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Thread: Care for Halibut on long trips

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    Member kobuk's Avatar
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    Default Care for Halibut on long trips

    We have always skinned our halibut out on the water while we are out for the weekend and the meat stays beautiful. The regs changed to not mutilate the filets for identification which is fine and we started leaving a small piece of skin on each filet so you can see that I have two white and two brown filets per fish. now i guess, depending on which trooper checks you, we can't do that either. Does anyone have any tricks on getting the slime off the skin when you filet your fish? It makes big difference in quality with the skin off and not having to rinse your filets at home to get the slime off the meat. I do have a problem figuring out how taking the skin off while leaving a patch for identification is mutilating the filet? I can see if someone cuts their filets into small pieces so it would be hard to get a fish count, but two whites and two browns is pretty easy to figure out.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Just use the back side of a fillet knife and scrape the slime off. Works pretty well and is simple. Halibut keeps really well on ice, so just bring plenty. Drain the water out of coolers frequently. If you keep the meat well iced it'll keep just fine for a few days.

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    Member kobuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    Just use the back side of a fillet knife and scrape the slime off. Works pretty well and is simple. Halibut keeps really well on ice, so just bring plenty. Drain the water out of coolers frequently. If you keep the meat well iced it'll keep just fine for a few days.
    Yes, halibut keeps well on ice. I just don't like how the meat gets all slimy in the bags from the skin. I have found out that rinsing the meat off under water kind of hurts the meat by making it bland and it won't freeze as well. I guess my biggest gripe is how skinning the filets is considered mutilation. I just needed to vent....... ok i feel better now.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kobuk View Post
    Yes, halibut keeps well on ice. I just don't like how the meat gets all slimy in the bags from the skin. I have found out that rinsing the meat off under water kind of hurts the meat by making it bland and it won't freeze as well. I guess my biggest gripe is how skinning the filets is considered mutilation. I just needed to vent....... ok i feel better now.
    lol

    Good deal.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Just keep the fish in the round, or in the flat as the case may be. Cut off the head, save the cheeks, cut out the stomach and put the whole fish on ice. No better way to protect the meat, and it really doesn't take up much more space than the fillets.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  6. #6

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    Can someone direct me to where in the regs it talks about halibut and how they have to be identifiable (not mutilated so that...)? I know it's somewhere, but when I look online at the State regs it directs me to the Fed (NOAA) for halibut regs and I can't find the answer there. Main question I have is what's necessary to be able to have the number of fish on board identifiable. If you have 4 fillets, even without any skin on them, then is it obvious that you had one fish? Or does a piece of the skin actually have to be on the fillets? If you catch a decent sized halibut and end up with big fillets, then you can't cut them up and put in baggies to put in the ice chest? So put the big fillets in side a trash bag instead? I understand the need to be able to tell how many fish you caught and am just wondering what others do, or at least what you are supposed to do.

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    New member Sockeye Salm's Avatar
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    When I commercial fished for halibut, back in "74", we were allowed to make 21 day trips. Gutted and iced fish heavy, and they were fine at the dock. Halibut has an excellent shelf life, unlike many other species like True cod, Sablefish, Ling Cod and Shrimp.


    Like Paul said take the head and tail off, gut the fish, and ice the fish whole. Don't worry about the slime, slime is a good thing for the quality of the fish, fresh water is not. Rinse and fillet when you get home.

    F&G should be able to give you a phone number of a Fed in Juneau to answer your other questions. I called them last year because I wanted a clarification on eating halibut while out on an extended trip. The answer to that question was that it was fine.

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