To expand on my previous post for newbies this year, a few dip tips... Please feel free to add your own!
1. Block ice is a must; if you spend more than a day between catching and processing you must have this stuff. I have stopped at Portage in the past and grabbed glacier ice as it is very dense and melts extremely slowly. Another tip on the ice is save some of your empty milk cartons and use them for making your own ice blocks. The best way to match the density of glacier ice is to boil the same pot of water at least twice and let it cool at room temperature before filling your jug or ice tray. This process is called degassing and has proven that you end up with clear and dense ice. Or if you don't want to go through the hassle, pick up the block ice at your local store.
2. Clipping tails; this can be achieved with just about anything. I use garden shears (not the cheap ones as they are not effective after the first few fish). They are easy to use and make the process very fast. I've seen everything from a fillet knive to a hatchet to whack the tips and the shears are what I have found to work best for me. If you have helpers this is a non-issue - they will be content to do whatever they can to get the job done.
3. Processing; As mentioned before, I wait until I get home to process fish where I have a complete station setup with all I need and more. The biggest reason for processing at home is that I don't like to have sand/silt/junk in my fish fillets. If you leave the fish in the round, only removing the head, guts and tail tips; you end up with protected flesh. The precursor to this philosophy is also to bleed your fish vs. anahilating it with blunt force trauma. A bled out fish has a higher quality of flavor vs. one that has not.
4. Transportation from the beach to the truck/car/vehicle: I can't believe that I forgot about that portion in my original post. A wagon, sled or something that can slide across the sand is a must. Carrying a 172 quart cooler through the dunes will make you lose your happy thoughts temporarily. What I've started doing in the last 6 years or so is bringing with me an extra $40 to pay the largest, strapping young guys I can find have them transport my coolers to the road.
4. Storage; we vacuum seal our fish as most folks do with the following method: fillet, skin, cut into thirds and all the while rinsing as necessary, then patting dry with a dish towel before sealing the bag. The previous years' fish that is left over gets canned with spices and goodies for the dry food storage or smoked up for squaw candy.
There ya have it; I'm sure that there's more I'm forgetting at the moment and others will have their own techniques and two cents - please feel free to add to it.
Only a week to go for the first dip trip! WOOT WOOT