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Thread: Preventing fish from spoiling while at cabin

  1. #1
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    Default Preventing fish from spoiling while at cabin

    I'm heading out to a Forest Service cabin in August and hope to catch a bunch of silvers. We'll be there for 3 nights and I'm trying to figure out how to keep the fish from spoiling while at the cabin. I guess one option would be to bring a large cooler full of ice (and beer) and hopefully have enough ice to last for the 3 days... or the other option would be to smoke the fish.

    Any suggestions?

    If you suggest smoking... what equipment do you suggest I bring? (We're flying in so therefore consider this trip akin to car camping)

    Thanks in advanced for your help

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    I have not used it but I do know alot of people use Dry ice in the cooler. You can buy it at the safeway stores here in anchorage. If you have a good cooler and clean your fish right away they should hold fine on just regular ice providing you have enough. Im guessing you will as you never want your beer to get warm


    Since your flying in I think the smoking thing would be way to much effort. 3 days there, a day of brineing, a day of smoking etc etc. Save that for when you get home
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  3. #3

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    If you plan on keeping more than the daily bag and possession limit, the fish have to be preserved in such a manner to keep more than 14 days. Icing the fish will not get it and if it is not smoked, packed and frozen that won't cut it either. SALT (dried to the point of like it being a saltine cracker) or Canning will do the trick.
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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    If you plan on keeping more than the daily bag and possession limit, the fish have to be preserved in such a manner to keep more than 14 days. Icing the fish will not get it and if it is not smoked, packed and frozen that won't cut it either. SALT (dried to the point of like it being a saltine cracker) or Canning will do the trick.

    Forgot about the bag limit thing. Thanks Res
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattdow View Post
    I'm heading out to a Forest Service cabin in August and hope to catch a bunch of silvers. We'll be there for 3 nights and I'm trying to figure out how to keep the fish from spoiling while at the cabin. I guess one option would be to bring a large cooler full of ice (and beer) and hopefully have enough ice to last for the 3 days... or the other option would be to smoke the fish.

    Any suggestions?

    If you suggest smoking... what equipment do you suggest I bring? (We're flying in so therefore consider this trip akin to car camping)

    Thanks in advanced for your help
    Well - rule #1 would be keep the fish cold, whatever that takes:

    what I do is make filets that fit ~1 gallon ziplocks; triple bag them; take all the air out; wrap that whole thing in black plastic, and submerge it in the nearest spring; try not to have it exposed where animals can smell it; Sometimes in a few feet of water at the lake shore if that's where you are at.

    The large cooler of ice thing would be simplest; if you have bulk/weight in your plane; and not far to haul the stuff. Some people have phones and call a plane to pick up their fish and bring it to a cold storage facility.

    I wouldn't even consider smoking fish in the field: There are portable smokers, but seems to me that would attract all sorts of wildlife, and it takes a couple days with the brining and smoking and all to do it right. Which means - the fish has to be kept cold while it is brining, so you'll need a cooler with a bunch of ice for that . And you need to make the brine, which may involve heating it to dissolve the salt and sugar, then cooling the solution, before putting the fish in it. And the portable smokers don't have much capacity. There are some simple ways of doing it, but the more control you have on the process the better the product. In general, however, smoking fish doesn't mean shaking salt on fish and throwing it in a smoker - there's a bit more to it than that. You'd be better off just keeping the fish cool and smoking them when you get home.

  6. #6

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    We always schedule our pickup flight later in the day, then do all our fish killing the day of the flight. Before that, all but maybe one for eating are released. If we had ice left I suppose we could start killing the evening before, but we're inclined to bring out only a single day's bag limit.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    how many are you allowed to keep per day and how many are you allowed to posess? that there is the factor. 3 a day 6 in possestion... is six fish in 3 days
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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    that in posession limit is stupid.
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    What unit are you fishing in?
    Only those that can see the invisible can do the impossible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akriverman View Post
    What unit are you fishing in?
    We'll be south of Cordova... not quite sure how to figure out which unit (new to AK)

  11. #11

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    When I go on extended hunting trips I use a product called Techni Ice. It comes as a sheet that you hydrate with water and basically becomes gell ice packs. I then freeze and pack these in layers with dry ice. The Techni Ice is colder than water ice and with the dry ice combo it will freeze items. Now understand that I am trying to keep things cold and not trying to freeze items from scratch. Tight lines.
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    This idea you may not want to do, but I can say that it works. Many years ago hanging out with a tlingit friend he told me about how they always kept their black cod on salt. So one year when I went out to a place that I wanted to bring home some salmon I tried this . The thing is you need rock salt and lots of it. You put about 1/2inch of salt in a bucket then lay in your fish layer, then more salt, then fish and do that till bucket is full with a good cover of salt on top. I know this sounds crazy but I kept it out on my back porch all summer just to see if this really does work. I swear after 3 months that fish smelled just fine and looked and tasted good. You do need to soak it out in water over night before cooking and no need to add any salt. It really doesn't just dry out like you would think and it really was kept fresh.
    some old ways of doing things sound odd but they work.

  13. #13

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    I'm with BB....though I may eat one or two in the previous days...all bonking is at the end of the trip if I'm bringing anything home and am unable to get it froze quick.

    The cooler and beer idear sounds like a win win anyways lol....

    I would if you do use ice, make sure you bring a hunk of block ice....cubes or crushed melts much faster though it's better for getting things colder quicker...block ice keeps things cold and will last much longer.

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