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Thread: keeping salmon fresh?

  1. #1
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default keeping salmon fresh?

    Well you guys are really teaching me alot and can't thank everyone enough. You schooled me on keeping them alive so lets have a discussion about keeping them fresh. What ways do you if you are on a boat and more importantly if you are hiking around some or spending longer times on the river bank going after trout or reds. Do's and don'ts, how long before the quality of your table fare starts to degrade? Share your wisdom and thoughts on the matter.

  2. #2

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    I get my eating salmon from the boat.

    I prepare them "troll style". (what the troll fleet is required to do to sell the fish)

    Bonk fish on head. Bleed for 10-15 minutes. (I don't cut gills, I cut it's artery. One puncture and the blood flows) When the fishing is hot and heavy, I gaff the fish at the artery when bring them aboard, and it bleeds them. Saves you a step. The first cut I make is the cut from the anus up to about 1" from the narrow throat on the salmon. I then remove gills by cutting around the gills, and pulling them out with my fingers using a twisting motion. (easier if you don't cut gills to bleed) Remove the guts by making a 2 cuts up around the neck. You can then pull all the guts out in one motion, starting from the head. If you make the correct cuts, the heart will come out too, and you won't have anything left in the neck. Then I cut the blood line in the belly (kidney) and scrape it. Using the back of my spoon on the back end of my knife, I then rub inside the belly to get more blood out. The key is not to #2 the fish and cut through the membrane in the belly.

    Rinse very well, and put in ice slush. If you are doing a multiple day trip, have a cooler with some ice water to cool down the fish before putting it in your main slush cooler. Your slush will last much longer that way. If you are meticulous with your gutting/gilling/rinsing, your slush should still be white when loaded up with salmon. I'm not a big fan of my food laying in bloody water.

    When I was crewing on Power Troll boats, I could clean a coho in 18 seconds. (we'd time ourselves when the fishing was slow) A king took about 30 seconds if I recall correctly. It's all about having a sharp knife and making perfect cuts so everything comes out the first time, and you don't have to go back and make additional cuts. It took me a few thousand cohos to get it right!

    edited to add a nostalgic picture.. those were the days!

  3. #3

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    Ice, baby, ice. No substitute.

    Clean them right away as described and get them on ice in a good cooler, and they'll go for several days. But the sooner you freeze them, the better. We almost always freeze the days catch each night- after they spent the day on ice.

  4. #4
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    Default Beware el sol...

    However you rip, cut, tear, ice, bleed, puncture, slit, thrash, bonk, rinse, yada, yada, yada: keep the finished product out of the sun...

    Rosenberg/Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  5. #5
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Default

    I gill them, put them upside down in a bucket and let them thrash. 10-15 minutes later, they get gutted and iced them down.

  6. #6
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I get my eating salmon from the boat.

    I prepare them "troll style". (what the troll fleet is required to do to sell the fish)

    Bonk fish on head. Bleed for 10-15 minutes. (I don't cut gills, I cut it's artery. One puncture and the blood flows) When the fishing is hot and heavy, I gaff the fish at the artery when bring them aboard, and it bleeds them. Saves you a step. The first cut I make is the cut from the anus up to about 1" from the narrow throat on the salmon. I then remove gills by cutting around the gills, and pulling them out with my fingers using a twisting motion. (easier if you don't cut gills to bleed) Remove the guts by making a 2 cuts up around the neck. You can then pull all the guts out in one motion, starting from the head. If you make the correct cuts, the heart will come out too, and you won't have anything left in the neck. Then I cut the blood line in the belly (kidney) and scrape it. Using the back of my spoon on the back end of my knife, I then rub inside the belly to get more blood out. The key is not to #2 the fish and cut through the membrane in the belly.

    Rinse very well, and put in ice slush. If you are doing a multiple day trip, have a cooler with some ice water to cool down the fish before putting it in your main slush cooler. Your slush will last much longer that way. If you are meticulous with your gutting/gilling/rinsing, your slush should still be white when loaded up with salmon. I'm not a big fan of my food laying in bloody water.

