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Thread: Fish Processing

  1. #1
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    Default Fish Processing

    Not really sure about fish processors and the best way to deliver fish to them.

    In anticipation of my first dip netting season and early red run on the Russian, I am looking to be a little lazy and have a processor fillet, package, and freeze the meat. Also, I have never dealt with the amount of fish and meat involved. This is due to other trips being smashed together and needing a little bit of storage time before coming home.

    I have been told the meat tastes better when you gil the fish and allow them to bleed out, but is it also best to gut the fish before delivery? I will likely have the fish on ice for 2-3 days before they make it to the processor.

    All advice is greatly needed and apprecaited.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalTexAk Reaper View Post
    Not really sure about fish processors and the best way to deliver fish to them.

    In anticipation of my first dip netting season and early red run on the Russian, I am looking to be a little lazy and have a processor fillet, package, and freeze the meat. Also, I have never dealt with the amount of fish and meat involved. This is due to other trips being smashed together and needing a little bit of storage time before coming home.

    I have been told the meat tastes better when you gil the fish and allow them to bleed out, but is it also best to gut the fish before delivery? I will likely have the fish on ice for 2-3 days before they make it to the processor.

    All advice is greatly needed and apprecaited.

    Thanks!
    If you don't bleed (rip a gill) and ice them then why bother harvesting them? Those things are key to a quality product.
    Another thing to consider is the processors charge you based on incoming weight. So if you bring them in in the round you pay processing fees on the weight of the head,guts,etc. Even if they only vac pack the filletts.
    If you fillet them it will save you quite a bit of $$$.
    I would bleed them and gut them then ice them. Make sure they are not sitting in water but just ice. You may have to drain the cooler periodically and/or add more ice every few hours.
    I won't go fishing if I am not prepared to deal with my fish myself usually the same day though sometimes we will fillet and ice one day then vac pack the next.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

  3. #3
    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    I always gill them, put them on a stringer, back in the water to bleed out, then in a cooler with ice in a plastic bag over the fish, take them to my cleaning table, fillet them, I can do about 50 an hour, rinse them well in fresh cold water, take them to the processer on ice, fish in plastic bag. They vac pack and freeze, I pick them up and put in my freezer. the fish last a long time, they taste almost like fresh fish even the next spring. Eat them all and do it all over again. Gerberman

  4. #4
    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    Bleeding Salmon (and any other fish) is an absolute must. Also, gutting them as soon as possible is also a must. Especially since you won't get them processed for 2-3 days after they are caught, then you should absolutely bleed and gut them. I always strive to produce the absolute best product I can which is why I harvest and process things on my own.

    Last year myself and two friends harvested 150 sockeye in one day, bled and gutted every fish on site and then proceeded back to town where we filleted, portioned, and froze all of the fish. You'll save money doing it on your own and if you are efficient in your processing, it wont take as long as you will think. Grab a case of beer and have at it!

    Not sure about up there, but if you brought un-bled and un-gutted fish to a processor down here, they would laugh at you and might not even take it.

  5. #5
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    Thanks everyone, I just wasn't really sure, fishing my whole life in California and Texas, either did catch and release or had a stringer full of catfish. So I wasn't really sure. Thanks for the info!

  6. #6
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Bleed, gut, ice. Lots of ice. How quickly you get your fish chilled has a direct relationship to the quality of the meat.
    "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

  7. #7
    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    what I take to the processer is de-headed, de-backboned fillets attached at the tail

    easy to count fish, and fairly easy to pack in ice to keep cold.

    if long trip, will pack fish in ziplock bags and store in salted water to get a little more COLD out of it

    Chris

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