The grouper, though obviously blind in one eye, seemed totally unaffected.

Thanks for sharing.

J
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:08 PM   #12
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COŅO!!!!!!!
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:08 PM   #13
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Pretty gross guys..................Catch and release........................E
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:21 PM   #14
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Those are nasty looking critters!!!
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