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Thread: Caring for fish after the catch

  1. #1
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    Default Caring for fish after the catch

    We got a load of reds this weekend that went straight into the cooler after filleting. Upon getting home last night we dumped three bags of ice in the cooler. When we started processing them this afternoon, we notice that some of the filets were almost half pink and a half red. So if you looked at a single filet, it was half light pink and half red. Almost blotchy. I attributed this to the fact that maybe the pink part of the filet was under the water and that's why it was light pink.
    Has anyone else run into this?
    Is letting your filets soak in clean fresh tap(ice) water bad?

  2. #2
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    It's best to keep water off the fillets as much as possible, especially for an extended period of time. It's more a matter of looks than it is of degraded quality, although if left in water the fillet will eventually get mushy and taste quite bland.

    Give the fillets a quick rinse and then if you need to put them on ice for a while, put them in plastic first.

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    In short, yes. If you're going to leave fish in water, leave them whole. Chop the heads and gut them, then ice them down. If you're dealing with fillets bag the fillets then submerge. Freshwater + Fillets = bad juju in my book.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Member AKArcher's Avatar
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    Like the others have said, I keep ice/water off of the fillets. If I must fillet them before I can fully process them I put them in gallon bags. Then I put the ice around the bags to keep the fillets cool.
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Yea, the water will make the fish bland and faded. Next time be sure to continue to drain the cooler. I usually leave my drain plug undone and put a small glass on the inside on top of the drain so the fish don't cover the hole on the inside. Works for me.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys, I got what I needed. Next time i'll use plastic bags.
    It was only about 10 hours and the only water in there was from the melting ice, so only about a couple inches.

  7. #7
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    I carry a big contractor bag for the fillets and fill the cooler around it with ice

    Another good trick is to line the bottom of the cooler wih beer and put he filets on op, as the ice melts you have 6 inches for water to melt in keeping the filets on ice. Just drain it as needed.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  8. #8
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    CUTTING UP


    As much as I can, I bleed them, cut them, and then reserve them on ice encased in plastic prior to processing. My knife slides above the gut and I don't even rinse.

    Simple, and palate proficient...

    Rosenberg; Kodiak, AK / Sarasota, FL
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  9. #9
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Once cut flesh has been exposed, water is the enemy.

    No drowning and absolutely no power washing fillets or cut steaks.

    Take it to the bank.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

  10. #10

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    I put my fillets in baggies, then pack ice around each baggie. If you put lots of fillets in one bag and then put the bag in ice, it can take quite a while for the fillets in the middle of the bag to cool down. Same principle applies when putting vacuum packed fillets in my freezer. I try to spread them out as much as I can so that they freeze faster. If you put them on the shelf in a big pile, then it takes a while for the inside fillets to freeze.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    I put my fillets in baggies, then pack ice around each baggie. If you put lots of fillets in one bag and then put the bag in ice, it can take quite a while for the fillets in the middle of the bag to cool down. Same principle applies when putting vacuum packed fillets in my freezer. I try to spread them out as much as I can so that they freeze faster. If you put them on the shelf in a big pile, then it takes a while for the inside fillets to freeze.
    Amen all around. Worse yet, that slow freezing in the middle of the pile really messes up the fish for long term holding. Fastest freezing is best.

  12. #12
    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Just stuff a hand full of zip locks in your fishing bag. Chop em on the river and put the fillets in the bags then on ice. Makes for less mess in the cooler and keeps the meat fresh till you get it home.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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