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Thread: Halibut weight conversions (did we get cheated)?

  1. #1
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    Default Halibut weight conversions (did we get cheated)?

    Does anyone know whether the conversions for length to weight in the back of the tide table books are correct? Last time out, we caught halibut 64", 43", and 41", which convert to live weights of 134#, 37#, and 32# and dressed weight of 101#, 28#, and 24# based on those conversions. This would mean 153# of meat total.

    I usually fillet the meat myself, and have thus never had it weighed. This time, however, we dropped the fillets off at a packing company. They returned 73# of skinned meat, vacuum sealed. Does this seem correct? Less than 50% of what the tide book conversion led us to expect?

    Curious to know if anyone here has ever ground truthed the conversions, or have suggestions for what I might be overlooking. I'd prefer not to suspect cheating here, but it's kind of hard to not be suspicious...

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    No on the rip off! You will only get 50% to 60% of live weight. Book is on the high side, only time it is close is fish from the kelp.

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    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Second on the 'no rip off'. I was at a lodge in June and saw a 150# hali get filleted. It surprised the guys who did it when they weighed the meat. 73 pounds. This was a healthy looking fish though early in the season and caught off a hump in 119 feet of water. It measured 5'6". I put the tape on it and the chart said 149# . Their knife work was close to the bone. Maybe the chart folks were working off of obese halibut?

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    The packing company also will "trim" the meat to fit their bags. I took fillets with skin on on lost 11% of the take-in weight when got back frozen bags the next day in July. The charter deckhand on the Dodger did a really nice job filleting. The halibut by the book should have gone about 180, the scales on the dock read 147 after it pucked up it stomach contents. More than a 30 pound difference. But, on the shorter (lighter) fish the book is usually real close. I believe the bigger fish are just like people - you see some 200 pound 6 footers, and you see some 300 pound 6 foot tall people.

    I would have to say, "No, you were not intentionally cheated."

    Chris

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    Here is a photo of the biggest halibut that day.

    Chris

    weighing Chris's Halibut.jpg

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Isn't dressed weight one that is headed and gutted but not filleted?
    That would easily explain it.
    I too do not feel you were ripped off.
    I have talked to commercial Longliners who claim that using those book numbers they can get really close weights even when figuring 10,000# loads. Like being within 100#' s.
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  7. #7

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    Dressed weight as listed on the chart is gutted and gilled.

    We've been keeping records of our catch for years. Weight calculated from the chart/length. Meat weighed when it goes to the blast freezer (filleted, skinned, ready for the freezer). 50% of calculated weight is the average over the years. We cut close to the bone, but trim off anything that is not 100% in quality. The chart seems to be most accurate in the 30# to 90# range. Fish do vary sometimes get a "skinny one" (rare) sometimes get a "chunky one" (more common).

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    Thanks everyone. I learned a little something about processing, and am glad I withheld judgment on the packers. I'll use 'em again in that situation.

  9. #9

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    I have found that the weight to length conversion for an undressed fish is not overly reliable (usually too generous), so that could be a problem when trying to get a dressed weight. There are just too many variables involved in the weight of a particular fish to be able to say every single one you catch that is a certain length is going to be what the chart says it should weigh. I prefer to rely on a scale if I REALLY want to know what a fish weighs.
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  10. #10
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    You will find that most of fish in the 65" to 90" range in the round will weigh closer to the tide books suggested dressed weight number. don't no why they over shoot it like that, but it's fun to throw a tape on it and read off the suggested live weight number to your clients, I agree with the 50 to 60 percent recovery.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Siddfinch View Post
    Does anyone know whether the conversions for length to weight in the back of the tide table books are correct? Last time out, we caught halibut 64", 43", and 41", which convert to live weights of 134#, 37#, and 32# and dressed weight of 101#, 28#, and 24# based on those conversions. This would mean 153# of meat total.

    I usually fillet the meat myself, and have thus never had it weighed. This time, however, we dropped the fillets off at a packing company. They returned 73# of skinned meat, vacuum sealed. Does this seem correct? Less than 50% of what the tide book conversion led us to expect?

    Curious to know if anyone here has ever ground truthed the conversions, or have suggestions for what I might be overlooking. I'd prefer not to suspect cheating here, but it's kind of hard to not be suspicious...
    I drop my fillets off at a local fish packing co to get them vacuum packed. I always watch the gal weigh the fillets before they leave my sight.. Not that I don't trust her, but more out of curiosity. BTW, 73# of halibut is a nice score for 3 fish. You'll be eating well.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    I have found that the weight to length conversion for an undressed fish is not overly reliable (usually too generous), so that could be a problem when trying to get a dressed weight. There are just too many variables involved in the weight of a particular fish to be able to say every single one you catch that is a certain length is going to be what the chart says it should weigh. I prefer to rely on a scale if I REALLY want to know what a fish weighs.
    + what he said

  13. #13

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    Just another thought in re-reading this thread. Someone else mentioned their halibut puking up the contents of its stomach. I always cut open the stomach of the halibut I catch to see what they've been eating and a lot of the time they will have absolutely nothing in their stomach which would obviously decrease their weight, and a lot of times their stomach will be totally engorged with bait. I opened up a small (maybe 15 lbs.) halibut once and it had 15 (no lie) silver dollar sized what looked like small dungies in it's stomach.
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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    Just another thought in re-reading this thread. Someone else mentioned their halibut puking up the contents of its stomach. I always cut open the stomach of the halibut I catch to see what they've been eating and a lot of the time they will have absolutely nothing in their stomach which would obviously decrease their weight, and a lot of times their stomach will be totally engorged with bait. I opened up a small (maybe 15 lbs.) halibut once and it had 15 (no lie) silver dollar sized what looked like small dungies in it's stomach.
    Halibut love dungies. They hangout in the crab nurseries (about 3-8 of water) in the fall around Controller Bay and Bering river. Its pretty cool to turn on the sodiums at night and watch them do battle in the clear water





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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    My 152# halibut two summers ago yielded 92# of filets. We had them weighed before sending them to the local packer. I got back 88# of vacumm sealed flash frozen fish. Only 4# of waste. I was extremely happy. I paid a buck a pound to get it processed and it was totally worth it. Instead of dealing with fish I got to go out on the town and drink beer and have fun. The next morning I pulled up to the processor, filled my cooler with frozen halibut and headed home
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