Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Great Article on Fish Care!

  1. #1
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,765

    Default Great Article on Fish Care!

    I'd be interested in your input on an article I ran into on fish care. I have always been intrigued by the way we handle our dip netted fish, and, for that matter the fish we catch on charters. The guy who wrote it is a retired commercial fisherman from Southeast, and he runs a consulting service for chefs in high-end restaurants. I spoke with him yesterday and he seems pretty sharp. His name is Jon Rowley.

    At any rate, we obtained permission to republish the article on our site. HERE IS THE LINK.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Southcentral Alaska
    Posts
    567

    Default

    Everything in that article basically makes sense, and is more or less consistent with the principals of Ikijeme, which is the Japanese way of killing fish for sushi.

    Ikejime skips bonking the fish but immediately severes the spinal column (and adjacent artery) with a knife, and makes a second cut at the tail to accelerate bleeding. Then a wire is inserted into the spinal column to disrupt the spinal column and keep the fish from ever entering rigor mortis. Rigor mortis is bad for fish flavor.

    They don't ice the fish immediately, because they want it to be fully dead before they ice the fish (I think that's the reason). Also, they don't put the fish in ice water, but they just put it in cool air and let the fish age for a couple days before eating it.

    Myself, I wouldn't go to all that hassle when I'm just going to turn around and freeze the fish, but I definitely bonk, bleed and ice. I am undecided on whether or not you should gut the fish before you are ready to process it. I have leaned towards not gutting my fish, but that's mostly because I want the guts for my compost pile.

  3. #3
    Member AKArcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    687

    Default

    Good info there - thanks for getting permission to republish!
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

  4. #4
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    2,366

    Default

    It was a good read. I do everything he says but don't gut till i'm home. To bleed, i pull a gill or two after bonking.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  5. #5
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,391

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HikerDan View Post
    Ikejime skips bonking the fish but immediately severes the spinal column (and adjacent artery) with a knife, and makes a second cut at the tail to accelerate bleeding. Then a wire is inserted into the spinal column to disrupt the spinal column and keep the fish from ever entering rigor mortis. Rigor mortis is bad for fish flavor.
    Dan, do you have any resources that explain the thought process on preventing rigor mortis? Based on my understanding of the process, it doesn't seem like disrupting the spinal column would have any effect on rigor. It's caused by a loss of ATP available to break the cross-linkage of myosin and actin. It's a biochemical process that is not dependent on nerve impulses, thus I don't understand how disrupting the spinal column would affect this process. Not saying that it doesn't - I just don't understand the mechanism.

    Thoughts?

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    2,127

    Default

    Exactly how I do it without the bonk.. I have a good sized holding tank in the back of my Raider and I put 15 gallons of saltwater in there, put the fish as nicely as you can into it and then slit the membrane betweent the gill place and the collar bone which severs the same artery but more directly than popping a gill. Then it sits for about ten minutes bleeding out in salt water, then gutted, gilled and placed in ice.......When i started waiting a day to eat it after the rigor went out, I found it to be absolutely outstanding. doesn't shrrink up like it does when it's fresh......takes patience but I think it's worth it. Remember that fresh is relative.....the same night you have buched up fish, the guys in Pikes place get it after three days on ice and it's out of rigor......I truly believe this is the epitomy of eating salmon.

  7. #7
    Member smarion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kenai
    Posts
    224

    Default

    That was an interesting article. I was happy with how much of it we already do. Under my father in laws instruction, we have always ripped gills without bonking as we were skeptical how long the heart would beat and our biggest goal is getting the blood out. We can really see the difference between our fish and those that are not bled. They do flop a bit in the cooler, but not that much. Ideally, I would go back to dipping and my in law would fillet. Lately he can't do as much so the fish sit longer. We also feel strongly about filleting our fish without violating the guts. In other words, I don't want to pull gut juice through my fillets like you see a lot of people do. I get my fillets off and then I get the bellies which is impossible to do without getting into the abdominal cavity.

    Then when packaging, we try hard to rinse off any slime or loose scales on the meat and vacuum seal them with good thick bags. It all makes for high quality fish all year around.

  8. #8
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Willow, AK
    Posts
    3,360

    Default

    Thank you. Excellent article! Rigor is one thing I haven't paid much attention to, and apparently need to!

    A bleeding technique my grandfather taught me, was to cut a cross shaped incision between and just forward of the pectoral fins. This cuts the heart directly. Then hold the fish by its tail and work the gills until it is bled out. Fish is never bonked, but does not bruise up as its in the water. We later found that cutting behind the gill plate is just as effective. Letting the fish use its gills keeps the heart pumping and blood flowing.

    I think that placing a dead fish in water, specifically a lake or stream, is the worst thing you can do to it. Iced water isn't as bad, but if you can keep your ice drained so the fish is resting on ice instead of soaking in water it is better. The bacteria present in the water begin breaking down dead tissue very rapidly, and cause the fish to deteriorate rapidly.