    When I was crewing on Power Troll boats, I could clean a coho in 18 seconds. (we'd time ourselves when the fishing was slow) A king took about 30 seconds if I recall correctly. It's all about having a sharp knife and making perfect cuts so everything comes out the first time, and you don't have to go back and make additional cuts. It took me a few thousand cohos to get it right!

    edited to add a nostalgic picture.. those were the days!

    I like your idea about cutting the artery, but clue me in where to do it. I always just gilled them.

  7. #7

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    If the fish is laying flat, belly down, with it's head pointing to the 9, the cut next to the gills at the 4:30 to 5 spot..

    Just poke around that area until blood starts squirting out.. Then you'll know..

  8. #8
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    If the fish is laying flat, belly down, with it's head pointing to the 9, the cut next to the gills at the 4:30 to 5 spot..

    Just poke around that area until blood starts squirting out.. Then you'll know..
    I'll try that thanks.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Would help with a cartoon?

    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    If the fish is laying flat, belly down, with it's head pointing to the 9, the cut next to the gills at the 4:30 to 5 spot..

    Just poke around that area until blood starts squirting out.. Then you'll know..

  10. #10

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    another good spot to poke though it might not lead to 18 second gut and gill times (ok ok I'm just slow lol) is in the roof of the mouth right at the first gill or a skosh in front of it, you'll see what I'm talking about.

  11. #11
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default just a thought

    You guys have got met thinking now. What about large ziplocks and a mesh bag? Bleed them for 15 minutes then gut and fillet right away. Put them in the ziplocks and in a mesh bag and back into the river?

  12. #12

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    I wouldn't. Fillet right away, and the fillets shrink terrible as they go through rigor. Look like tough red potato chips. Rip a gill to bleed them, wait 20-30 minutes, then gill and gut them. Hang them in the river then to keep them cool if you can't manage the ice. I don't fillet till after they have "slacked" following rigor.

  13. #13
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Agree with BrownBear: Ice, ice, baby...

    If I didn't have access to ice right away, then depends on the ambient air temperature. The coolest place is usually the stream. Your fish comes out of it at about the same temp. If ambient air temp is cooler, good. But, if the air is significantly warmer and I didn't have ice, then I think I'd "field dress" the fish (bleeding/gutting), and put it/them back in the stream, especially if it's going to be awhile. If you really want to preserve the flavor though, get the fish on ice.

    If you plan to retain trout... depends on the KP stream, but be sure retention is allowed. Many would not favor retaining wild trout, but the regs did allow 1 (usually, flowing waters) last year, but only if less than 18", sometimes 16".

    Back to preserving fish though, here's advice from an older thread in Dipnetting forum (http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=31211):

    4. Take care of your fish. This is our current system and seems to produce better tasting, better looking fish, especially around February coming out of the freezer:
    -bleed then gut the fish,
    -clean the dark kidneys from alongside the spine (an old spoon works well)
    -put the fish on ice ASAP, (hauling 1 or 2 bags of ice to the beach does increase the hassle factor but ...our fish doesn't taste "off" in February like it used to).
    -rub slime off with salt (Call me crazy, but saw some guys do this one year and tried it. Don't know why but the meat seems to stay brighter and better flavor the following spring).

  14. #14
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    You guys have got met thinking now. What about large ziplocks and a mesh bag? Bleed them for 15 minutes then gut and fillet right away. Put them in the ziplocks and in a mesh bag and back into the river?
    I personally don't fillet any fish until I am ready to vaccum seal them or eat them fresh. I scale my fish, then fillet them. I don't let water touch the meat at all either. I usually put meat side to meat side, cut them in the size I want then vaccum seal them. Halibut, I skin them, rinse the meat and then pat them dry and vaccum seal the meat. I always give my fish away at the start of each new season and the fish is still good.

  15. #15
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    Default another tip...

    Lots of dolly varden char sometimes are in the streams and rivers along with the salmon.

    They are fine to eat, too.

    This fish is best bled, filleted, and then the sides soaked in salted water to firm them up until you vacuum process or cook. Salt water firms flesh of your softer fishes...

    Rosenberg/Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  16. #16

    Default Good Tip

    I often wondered how to care for and rotect the quality of dolly varden...good tip Mr. Rsoenberg.

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