Caring for your Catch p1: on the water

Wow, Rick, you just solved another problem for me. I always carry extra frozen bait but in the middle of last summer my 14 year old on board fridge/freezer finally bit the dust. I just can't justify spending upwards $700 or more on an new replacement. I am off to e-bay/amazon to start shopping for the "cihillin brew" style!
 
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Chinacat

Well-Known Angler
Dec 20, 2018
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Capt Rick-
I'm guessing as captain running a boat you have a dedicated fish/bait freezer or chest freezer you use to refreeze the arctic packs in after they've been in the cooler with the fish, saltwater etc?. Seems like it prolly wouldn't be a great idea to throw them into a "regular" use freezer or it would get a bit fishy pretty quickly
 
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Mar 4, 2019
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Capt Rick-
I'm guessing as captain running a boat you have a dedicated fish/bait freezer or chest freezer you use to refreeze the arctic packs in after they've been in the cooler with the fish, saltwater etc?. Seems like it prolly wouldn't be a great idea to throw them into a "regular" use freezer or it would get a bit fishy pretty quickly
Hey Mike, When we soap the fish cooler out we hit the ice packs too, keep em clean. But yes I have 2 outdoor freezers I use, and we keep em there.
They don't really retain the smell, we switch em around between the fish and food cooler etc. They fit nicely into a milk carton crate, thats how we
bring em from the freezer to the boat in the morning. I dont think you would have a problem keeping em in house freezer just wash em off and wipe em dry first.
 

pequa1

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Dec 23, 2018
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, it should be obvious
After still another upright freezer kept in my garage (yeah, I know not exactly an optimal location) died, I ended up getting a smaller chest freezer in the basement. Since I don't use bait anymore except for a clam belly trip or two in the fall, the only fish stink I would be bringing in would be frozen snapper, blue and fluke filets. If the packages are loaded with the filets carefully, and are kept dry after sealing them with our Kohl's Vacuum sealer, they and the freezer don't stink, just as Capt Rick says.
 

Matts

New Angler
Feb 11, 2019
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Step 1: Bleeding

All species of fish benefit from a clean bleed. Some fish are almost inedible unless you bleed them (big bluefish, striped bass); some will yield prettier fillets for raw preps (fluke)...but most fish will store and taste better if bled properly.

Fish need to be bled while still alive, and submerged in water after cutting. For large fish, make sure at least the head/gills are submerged in water during the bleeding process. On a boat, this usually involves a white bucket filled with seawater.
...
Below is a short, unlisted clip demonstrating how I bleed fluke and porgy. Off camera, I transfer the fish into my cooler filled with block ice which sits behind me on the kayak:
Thanks for all the really great info. My fish cooking game is getting the tips it's always needed.
One question. You fish from a yak with your fish on a stringer. Wouldn't it make more sense to keep the fish alive on the stringer and bleed them right before you are ready to go in?
On my boat, I keep the fish alive in a live well until it's time to go in, then they get cut and bleed out on my way in.
Do you think bled and iced works better than kept alive, then bled, then iced?
 

buddha162

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Dec 19, 2018
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Thanks for all the really great info. My fish cooking game is getting the tips it's always needed.
One question. You fish from a yak with your fish on a stringer. Wouldn't it make more sense to keep the fish alive on the stringer and bleed them right before you are ready to go in?
On my boat, I keep the fish alive in a live well until it's time to go in, then they get cut and bleed out on my way in.
Do you think bled and iced works better than kept alive, then bled, then iced?
It's probably best to kill the fish asap to avoid lactic acid buildup from stress. The absolute quickest method that's employed by the Japanese is "Ike Jime," which involved brain spiking with a sharp ice-pick style tool (instant death, least amt of suffering etc), then inserting a length of wire down the spinal cord to destroy all nerve activity, then bleeding out in an ice slurry.

No one's got time for all that, esp on a kayak and esp when the fish are biting...so I clip the fish, cut its gills and go on fishing. Couple of casts later I check to see if the fish bled out; if so, I transfer into the cooler behind me immediately. That cooler is stacked with block ice.

I suppose the slim chance of a visit from the taxman is another reason not to drag my fish around on a stringer all day lol...
 
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