Introduction: Fish Smoking Hook
Apparently this is a fish smoking hook. "I need some smoking hooks for fish they are made out of kebab skewers" was the instruction. So I purchased some cheap "stainless" skewers enquired a little more about the design and came up with these they have met with approval but but needed shortening to work with our current smoker. The modifications have been edited into the steps. The in use images in the last step are of the long or prototypes version. It is used by inserting it through the mouth of a gutted fish from the gut cavity then piercing the flesh near the tail with the point of the support loop and twisting it around the spine. A secondary jaw hook is required for trout. included as it's own step
Step 1: Materials and Tools
stainless steel kebab skewers about 18"/45cm long 3/16"□/2mm□. flat strip or wire of about the same dimensions would no doubt work just as well as & forming the hanging loop would be no harder than making the spine grip.
A round steel mandrel in this case a bit of 20mm (about 3/4") bar I picked out of the scrap bin. A small vice.
Big pair of pliers
You may wish to wear eye protection and leather work gloves in case pointy ends slip.
Step 2: Grip and Bend
open the jaws of your vice so they are wide enough for you mandrel and the tip of the skewer. place the point of the skewer so it is just gripped between the jaws of the vice and the mandrel & tighten the vice.
bend the skewer round the mandrel
Step 3: Rotate and Bend More
slacken the vice enough to twist your part formed loop around the mandrel. tighten the vice bend further round the mandrel. you should now have approximately 3/4s of a loop. The bright spot is just camera flash not a flat spot.
Step 4: Open Existing Loop
If using pre formed skewers as the starting point it may be necessary to open the existing loop on the skewer so it will hang on the bars in the smoker, or depending on the size of your smoker form a new hanging eye.
Step 5: Forming the Hanging Eye
a shaft of about 22cm/8" is long enough for an average sized mackerel or a small trout. grip the shaft with a large pair of pliers (the jaws on this pair are about 12mm/1/2" thick which made a nice sized eye) and bend 45° move to the other side of the bend and bend back 90° move along again and make a further 90° bend in the same direction as the last one so forming 3 sides of a diamond. Mark and cut where the bend to complete the diamond would have been smooth burs with a file if needed.
Step 6: Secondary Hook for Trout
Trout I've learnt tend to sag so an additional hook is required to support it. It just requires bending the shaft of another skewer slightly over 90° then an additional bend to bring it parallel to the shaft and cutting it off. It is passed through the lower jaw. place the hanging eye of the main hook through the mouth of the trout place the secondary hook through the jaw hold both hanging eyes to find the position of the spine hook and twist into position.
Step 7: Bend Loop to 90°
grip the loop in the vice as shown and bend to 90° minor tweaks with pliers maybe need on first use.
Step 8: Warning
the following steps contain images of dead gutted fish lessons learned from the last step have been edited into previous steps.
Step 9: Modification in Use
it transpired that my wife's smoker back home is made from a pair of 45 gallon oil drums. The thing she brought online isn't much bigger than a 5 gallon can so the hooks need shortening . I had to do this after the fish were hung. This was achieved simply by gripping in a pair of large pliers and bending a series of 90° bends to form an open diamond.
While mackerel seem to be solid enough for this system of hanging, trout aren't they sag down the shaft. Having shortened the shaft in the same way I formed a second hook to support the trout by the jaw as well.
As a final step once the first fish were removed after smoking I had to cut the original eye off the skewer about where the last bend to complete the diamond of the hanging eye would be have now been shown the hanging eye is passed through the mouth of the fish from inside the gut cavity prior to hooking the loop around the spine.