A big jew can provide multiple uses apart from a massive feed.
A big jew can provide multiple uses apart from a massive feed.

Scales, jewels, pet food and soup: Never waste a big fish

THE introduction of bag limits and the popularity of catch and release has helped preserve valuable fish stocks.

But well before anglers started restricting their catch numbers, a large fish was never wasted.

Apart from its importance for food, a big jew served many purposes.

Before refrigeration, my pop and nana used to salt the fillets and store them in a cool place after an initial meal or two.

The dried out scales were kept to cover the kids' school books.

The small jewels found inside a jew's head were removed and cleaned to become part of a future necklace.

What remained was also put to excellent use.

The insides of the fish became pet food and the head and spine of the filleted fish made a tasty soup ideal for winter.

It's amazing how resourceful our forebears were, through necessity and a generational trend to be frugal.

UFO SIGHTING: Watch out for strange events in the night

MYSTERY ENCOUNTER: The 'shark' was just at my feet

MAN OVERBOARD: Be careful to stay in the boat

SILVER JOY: Few more rewarding moments than landing a big jew

UNBELIEVABLE CATCH: Winding it to make an amazing discovery

FLYING DANGERS: Watch those 'mini missiles' coming back at you

These days, fish skeletons continue to make excellent bait for crab pots or dillies, ensuring a second use.

Fish scraps obtained by the water's edge are also devoured by pelicans and seagulls, who can benefit from a productive catch.

It's important to stop and consider how to maximise every catch.

Tailor fillets, often tasteless after being frozen, make an irresistible bait for bream and larger tailor.

A slab of tailor is ideal to tempt a predatory jew, which can offer a wealth of options for like those like my wise grandparents.

This article is part of a Fishy Tales series focusing on unusual experiences and adventures.