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Thread: Fish organization on the Copper?....

  1. #1
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    Default Fish organization on the Copper?....

    I'm hoping for a few tips from you all about organizing the hords of fish you bring in to the shore (rocks). In past years, everyone I go with has their own suggestions...but yet we still seem to end up with 2 stringers wrapped around each other and a mess, usually resulting in us cutting gills and mouths to free them up... Our usual method is one person kills and strings the fish and then once 10 are on, we tie it off to a tree or what not. Does anyone else have better suggestions? Someone said onion sacks, or gunny sacks...Really? Someone suggested fileting as you go...(on slippery rocks)....Really?
    I'm game for whatever... Tried and true methods I sure don't have. Thanks for your help. It's just irks me when it's time for the charter to pick us back up and well....We're a MESS! Thanks!!!

    H

  2. #2

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    I have a smaller frame pack that works great. What I do is fillet the fish at the bottom & put the fillets in garbage bags Throw the fish in the pack cinch down the straps and hike up to the top and throw the fish in the cooler. I also tie a rope off at the top and run it down the cliff that way on the way back up you can pull yourself up. To fillet the fish I cut a piece of 3/8" plywood that fits against the pack frame. I found that 10 fish a good number to pack and if the fish are running just right a nice pattern works out where by the time you catch 10 fish there is only one beer and one sandwich left in the pack which forces you to clean the fish, eat the food, and drink the beer, then pack the fish up the cliff, take out the ration of food and beer and put the fish in the space vacated by said food and beer.
    Here is another tip instead of using stringers try throwing the fish in a laundry bag and tying the bag off. It is a lot easier to drop the fish in a bag than thread a rope through there gills.

  3. #3
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the great tips. I think I might try to fillet as the guys are dipping. Hopefully I can keep up. :-) If not, your laundry bag idea sounds like a plan.

    Thanks again for your help.

    H

  4. #4
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    I tie 7 or 8 to a stringer which equates to four ruck sacks of fish unless I fell strong to carry more than 7 or 8. Once I pull the string to a flat spot I lift the entire stringer into a garbage bag in my ruck then carry it up the hill. Place the bag with fish in the meat trailer behind my 4 wheeler and do another load this way I leave all stringers in the water until I'm done. Once back at O'Brien I fillet and package all fish. In the past I have even taken the vaccum sealer and generator to O'Brien and vaccum sealed the fish before heading back. Usually now I just bring them home filleted and then immediately begin to prepare the fish to smoke when I get back.

  5. #5
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    Default Use a spare net

    When I was dipnetting in the Copper I use to take a spare hoop net. Then I found out it could also act a great holding pen too. Instead of threading a metal hoop you just threat a rope in the same loops. Then you can sinch up the net and tie it off and then leave fish alive in the river. No more tangled lines.

  6. #6
    Member Adventures's Avatar
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    Default leaving the fish alive

    you should at least kill those fish if not bleed them too. If you leave them alive they will start to release all of thier body oils and toxins because that's what stressed fish do. makes the meat taste bad. It's natures way of getting rid of the weak.
    Justin

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've used tazman's technique, landed 27 solo in 3 hours and no muss no fuss. I use a landing net with the original net replaced with the gilnet. I ran a line through the old net and turned it into a mini purse sein. Tie the rope to shore and just bop and fill up the net.

    Another time saver is a small cutting block and a hatchet for chopping the tails.

  8. #8
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Save time with scissors too, I use a set of Gerber's. After clubbing I cut the gills and the tail tips with a few easy snips of the scissors.

  9. #9

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    scuba diving bags. They fit around 20 reds each, easy to handle, breathable and strong. We've used them for several years and haven't had any problems with them.

  10. #10
    Member Jktimm's Avatar
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    Default

    I have been dipping in Chitina since 1970, and use gunny sacks. You have to remember that this meat is worth $15/lb back in Los Anchorage, so you don't want to mess it up. Better fisher's than me can maybe do a nice job of filleting down on the rocks, but how do they keep the fillet free from silt?

  11. #11
    Member AKArcher's Avatar
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    Default A lot of work...

    I clip the tail fins with a pair of Friskars Sheers, and then the whole salmon comes out with me. I would rather put the sweat and energy into getting the whole fish out and filleting them on my fillet table and in a clean area. I leave the fish whole to aide in the fillet. I also use the entire carcass (head to tail) for halibut bait.

    My fillets improved dramatically when I started taking them out whole. I use a Cabelas wet bag with built in shoulder straps and back pad to haul them out. I string them up on stringers (6-10 per stringer) and put the entire group in a trash bag to get them up to the truck. Once there I put them on ice/snow and get to the fillet table quick and get to work. I bring 15 gallons of water to clean the fillets and put them into zip lock bags and back on ice/snow. I try to keep the fillets out of the Copper...too much silt.

    This year I am going to bring the vacu-sealer with me and try to get it all done down there... I will report later how that goes.

    Good luck to you all!!!
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

  12. #12
    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default Premium Fish Filets

    I read a bit about premium fish filets, last year for a cooking in a contest. To get the best fish filet for the contest, I did not hit my fish at all, I cut their gills and let them bleed out on the stringer, as soon as they bled out, I put them on ice. I did not cut the fish at all until I got them home, than I filleted them, rinsed and vacuum sealed them. I could not believe the difference. Its not easy, but try it with a few fish and I think you will be sold on it, especially if you are going to fresh grill or smoke them!

  13. #13
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    Default

    I kill the fish with a bonk on the head, and put them on the bank. I never put them back in the water to spoil. They're better off drying out in the sun. If you need to, you can mark them by cutting off a fin or something.

    When there's a slack time, I take the gills and guts out, and cut off the tails.

    I pack them out in a gunny sack that I put in my packframe bag. That way they stay clean until I get them into the cooler. I've been known to cut off the heads to save weight, but I usually leave them on for easier handling.

    Everything else is done at home.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  14. #14

    Default Sand & Water

    One huge advantage of dipnetting from a boat is the absence of sand. Even rinsing the fish down well, sand gets in the gills, and eventually on the fillet a little.

    I don't rinse the fillets with water, it changes the color, takes the red color out a little. (this plays into my no-sand policy, since I don't rinse the meat I don't want any sand on the fish). I like to rinse the fish on both sides before you fillet as well as the board each time before you make the first cut, then I don't have to rinse the meat.

    I also never put the meat around water in the cooler. I put them in black plastic bags on ice. I don't like to expose the meat to water.

    I use a small hatchet and block of wood to chop the tails quickly after ripping gills. (rip & clip)

    I treat these like the fish they truly are, some of the finest in the world.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

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