  9. #9
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,748

    Default

    I would have to think that the methods described in the article would apply to all fish? Meaning, I have never gutted and iced halibut on board, but I may want to start now. I guess that would depend on how much I want to eat before freezing? Being as delicate as halibut meat is, I would have to think that even greater care taken of it would be even more advantageous than that of salmon...???
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    328

    Default

    your answer might be found if you google....what is rigor mortis in fish...the detail they went into fish care was amazing and explaining rigor mortis...the one thing I was reading they were talking about cod...there was so much detailed information I don't have the time to read it now I'm definitely going to read it later...after I get around to reading it I'll put the strong points on here...

  11. #11
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Central Kenai Peninsula
    Posts
    4,886

    Default

    I think many of the members here do try and take good care of their fish.
    But the masses of dipnetters likely do not do as well.
    It is a shame how some treat their fish.
    Another big thing is learning how to properly fillet your fish. Less waste and better quality.
    There are so many people who never take the time to learn to fillet properly.
    I'm no expert but I do pretty good. My wife is better than I am. But I see so many people who just mutilate their fillets.
    If they would just ask for someone to show them and then take the tiny bit of extra time to do it right they could have much better fish.
    I know some people really good at filleting and watching them and asking for a bit of tutelage helps a lot.
    "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"

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,902

    Default

    I never bonk my fish. It bruises the flesh if you are just a little off. I want the heart still pumping as it bleeds out. When dip netting and putting fish in the freezer, I freeze them whole, guts and all. Thaw them in cold water, and a year later they still look like a fresh fish.
    I am often surprised at the ways many people treat their fish and game. It's as if they WANT it to turn out bad. Beat the crap out of it, and then let it wallow around for hours in the warm bilge water in the bottom of the boat. Yeah, that's gonna taste good.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  13. #13

    Default

    How to clean fish:
    1. Wait until it's really late at night so as not to interfere with Catching Fish
    2. Assume a comfortable position so as to maximize energy efficiency
    3. Have the fish within easy reach to minimize unnecessary movement
    4. Perform one step on all fish at a time to conserve energy of motion.
    5. Have helpers to perform the dirty work.

  14. #14
    Member AKArcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    687

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fl View Post
    How to clean fish:
    1. Wait until it's really late at night so as not to interfere with Catching Fish
    2. Assume a comfortable position so as to maximize energy efficiency
    3. Have the fish within easy reach to minimize unnecessary movement
    4. Perform one step on all fish at a time to conserve energy of motion.
    5. Have helpers to perform the dirty work.
    Is this from this year Tony?!
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

  15. #15

    Default

    Yes, with crew #3.

    a) Dad in his 30's whose borrowed prop boat broke a drive shaft pin on the gravel
    b) Son of Dad: 12 year-old great kid non-complainer. Made great coffee and breakfast.
    c) Son of Dad's friend: 16 year-old that worked like a man; caught fish, cleaned fish, cleaned coolers, carried coolers, drove the truck, drove the boat. Didn't know they made kids like that any more.

    For awhile, we had a camp set up on the little black sand beach cove on the west bank. They caught a couple while everybody drifting by was loading up. However, we got to have a camp fire and cook a couple of filets in foil on a grate. Oh yeah...Why We Fish... even crisped the skin and ate it crunchy. Had to use flat rocks for plates, however.

  16. #16
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,765

    Default

    This weekend as I was cleaning my fish I noticed several cases where I bonked the fish and bled it right away. Within five or six minutes I was gutting the fish, and in several cases the heart was still beating. From those experiences I think I will continue bonking the fish. If for no other reason than perhaps inflicting less pain on the fish by rendering it unconscious before cutting on it or ripping its gill arches.
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,902

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    This weekend as I was cleaning my fish I noticed several cases where I bonked the fish and bled it right away. Within five or six minutes I was gutting the fish, and in several cases the heart was still beating. From those experiences I think I will continue bonking the fish. If for no other reason than perhaps inflicting less pain on the fish by rendering it unconscious before cutting on it or ripping its gill arches.
    Gutted a moose last fall, and when I tossed the heart on the tail gate, it was still beating. Done that a pile of times with deer. I'm not gonna start beating the crap out of them, as I think it was all over when the bullet severed the spine. They aren't really feeling a thing.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  18. #18
    Member akshootnscoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    314

    Default

    The point of popping gills is to get the blood out before the heart stops beating. Sounds like you started filleting too soon, Mike!

  19. #19
    Member akshootnscoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    314

    Default

    And maybe excessive bonking hurts worse?

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,902

    Default

    Anyone remember the Chevy Chase movie where he is gonna knock his fellow fisherman out to remove a hook. After the 3rd punch another fisherman says, "You aren't knocking him out. You're beating the **** out of him." LOL
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •